Removing Rust on a Refrigerator

Refrigerators are expensive and can occasionally acquire bits of rust. This is a guide about removing rust on a refrigerator.

Old worn white metal refrigerator.
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Our fridge has the ice dispenser and water dispenser in the door. It's nearly 16 years old, so I'm sure it will have to be replaced in the next few years. We replaced the ice maker by buying one on eBay and watching a YouTube for instructions. It was super easy. I could have done it, but I let my husband feel like "Super Handyman."

This past year, I noticed tiny rust spots down the front, under the dispensers. Thinking it was spots, I tried to wash them away, only to make them bigger. I got some appliance paint, which helped a little, but soon it wore off.

Because of the age of the fridge, I just didn't want to put a lot of money into fixing it, so I found a roll of white, dry-erase Contact paper. I covered the door from the dispenser area down to the bottom and, unless you really look closely, you can't tell it's not the original finish. For fun, I've been writing on it in colored dry-erase markers.

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    I have a 15 year old Kenmore side-by-side refrigerator which I moved to the garage a couple of years ago when we got a new fridge for the kitchen. We live in Florida during the winter months and up north during the summer months.

    When we go north, we empty and unplug the fridges. The one in the garage has come out with what looks like a rust stain covering most of the freezer door, and there is now some forming on the fridge door, but not as much.

    I have tried cleaning the stain with an auto cleaner, some bleach and water, and some vinegar and water. The auto cleaner does the best job, but I can't quite get all the stain out, even with a lot of elbow grease. A couple of days later the stain is back as bad as ever. The finish is the pebbly kind where you don't leave fingerprints.

    The garage has no AC and it gets pretty hot in there in the summer, although there were no stains on the doors when we returned this fall (2013), at least not that we noticed. The stains have developed since we returned. Does this sound like rust? Any suggestions for a product to clean it and protect it? Thanks.

    By HB from Mount Dora, FL

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Barkeepers Friend is a brand I use on rust, on any surface, even fabric. Should work well made into a paste, allow to sit a bit, then elbow grease. Barkeepers Friend is near comet, etc.

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    My refrigerator has the no finger print material on the front. It has this yellow rust-like stain on it. I have tried different products to remove it and it does not come off. Any ideas?

    By Connie from Miami, FL

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    I had that same problem years ago with a textured finish refrigerator. Back then, I ended up buying contact paper the same color (almond) as the fridge, and covering the front. It blended in very well and lived like that until the fridge finally died. Today, there are people who refinish large appliances, and that might be an option for you if you are planning on keeping it for some time. Also I noted on the Internet that there is material that you can apply to your fridge to make it look like it's stainless steel. There are paint kits for DIY.

    Hope that helps.

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    How do I clean rust off the outside of the fridge door?

    By Cindy

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    I would try one of the erasing sponges...should work. Then apply a bit of 'white out' or an auto paint pen paint! Good luck

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Can rust on a refrigerator door just below the icemaker/water dispenser be repaired? The refrigerator is white.

    By Buz from Washington, DC

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    I've recently saw "appliance" paint and it comes in fairly small containers, so you don't have to buy a gallon of it. Rust is oxidation, so to try and remove it will probably leave a "mark". Once you remove the rusty spot, which you "might" have to do if it's rough, or the area won't be smooth, you might benefit by painting the spot with the appliance repair paint.

    If it's smooth already, you might even be able to paint right over the rust spot. I've never used this appliance paint, so I'm sorry I can't say if it works well or not.

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
    Home and Garden Cleaning AppliancesJanuary 15, 2014
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