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Cleaning Stainless Steel Cookware

Category Dishes
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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July 6, 20041 found this helpful

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

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.

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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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April 8, 20170 found this helpful

Burnt Stainless Steel Pan

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Removing burned on food or burn marks from your stainless steel cookware can be difficult. There are products and techniques that will help and not damage the finish in the process. This is a guide about cleaning a burnt stainless steel pan.

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February 16, 2009

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.

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!

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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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By 6 found this helpful
May 22, 2009

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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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By 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 9, 20160 found this helpful

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

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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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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.

By 0 found this helpful
February 1, 2017

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

Answer Was this 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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By 1 found this helpful
February 10, 2010

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

Answer Was this helpful? 1
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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By 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
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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By 0 found this helpful
January 8, 2005

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
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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February 17, 20131 found this helpful

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

Answer Was this helpful? 1
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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By 0 found this helpful
July 9, 2010

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
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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By 0 found this helpful
May 13, 2011

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, 20110 found this helpful

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
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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By 0 found this helpful
November 27, 2007

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.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
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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By 0 found this helpful
September 22, 2010

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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January 16, 20140 found this helpful

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

January 10, 20140 found this helpful

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

January 9, 20140 found this helpful

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.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

August 9, 20130 found this helpful

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

August 5, 20130 found this helpful

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

April 27, 20130 found this helpful

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.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

March 23, 20130 found this helpful

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

May 13, 20120 found this helpful

How do I clean a stainless steel pot that has been boiled very dry?

By Ina

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

March 7, 20110 found this helpful

I just bought a stainless steel skillet. I wanted to sear pork chops. Okay, I did that alright, seared the whole pan. Now my nice shiny skillet looks a mess. I've managed to clean the inside, but how do I clean the underside so that it sparkles again? Please help.

By bluegardenia from Toronto, CA

Answers:

Removing Burns from Stainless Steel Pan

There is a product called "Astonish" I believe that it is from England and available on QVC. This stuff is fabulous for stainless steel and your oven as well. (12/22/2009)

By Cyndi D.

Removing Burns from Stainless Steel Pan

A great way to get burnt on food from the inside of stainless steel pots and pans is to go to the hardware store and get a 3M ScotchBrite sanding disk. They're made of some kind of light abrasive impregnated plastic mesh. They're used for sanding and removing paint or rust (I used it on my F150). They are about 6 bucks. Put it on your cordless drill and voila! Burnt stuff is gone. And it's not going to scratch it up either.
(12/22/2009)

By stevelaw1000

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November 2, 20100 found this helpful

I have an 8qt. stainless steel Farberware pot. I was boiling water and forgot about it. The water boiled all the way out. It burned the bottom of the pot black and a little on the side. How do I clean the inside, the outside is still shiny.

By Toni C. from Delray Beach, FL

Answers:

Removing Burn Marks from a Stainless Steel Pot

Try soaking it in a sink of water that has baking soda in it (maybe a half-cup in a shallow sink of water). (09/20/2010)

By joanne

Removing Burn Marks from a Stainless Steel Pot

Try ammonia, works best for me. (09/22/2010)

By Laniegirl

Removing Burn Marks from a Stainless Steel Pot

Lemon juice always works for me. (09/23/2010)

By Julieleven

Removing Burn Marks from a Stainless Steel Pot

Whilst steaming artichokes (like it matters), water ran out and burnt the pot. I took everyone's advice and slightly modified to incredible results!

I used 2 parts Javex beach, 4 parts water, two dryer sheets, and left outside for 24 hours. A brief rub after with an SOS pad, and the pot is better than new! (09/29/2010)

By jvh

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September 22, 20100 found this helpful

How do I clean my stainless steel roasting pan, especially around the corners?

By Janet

Answers:

Cleaning Stainless Steel Pans

Bar Keepers Friend. It is the best cleaning product on the market for stainless steel. Your cookware will look like new. It is in grocery stores in the cleaning department. Awesome! stuff. It keeps my Princess House Cookware looking brand new. It comes in liquid form or cleanser type. (02/28/2010)

By Kathryn777

Cleaning Stainless Steel Pans

SOS, soap filled steel wool pads, along with a little elbow grease will keep them clean and bright. Use them to clean those corners each time you use the pan and you won't get that heavy baked/burned on grease that's so aggravating to scrub off. My baking pans and cooking pots have been in use for over 40 years and they still are shiny and new looking. I'm never ashamed for folks to see them. (03/01/2010)

By Grandma Margie

Cleaning Stainless Steel Pans

If you know someone who sells Pampered Chef products, ask about the stainless steel pot cleaner. It is a liquid and not much is needed to clean pans. Works great; looks like new. (03/03/2010)

By Indianone

Cleaning Stainless Steel Pans

Again Barkeepers Friend. Ive been using it on my 35 year old Revere Ware inside and out for years. It works great even on the copper bottoms. My pots look so good I hang them on a rack when not in use. (07/13/2010)

By nineleven47

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

September 19, 20100 found this helpful

Due to my negligence, water dried up in my cooking pot and there are black and rainbow patches of stains on some internal and external surface of the pot. How can I remove and clean them?

By Grace from Boston

Answers:

Removing Burn Marks from Stainless Steel Pot

I would try Bar keeper's friend. It's a powder cleaner in a can like Comet or Ajax. (Gold with some writing on it.) It's about 2$ a can. (02/17/2010)

By Kbritt87

Removing Burn Marks from a Stainless Steel Pot

Liberally pour a little tomato sauce or ketchup in the pan and smear it and leave it for 3 to 4 hours in the pan. The black marks and the rainbow color easily vanishes and you tend to give a new look to your stainless steel pan. (02/18/2010)

By jabast

Removing Burn Marks from a Stainless Steel Pot

I just burnt the inside of my pot. Tried dish liquid and water, it didn't work. Then I thought how borax works on so many things, I heated water and about a tablespoon of borax. This loosened most so I could scrap it with a metal utensil. Now I have a little of Fume Free oven cleaner working on it. (02/20/2010)

By suem1009

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July 6, 20100 found this helpful

I got busy and forgot a small stainless steel sauce pan on the stove. It was on the burner with nothing in it for quite a long time before I noticed it. How can I clean it and get it back to the shiny stainless steel color again?

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February 28, 20100 found this helpful

My pots and pans are very dirty. Other than a blow torch, what's the easiest way to get them shiny clean?

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February 17, 20100 found this helpful

My husband burned the popcorn in my good stainless steel pan, leaving a lot of black marks stuck to the bottom. How do I get these off?

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January 28, 20100 found this helpful

I have new Paula Deen stainless steel cookware with stainless interior. Specifically, the "butter melter" one quart pan is no longer beautiful. My husband heated soup in it and then stuck it in the sink.

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January 12, 20100 found this helpful

I was heating water in a stainless steel pot and forgot it. It is scorched and burned. How can I get this cleaned?

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December 6, 20090 found this helpful

Cleaning Stainless Steel Pans. I want to say thank you to all that helped me with the cleaning of my stainless steel pans.

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October 23, 20090 found this helpful

My daughter used my stainless steel pan when I was out and used a high flame and now my pan is a dark mess. Is there anything that can restore the color?

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