Roasting pans develop rust. It’s a fact of life, but does a rusty pan have to hit the recycling bin? Not at all as there are ways to get that rust off roasting pans and make them safe to use once more.
Why do roasting pans and other kitchen utensils rust? Simply, because of moisture. If pans are washed and then left to drain, or not dried properly, moisture will get into any little crack or hole, seep through damaged surfaces and get to work creating rust. Even the best cared for pans can develop rust through the abrasive action of repeated washing over time which wears away the protection at the surface.
Enamel – Rust on enamel pans can be removed with a little help from a kitchen basic, baking soda. This marvel is great for cleaning projects all around the house, but is very useful for enamel as it is gentle. Enamel is easily scratched and damaged so treating it gently when cleaning is a must.
Grab a raw potato. Cut it in half and dip the cut side into some baking soda — fine salt or gentle dish washer granules could also be used — and rub the cut surface over the rust in circular motions. Rinse and repeat until the rust is gone. Dry thoroughly before storing.
Another tip for cleaning roasting pans is to go down the route of commercial detergents. Add 1 cup of powdered laundry detergent to the rusty pan. Also add a couple of tumble dryer sheets. Place the pan in a safe place, to prevent spills during the next stage, and then pour hot water over the powder and sheets. Leave to soak for a few hours, preferably overnight for tough rust. Pour away, rinse thoroughly, dry thoroughly and store away from moisture.
Try heating a cup of distilled vinegar to deal with tough rust on non-stick pans. Heat to just below boiling — a microwave works well, if possible – then put on rubber gloves. Pour the hot vinegar into the rusted pan and wipe clean with a kitchen sponge. Rinse, repeat as needed, rinse, dry thoroughly and store.
A way to keep roasting pans free of rust is to oil them. Clean the pan using the tips above. Once free of rust, rinse and dry thoroughly. Now use a few drops of flavourless oil, such as groundnut, to oil the surfaces of the pan. Over time, the oil builds up a protective layer which is a barrier to rust.
If the rust proves too stubborn, the roasting pan need not be thrown out. Cover it securely with kitchen foil and it is perfectly safe to use.