How to Remove Rust from a Stainless Steel Water Bottle

How to Remove Rust from a Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Exposure to fluids, humidity, and high salinity can cause stainless steel to rust. The good thing is that it's relatively easy to remove rust in stainless steel items. Here are tips on how to remove rust from a stainless steel water bottle to prolong its lifespan and functionality.

How to Remove Rust From a Stainless Steel Water Bottle

To remove rust from stainless steel water bottles, soak and scrub it using baking soda, lemon juice, potato, salt, vinegar, cream of tartar, soda, or toothpaste. 

Hydro Cell water bottles use the highest grade 18/8 stainless steel to ensure resistance against oxidation and decomposition. However, if your other bottles are suffering from rust, it's best to follow these cleaning methods to keep your stainless steel water bottle in good condition for drinking.

A man sitting on top of a car while drinking from a stainless steel water bottle

Use a Baking Soda and Water Paste

Among the most effective ways to remove rust from stainless steel water bottles is baking soda and water paste. Baking soda is a non-abrasive cleaning agent that can gently lift rust away from stainless steel objects.

  1. Combine 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 cup of water inside the bottle.
  2. Put the cap back and shake for 5 minutes, so the baking soda can rub against the inner wall and soften rust.
  3. If there are more stubborn stains, spread the paste on the rusty portions.
  4. Let the paste sit for at least 1 hour.
  5. Use a sponge or wire brush to scrub and remove the rust.
  6. Wash the bottle with warm water and soap.
  7. Make sure to turn the bottle upside down to dry. You can also use a clean cloth to dry off the bottle and wipe away excess rust.

Soak in Lemon Juice

Lemon contains antibacterial and antiseptic acids that can serve as a natural bleach. Aside from that, the citrus leaves a refreshing smell after cleaning.

Mix equal parts lemon juice and baking soda to form a paste. After that, coat the rust with the paste and let it sit for 30 minutes. Use a damp sponge to remove the rust away.

Scrub Using Salt

No baking soda or lemon juice available? Salt is the most common household material you can use to remove rust from stainless steel bottles.

As you would notice, salt's crystal shape has sharp edges that serve as abrasive cleaners.

  1. Pour salt into the bottle and add hot water.
  2. While optional, you can also put vinegar to set off chlorine atoms to soften the rust.
  3. Put back the lid and shake the bottle for 5 minutes.
  4. Throw the dirty water away.
  5. Clean the bottle with soap and water.

Clean Using Soda

Think your can of soda is only perfect for quenching thirst? Soda is also great for removing rust from stainless steel bottles because it is carbonated, enabling it to dissolve with metal oxide and break up rust.

A father and his child walking along the beach with their water bottles

While soda's phosphoric acid doesn't work as fast as commercial rust cleaners, it can still interact with iron oxide to remove rust. Besides, this is a cheaper and safer method to remove rust.

  1. Fill a container with soda so you can completely soak the stainless steel water bottle for 24 hours.
  2. Rinse the bottle.
  3. Dip an aluminum foil or sponge in the soda, then gently scrub the rusted surface.
  4. Wash with soap and water to remove the sticky residue from the soda.

Submerge in Vinegar

From disinfecting a water bottle to removing rust, vinegar is a mild acid that serves as an excellent multi-purpose cleaner. It even has the most neutral smell for vinegar. A standard 5% white vinegar with a 2.5 pH is the best for cleaning as this acidity level can kill bacteria.

  1. Submerge your stainless steel bottle in a bowl of distilled white vinegar overnight.
  2. Use steel wool or a sponge to scrub the rust off.
  3. Alternatively, you can soak a cloth in white vinegar then use it to scrub the rust vigorously.

Scrub Using a Potato

Another surprising way to eliminate rust from stainless steel drinking bottles is to use potatoes. Potato contains oxalic acid, which can dissolve rust.

  1. Cut a potato into 2 pieces, then apply dish soap on the cut end. You can also dip the potato in a baking soda and water mixture.
  2. Press the potato to the rusty surface for 3 minutes.
  3. Using the same potato, rub the rusted area to remove the stains. The potato's coarse texture will act as a non-abrasive scrub to remove rust.
  4. Rinse, then dry.

Apply Toothpaste

Are you traveling then notice rust forming in your stainless steel bottle? The easiest way to solve this problem is to use toothpaste, which you may have in your toiletries.

  1. Apply toothpaste to a piece of clean, damp fabric.
  2. Rub the toothpaste onto the rust marks.
  3. You can also sprinkle some baking soda.
  4. Let it sit for 1 hour, then scrub vigorously before washing the residue away.

Apply Cream of Tartar

The cream of tartar is potassium bitartrate, an acid salt with mildly abrasive cleaning qualities.

  1. Create a cleaning paste by mixing 3 teaspoons of cream of tartar and a few drops of lemon juice.
  2. Cover the rusty spots with the paste.
  3. Get a soft sponge to rub the paste and remove rust.
  4. Use a clean, damp sponge to clean away the residue.
Woman holding a bright yellow stainless steel reusable water bottle


    Reusable stainless steel bottles provide an efficient way of being hydrated while reducing single-use plastic. However, you still need to maintain the bottle to enjoy using it for a long time. With these tips for removing rust, your bottle will be safer than ever for drinking your favorite drinks.

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