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Cleaning Stainless Steel Cookware

Daily use can leave your shiny stainless steel cookware discolored or burnt. This is a guide about cleaning stainless steel cookware.
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1 found this helpful
July 6, 2004 Flag

Try using an oven cleaner on cooked-on, burnt messes in the bottom of stainless cookware. It works better than scrubbing with SOS pads!

By Linda

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July 29, 2016 Flag

I got this terrific stainless steel whistling tea kettle at the church thrift shop yesterday for $2 (half price sale.) It was full of grease and dirt. The black handle had some white residue on it. I figured for $2 I could take a chance and see how the steel part cleaned up with a soap-filled pad. I assumed the handle would always be stained, but I could live with it.

The lady working there told me to use a Magic Eraser instead of steel wool to clean it. I use the knock-offs from the dollar store. Within 2 minutes the entire kettle, including the bottom and handle, looked like new, and I only used half of one pad.

I wish I had taken before pictures, but you can see the beautiful after results.

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August 2, 20160 found this helpful

Well, Judy,

I just returned from a bit of shopping. I bring home the dollar store equivalent of a magic eraser. Can't wait to give it a go.

Thanks for the tip.

Doug

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February 16, 2009 Flag

I switched to all stainless steel pots and pans a few years back when the news came out about the fumes from scratched non stick pans was potentially caustic. It took some getting used to cooking wise. I kept having stuff stick and I had a hard time cleaning the pots and pans. The scrubbers made specifically for the stainless steel pots and pans were costly and did not last.

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I was frustrated with some baked on egg in my pan and grabbed the baking soda from the fridge and instantly cleaned the dried on egg I had been wrestling to get out. I have perfected it now. If there is any grease residue in the pan I will first let it soak with a drop of dish liquid and hot water while I do the other dishes. Then I dump the liquid from the pan, squeeze out my scrubby sponge of most of its liquid, and sprinkle some baking soda around in the pan. With my sponge, I scrub it around both the inside and out. It makes a paste and removes anything stuck on and polished the stainless as well. Rinse well and your pots and pans will be clean and look like new. YEA!

By Cheryl from Smithsburg, MD

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August 10, 20100 found this helpful

As well as cleaning up the SS ware, the baking soda works great for removing tea and coffee stains from cups and saucers, too.

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6 found this helpful
May 22, 2009

Comment Was this helpful? 6

This idea/tip is to make the handles of your cookware look new again. I KNOW that most cookware makers stress NOT to put your cookware in the dishwasher. BUT, when women are working outside the home, every minute counts when getting the dishes/pots done in the kitchen.

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June 9, 20160 found this helpful

Pot with burnt residue on the left and the same pot cleaned on the right

CommentPin It! Was this helpful? Yes

This guide is about cleaning burnt sugar from a stainless steel pot. When sugar is burned onto a pan, it can be a challenge to remove.

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1 found this helpful
June 25, 2009

I find that using liquid bleach on the inside of my stainless steel pans removes tea stains immediately.

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June 1, 2011

To easily remove burnt on food from your skillet, simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan and bring to a boil on stove top.

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May 16, 2014

I was reading all the tips on stainless steel cookware. I clean mine with soap pads. It seems the more I scrub the brighter they shine! Just sayin.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

0 found this helpful
February 1, 2017 Flag

How do I get black spots, from boiling cloves and cinnamon in water, out of the inside of my vintage Farberware 1 qt. pot?

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
February 1, 20170 found this helpful

Which farberware pot do you have? Thru the years they have made stainless, teflan coated and ceramic. The care and cleaning would be different depending on which one.

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1 found this helpful
February 10, 2010 Flag

I've been told to use WD-40 to clean the burnt stainless cookware I have. Has anyone else ever tried this method?

By Brian from San Francisco, CA

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February 12, 20100 found this helpful

When I burn something in one of my stainless pots, before I scrub, I put warm water in the pot, just enough to cover the bottom, heat to boiling and using a spatula scape the burnt stuff off. This cleans the majority off and then let it sit over night with a little dawn and water. Comes clean every time. I also use the Bar Keeper stainless cleaner when I want to shine up the pots.

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0 found this helpful
October 19, 2015

I have a stainless steel electric percolator. My life has been hectic for the last 3 months with illness in my family. Apparently I made coffee one day and forgot to clean my pot and now it is mildewed. Can anyone tell me how to clean it using natural organic stuff or is it ruined now?

Thank you! :-)

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Anonymous Flag
November 2, 20150 found this helpful

Use white vinegar and water equal parts and run like u were making coffee. Do it twice and then empty and fill with just water and run it twice.

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0 found this helpful
January 8, 2005 Flag

One of my stainless steel pots has little rust stains from a leak I had in one of my cabinets. Does anyone know how to safely get them out?

Sara in FL

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December 12, 20080 found this helpful

Thank you so much for rescuing my expensive stainless pot from the rust attack. The baking soda and water technique worked great.

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1 found this helpful
February 17, 2013 Flag

The finish is very flat instead of shiny inside my stainless steel pan from boiling water to humidify the air. How can I get the shine back?

By Bunny

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April 11, 20150 found this helpful

Heat the pan on the stove. Pour 1 or 2 teas. olive oil into pan. Swirl oil around pan. Remove from heat take a small piece of paper towel & rub oil into pan being careful not to burn yourself. Remove excess oil and let pan air dry.

This will give you a good shiny pan and one that won't burn your food provided you know how to cook. Hint: most women think they need to have the flame on high to cook things faster. Wrong - all they'll accomplish is burning the food and ruining the pan. Then you'll have to start all over again with cleaning the pan!

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0 found this helpful
July 9, 2010 Flag

I fell asleep on the couch shortly after I'd put water on to boil in a Revere Ware saucepan. It's somewhat discolored, usable, but discolored. Any ideas on how to get it shinier? I also, have a frying pan with the same discoloration. It's old, but still usable.

By the way, to get copper bottomed sauce and frying pans clean, there's a great product named Penny Brite by a company called EZ Brite here in Westlake, OH. Website is ezbritebrands.com. The paste really works wonders. The frying pan I mentioned above was my mother's and I've had it at least since the 80's and she had it for years before that. Penny Brite makes it look great at least on the outside.

The inside has seen many a meal. It's still very usable, but the metal has kind of a bluish tint to it. In other words, the metal in it has somewhat discolored. Anyway, any help anyone can provide would be appreciated.

By Judy from Willoughby, OH

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July 10, 20100 found this helpful

When I burn food in my pans and can't get it out I spray them with Easy Off Oven cleaner - fume free and it works cold not in a hot oven. You could also use their other product for Bar-B-Q grills. Let the pan sit overnight and then wipe it clean with a paper towel the next day. This has worked on stains too.

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0 found this helpful
May 13, 2011 Flag

How do I clean a stainless steel teapot with lots of tea stains?

By Dasguptat from Kolkata, W Bengal

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May 17, 20110 found this helpful

These suggestions sound good. Or you could Ask Hellowise At Good Housekeeping.com. Good Luck. : )

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November 26, 2011 Flag

I am having problems cleaning a pot that has burned cranberry sauce in it. I let the cranberries cook too long. The inside of a Revere pot is now black. How can I clean it?

By EH

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November 29, 20110 found this helpful

Dollar General has a cleaner "Awesome" that is $1.00 a bottle and very effective. I've used it on scorched "eye rings" (elec stove). Be sure to wear gloves, it's very strong, a refill bottle is only $3.00. Hope it works for you.

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0 found this helpful
November 27, 2007 Flag

Anyone have a homemade solution for cleaning stainless steel cookware? My cookware has been darkened by dirty gas burners. The cookware has copper bottoms.

Sylvia from Barbados, W.I.

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December 9, 20070 found this helpful

Tomato sauce also works well. Just coat the pot and wipe it with some paper towels. Repeat as needed.Then wash, rinse and dry. GG Vi

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0 found this helpful
September 22, 2010 Flag

I need to clean the bottoms of stainless steel pots and pans. There is some old grease that I can't remove.

By Olga from Tampa, FL

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September 24, 20100 found this helpful

Easy Off oven cleaner will take it right off.

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0 found this helpful
January 16, 2014 Flag

Last week I was cooking and I accidentally put the steel lid on the hob while it was lit. I burned my hand and lost feeling in it, but am gradually getting it back, but also it made scorched purple marks on the lid itself. I had that cooking pot in my family for nearly 23yrs and I just would like some tips on how to remove the purple burn marks thanks.

By Mrs A.

By Mrs A from east london

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0 found this helpful
January 10, 2014 Flag

How do I remove rust on stainless steel pots and pans that were filled with sea water and sewage left over from hurricane Sandy? The pots were in our shore home and we had 3 feet of sea water and sewage. By the time we were allowed in our home, these pans had water standing in them for a month. I have tried everything to remove the rust. I don't want to have to throw these away too.

By ATM

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0 found this helpful
January 9, 2014 Flag

I left water in my stainless steel (brand new) pot after sterilizing baby bottles. Now there is a ring of rust inside the pot. How can I remove this? Please help!

By Ama Q.

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0 found this helpful
August 9, 2013 Flag

My husband used to be the cook and dishwasher in this house. I just recently took over. I'm trying to get our pots and pans back to new looking. I just saw some black on the lid of the saucepan. I tried to scrub it, but I don't have any scour pads right now. It wouldn' come off. I had just soaked the pan in baking soda, vinegar, and water. I hope the black is not mold from food residue, is it? And how to I get rid of it. I will purchase some scour pads.

By T L

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0 found this helpful
August 5, 2013 Flag

How can I remove purple stains from stainless steel? It was too close to an open fire, and now I'm struggling to remove the purple stain as a result of this hot fire.

By Stoffel de Beer

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0 found this helpful
April 27, 2013 Flag

I found my large skillet with lid way back under the sink, which had slowly (for months) filled with water from a slow leak. I managed to wipe away (warm water and dishsoap) most of the rusty gunk, but small black spots (pits?) remain around the lid and a couple places inside. Is it too late to try baking soda or other things?

By stephanie r.

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0 found this helpful
March 23, 2013 Flag

My husband has been using steel wool pads to clean my All-Clad pan. Can it be restored or is the finish ruined?

By Helen

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In This Guide
A stack of metal pots and pans
Caring for Metal Cookware
Categories
Home and Garden Cleaning DishesSeptember 19, 2012
Guides
Stainless Steel Cookware
Switching to Stainless Steel Cookware
Pot with burnt residue on the left and the same pot cleaned on the right
Cleaning Burnt Sugar from a Stainless Steel Pot
A used cookie sheet in need of cleaning.
Cleaning Cookie Sheets and Bakeware
Unseasoned Dutch Oven
Caring for Cast Iron Cookware
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