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I used WD40 to remove some rust from my bicycle u-lock recently (locking mechanism). It worked very well (I put some bike lube on it afterwards). Now, I have plenty of rust on my electric hob plate. My hob looks similar to this: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81CQ1Jot2CL.SL1500.jpg

I tried to use vinegar first, but the effect was minimal. So I was wondering if I could use the same oil for my hob?

I have the following concerns:

  • Hygiene: Is it bad to use it next to food appliances?
  • Heat: Will oil leftover start to burn after switching on the hob?
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I would keep the WD40 as far away from food and food preparation equipment as possible. The MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for WD-40 as published by the manufacturer states:

Emergency Overview:

DANGER! Harmful or fatal if swallowed. May cause eye irritation. Avoid eye contact. Use with adequate ventilation.

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WD40 is a good product but it's nothing special for removing rust. There are similar lubricants sold that are labelled "food safe" for use in commercial kitchens. (You're going to wind up washing off whatever you use, and I doubt traces of WD40 would be dangerous at all, but why even take a chance.)

A lot of food safe lubricants you'll find are silicone-based, I'd avoid those for this purpose.

Plain mineral oil is sold in pharmacies, and it's one of the main ingredients in WD40 and many other lubricants. In addition to the medicinal uses, it's used on cutting boards and that kind of thing, it would certainly be safe. It should work fine to loosen rust.

For that matter, any vegetable oil will soften the rust the same way, although it might not be as good as mineral oil. Canola oil was used as an industrial oil before it was used as a food oil.

If there's oil - whether it's WD40 or mineral oil or vegetable oil - on a heating element, it will burn off when the temperature exceeds the flash point of that oil. You'll want to remove as much as possible simply by washing with soap, dish soap should be fine, then drying immediately.

  • 1
    It's really not a good product. It was made specificaly to polish your missile: the Titan missile, which had problems with condensation since it is liquid fueled. The inventor started a company and went on a massive "snake oil" style marketing blitz, saying it's perfect for anything you'd conceivably use an oily product in a spray can. And people literally believe that. It is fairly lousy when when compared to products actually made for your intended purpose. And it's a terrible rust remover, rust does not work that way. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jan 21 at 19:17
  • Did you just call my missile Titan? I appreciate that. ^1 I don't think it's anything special compared to other general purpose spray lubricants, but they have that fold down straw nozzle which is worth the price, and I like the smell of WD40 in the morning. – batsplatsterson Jan 21 at 19:19
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    Just pour a bit of Coke on it and let it sit there for awhile and then go back and wipe the rust off. – Micah Montoya Jan 24 at 15:27
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I use barbeque cleaner and it works wonders especially if you let it soak for few hours. After you clean off the barbeque cleaner, wash the hobs of with soapy water. Just make sure you rinse it out very well before you turn the hobs on again.

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