Have you ever come home from a long vacation, looked into your sink, and realized that you’ve left your dirty blender filled with water, in the sink? After careful inspection, you’ve realized by now that there’s rust that has built up on the blades. What a frustrating moment.
But how did this happen? Why did your blender blades rust?
The blender blades rust because of water. Although these blades are composed of an alloy that mitigates rusting, it doesn’t completely prevent rust altogether. There’s a chemical process that occurs when water makes contact with metal. With enough time, a process called oxidation occurs and produces brown, brittle remnants called rust that can ultimately damage the blades.
Now, this process doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a long time to occur. Most blenders are fitted with stainless steel blades that are otherwise considered resistant to water. However, even if they were to be made of stainless steel, and you happen to submerge them in water for long enough, they will begin to rust.
A deep look into how rust develops
On a chemical level, rusting is considered the result of an oxidation reaction. This means that when you combine oxygen (which is found in water) with iron, a reaction occurs and over time begins to produce the brown rust you see in front of you.
This kind of reaction doesn’t just happen from oxygen in the air alone, it actually occurs when the water touches the metal.
There are electrolytes inside of pure water that help speed up the process of oxidation.
What’s also interesting is that salty water will further accelerate rust quicker than pure water. This seems to be the case with blenders since it’s not just water you’re blending, but sometimes salty foods as well. And again this is because of the electrolytes that act to aid in the reaction.
Best ways to remove rust from blender blades?
There are several ways to remove rust from blender blades. First, determine the severity of rust before trying any of the methods below.
If there is a way to detach the blades from the container itself, you should do that.
It will help expose all the gaps and crannies of the blade compartment.
Using Baking Soda
When there is a light amount of rust on your blender blades, you can use a little baking soda to get it off. First, try adding an equal portion of warm water and baking soda to the pitcher. Turn the blender on and let the baking soda do its thing. Rinse well and inspect the blades.
If you still notice some rust, then make a paste with warm water and baking soda. Put it over the affected areas and let it rest for about an hour. Then use a wire brush or piece of steel wool and scrub off the rust. Rinse and dry well.
White or Apple Cider Vinegar will remove rust rather effectively. This is especially true if it’s significant. Submerge the blades in vinegar for six to 10 hours. Then, scrub the blades with steel wool or wire brush.
In the event, you notice rust still lingering, then repeat the process until it all disappears. Finally, wash well with dish soap and warm water. Dry the blades thoroughly.
Don’t use WD-40 on blender blades. Save it for rust on utility blades and knives, not ones intended for food.
WD-40 works really well in getting rid of rust. I just wouldn’t recommend it for your blender blades because it has a tendency to stick two objects. It’s a bit difficult to remove.
If you’re feeling brave, you can go for it. However, you have to be absolutely sure that you make every effort to remove all of this substance from your blades and your container.
Using chemicals like Metal Glo
If you really want to use a chemical rust remover, use something like Metal Glo. It’s safe to use on things meant for food like blender blades. You just want to ensure you rub the product along with the grain pattern so you don’t scratch the metal. Follow the instructions carefully and you’ll do fine.
The only thing you should consider here is that these are harsh chemicals and it is important that you thoroughly clean your blender blades to get rid of these chemicals after you’re done.
How long does it take for blender blades to get rusty?
Because most blender blades are stainless steel, it has a chromium component preventing it from rusting.
However, if the conditions are right and it sits in water for more than a day, it can and will develop rust. If you happen to leave your blender container in the sink and then go on vacation for several days, you’ll almost certainly come home with rusty blades. Studies show that if you leave steel submerged in water for 4-5 days, you will start seeing signs of rust.
Things like heat and oxygen will also contribute to rusting. For instance, rust may not appear as quickly in the winter as it will in summer due to the humidity.
It also strongly depends on how often you use your blender. People who use it on a daily basis will oftentimes find that their blender blades become rustier sooner.
For those who use it seldomly, maybe once every week or two, we’ll find that the blender blades will last them as long as 5 years or more.
It also ultimately falls down to how well you maintain your blender. You must be considerate on making sure you clean the blender each and every time you use it, and that you store it in a cool and dry environment.
How do you prevent blender blades from rusting?
The best way to prevent blend blades from rusting is to dry the blades after washing. Do not let the blades sit in water for long.
Something as harmless as a short vacation trip can end up ruining your blender.
When rust is formed you’ll likely find that the feel of rust that it is brittle, fragile and it may even weaken the blades themselves.
You’ll want to protect the blades from rust.
When storing away your blender, flip the container over in a downward position on a rack where it will have pass-through air so that your blades could dry quickly. Don’t cap it.
How to clean your blender quick and easy
When pressed for time and you have to clean your blender quick, follow these easy instructions:
- Fill the blender ½ way with hot water and a few drops of dish soap.
- Secure the lid and turn the machine on for a few seconds.
- Dump the contents and rinse.
- Dry the blades preferably on a rack.
Are blenders usually dishwasher safe?
Most blender models are dishwasher safe. But, this only includes the blades and the container, not the base. This is because the base contains electrical mechanisms that can stop functioning if you put it in the dishwasher. Also, some brands don’t recommend putting the blades in the dishwasher as this can dull them.
To clean the base, use a moist, slightly soapy sponge to wipe everything down. Take a paper towel or dry, clean cloth immediately after to wipe off all moisture.
How to get food unstuck from your blender blades?
If you find food stuck to your blender blades, there’s a couple of ways to get it off. If you just used them to make things like nut butter, you can make a smoothie afterward to reduce the stuck-on gunk.
But, if what you made isn’t going to work in a smoothie or if it’s been there for a few days, then allow the blades to soak in soapy warm water. After about 30 minutes to an hour, add more warm water and turn the machine on.
Then wash the blades as usual with dish soap and water followed by thorough drying.
Is it safe to use a blender with rusty blades?
No, it is not safe to use a blender with rusty blades. Rust is composed of material known as iron oxide, which is a toxic substance unsafe for human consumption.
Mild symptoms can range from vomiting and diarrhea to drowsiness and abdominal pain. More severe cases will have symptoms like low blood pressure, seizures, or coma.
If symptoms go untreated, even the more mild ones, it can lead to permanent organ damage and ultimately death.
When should I replace the blender blades?
You should replace blender blades when they become dull or they’re so bent and misshapen that they don’t properly blend food the way they used to.
These days, when you buy a blender, there is usually a three to five-year warranty that backs it up.
More often than not, the blades themselves should last at the very least 3 years (with proper maintenance) until you need to replace them.
Again, it really depends on how often you use it.
The bottom line
Rust isn’t good for anyone. Blending food with rusty blades could end up falling off into your food. Consuming rust can cause some major health issues.
Furthermore, you need to get into the habit of washing your blender as soon as it is used. Leaving it in water or with food clinging onto it will eventually ignite the chemical reaction that produces rust which will force a burden on you to find ways to restore the blades.
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