In our discussion of cast iron cleaning, we mentioned that you can rub rust away using a raw potato. This tip is so unusual, yet handy (and non-toxic!), that we thought it deserved its own spotlight. And the potato trick isn't limited to cast iron – you can use it to remove rust from baking pans, knives, and other household tools. To clean rust with a potato, cut it in half lengthwise or crosswise, depending on how large a surface area you want. Dip the cut end in dish soap or baking soda and firmly rub it over the rusted area. If the end of the potato gets slick, slice it off and apply more soap or abrasive. Repeat until rust is removed, rinse, and dry.
Apparently this works because the oxalic acid in the potato helps to dissolve rust. Have you tried this or any other good rust removal techniques?
Emily Ho is a writer, recipe developer, and educator. She lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches classes on food preservation, wild food, and herbalism. Emily is a Master Food Preserver and founder of LA Food Swap and the international Food Swap Network.
Read more from Emily »