Originally Posted by taxlady
In other languages it isn't called stainless. In the Germanic languages it is "rust free" and in the Latin languages it's non-oxidizable.
In reality the idea of a "stainless" or non-oxydizing steel is a myth. All steels will rust, SS just rusts less. The generally
accepted definition of stainless is that it contains 13% or more Chromium. That's the element that impedes rust. At the opposite end you have steels like Shirogami which are just carbon added to the purest obtainable iron. There are traces of sulphur and other impurities but no Chromium, molydenum, vanadium, tungsten, etc.
You can toss a typical SS knife in a bucket of strong bleach water and it will begin to oxidize pretty quickly.