In a nutshell: moved, Star San bottle broke, got on a bunch of supplies including my stainless steel spoon. Now the spoon is rough where the sanitizer spilled and slightly discolored.

The spoon was a gift and has no manufacturer markings or the like, but it appears to be stainless steel. Is it toast, or is this just cosmetic?



1 Answer 1


It will function fine as is. You just have a thick oxide layer there.

If you want to restore, you can polish it using 0000 steel wool. Once to the polish you want passify the stainless steel by spraying with normal starsan mixture (or dip it) and let air dry.

  • 1
    I agree. StarSan is a mix of phosphoric acid and a surfactant. iron will react to make iron phosphate which (as a surface phenomenon) can "passivate" iron to resist further corrosion. Which might be helpful if the spoon is immersed in StaSan again. As EZ writes - the spoon can be cleaned and reused without problem. I suspect it could be reused without cleaning but it may be nice to have a clean spoon as subsequent cleaning will be easier after use.. Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 10:50
  • Wunderbar! And that thin stripe of green between the affected and non-affected areas (more visible on the top picture) is of no concern? I hear a similar color in copper is toxic. Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 19:31
  • I’ve learnt that scotch brite should be the most appropriate cleaning for stainless steel and found it to be true. Steel wool may inject small fragments of steel which may rust later on.
    – Martin
    Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 20:03
  • @Martin true steel wool shouldn't be used for cleaning. In this case it's to polish the stainless which would need passified after. Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 3:11

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