Popcorn makers are desirable and give people the opportunity to make a tasty snack for themselves and others at home or otherwise. Unfortunately, the issue of rusting comes up and sometimes makes one have to replace the machine if it gets severely affected.
Although rusting cannot be avoided sometimes, it gets aggravated when the proper precautions are not taken. Also, one does not always have to replace the popcorn popper if it gets rusty; they need to know the right way to get rid of it which will be discussed in this write-up.
Rusting occurs slowly over time and forms on the metal surfaces of the popcorn popper when air and water combine to make oxidation occur on those surfaces. You can prevent rust from forming in a popcorn maker with a thorough clean, using wax to protect the metal or by using baking soda to clean.
In this article, I am going to talk about why rust occurs in a popcorn maker, how to clean it out and how to prevent it long term.
Why Does Rust Happen in A Popcorn Maker?
Popcorn Makers rust when their metal parts come in contact with moisture and air for an extended period. The combination of air and moisture does not have to “hit” the metal parts 24/7 before they rust.
Rusting occurs slowly over time and the affected area tends to spread out until you can hardly touch an area without feeling a rusted surface beneath your fingers. Rust forms on the metal surfaces of the popcorn popper when air and water combine to make oxidation occur on those surfaces.
Sometimes bad coating or insulation of the popcorn machine by the manufacturer contributes to rusting because they allow moisture to collect on the metal surfaces. Another reason why rust forms on popcorn makers is when the user has the habit of not cleaning spills or using inappropriate cleaning products on the machine.
Additionally, a cluster of tiny metal particles that collects and remains on the rust-prone areas of the popcorn poppers can make it corrode. When people use steel wool pads – which they should never do – to clean their popcorn maker, they can leave particles behind and form rust.
Tiny metal particles can be found in the water supply which is used to clean the popcorn machine, can leave deposits that will allow corrosion to occur.
How to Remove Rust from A Popcorn Maker?
When you have a rust problem with your popcorn maker, the first thing to do is get rid of the rust. While this seems obvious, it is not easy to do. Some people take the easy way out and try to paint over the rusting areas.
This might work in the short term but it does not address the underlying problem and gives no assurance that it will not rust again through the paint.
Using a Rust Cleaner that has oxalic acid
This is an effective method and you would need to pick up the rust cleaner from a store. Even though other acids combat corrosion, oxalic acid does a particularly good job at it. The solution converts rust patches into a soluble liquid that can be wiped off. If the rust damage on your popcorn maker is extensive, then this method is recommended.
The rust cleaner is usually in powdered form. It needs to be mixed in water to form a paste. This paste should be plastered over the rusted area and rubbed around gently with a plastic brush or scrubber.
Steel or wire brushes are discouraged because they can leave tiny metal particles on the surface which would cause the popcorn popper to corrode all over again. Let the paste sit for half an hour, then either wipe the paste off with a clean and damp rag or use water to rinse it off.
Using baking soda solution.
As the name of the method suggests, you would need to prepare a baking soda solution. To make this, add baking soda and a little water to a bowl and mix till it forms a paste.
Apply this paste to the affected area and scrub over it gently with a plastic scrubbing brush in a similar fashion to the method above. Rinse the paste off with water or wipe it with a damp rag.
Another way baking soda can be applied is by putting some on the affected area and scrubbing with a damp cloth. This alternative works in cases when the rust is light. If the metal portion of the popcorn maker is made of stainless steel, you should scrub against the grain for the best results.
The stainless property of stainless steel comes from a layer of chromium oxide that forms on its surface and if there is rust on it, it means the coating is damaged.
Apply vinegar to the affected area.
Scrubbing your popcorn maker with vinegar and a plastic brush. Another way to go is to disassemble the affected parts if possible and soak them in vinegar. The disassembled parts can either be submerged or wrapped in a cloth soaked in vinegar.
One does not have to scrub the rust stains off, just leave the affected area soaked overnight and rinse it off in the morning.
Use sandpaper on the affected area.
Scrape off the rust (and loose paint if there is any in the area) with sandpaper. Also, sand over the coating of paint around the affected area (even if it is still intact). Clean away the dust produced with a microfiber tack rag and wipe it down with some denatured alcohol.
Apply paint that matches the color of the surrounding area on the part that was formerly corroded. There is paint specifically made for popcorn makers and similar appliances. They are sold in small spray bottles or as touch-up paint. Spray paint is more appropriate if the affected area is large while touch-up paint.
How to Prevent Rust in A Popcorn Maker
The saying that “prevention is better than cure” is something that most people are familiar with and is applicable in cases where rust in a popcorn maker is concerned. It would be better to stop rust from forming on the popcorn machine in the first place instead of dealing with it after it has affected an area.
Here are a few ways rust can be prevented from damaging your popcorn popper.
Clean up spills as soon as they occur.
Whenever you clean the popcorn machine with a damp rag, there is a high chance some droplets of water would stay on the metal surfaces. If these droplets of water are left unattended, they would be in contact with air which fosters an environment for rust to form.
To remedy this, after cleaning the popcorn maker, wipe it with a clean dry cloth to take away the water. Do this every time because if you forget to, the rust would not hesitate to start forming. If there are grease stains, use a mild detergent to wash them away.
For the best results, check the popcorn maker’s manual to see directions on how to clean the machine properly.
Use a protective wax on the machine.
Protective wax coatings can be applied on the metal surface of the popcorn popper to prevent it from oxidizing and forming rust. Some protective wax coatings restore the original look of the metal surface while simultaneously protecting it from corrosion.
There are appliance polishes that are used to apply the protective wax. Each one has its directions of use which should be read carefully and followed hook, line, and sinker.
Apply a coating of paint.
Painting over a metal surface is a very effective way of stopping it from rusting since it blocks moisture and air from coming in direct contact with it. Use an appliance paint to coat rust-prone areas and recoat it when the old layers seem to be wearing off.