Boiling Water Left White Residue in Stainless Steel Pan

I recently asked about dark blue stains on a frying pan and sauce pan. However, my initial request was about boiling water and accidentally letting it boil away in a saucepan. It leaves kind of a white residue which I'm not sure, but could be lime. Does anyone know if Lime A-Way would be safe to use on the inside of it? If not, any suggestions on how to get it shiny again. I've already used stainless steel cleaner, but that doesn't take it away.


By Judy from Willoughby, OH

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July 10, 20100 found this helpful

Barkeepers friend.

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July 13, 20100 found this helpful

It sounds like hard water to me. Just steel wool it off. Don't use lime away because it might leatch into the pot and out into your food.

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July 13, 20100 found this helpful

I've done the same thing a few times. I pour in vinegar and let it soak, lay saucepan on its side, keeping rotating every couple hours. This way you don't have to fill the pan with vinegar, just coat the sides & bottom and let set. Then, wash with a regular kitchen dish scrubber for a few seconds. All done.

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July 13, 20100 found this helpful

Ditto on the vinegar and, as long as you keep an eye on it, do a half water and half vinegar mixture and allow it to simmer on low on the stove for awhile.


I would never use anything like Lime Away, oven cleaner, etc on cookware or or any other item that food is going to be touching because those surfaces are porous (even though we don't think they are) and chemicals will seep in and can contaminate the food.

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July 14, 20100 found this helpful

Vinegar or CLR, if the vinegar doesn't do the trick.

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February 8, 20150 found this helpful

I have a salt free water conditioner and everytime I boil water in a stainless still pan the pan gets covered with a white residue. I use a brillo pad to remove but it never comes all off. My concern is the water is leeching into the pan or vice versa. And sometimes the amount of water I put in pan actually disappears. So by drinking the water is there a danger. Kettle is always white hard film.

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