Cleaning Magnalite Pots That Have Been Under Floodwater?

How do you clean Magnalite pots which were flooded with water and marsh mud during Hurricane Katrina. They were under water about six weeks.

Joyfull from Louisiana


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By (Guest Post)
November 12, 20050 found this helpful

I feel so bad for all of you in Lousiana. I can't imagine you would want to keep any of that stuff that was submerged under that murky, disease infected water. Treat yourself and buy new. I think I would always think of where it had been for so long and would not be able to eat out of it anyway! Good luck to you all.

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November 12, 20050 found this helpful

Am wondering if you can bake the germs away. Ask the manufacturer.

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November 12, 20050 found this helpful

After the flooding and problems resulting, I doubt you have the money to treat yourself and buy new if it is not necessary. Besides I'm sure you'd like to salvage as much as you can of your belongings.


Magnalite is made with an aluminum/magnesium alloy. DO NOT use anything like oven cleaner or vinegar on them, it will ruin them further.

I'd buy a box of steel wool SOS pads and scrub them good with those and rinse. Hopefully that will take discoloration out of them and bring them back to life. Then put them in the oven for a half hour at 250 degrees to sterilize them. They should be safe to use after that.

Good luck with this and wishing you the best at getting your home back into shape. Keep us posted as to how it works.

Susan from ThriftyFun

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By Susie (Guest Post)
November 12, 20050 found this helpful

I thought those pots were guaranteed by the company. If it is impossible to clean them up due to pitting ect. I think it will be replaced by the company.


You might check it out.

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By Mrs. Harris (Guest Post)
November 21, 20050 found this helpful

I know it cost a pretty penny especially after collecting the whole set but come on. Who would want to eat out of that dirty pot. I feel you can't wash that away. To many horrible memories. Just throw them away and start over. Like so many other people have been doing. Take it one pot at a time. I lost mine as well.

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By Garrette (Guest Post)
November 29, 20060 found this helpful

For those of you who don't understand that just buy new isn't in the equation when it comes to the point that you have nothing else especially a house and cant afford to buy new ones it is cheaper to buy new or contact the company and find out if they would replace them and if they do than you could put another post up here and let the rest of us know. Just remember that not all people can afford to just go out and spend 200 dollars on a new set of pots.


Editor's Note: Well said! For the most part, go out and buy a new set is not the thrifty solution to the problem.

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By Cajun Boy (Guest Post)
December 30, 20060 found this helpful

>>Magnalite is made with an aluminum/magnesium alloy. DO NOT use anything like oven cleaner or vinegar on them, it will ruin them further.

Pay Attention to this wise advice. DO NOT use anything that has an acid or lye base, like "Easy Off" Oven cleaner. This will ruin your magnalite pots.

>>I'd buy a box of steel wool SOS pads and scrub them good with those and rinse.

I politely disagree with this advice. As this poster stated, magnalite pots are an alloy of Magnesium and aluminum. I would not use a STEEL brillo pad with soap to clean an aluminum alloy pot. Steel is harder than aluminum, which is why brillo pads work so well on magnalite pots. Those steel pads take off the grease, grime, and aluminum. That black dust colored water you see when you use a brillo pad is aluminum oxide dust coming off of your chef grade magnalite pots. So, I would not use a brillo pad.


The good news is that your magalite pots are entirely salvageable. Contrary to all the urban lore out there, there is no health quality issue with cleaning and using these pots. A very mild solution of bleach (two table spoons to the gallon of water) mixed with a mild dish soap will disinfect your pots if you are the paranoid type. So, here is a step by step cleaning process for you, and the other worried folks out there:

1. Clean the pots first with a mild bleach solution to disinfect. Rinse many many times, (Rinse & repeat) with a follow-up non bleach soap and water mixture (just mix dish soap and water as you would normally use to clean any pot).

2. Boil the pots full with water.

3. Allow to cool to room temperature.

4. Clean the interior and exterior with Bon Ami cleanser.

5. If you want your pots to return to the high shine they had when you first purchased them, you will have to polish the metal with a suitable metal polish. Polishing is the exception to the "Don't clean the pot with anything harder than the alloy mixture". A mild metal polish like "Flitz metal polish" (Can be bought at Wal Mart) or in a pinch..."Brasso" will return your pots to their high shine. The key is a mild liquid based metal polish that will take off a minimal amount of metal and polish the metal surfaces. I would only polish the top of the cover, and the exterior sides of the pots. Don't polish the insides, and don't polish the bottom. Just clean these surfaces with Bon Ami Cleanser.


Magnalite pots are nearly indestructible. I have revived pots that were left on a hot stove and were caked with burnt food and other liquids. ALL of them were restored with Bon Ami and elbow grease (metal polish).

The last time I had a big Magnalite to restore (a 7 QT 4738 Stock pot) I used my car polished from the garage. Started with a new polishing pad, and used Flitz metal polish. I then finished with Mequiars Car Cleaner Wax. When I was done (about an hour later) I could comb my hair in the reflection of the pot. And as a bonus, cleaning that pot after use was snap!

Keep your magnalite pots!

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April 16, 20170 found this helpful

Bleach does NOT kill mold though...

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By Carolyn (Guest Post)
February 4, 20070 found this helpful

I didn't get a chance to decide if I wanted to keep my Magnalite pots. The people helping us clean out the mess, threw out all the dirty, stinking smelly stuff. Pots included!

My problem is finding new pots in local stores in southeast Louisiana. Most places I've been don't have them. Or if they do, they're not the ones I'm looking for.

I have been unable to make a respectable roux for my gumbo since Katrina took my Magnalite pots.

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November 11, 20160 found this helpful

Have you tried Wal-Mart?

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By Linda (Guest Post) (Guest Post)
April 13, 20070 found this helpful

I also lost my pots. My House had water up to the ceilings for 5 weeks. The salt in the water pitted the surface of the pots. No amount of cleaning has been able to restore the surface. My friend Jane (who also lost everything; we lived in the same subdivision) and I have tried everything we could think of. As to the sanitairy aspect, even if we don't use them cook, it is so important to us to try to salvage something from our former lives. We have made an effort to buy the basic starter set, which is very expensive for people in our position (senior citizens, living on fixed retirement income, who's home was paid for, but have only been able to collect from our flood insurance, since homeowner insurance companies have taken the stand that all damage was caused by the flood and refused to pay claims), however, the quality of the pots are not the same as the damaged ones. Our old pots are much heavier than the new ones we have bought. Of course, our old pots are over 30 years old. If anyone can suggest some way of removing the pits, we would be very grateful for the advice.

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By Lawrence (Guest Post)
April 24, 20070 found this helpful

Try using "Bar Keepers Friend". The label states it is recommended for Wagner as well as other items. Just follow the directions and it will work. I have used to on older and newer Magnalite. After removing the stains, wash in soap and water and dry.

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By Monica (Guest Post)
April 26, 20070 found this helpful

I also live in LA, but my pots were in a house fire in October. I wish I had read this before trying to clean them. I used oven cleaner and am cooking in these pots now. What harm have I done to my pots and will it somehow harm me? Also, I have used SOS pads to clean these pots for the last 20 years. I am curious what harm this has somehow created.

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By shelley walters (Guest Post)
December 19, 20070 found this helpful

I live in Mauriceville, TX, 11 miles from the la border at starks. Katrina hit me but Rita hit me hard. all is well now. I was surprised to find magnalite pots in my local market basket right now! I haven't seen them sold in any regular stores in a while, although i haven't needed to look. They are pricey but they always have been and it's not really expensive when you consider you'll be cooking in them for life! if any of you don't know where Mauriceville is please feel free to call me and I'll give you directions. The manager there, Mr. Becker is a wonderful man! my number is 409-791-5564

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