Prevent Dish Rack from Rusting

How to Prevent Dish Rack from Rusting?

We have written 10 effective ways to prevent dish racks from rusting.

Dish racks are both the most important and the most neglected kitchen organizers. Preventing them from rusting is the best way to keep them in optimal condition and also protect your wallet from buying another one.

You can also check our best dish drainers for sinks.

10 Effective Ways to Prevent Dish Racks from Rusting

Here are a few effective ways to prevent dish racks from rusting.

The chemical composition of rust is iron and oxygen. In the presence of water or moisture, oxygen interacted with iron and forms an iron oxide which is known as rust.

Our dish racks are usually in close contact with the kitchen sink and water. That’s why they are more prone to rust. However, the good news is that rust is preventable.

How? Just by following our 10 effective ways below, you can prevent your dish rack from rusting.

Buy Rust-free Dish Racks

Firstly, buy dish racks other than metal material to prevent being rusted at all. Currently, there are many options available in the market for purchasing dish racks.

If you are an eco-lover, go for wooden or bamboo dish racks that can give you the same durability as metal-one but without the fear of being rusted. Also with eco-satisfaction.

Wooden Dish Rack
Wooden Dish Rack
Photo Source: Canva

A plastic dish rack also comes with some latest features like foldable racks or racks with detachable parts. Some plastic dish racks feature a draining mat that collects water from the dishes and other kitchen utensils.

Last but not least, the stainless steel dish rack is another good option and safer to use but not totally risk-free from being rusted.

Frequent and Thorough Cleaning

Regular and proper cleaning is key to keeping your dish-drying racks from rusting. One should frequently clean their dish rack not just after holding the clean dishes, but especially after keeping the dirty dishes that are being collected for washing.

Moreover, the cooking, cutting, and washing on the kitchen countertop also put some particles on the dish rack that need to be cleaned and dry thoroughly.

Make sure to clean the detachable parts of your rack separately by removing them from the main unit. You can either hand wash them or put them in your dishwasher if they are instructed to do so.

For removing some pesky stains, use soft brushes or scrubs for scrubbing them a little with a dishwasher liquid.

Drying and Wiping off with a Soft Cloth

After having a clean dish rack, it’s time to dry its every bit as moisture fastens the process of rusting. For drying, use a soft microfiber cloth as rough cloths could scratch the coating, thus, causing the metal to rust.

If you can’t clean or wash your dish rack more often, then at least wipe it off regularly. Pass a soft clean cloth to every corner for removing the hiding water or moisture in any junction or part of the rack. This process will keep your rack in brand-new condition for a long time.

Proper Placing and Storing

Don’t sit your rack in water overnight as rust will grow normally in 24 hrs. That’s why prop it off the floor at some dry place or store them properly in airy storage if not in use.

Before storing, make sure to wipe it with a cloth damped in cooking oil. This will create a protective layer on the rack against humidity that also causes rust.

Vinegar Spraying or Lemon Juice

Vinegar not only prevents rust but also fights against molds, mildew, bacterial growth, and bad odor. Thus, take a spray bottle, put white vinegar in it, and spray it all over the rack. Now, leave it for 15-20 minutes, rinse it with clean water, and dry off thoroughly.

You can also use lemon as a natural rust-removing agent. Lemon juice not only prevents rust but also gives your kitchen a fresh citrus fragrance.

Baking Soda

Baking soda also works for preventing rust. Mix baking soda with some water and apply this homogenous paste to the rack. Let it work for 15 minutes, rinse it, and dry it out completely.


A more natural way to prevent the dish rack from rusting is direct contact with sunlight. Simply sit your dish drying rack at a place where it gets direct sunlight for a few hours every week and let the magic work!

Dish Rack with Vinyl Coating

Vinyl-coated dish racks give your metal dish rack good protection against rust. Vinyl coating not just provides a protective layer but also beautifies your rack as it comes in various colors.

Further, the missing vinyl coating or discolored patch will help you to see a rust spot. Once you figured it out, protect it from rust before it spread out further.

Having a consistent check on rust signs is an important step for having a rust-free dish rack. Because early detection will make cleaning easy and risk-free.

Place Dishes with Care

Place the dishes or glassware carefully and don’t overload the rack to avoid scraping and scratching. Also, while moving it from one place to another, do it in a more careful manner to prevent any accidental damage.

Don’t Place Rusted or Sharp Objects

Finally, don’t forget to avoid placing any rusted kitchen utensils or dishes on the dish rack. As it can spread the rust further.

Also, don’t put sharp-edged objects like knives, grates, or iron sieves in the rack to avoid any scrap on the vinyl or plastic coating. Rather, place them in a separate holder in a facing-up position to keep the rack base from any damage.

How to Clean Rust and Prevent it from Further Spread?

Here are some easy methods to clean rust and prevent it from further spreading.

Apply Mechanical Tape on Damaged Spots

If you notice any damage in the protective coating of your dish rack, immediately cover it with mechanical tape to stop further spread. Mechanical tapes come in a tight-fitting and feel like a second skin on the bars of your dish rack.

Clean with Hydrogen Peroxide

You can clean the rust on your dish rack by using this natural rust-removing agent – hydrogen peroxide. It doesn’t affect the paint coating as it evaporates more quickly without leaving any residues on the rack bars.

The process is quite easy, simply take a paper towel and soak it in hydrogen peroxide. Now, wrap the soaked paper towel around the rusted surface. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes, remove it, and wipe the rust with a clean soft cloth.

Clean with WD-40

Finally, WD-40 works like a magic. Buy a WD-40 spray and sprinkle it thoroughly on the rack. Leave it for 3-5 minutes and wipe the rust with a clean soft cloth. In case of some serious rusty stains, repeat the process again to get rid of those pesky stains.

WD-40 acts like a solvent to remove any oil or grease residue on the dish rack and while removing them, it naturally repels water and moisture. Thus, lessening the likelihood of rust. So, it is also ideal to use as a preventive measure against forming of rust and corrosion.

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