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How to Clean & Repair Rust Stains

Clean Surface Area

To remove rust stains use a solution of oxalic acid and water (refer to the manufacturer's instructions for strength and mixing information). Oxalic acid can be purchased at most hardware stores. It is commonly used as wooden deck cleaner.

Caution: Please read our safety information before attempting any testing or repairs.

Before cleaning the dishwasher, unplug the appliance or shut off the power at the fuse box or breaker panel to avoid an electrical shock hazard. Follow the directions for use and safety on all cleaning products and repair compounds.

If the walls, tub or the racks are rust stained, the cause is probably a scratch or chip on the interior finish or on the dish or glass racks. First clean the rust stains and then repair the damage to prevent further staining.

When working with oxalic acid wear latex gloves to protect your skin and follow all of the manufacturer's safety precautions.

Dip a scrub brush into the acid solution and scour the stains. As you scrub, look for damage that might be the source of the stains.

Repair Surface Area

To repair the interior surface you must first locate the source of the rust. If the damage is on the walls, ceiling or tub, you should use an enamel patching compound. If the damage is on the glass or dish rack, use a rubber/vinyl patching compound.

Prepare the surface by removing any existing rust. It may be necessary to enlarge the damaged area to ensure a good bond for the patching material. Use a fine abrasive, such as emery cloth, to clean and smooth the surface.

Apply the compound according to the manufacturer's instructions. Typically, the compound is applied with a cotton swab or a provided applicator. Allow the compound to cure completely before applying the second coat and before using the dishwasher.

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