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How to Remove Rust From a Metal Cabinet

Kimbry Parker

Rust forms when moisture and oxygen come into contact with metal. If you have a metal cabinet with brownish-red spots, rust is the likely culprit. Rust stains are not only unsightly but can also corrode the metal cabinet. Remove rust from metal cabinets at first sight so the rust doesn’t spread.

  1. Brush off loose or chipping rust with a wire brush. Apply some pressure when scrubbing with the brush to effectively remove all loose rust.

  2. Saturate a rag with distilled white vinegar. Spread the vinegar onto the rusty spots on the metal cabinet.

  3. Let the vinegar sit on the metal cabinet for at least five minutes. Scrub the affected areas with a rag to remove any remaining rust.

  4. Make a paste of three parts baking soda and one part water, if the rust spots persist. Spread the paste onto the rust spots, let it sit for five to 10 minutes, then scrub it off with a clean rag.


If the rust stains are severe, you may have to use sandpaper or steel wool pads to get rid of the rust. Keep in mind that this method may damage or scratch the metal. Keep metal cabinets as dry as possible to prevent rust from forming. Apply a rust inhibitor, as well.