Preventing Rust Spots In The Dishwasher

Dispelling the Myth: Stainless Steel Can Rust

Contrary to popular belief, stainless steel is not immune to rust. While it boasts high resistance to corrosion, it can still succumb to rusting under certain conditions, albeit not in the conventional manner we associate with rust.

  • Protective Layers: Stainless steels owe their rust-resistant properties to the thin protective layers formed during their production. These delicate layers, mere millionths of an inch thick, shield the steel from rust and corrosion.
  • Causes of Damage: Despite their protective coating, stainless steel surfaces can sustain damage, compromising their rust resistance. Abrasion from knives, cookware, and packaging materials can wear down these protective layers. Additionally, the accumulation of water and food deposits can corrode the protective coatings, leading to localized corrosion known as "pitting."
  • Impact of Chlorides: Certain chlorides present in food and cleaning chemicals can also erode the protective layer of stainless steel, causing pitting and exposing the inner metal to rust formation. It's crucial to use appropriate cleaning detergents and ensure correct dosing to prevent damage from chlorides.

Preventing Rust in Commercial Dishwashers:

  • Iron in the Water: Reddish-brown spots on the interior of your dishwasher indicate the presence of iron in the water supply. Natural iron oxide or rust from old galvanized pipes can deposit in the machine during wash cycles. Using the correct dosage of dishwasher detergent and rinse aid can help prevent rust stains. If the problem persists, citric acid crystals or specialized dishwasher cleaning products can be used to remove rust stains, or rust filters can be installed in the water supply.
  • Rusty Racks: While the inner surface of the dishwasher is unlikely to rust, the racks may develop rust over time. Proper loading of dishes, with crockery placed upside down for complete drying, can help prevent rust formation on racks.
  • Rust on Cutlery & Metal Items: Metal items washed in the dishwasher, such as cutlery and pots, can also develop rust. Stainless steel cutlery, in particular, may develop rust pits due to exposure to hard water or excessive chemical dosage. Pre-rinsing cutlery to remove food substances and avoiding acidic or salty foods can reduce the risk of corrosion.

Maintenance Tips for Stainless Steel:

  • Use the right amount and type of detergent.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions for dishwasher cycles and salt usage.
  • Ensure food residue is efficiently removed from items before washing.
  • Pre-rinse cutlery to remove food substances before washing.

By following these maintenance tips, you can preserve the integrity of stainless steel surfaces and prevent rust build-up in your commercial dishwasher, ensuring optimal performance and longevity.