Dishwashers are supposed to last long but sometimes we see ourselves purchasing new dishwasher racks every few years because of rust and they aren’t cheap. And we wonder if there’s something we are doing wrong.
Well, maybe there is. In this article, we are going to be talking about the causes of dishwasher rack rust, how to prevent them, and how to fix them. Our focus will also be on spray painting. Can we use them on our dishwasher racks? Are they safe? Are they effective? These questions will be answered in detail shortly.
After reading this article, you won’t have to worry about rust anymore because you’ll know exactly what you need to do to prevent it.
Spray Painting Dishwasher Racks!
Why Are My Dishwasher Racks Rusting? (4 Reasons!)
There are lots of reasons your dishwasher racks can suddenly start rusting even if you haven’t been using them for very long, and sometimes it’s not your fault.
Manufacturers of dishwashers do not make them the same. They do not make their parts and tools the same way too.
Some dishwasher racks are just not made to last that long no matter how careful you are with them. It’s just a manufacturer defect you have no power over. This is why you should make inquiries before purchasing a dishwasher.
Most modern dishwasher racks and made of metal and you know how prone to corrosion and rust metal is. When metal is exposed to water, you can’t stop it from rusting.
When you put sharp objects like knives inside your dishwasher and they nick the coatings on the dishwasher racks, the metals become exposed. And that exposed area will corrode in no time.
Dishwasher racks are supposed to last for many years but they can’t last forever. After some time of use, they begin to degrade.
The coatings peel off and the racks become weak. When this happens, it is natural for the racks to begin to corrode or rust. You should get a new one when this happens.
You should also note that the heat in the dishwasher contributes to this. Very hot dishes sitting on the racks now and then for years, and the coatings start giving way. It happens faster if the dishwasher racks weren’t properly manufactured.
When you rinse your dishes before putting them into the dishwasher, you give the dishwasher detergent nothing to work on.
The dishwasher detergent is supposed to cling to the soil in your dishes and work on getting them out but instead, it sees half-cleaned dishes.
When this happens, the detergent clings to your dishwasher racks eating away at the seals and coatings. So you get etched racks that are just waiting to rust.
When you have rusted dishwasher racks on your hands like this, you should try to fix the problem. The rusted metal prongs could hurt you, and the racks could leave streaks on your dishes. This can be annoying if you use white dishes.
Using Rust-Oleum on Dishwasher Racks
Rustoleum is one of the brands that make spray paints. And it is a very good and reliable one. Spray paint makes it easier to paint over surfaces, whether to change a look, hide a flaw, or just be part of a remodeling process.
Rustoleum for example can be used to paint metal, glass, wood, etc. It can be sprayed on a rusted surface, and when this is done, not only will the rust be hidden and the look of the object change, but it will also prevent the object from future rust. At least, for a while.
The good news is that Rustoleum is suitable for dishwasher racks. Your rusted dishwasher racks can shine once again without spending much money. Replacing them wouldn’t be necessary at all. But note that, this is only when you follow the right instructions and use the Rustoleum as you should.
Later in the article, we will explain how you can use Rust-Oleum and other spray paints on dishwasher racks to get effective results.
Can You Spray Paint a PLASTIC Dish Rack?
Of, course you can. Plastic dishwasher racks, although don’t rust, can become dull and unattractive with time.
It may also come with the house and the former tenants may not have treated it well, so maybe now it’s so dirty, that you can’t just get it clean. Instead of throwing it away and stressing about getting a new one, you can just get it painted.
You should only note that not all spray paints work on plastic. They just won’t adhere and would turn out to be a waste of money.
There are special spray paints manufactured specifically for plastic and Rust-Oleum makes one of these. It’s called Rust-Oleum Specialty Plastic Primer Spray. If Rust-Oleum is scarce in your area, just research for other available brands. Don’t be tempted to use the normal spray paint.
You should also use it correctly and prepare the plastic well for painting. First, scuff the surface of the plastic dish rack with a sanding block. Then wash it with soap and water to remove all dirt and debris.
You can also clean it with rubbing alcohol.
When you are done, spray the plastic dish rack as explained in the former heading and leave it to dry.
Can Flex Seal Be Used on a Dishwasher Rack?
Yes, it can but it’s not really advisable. Flex Seal is a rubber sealer coating and works wonderfully well at fixing leaks, and acting as a sealant. They should be great for dishwasher racks, right? They should be able to provide new coatings for rusted dishwasher racks and cover some holes. But that’s not the case. Why?
1- Flex seal, as good as it is can’t remove rust or cover them efficiently. They can only be used to control the rust and stop it from spreading.
So if removing rust and covering it completely to give your dish rack a new look is what you are looking for, Flex Seal isn’t for you, go for spray paint.
Flex Seal can be put on dishwasher racks that are yet to rust. It will prevent moisture and air from getting in, thereby preventing rust.
But note that Flex Seal is not a permanent fix. It wasn’t manufactured to give a lasting solution. So it’s not really an option for your dishwasher racks.
2- The condition inside a dishwasher isn’t good for Flex Seal. Dishwashers work with very hot water and high temperature and this can disintegrate the rubberized coating left by Flex Seal.
Many people who have used Flex Seal on their dishwasher racks have complained that they see white specks on their dishes.
The rubber coating flakes off into tiny pieces and stains the dishes. You don’t want that. It’s extra work. And since we aren’t sure if Flex Seal is safe for the health, this shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Can You Paint a Rusty Dishwasher Rack?
Rusty dishwasher racks can be painted to become new in no time.
Let’s take a look at how you can use Rust-Oleum spray paint or any other spray paint on your rusted dishwasher rack.
STEP 1- Remove all peeling or loose paint/coating from the rusted dishwasher rack. Loose rust should be removed too.
You can do this with a wire brush or sand it down with sandpaper. You can even use chemical rust removal to ensure you do a great job. But this isn’t necessary.
STEP 2- Clean the dishwasher racks to get rid of all dirt, oil, and grease. You should do this with a cleaner degreaser to get the best result.
Spray some degreaser on a towel and use it to wipe the dishwasher rack thoroughly until it is clean.
You should then rinse the rack and let it dry.
STEP 3- Shake the can of Rust-Oleum or any other spray paint you want to use for about a minute. This is an important step so do it well. Don’t be in a hurry to start spraying.
STEP 4- When you are done with this, spray the dishwasher rack back and forth until the paint covers the whole rack. The can should be about 10-16 inches away from the dishwasher each while you are spraying.
Pay attention to corners and edges on the rack so nowhere is left out. When you are done. Wait for like 2 minutes, then spray again.
STEP 5- When you are done, allow the dishwasher rack to dry for a few hours before handling it. Don’t put it in the sun so it doesn’t dry too fast.
How Do You Stop a Dishwasher Rack from Rusting?
1- Handle Dishes with Care
Loading dishes in your dishwasher fast or overloading it can cause scratches on the vinyl coating on your dishwasher racks. When this happens, it’s only a matter of time before the rack starts to rust.
So arrange dishes gently and be careful with sharp cutleries and dishes. As we earlier said, sharp cutleries like knives and forks often scratch or nick dishwasher racks enhancing rust.
2- Clean Regularly
Wash your dishwasher rack with detergent and rinse regularly. If you are too busy to wash, wipe it with a soft cloth.
Leaving your dishwasher dirty and wet promotes corrosion and rust. When water dries on it repeatedly, the vinyl coating weakens and begins to give way.
Also, avoid leaving dirty dishes on your dishwasher rack. Wash your dishes regularly and dry the rack.
Areas, where the vinyl coating on your dishwasher rack has peeled off, are areas that are waiting to rust. Inspect your dishwasher rack regularly and when you notice that some parts have nicks and are exposed, fix them.
You can put mechanical tape on those areas. They can withstand heat and pressure so they won’t fall off. You can also research other materials you can cover those places with, to prevent rust.
In the same light, when you notice some rust spots, fix them immediately. You need to control the rust so it doesn’t spread to other areas. You can do this with baking soda, vinegar, etc.
There are a few materials that can help you with that. When that is done, don’t forget to put mechanical tape over those areas.
Prevention is better than cure they say. We have learned how to prevent our dishwasher racks from rusting and how to fix them if they do rust. Washing and drying your dishwasher racks after use cannot be overemphasized. Learn to practice this.
Most importantly we have learned about spray painting. We know we can safely use them on our dishwasher racks and we have learned how to use them effectively, especially on dishwasher racks that have already rusted. Have fun caring for your dishwasher racks.