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Thursday, February 4, 2021

Cleaning Corrosion from Tin-Plated Cookie Cutters

I always intend to do the right thing with my cookie cutters. But you know how it is. I get busy with something else entirely and my cutters just don't get the love they need.

Most of these older cookie cutters are tin-plate over steel. Over the years, the tin wears away in spots (usually the cutting edge), allowing a little rust to develop. In addition, tin actually tarnishes. My own cookie cutters can look like something I really don't want touching food. But I don't want to buy new ones to replace these old favorites, either.

So, what I do is buff the tarnish and rust right off, using a Scotch-brite pad (the other side of my kitchen sponge) and a paste of baking soda and water. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to get the cutter clean enough to my satisfaction.

When cleaning up a cookie cutter, I focus on the cutting edge. It's this edge, that if rusty, can impart some really unlovely rust markings onto the cookie dough. Not a pretty sight.

After the corrosion has been buffed off, I wash the cutter in hot, soapy water and dry completely with a towel.

Finally, I use a small square of paper towel dipped in vegetable oil to give it a moisture-repellant coating. 

My cookie cutter is now ready to use.

The best way to take care of tin-plated cookie cutters is to wash in hot soapy water immediately after the last cookie cut-out. Rinse, shake dry, and put them into the oven after turning it off to completely dry all of the cracks and crevices of the cutters.


  1. I have never had a cookie cutter rust. I guess that shows you how much I used them. :)

    1. Or maybe you just take better care of your cookie cutters than I do, Live and Learn.
      But I do use this particular one a lot, for more than just cookies.

  2. It never occurred to me to put them in the oven to dry. What a great idea!

    1. Hi Jenny,
      That was my mom's way of drying anything that could rust, like cast iron pans and tin-plated cookie cutters. A still-warm oven dries out all of the crevices very well.

  3. Do I see heart shaped cookies in your future?

    Like Jenny, I wouldn't have thought of putting them in the oven to dry. :) Is there anything that baking soda can't do? It's such a helpful item in the kitchen.

    1. Hi Kris,
      Or heart-shaped something. You'll see tomorrow.
      I agree, baking soda is one of the best cooking ingredients of which I use the most for non-cooking, like cleaning.

  4. I have some of these over loved (and beloved)cookie cutters as well. Can't wait to try this to clean them up. Thanks!

  5. Thank you for this great tutorial…it’s cookie making time, and I have a great collection of antique ones that really need cleaning!

  6. I read the old tin cookie cutters are not safe to use because they were soldered using lead. So sad, I have so many of them handed down from my grandmother


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