Why Is My Stainless Steel Grill Rusting?

Outdoor stainless steel grills take a lot of wear and tear. They are exposed to weather, heat, food, cleaning chemicals, scratches and more which makes them especially susceptible to corrosion and blemishes. And while the name itself – stainless – seriously implies no staining, not many things in life are infallible. They require care and routine maintenance to maximize longevity. Stainless steel grills are one such example. Depending on the grade, thickness and finish of the stainless, over time, they may develop some rusting or discoloration.



Humidity, excessive moisture and salt in the air (as found in coastal areas) may cause small rust pits to develop on the grill’s surface as will certain concentrate bleaches and other cleaning solutions containing chlorine.



Concentrated bleaches and other solutions containing chlorine can also cause rust pits and should not be used on stainless steel.



Cooking creates smoke that may eventually coat and discolor the stainless steel surface.


High Heat

Grease fires will darken the stainless steel surface, but will not affect the integrity of the steel. Periodic cleaning of the cooking surface and inside of the grill helps decrease the risk of an unwanted fire.

Note: Stainless does not actually “rust” like regular steel where a red oxide appears on the surface that flakes off. So, if you see red rust, it’s likely due to some iron particles (e.g., steel wool) that have contaminated the surface of the stainless steel and it is those particles, not the stainless, that are actually rusting.
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