I find that using liquid bleach on the inside of my stainless steel pans removes tea stains immediately. You can add a little water if you'd like, but I just pour a small amount in the pan, swirl it around and dump it into the next pan with the stains and works great. I rinse the clean pan immediately so the bleaching will stop right away.
By BonsterBonnie from Maryland
There is a powdered cleanser made for Stainless Steel that works very well. It's called Cameo; comes in a white plastic container. Costs around $2, I got it in my supermarket. I use it in my SS sink and in my cookware. Removes discoloration easily.
I commend you for coming up with a solution for discolored cookware but we all need to become much more careful about harsh chemicals that we both breath and that can be digested because remnants remain in cookware after using (I am speaking first hand as recipient of health problems from both) ...
Anyway, it would be better to use good old fashioned non-toxic cleaners that will accomplish the same thing:
To protect aluminum cookware from discoloration, never wash it in a dishwasher or let it soak in soapy water for long periods of time.
If discolored, fill the pan with water, add 1 tablespoon cream of tartar or 1 tablespoon lemon juice per quart of water, and simmer until the discoloration is gone. Complete the process by scouring the pan with steel-wool and wash with dish soap.
Use a paste of baking soda and water used with a scouring pad.
Rinse with vinegar. It neutralizes bleach
Vinegar works well too., and not harmful to the environment. You just have to let it soak a while. The discoloration is not going to hurt you anyhow. It just doesn't look as pretty. When I scour anything, sinks, toilets, bath tubs, stainless steel, I also use baking soda, natural and works great. I'm allergic to most cleaners so I have to find a more natural way.
I too am from MD, Linthicum.
The only problem with bleach (sodium hypochlorite) and table salt is that the chlorine is extremely reactive and will pit stainless steel. 304L (marine grade) is the most resistant to this, but not all manufactures use this grade of 18/10 austinic stainless on pan interiors due to it's increased costs. The outside of the pans are generally 400 martinistic magnetic grades to work on convection stoves and are even more reactive to chloride solutions. Chloride attacks between the steel crystal grains causing creeping, pitting corrosion that will eventually lead to failure. The pits also increase surface area so more crud will stick as time goes on. I'm mostly talking about expensive tri-clad and tru-clad pans. the cheap stuff you can throw away. Tru-Clad does use a 304L on the interiors and tests all their steel. Probably worth the extra $50.00 compared to a china copy.
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How can I remove the blue discoloring from my stainless steel pans?
Val from Cincinnati, OH
White vinegar (03/01/2009)
Use baking soda or Bar Keeper's friend. (03/01/2009)
Barkeeper's Friend (03/02/2009)
I put my stainless steel pans in the dishwasher with an aluminum strainer and they turned colors. Apparently, you're not supposed to place stainless steel against aluminum in the dishwasher. Who knew? Not me. From what I've read, there's no way to correct the problem. But mine are hazy now, not blue, so maybe someone can help you with your problem. Hope so. (03/03/2009)
Thanks Everyone, I'm going to try these solutions tonight. I tried all these methods for removing burnt on oil and nothing worked 100%, so I ended up putting the pan in my oven when I cleaned it. I'll let you know if these solutions work for me. (03/03/2009)
So far, Baking soda didn't help; BarKeeper's Friend didn't help. Will try white vinegar (03/03/2009)