So, like us and the rest of the world, you didn’t read the instruction manual and are sitting on some discolored stainless steel pots and pans. Now you are wondering how to get those pans back to looking as pretty as they did when they came out of the box. This guide will help.
For information on how to prevent this damage read part 1 of our Stainless 101 series here.
Tip #1 - Avoid Abrasive Brushes and Cleaners
Steel wool, scouring pads, oven cleaners, bleach, or strong abrasive cleaners - although seemingly effective - can scratch and damage your pan. We recommend using Scotch-Brite all-purpose pads (or similar) to keep your pots and pans looking new. For cleaners, we recommend making a paste using baking soda. Simply add water to baking soda, wait 15-20 minutes, and then clean with a sponge. You can also use our Make It New cleaner to do that work for you. Hack: an old toothbrush can function as a good scrubber.
Tip #2 - Get Rid of Chalky White Spots
Calcium is found in a lot of water supplies and can cause white spots on stainless steel pots and pans, especially if they are not dried right after washing. If you don't have our stainless steel cleaner, boiling a mixture of 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water, letting it cool completely and then washing and drying as normal can help fix this.
Tip #3 - Getting Rid of Discoloration
Overheating is usually the culprit of discoloration of your pots and pans. Cooking high-acidic items like tomato sauce or washing the pan with vinegar can help get rid of discoloration. Another solution would be to use non-abrasive, stainless-designed cleaners, such as our Make It New cleaner. Making a thick paste from this cleaner can help tougher stains.
Tip #4 - Remove Water Spots
Water spots are caused by not-immediately drying your pots and pans after washing them. To fix this, simply wet your surface, wet a sponge and sprinkle baking soda or our Make It New cleaner on it, then wash and dry the pot or pan as normal.
Tip #5 - Remove Stuck Food
Stuck food is caused by not following proper heating procedures (most likely overheating of the pan). First, start by scrubbing the pot with a non-abrasive sponge to get any bits off that you can. Then, fill the pot or pan with water, bring it to a boil and scrape away the remaining food (be careful of the hot water).
Getting Rid of Pitting
Unfortunately pitting is the result of adding salt to the water before it is boiling and causing a chemical reaction between the salt and the metal. This can not be fixed, but can only be prevented by not adding salt until water is fully boiled. Pitting does not affect the performance of your cookware.
It is no doubt that stainless takes a bit more care than non-stick, but the benefits of insanely good food easily outweigh the hassle of the cleaning. Let us know if you have any maintenance tips and tricks of your own.