How to Keep Baking Pans from Rusting?

The delicious aroma of freshly baked items such as soft croissants, baked whole chicken, or birthday cake ready to be iced definitely make baking among the many joys of life.

People who love to bake know how many baking utensils are involved in the process and the effort required in cleaning them up.

Getting rust on your favorite baking pans and sheets can be devastating. Fortunately, there are effective means of removing the rust.

Rust usually occurs when the pans are not properly cleaned or have been exposed to moisture for a long period of time.

However, the best solution for this problem is preventing the rust from occurring in the first place. Here, we will discuss everything you need to know about keeping baking pans from rusting.

Dangers of Rust on Baking Pans

A little amount of rust on your baking pan or muffin sheet doesn’t just look unappealing but continuing to use these pans and sheets might also not be good for your health.

In rare cases, using rusted pans might lead to allergies or minor side effects, which is why you should try and prevent the rust from building up in the first place.

Moreover, rust is not good for your cookware. The rustier the pans and pots get, the faster they will deteriorate.

Steps to Clean Baking Pans to Prevent Rusting

There are numerous ways of cleaning your baking pans but if you want to effectively cut through stubborn stains, there are certain techniques that work better than others. Removing these tough stains is important to ensure the pan is spotless before storage. Otherwise, these stains along with rust can make it even more difficult to continue using the baking pans without them posing any health hazards.

Here are the steps you should follow to clean the baking pans to protect them from rusting:

Step 1: Preparing the Water

Fill up the sink with warm water and pour in a few drops of dishwashing liquid.

Let the suds form as this will help in removing the stains. Don’t soak the baking pan in the water immediately.

Step 2: Sprinkling Baking Soda

Sprinkle baking soda powder all over the bottom of the pan, particularly over the affected area. Use more amount of baking soda if needed or simply cover up the entire bottom of the pan.

This will help in seeping deep into the stain or rust and loosening it up.

Step 3: Soaking the Pans

Once the pan is covered with baking soda, place it in the soapy water in the sink. Be sure to gradually and carefully place the pan in the water so that the baking soda doesn’t just wash away.

It is essential to ensure that the powder stays on the stains or rust so that it can soak in the warm water.

Let the baking pan soak in the warm soapy water for about 10 to 15 minutes or longer if needed.

Step 4: Washing the Pans

Once the pans have soaked, use a ball of steel wool or metal brush to gently scrub away the stain or rust, as well as baking soda from the bottom of the pan. Make sure the baking soda powder is completely removed from the pan. Rinse the pan with water.

If the stains or rust is still present in certain areas, then repeat the above-mentioned steps, wash it off with normal dishwashing liquid, and rinse off.

Make sure to let the baking pan properly dry before you store it as moisture encourages the buildup of rust.

It can be difficult to thoroughly clean super dirty and rusty baking pans. The tougher the stains and rust are, the more effort and time it will take to remove it.

If you need to immediately store the pans to clean up the kitchen, it is best to wipe the baking pan with a clean towel to eliminate any moisture before you store it.

Rust Preventing Tips

In order to prevent the formation of rust on your baking pans, follow these useful tips:

  • Make sure to thoroughly clean the baking pan and other baking utensils right after every use by following the cleaning steps mentioned above.
  • Ensure the pans are completely dry before storing them to ensure that no moisture remains. Drying the pans properly is the best way of preventing them from rusting.
  • Store the baking pans and sheets in a cool, dry, and dark place. The heat and humidity encourage the buildup of rust.
  • If you occasionally use the baking pans, it is best to apply a coating of rust-proof primer. This will add a protective layer on the pans to reduce the chances of rust.

Rust typically occurs when the pans continuously come in contact with water and if the dampened pans are stored without thoroughly being dried off. The rust spreads rapidly and can cause severe damage to your pots and pans if not treated accordingly.

If you witness signs of rust on your pot, then spot treat it using a small amount of rust remover solution. Pour the solution on a clean paper towel and apply it over all the affected areas of your baking pan.

Let the remover sit for about 15 minutes to dissolve most of the rust, but be sure to follow the directions mentioned on the label. Wipe off the solution with a clean paper towel and rinse the pan.

When using the primer or other cleaning agents, always wear gloves to protect your skin.

Home Remedies to Remove Rust

If you are already facing with the rust attack on your favorite baking pans, then there are ways to restore them back.

There are plenty of ways to eliminate rust from the pans, but the most preferred techniques are the ones without harsh chemicals.

Here are some home remedies to remove rest from the baking pans:


Citric acid is the best way of renewing any rusty pan. Here are two ways to do it:

Method 1

  • Slice up a lemon and add a pinch of salt.
  • Place these sliced lemons on the bottom of the baking pan.
  • Leave it overnight.
  • Wash with a regular dishwasher.

The citric acid and the oil will not only remove the rust but will also add a shine to the pan.

Method 2

  • Rinse the rusty baking pan.
  • Use powdered citric acid by sprinkling it over the damp areas.
  • Leave it for 15 minutes to 2 hours.
  • Scrub off the citric acid and rinse the pan.

After washing the pan, finish off this treatment by applying toothpaste on the pan to give it a shine.

Baking Soda

Merely light sprinkling of baking soda on the rusty parts of the baking pan is sufficient enough to eliminate the lightly damaged pans.

  • Start by rinsing the baking pan with cold water.
  • Sprinkle baking soda on the rusty parts,
  • Leave it for one hour or more.
  • Use a metal brush or steel wool to scrub the baking pan. Ensure that the pan can withstand abrasive cleaning tools before you use this step. You can do this by test a small area of the baking pan to make sure it won’t experience further damage due to scrubbing.
  • Rinse off with cold water.

This remedy is suitable for baking pans with a light layer of rust.


Vinegar is an effective cleaning agent and is used for various household items. This is one of the preferred remedies for removing stubborn rust and adding some shine to the pans. Keep in mind, however, that this method takes around two days for the best results. The good news is that a vinegar bath can successfully remove the majority of the rust from the baking pan. This means you don’t have to spend time and effort in scrubbing it off.

  • Add distilled white vinegar in a large container.
  • Soak the affected baking pans in the mixture.
  • Leave the items soaked in this bath for a day. It will take time, but this acidic agent will gently loosen up the stubborn rust that has been clinging on to the baking pan.
  • Use steel wool or metal brush to scrub off the last remaining layer of the rust from the pan.
  • Rinse off with water.

This method is also effective in removing any other tarnished spots and stains from the baking pans.

Baking pans are versatile tools in any kitchen and are susceptible to stains and rust damage. The best way to protect your favorite baking utensils is to properly clean them to reduce the chances of rust.

The rust cleaning steps and rust prevention tips mentioned in this article will help you in maintaining the sparkly clean look of your baking pans.

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