Cleaning Stainless Steel Cookware

July 6, 2004

A badly burned stainless steel panTry 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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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
July 29, 2016

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

Clean kettle

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 108 Feedbacks
May 22, 2009

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 25, 2009

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

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 390 Posts
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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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 169 Posts
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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30 Questions

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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


February 10, 20100 found this helpful

It is an industrial product and the can says not to be ingested. So I would not use it for cooking utensils, but that is up to you.

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February 10, 20100 found this helpful

If the interior is 'bluish', pour clear Vinegar, place cover on, and heat up to boiling point. Let set for about 2 minutes and pour into kitchen sink.


If more drastic measures are required, use MAAZ S.S. Cleaner [a paste usually found with all the other household cleansers]...absolutely amazing. Then wash with a detergent (or use the vinegar method) to remove any questionable residues.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 205 Posts
February 10, 20100 found this helpful

Never use WD-40 on anything you cook with or eat off of! It's not meant for ingesting in any way, shape or form!

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February 11, 20100 found this helpful

WD-40 web site lists it as useful for cleaning:
* Displaces moisture from guns after cleaning

* Cleans woks after - cleaning
* Cleans blackened skillets - after cleaning


The bottom of the pan should be cleaned as well as possible, then soaked in WD-40 for at least an hour before attempting to clean again. And of course wash the pan again before using.

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February 11, 20100 found this helpful

I have never heard of using WD-40, but would only try it on the outside of the pan while still making sure to clean well with hot soapy water. Bar Keeper's Friend is a powdered cleaner that I have had good luck with for cleaning my stainless steel pots when they get discolored from heat or burnt food.

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February 11, 20100 found this helpful

I have all stainless steel cookware and I was having trouble finding something to use. Then I moved to a mobile home with a septic tank and did some research and found that white vinegar can be used to polish stainless steel. I now use white vinegar in my dishwater to cut grease and polish my pots and pans and silverware.


For the hard to clean pots I use white vinegar and baking soda.

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February 12, 20101 found this helpful

When nothing else worked (vinegar, baking soda, fabric softener sheets... all the usual tips you see), I most certainly did use WD-40! When I purchased my pots and pans, several years ago, I paid almost $500 for them, so, I was not about to send them packing;) A couple of my skillets had deep burn marks. I followed the directions on the can... spraying it only on the marks, then letting the skillets sit (if the marks didn't scrub right off, which they usually don't, right away), overnight, then tried again the next day.


Usually, most of it will come off with a little scrubbing. If not, repeat process, untll all marks come off. You will have to scrub quite a bit, but my deep marks eventually disappeared. Afterward, I cleaned the skillets really good, in hot water, with Dawn dish detergent. They were like new, and yes, I have cooked with them since and no, none of us got sick. Hope this helps=)

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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 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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February 17, 2013

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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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.


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 290 Feedbacks
November 27, 20070 found this helpful

The inside of my stainless steel cookware has a tendency of getting discolored, so what I do is pour in a small amount of vinegar and that cleans it up very nicely.

Pour some vinegar and salt on the copper bottom and rub with a dishcloth. The salt acts like an abrasive. You can use any vinegar. The vinegar and salt do a great job in cleaning copper.

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November 30, 20070 found this helpful

Copper bottoms can be cleaned with catsup. The acid from Tomatoes does the trick. Adding baking soda may help the stainless part.

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By Alisa (Guest Post)
December 1, 20070 found this helpful

Get some Bar Keeper's Friend (looks like Comet) from Walmart. Try that. I recently attended a cooking show and that was one of the tips I received.

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 288 Posts
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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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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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?

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November 26, 2011

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?


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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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August 9, 2013

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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August 5, 2013

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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