Bring a rusty pan back to life… with a potato!

5/5 - (1 vote)

Even the best quality cast iron pans (the ones we take great care of, because they cost an arm and a leg) don’t escape the appearance of rust. We may well clean and dry them carefully, but it doesn’t matter! However, we have an unbeatable weapon for fighting rust right in our kitchen cupboards: potatoes! You’ve already heard us mention this in our article on how to remove rust from cutlery. The reason it works is that potatoes contain oxalic acid, which is incompatible with rust. Here’s what you need to do, step by step, to shine up your pans and other rusty utensils. 

What you need:

  • A potato
  • Washing up liquid or bicarbonate of soda
  • A little elbow grease


1) Cut the potato in two, lengthways or widthways, depending on the size of the surface you need to treat.

2) Soak the flesh of the potato in washing up liquid or bicarbonate of soda.

3) Scrub the rust vigorously.

4) If the flesh of the potato starts to become too soft or gets damaged, cut off a slice and start scrubbing again, after having re-soaked it in the bicarbonate of soda or washing up liquid.

5) Continue until the rust is gone. And voila!

Source – Illustration:  Anjali Prasertong

Related articles:

How to remove rust stains from tiles

4 tips to prevent your cutlery from going rusty in the dishwasher

A natural way to remove limescale or rust from the sink