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How to Bring Your Stainless Back to Life

Bradford Malt|Mar 10, 2021

How to Clean Stainless Steel Pots and Pans

In this guide, we'll show you how to clean your stainless steel pots and cookware.

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.

When working with the

best cookware material

, you want to be extra careful you are doing everything you can to preserve your pots and pans for years to come. Whether you are trying to

remove rust from steel

or get rid of those annoying calcium spots, we have a few tips that can help keep your cookware as good as new. This guide on how to clean stainless steel cookware will help.

For information on how to prevent this damage read part 1 of our Stainless 101:

how to prevent damage to your stainless steel cookware


Tip #1 - Avoid Abrasive Brushes and Cleaners

When cleaning stainless steel pots and pans, avoid using an abrasive sponge when trying to scrub out stubborn staines and burnt food. Steel wool, scouring pads, oven cleaners, bleach, or strong abrasive cleaners - although seemingly effective - can scratch and damage your stainless steel 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 and scrub with a little elbow grease. Simply add warm water to baking soda, wait 15-20 minutes, and then clean tough stains with a non abrasive 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 when used with water.

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 white 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 white vinegar can help get rid of discoloration or that signature

rainbow stain in stainless steel cookware

. Another solution would be to use non-abrasive, stainless-designed cleaners, such as our Make It New cleaner on your burnt pan. 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 soft sponge and sprinkle baking soda or our Make It New cleaner on it, then rinse and dry the pot or pan as normal with a clean, dry cloth.

Tip #5 - Remove Stuck Food

Stuck food on a burnt pan 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 and any tough stains (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.

Stainless takes a bit more care than

non stick

, but the benefits easily outweigh the hassle of the cleaning. Let us know if you have any maintenance tips and tricks of your own.

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