Many people have fallen in love with the convenience and health benefits of using an air fryer, but have been disappointed by the rust that appears in some models.
Not only does rust affect the appearance of your air fryer, but it can also compromise its functionality and even pose a health risk.
In this article, we will discuss the problem of rust in air fryers, the reasons why it occurs, and the steps you can take to prevent it.
By understanding the causes of rust and taking the necessary steps to prevent it, you can ensure that your air fryer lasts for years to come.
Does An Air Fryer Rust?
Yes, an air fryer can rust if it is not properly cleaned and maintained.
An air fryer can rust for several reasons.
1. The build-up of Food Particles
When food particles are not properly cleaned off of the appliance, they can become lodged in small crevices and begin to rust.
The food particles can create a conducive environment for rust development, such as a moist environment for corrosion-causing agents to accumulate.
These particles can also trap moisture and provide a surface for bacteria and mold, which can lead to the slow development of rust.
Additionally, some food particles might contain acidic or salty substances which can corrode the metal surface of the air fryer.
To prevent rust from forming, clean the air fryer regularly and dry it thoroughly before storage.
You can use a clean towel to dry or let the parts air dry.
Ensure to store the air fryer in a clean and dry area. Read the article on places to store your air fryer.
2. Using Harsh Cleaning Products
Harsh chemicals such as abrasive cleaning agents, bleach, or acidic solutions, can strip the protective coating on the surface of the air fryer.
This leaves the metallic sections of the air fryer prone to rusting.
The damage from these cleaning products may not be apparent at first.
You may start to notice small scratches or pits.
These scratched sections act as hubs that can trap food particles and moisture, providing a place for rust to form.
Use the recommended cleaning products. If your product manual has not provided a cleaning solution, seek our reviews.
I would recommend the Dawn Dish Soap. It works to remove food debris and grease quickly.
3. Use of Abrasive Tools
Abrasive tools such as steel wool, scouring pads, or rough sponges and brushes can scratch the surface of the air fryer.
Like the cleaning products above, they remove the protective coating, leaving the metal exposed to rust.
Avoid using abrasive tools when cleaning the air fryer. Instead use a soft cloth, non-scratch sponges, or a soft brush to remove any food particles.
If you need to clean tough stains and stuck food particles, consider soaking or using baking soda paste.
4. Using a Dishwasher
Not all air fryers are dishwasher-safe.
In most cases, only the air fryer basket, crisper tray, and racks can be placed in an air fryer.
Always read your manual to know if any section of the air fryer is dishwasher safe.
If you’re keen, most brands recommend handwashing, especially for the air fryer basket.
They explicitly state that handwashing significantly prolongs the life of the air fryer basket.
If you have a Ninja model, check out this article on how to clean a Ninja air fryer.
A dishwasher uses high-heat water and detergents to clean utensils.
The high heat can damage the non-stick surface of the air fryer basket.
When this coating chips away, the basket is more susceptible to rust.
5. Poor Quality Air Fryer
The quality of your appliance can play a role in the formation of dust.
The quality of construction and type of materials used contribute to how durable an air fryer is.
Poor-quality air fryers are made with thin low-quality metal or metal that is not treated or coated to prevent rust.
This makes the air fryer more vulnerable to rust and corrosion, especially if the air fryer is not cleaned and maintained properly.
Also, a poor design with inadequate ventilation encourages the trapping of moisture that facilitates rusting.
Low-quality air fryers may have undergone little to no testing thus no quality control. This can result in defects or issues that can lead to rust.
When buying an air fryer, it’s important to consider the quality of the materials used in its construction and research the brand before purchasing.
Use the top air fryer brands and check for warranties to protect you in case of defects.
Investing in a higher-quality air fryer, with good maintenance can help prevent rusting and prolong the lifespan of the air fryer.
Is It Unsafe to Use Rusty Air Fryer?
Yes, it is unsafe to use a rusty air fryer. Even though ingesting small quantities of rust is safe, we discourage using a very rusty air fryer.
Rust is a sign of corrosion and particles can flake off into your food and make it unsafe over time.
If you notice rust on your air fryer, it’s important to take action to remove or minimize its quantity.
How To Remove Rust from Air Fryer
There are 3 ways to reduce and eliminate rust from an air fryer. They include:
· Baking Soda
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a mild abrasive, which makes it good for removing rust.
It also has an alkaline pH, which can help to neutralize acidity and dissolve the iron oxide (rust) that forms on metal surfaces.
Baking soda is a great option as it is non-toxic. It’s safe to use on food-grade surfaces, making it a good choice for cleaning an air fryer.
To remove rust, make a paste with baking soda and water.
Apply the paste to the rusted areas and let it sit for several minutes.
Then use a soft brush to scrub away the rust. Rinse off the paste and dry the air fryer.
Vinegar is a mild acid that can break down and dissolve rust.
Make a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar.
Apply this mixture to the components affected by rust. Use a soft cloth or brush to scrub off the rust.
Clean the air fryer section with soap and water. Rinse and dry the air fryer component.
· Replace the Sections or Air Fryer
When the rust has infested your air fryer, consider replacing the component if possible or getting a new air fryer.
You can easily replace your air fryer basket and crisper plate.
Getting a new component or air fryer will save you time with cleaning.
Rust buildup can be difficult to remove and may require frequent cleaning to maintain the air fryer.
Even after cleaning, the rust may reoccur, causing the need for constant maintenance.
By replacing the air fryer, you can eliminate the need for frequent cleaning and maintenance, and instead, have a new and clean appliance ready to use.