Help with my stained stainless steel!
June 25, 2007 9:27 AM   Subscribe

Silverwarefilter: As much as I hate to waste a mefi question on this, but I feel I have to because it's driving me crazy. I have a set of stainless steel silverware and a set of cutlery also made of stainless steel (different brands/sets). We wash them in the dishwasher and they are constantly getting these orange like rust stains on them. How do I get rid of these? They can be rubbed off with some heavy scrubbing but I want the stains to stop recurring. Any ideas?
posted by wile e to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
For getting it to stop recurring: do not use any dish detergent that contains lemon or citrus.
posted by mcstayinskool at 9:29 AM on June 25, 2007

For getting it to stop recurring: do not use any dish detergent that contains lemon or citrus.

I use Electrasol tabs and I just read the label and don't see any citrus or lemon in there.
posted by wile e at 9:47 AM on June 25, 2007

I too think changing dishwasher soap is the first thing to try. But yes, make sure whatever you try next has no orange, lemon, or "fresh citrus" scents or ingredients.

Worst case scenario, you have a $4 thing of dishwasher soap you don't like.
posted by ilsa at 9:53 AM on June 25, 2007

Does the orange stain appear every time you wash? What if you add no detergent at all? If it still happens then, then it might be something about your water, or the silverware itself.
posted by DarkForest at 9:57 AM on June 25, 2007

This link may help a little.

I've had this in the past. I'm pretty sure it was a couple of knives I bought at a yard sale that had a different alloy than the rest of the stuff mixing in the washer. I started washing them separately. At the same time I was figuring it out I used a dishwasher cleaner - you can usually find it with the detergents, it's a palstic bottle you upend in the dishwasher and run through by itself. Seemed to help a lot with some cloudiness and film I was getting on glasses, but I'm not sure which helped more.
posted by pupdog at 10:35 AM on June 25, 2007

And here's where preview helps. I meant pots, not knives. I think I read the link too soon before I posted.
posted by pupdog at 10:36 AM on June 25, 2007

I have this problem with my dishwasher. Only with the (serrated, not sharp) knives, nothing else from the same set of cheap 1960s era stainless. I've always assumed the knives just were made of some other kind of metal. My solution was to stop putting them in the dishwasher.
posted by Nelson at 10:42 AM on June 25, 2007

it may be contact in the diswasher with other types of metal. If you can, isolate all the problem items into one sub-basket of the flatware basket.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 11:05 AM on June 25, 2007

This sounds an awful lot like something that's normally stainless acting like a sacrificial electrode, so I'm with the people saying sort by type when you load them.

If that doesn't help try just loading one type or the other for a couple runs and see what happens.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 11:31 AM on June 25, 2007

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