How to Protect Painted Appliances from Rusting

After the delivery men installed my new white refrigerator, I noticed a two-inch scratch on the back end of the door. It was only in the paint, and not clear-through to the metal. I was sure touch-up paint would make it disappear, and I was right. Appliances like mine have an enamel baked on them to protect the bare metal from rust. Over time, if the finish isn’t cared for properly, it becomes thin and porous. Once moisture and air reach the bare metal, rust occurs. Read this informative article and find out how to protect painted appliances from rusting.

Note: Painted appliances that are located in areas where the air is moist and salty are especially susceptible to rusting. These areas include the southeastern region of the United States, near the eastern and western coastlines, and around the Gulf of Mexico.

1. Place your appliances in a cool, dry place. Whether you’re currently using them, or you have them stored, don’t put them on a porch, in a garage, or any place where the air isn’t conditioned. Humidity and dampness are two enemies to metal.

2. Clean your painted appliances on a regular basis to protect the finish from rusting. Use a clean, damp, soft cloth and a mild, non-abrasive household cleaner. Follow the directions on the container in order to achieve the best results.

3. At least twice a year, clean your appliances, then apply a coat of appliance polish wax or automobile wax on them. The wax will protect the finish from damaging wear, dirt and moisture. New appliances should receive their first coat of wax as soon as you get them.

4. Cover scratches with touch-up paint immediately to prevent rusting. (Like I did.) Contact the store where you bought your appliance, or the manufacturer, to purchase touch-up paint that matches perfectly.

If you take care of the finishes on your appliances, not only will they retain their new looks, but they’ll last longer. If rust spots do appear, they’ll need to be sanded and treated, then painted to stop the progression.


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