How to Fix Dishwasher Rack Rust

  • Remove rust with vinegar and baking soda mixture
  • Apply a rust converter to prevent further rusting
  • Use a dishwasher rack repair kit for larger areas of rust
  • Replace the dishwasher rack if it is beyond repair
  • Regularly clean and dry the dishwasher rack to prevent rust buildup
  • Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbers on the dishwasher rack
  • Consider investing in a stainless steel dishwasher rack for long-term durability

Do you ever feel frustrated when you pull out your dishwasher rack, only to find that the once-pristine surface is now covered in unsightly rust spots? Not only does it detract from the appearance of your dishes, but it can also be a pain to clean around those rusty areas. But fear not! There are simple and cost-effective methods for fixing dishwasher rack rust.

One option involves using a product specifically designed for removing rust, but this can be expensive. Another solution involves using household items like vinegar and baking soda to effectively remove the rust. And if all else fails, there are even DIY kits available to repair any damaged areas on your dishwasher rack.

So say goodbye to those pesky rust spots and hello to a sparkling-clean dishwasher. Keep reading to learn more about how to fix dishwasher rack rust and restore your kitchen’s shine.

The Quick Answer:

Dishwasher rack rust can be caused by harsh detergents, hard water, and age. To prevent it, clean your racks regularly with a soft-bristled brush and mild detergent, avoid using harsh detergents, and consider investing in a water softener system for your home. Signs of rust include discoloration on the metal.

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1. What Causes Dishwasher Rack Rust?


One of the main culprits of dishwasher rack rust is the detergent used. Many detergents contain harsh chemicals that can corrode the metal on the racks. Over time, this chemical reaction can cause rust to form.

Water Quality

Another factor that contributes to dishwasher rack rust is water quality. If you have hard water, which contains high levels of minerals like calcium and magnesium, it can cause buildup on your dishwasher racks. This buildup can create tiny scratches in the coating on your racks, which allows moisture to seep under and eventually cause rust.


As with most things, age plays a role in dishwasher rack rust. Over time, even the best-quality dishwasher racks will start to show signs of wear and tear. This wear and tear can lead to rust formation if not properly maintained.

2. How Can I Prevent Dishwasher Rack Rust from Occurring?

Clean Your Racks Regularly

One way to prevent dishwasher rack rust is to clean your racks regularly. Use a soft-bristled brush or sponge and a mild detergent to clean off any food particles or residue left on your dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. This helps prevent buildup on your racks that can cause scratches.

Avoid Using Harsh Detergents

Another way to prevent dishwasher rack rust is to avoid using harsh detergents that contain strong chemicals that can corrode metal over time. Instead, opt for gentler detergents that are specifically formulated for dishwashers.

Use a Water Softener

If you have hard water, consider investing in a water softener system for your home. These systems help remove mineral buildup from your dishwasher and other appliances, which can help prevent rust formation.

3. What Are the Signs of Dishwasher Rack Rust?


The most obvious sign of dishwasher rack rust is discoloration on the metal. The affected areas will typically appear darker or reddish-brown in color compared to the rest of the rack.

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Rough or Flaky Texture

Another sign of dishwasher rack rust is a rough or flaky texture on the metal. As rust forms, it can create small bumps or flakes on the surface of the rack.

4. Can a Rusty Dishwasher Rack Be Repaired or Does It Need to Be Replaced?

While rusty dishwasher racks may be unsightly, they can typically be repaired rather than replaced. There are several DIY options for removing rust from dishwasher racks, including using vinegar or baking soda to scrub away the rust. However, if the damage is severe enough, you may need to replace your dishwasher racks altogether.

5. What Materials Do I Need to Fix a Rusty Dishwasher Rack?

To fix a rusty dishwasher rack, you’ll need a few basic materials:

  • Vinegar or baking soda
  • A soft-bristled brush or sponge
  • A towel for drying off the racks
  • A protective coating like Plasti Dip Spray (optional)

6. How Do I Remove Rust from a Dishwasher Rack?

One easy way to remove rust from a dishwasher rack is by soaking it in vinegar or baking soda overnight. Simply fill your sink with enough vinegar or baking soda solution to cover your racks and let them soak overnight before scrubbing away any remaining rust with a soft-bristled brush.

7. What Steps Should I Take to Prepare the Dishwasher Rack for Repair?

Before attempting to repair your dishwasher rack, you should first remove it from your dishwasher and clean it thoroughly with a mild detergent. This will help remove any dirt or debris that may interfere with the repair process. Once the rack is clean, use a soft-bristled brush or sponge to scrub away any rust spots. You can then apply a protective coating like Plasti Dip Spray to help prevent future rust formation.

8. What Is the Best Way to Apply a Protective Coating to Prevent Future Rust?

The best way to apply a protective coating like Plasti Dip Spray is by following the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Typically, this involves spraying an even coat of the product onto your dishwasher racks and allowing it to dry completely before using them again. Make sure you apply enough product to fully cover all of the metal surfaces on your racks, including any areas where rust has formed in the past.

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In conclusion, by following simple steps such as cleaning the rack regularly, using rust removal products and applying a vinyl coating, you can easily fix dishwasher rack rust and extend the lifespan of your dishwasher.

Frequently Asked Questions about How to Fix Dishwasher Rack Rust

Is it safe to use a rusted dishwasher rack?
While rust typically stays inside the dishwasher, it can occasionally transfer onto dishes, requiring them to be rinsed thoroughly prior to use. Neglecting the issue can result in extensive damage, potentially leading to expensive repairs or the need to replace the dishwasher altogether. It’s important to address any signs of rust promptly to avoid these problems.

Can you recoat dishwasher racks?
If your dishwasher rack is rusty, it could stain your dishes. Rather than spending too much money on a new rack, you can fix it yourself by recoating and covering the rusty spots in under an hour.

Can Flex Seal be used on dishwasher racks?
While our products may not be able to get rid of rust stains on dishwasher racks, Flex Seal can actually help prevent rust from forming in the first place or slow down its spread. It functions as a sealant that blocks moisture and prevents rust from developing.

How do you fix a rusty stainless steel dishwasher?
To remove rust spots, you can use a stainless cleaner or brightener like Bar Keepers Friend, or make a paste of baking soda and water and gently rub it onto the affected area with a soft cloth, following the direction of the grain. This method can effectively get rid of rust stains.

Is there a paint for dishwasher racks?
ReRACK is a rubber coating that is designed to adhere well to vinyl coated racks in dishwashers. It is flexible and can be used to repair rusted or damaged areas on the racks.

Can you use wd40 on dishwasher rack?
Avoid using machine oil, such as WD-40 or silicone spray, to lubricate your dishwasher rack because they are not safe for human consumption and can contaminate your dishes during the wash cycle.

Charlie Thomson

Charlie Thomson is Appliance Mastery's expert on laundry appliances. With a degree in mechanical engineering and over 8 years of experience in the appliance repair industry, Charlie is a go-to resource for homeowners who want to tackle common issues with their washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers.

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