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How To Prevent Dishwasher Racks From Rusting

Open Dishwasher. Racks And Dishwasher Containers.

Are you tired of tapping your rusty dishwasher racks every other day? Are you looking for effective ways to stop your dishwasher from developing rust and keep it nice and clean? We have all the essential information you need to prevent your dishwasher racks from rusting.

Due to daily dishwashing, there will always be remaining moisture in the dishwasher after each wash cycle. The combination of moisture and metal racks will create a perfect environment for the growth of rust in the dishwasher.

However, suitable measures can be taken to prevent dishwasher racks from rusting.


Although rust is the biggest villain in the life story of a dishwasher, you can fight it off by applying the right strategy. Consider the following preventive measures to save your dishwasher rack from getting rusty:

  • Load the dishes into your dishwasher gently.
  • Keep the sharp objects away from your dishwasher.
  • Dry the racks of the dishwasher regularly.
  • Empty the dishwasher rack after every wash cycle.
  • Preserve the outer coating of your dishwasher racks.
  • Use detergent in washing your dishwasher racks.

If you have identified any rust spots, wash them with vinegar and baking soda. Covering the exposed surface with vinyl, paint, or mechanical tape can prevent rust from growing.

This article will explore 6 effective ways to prevent dishwasher racks from rusting.

6 Ways To Prevent Your Dishwasher Racks From Rusting

Dishwashers are a great need nowadays. They have made our lives very easy and simple.

The most common problem with a dishwasher is its rusty dish racks. This problem can be avoided by considering the following preventive measures.

1. Load Your Dishwasher Gently

Open Door Of Built-In Dishwasher. Kitchen With Integrated Appliances. Plates And Dishes In The Dishwasher.

The primary step to protecting the dishwasher racks from rusting is to set your dishes gently into their specified space. Most of us load our dishwashers as quickly as possible without considering their capacity.

We must observe how the racks are designed for a specific shape of each utensil and how each dish needs to be arranged in the rack.

Loading too many dishes at one time can result in the banging of dishes together while washing, leading to damage to the dishwasher racks.

Moreover, putting a sharp edge of any utensil over the rack can cause scratches, often leading to rusting at the end.

2. Keep Sharp Objects Away

Excellent Set Of Japanese Chef's Knives From Damascus Steel.

Knife and forks are very sharp and can cause considerable damage to the outer layer of your dishwasher. The knife’s sharp blade can scrape off the outer coating on the dishwashing rack, whereas the pointy edges of the fork can poke holes, leaving the inner layer prone to rusting.

Always clean such sharp objects by hand in the sink or place them in the plastic container at the bottom of the dishwasher to clean them.

This simple work can save you a lot of money and headache.

3. Dry Dishwasher Racks Regularly

Horizontal Photo Of Female Hand Cleaning Upper Dish Rack With Green Microfiber Rag From Dishwasher With Blue, Red, Clear Glasses And White Bowls In Background.

Drying a dishwasher does not mean you must manually dry it using a towel or soft cloth. It can be done in an easy, simple way. Just leave your dishwasher open for a while after the dishes are removed.

Since the water is steaming hot and the heating element has already dried the dishes by raising the temperature, drying your dishwasher is not difficult.

Since rust only begins when metal meets moisture, you can remove all the moisture inside the dishwasher by leaving it open.

This will let all the steam out, leaving the dishwasher racks dry and safe from rusting.

So, do not close the door immediately the next time you wash your dishes! Let it open, and your dishwasher will dry after a few moments.

4. Empty the Dishwasher Rack

Open Clean Empty Dishwasher In Kitchen

Another big mistake people often make is leaving the dripping dishes inside the dishwasher once cleaned. Always empty the dishwasher after each wash cycle and let it completely dry.

Leaving the dishwasher loaded even after a wash can cause moisture to get locked inside. This moisture will create a favorable environment for the growth of rust.

Once the dishwasher dries the dishes, take them out and arrange them in your cabinets or shelves. Emptying the dishwasher will save its racks from rust and prevent any nasty smell from developing.

5. Preserve the Outer Coating

Open Dishwasher In The Kitchen. Dishwasher Rack.

Ensure the outer coating of your dishwasher is intact and does not expose the metal’s inner reactive surface.

The dishwashing racks are coated with a special type layer to prevent rust. Besides interaction with water, this coating keeps the dishwasher racks shiny and safe from rusty specks.

However, any rash or torture to the outer layer will expose the inner highly reactive metal. This will initiate rusting of the racks and can eventually coat the whole rack with rust.

Always cover any exposed layer with suitable material to prevent it from beginning a rusty journey.

6. Use Detergent To Wash

Dishwasher Tablet In Hand On The Background Of An Open Dishwasher

The home supply water is mostly not as clean as it seems. Most of the time, it contains high amounts of iron oxide. This iron oxide is the perfect substance to start rusting in any metal.

To deal with this problem, detergents can come in handy. Detergents help to neutralize the corrosive effects of iron oxide on the dishwasher racks.

Besides a nice cleaning, detergents will also save the dishwashing racks from rust and give you a safe and nice-smelling dishwasher.

How To Repair a Rusty Dishwasher Rack?

First, you must take preventive measures to save your dishwasher from rusting. However, if you have found any signs of rust on your dishwasher racks, you must repair them immediately.

If not repaired on time, rust can spread over the rack and make its condition worse.

Below are some common and effective hacks to repair a rusty dishwasher rack:

1. Vinegar Method

White Vinegar On The Wooden Table Top

Vinegar soaking can be an excellent way to clean your rusty dishwasher racks.

You can either pour the vinegar over the racks or soak them completely in vinegar by adding it to a large tray. You can leave the vinegar on the rack for about 80 minutes.

After that, you can use a damp towel to clean the rack.

The vinegar cleaning method will show a clear difference on the rack. It will fight the rust and remove it completely.

2. Baking Soda Method

Sea Salt, Starch In The Jar And Wooden Spoon For Recipes Of Cosmetics At Home On A White Wooden Background

If you find rusty spots on your dishwashing rack, you can clean them easily using baking soda.

All you have to do is to make a paste of baking soda and water. You can scrub this paste gently over the rusty areas.

Not only will it clean the rust, but it will also prevent it from spreading over the dishwasher rack.

You can also rub the baking soda paste over the rack for a beautiful shine and fight off the bacteria.

3. Vinyl Coating

Teflon-Coated Sound Insulation Board. Ethylene Vinyl Acetate Foam Sheets (Eva).

Most dishwasher racks are already coated with a thin layer of vinyl. This layer protects the racks from interacting with water and developing any rust.

This coating is often damaged due to cut by a sharp object or a rash. The area without vinyl coating is open to moisture and air.

The water and oxygen from the air can react on the surface of the metal, causing its corrosion. These areas can get rusty and leave a red stain.

You can cover all the rusty areas with a layer of vinyl to mark them safe and stop rust from developing.


You can also coat the rust spots with plastic coating. It will also prevent its interaction with moisture and save it from further damage.

4. Painting

White Paint Can With Brush Top View On Yellow Background.

Painting is an easy and effective method to save any metallic surface from corrosion and rusting. The same trick will work for a dishwasher rack.

If you identify any rust spot on a dishwashing rack, you can paint it to prevent it from spreading. For that, you will first need to clean the rust spot.

Vinegar and baking soda paste will easily rub off the rust from the rack. Now, you can use a small brush to paint the rust spot or the entire rack with paint.

You can also use nail polish to cover a small spot with paint and prevent it from growing further. Once the coating is dry, you can place the rack back into the dishwasher and put it back to work.

5. Applying Mechanical Tape

White And Black Unrolled Duct Tapes Mockup On A Grey Background.

Since dishwasher racks are made of thin metallic wires, mechanical tape can also come in handy whenever covering an exposed spot.

You can wrap the tape over the rack bars to seal off the moisture and save your rack a favor.


As dishwasher racks are made of metal, they can easily grow rust due to exposure to moisture and air. You can prevent the racks from rusting by gently loading dishes into the rack and avoiding sharp washing objects.

After each dishwashing cycle, you will need to remove all the dishes and dry the washing racks to keep moisture from them. Washing the racks with a detergent solution will also prevent the problem due to iron oxide in water.

It would be best if you also preserved the outer coating of the dishwashing rack to save its interaction with water.

If you notice any rusty spots over your dishwasher racks, you can remove them immediately by soaking them in vinegar or rubbing baking soda over them.

You can cover the exposed spots on rack bars using vinyl, plastic, or a strip of mechanical tape.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Hot Water Melt the Vinyl Coating off the Dishwasher Racks?

Many dishwasher racks are coated with vinyl to save moisture from seeping in and corroding the metal with rust.

Since the dishwasher uses hot water to clean the dishes, it can create a hazard of melting vinyl coating. However, this can only happen if the water is too hot or the temperature inside the dishwasher is too high.

You can set the temperature of the heating element in a safe setting to prevent this from happening.

Is Vinyl Coating Safe for My Dishwasher Rack?

Yes, the vinyl coating is safe to be used on dishwasher racks. Vinyl is often used in medical utilities such as medical tubes and blood bags. It has no evidence of being toxic to human health.

Vinyl can only be dangerous when heated at a temperature too high. For this reason, you must set your dishwasher at a safe temperature setting.

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