The Easy Way You Can Remove Rust From Your Cookie Cutters

Cookie cutters are surprisingly versatile for the hyper specificity of their name; you can use them for everything from making Jell-O shots without molds to making store-bought pie look expensive. But for as fun and easy as they are to use, they can be a pain to clean. If you have tin, stainless steel, or aluminum cookie cutters, you may have noticed that rust can develop over time, especially in those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies on more elaborate shapes. This may also be a problem if you've inherited a cookie-cutter collection from a relative, or if you found a vintage set at a flea market. If you're looking for a quick solution to restore your metal cookie cutters to pristine condition, all you need is sandpaper.

Hold the cookie cutter carefully in one hand and, with the other hand, use a small strip of sandpaper to gently file down accumulated rust. Just be careful not to touch the smooth, rust-free areas with your sandpaper to avoid permanently scratching the surface of the cookie cutters.

More options to clean and care for cookie cutters

If you don't have sandpaper on hand, there are a few other pieces of equipment that can work in a pinch. For severely rusted cookie cutters, steel wool is a good alternative for cleaning. Since rust forms when metals are exposed to moisture over time, it may seem counterintuitive to soak your cookie cutters in liquids to remove rust, but this approach can also be useful. If you're not in a hurry, or you'd like a low-effort option, let your baking tools soak in vinegar overnight.

For cookie cutters that are simply tarnished, you may want to try scrubbing them with baking soda. This multifunctional ingredient is not just the best way to naturally clean your kitchen — with a little water and a sponge, it can also be used to make your cookie cutters sparkle like new.

Whichever technique you choose, don't forget to wash the tools in soapy water afterward — before baking with them. To prevent rust from forming in the future, be sure to set the cookie cutters on a wire rack after cleaning so that they dry completely. In especially humid weather, you can also place them briefly in a heated oven to remove all moisture.