Cleaning Stainless Steel Pots And Pans: 13 Ways

Whenever we purchase a set of brand new stainless steel kitchenware joyful juncture. Just try gazing upon it, pristine and shiny. All the sautéing, searing, and caramelizing you can think of must give you the butterflies in the guts. But, wait! Yes, there is a CATCH in all of this!! These twinkling pieces of perfection known as stainless steel pots and pans demand your extra attention and care.

Let’s admit it: bits of food will linger on. Water spots will too definitely appear, and dents will happen. Luckily for you, there are convenient solutions for cleaning stainless steel pans of yours. Follow our step by step guidelines of stainless steel pans cleaning.

How to Clean Stainless Steel Pans & Pots

Even veteran chefs can scorch their pan, whether they are playing around with a delicate sauce or roasting meat at high temperatures. But washing those tough stains isn’t as much of a hurdle if you have the correct gear and supplies. Based on our experience cooking in professional kitchens or, at home, here are the methods we utilize for cleaning stainless steel pots and pans and keep them gleaming for years.

1. Heating Up Your Pan

In almost all cases, heating up is everything you need to do to remove burnt food residues from your stainless-steel pan and pots. It will be sufficient to pour a cup of boiling water to cover your pan’s bottom.

A few minutes later, you will see that stuck pieces in your pan start loosening. That is when you need to brush them off with a plastic spatula or wooden spoon.

2. Soapy Water

If the boiling water process can’t loosen all the marks, you should put on some soap for cleaning stainless steel pots and pans. A few drops will help out to remove greasy particles and any food that remains. After sitting there for a few minutes, you can clean the stainless-steel pans completely without damaging the plane.

Some experts assert that you will get a better outcome when applying powdered dishwasher detergent. You have to let it soak overnight though. Whatever the formula you use, you should rinse the dish properly. Repeat the cleaning if you feel necessary.

Do not forget to dry the pans with a fabric or paper towel to avoid the emergence of ugly stains on the steel. Never apply metal pieces of objects or knives to avoid scarring your shiny steel pan.

3. White Vinegar

We get asked, “How to clean stainless steel pans with vinegar?” Well, here is the answer to that. Too stubborn stains that ensue as an upshot of overheating, white vinegar is an excellent answer for both carbon steel and stainless-steel pan. Once you observe warped-like stains on your pan, you should wash them with a water solution of white vinegar. We are applying the solution because the acid from pure vinegar may damage the stainless steel in case you let it sit a bit too long.

Make half a cup of water and the same amount of vinegar mixture and bring the blend to a boil. Then, add a few droplets of strong degreasers, such as liquid dish soap and lemon essential oil. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes and then rinse your pan. If necessary use a soft scrubbing pad or fabric to remove leftovers.

4. Baking Soda

Baking soda is one of the ideal methods to clean residues on these pans. There are a bunch of ways to use this reposeful abrasive cleaner. But the most approved way is to coalesce it with white vinegar.

First, add half of a cup of white vinegar to your pan’s bottom. Dust baking soda over it. Scrub the stains with a wet sponge. In the end, wash your pan with hot water. Repeat the process when necessary.

Second, you can add a veneer of white vinegar and water to your pan. Depending on your pan size the amount will vary. Bring the mixture to a boil. Turn off the heat once it is boiled. Straight after that add the baking soda. A few minutes later, spill the liquid and wash the pan thoroughly.

The third way for cleaning stainless steel pans is to sprinkle the soda over the dry pan. Rub it with a bare dry cloth until your pan becomes shiny and clean. If you find it more restful, you can also create a paste by adding a few drops of water to the soda. Rinse your pan thoroughly and let it dry before hanging it up.

5. Lemon Juice

Citric acid is an excellent choice for stainless steel pans cleaning. You can try to get rid of greasy messes of charred food on the base of your pan with lemon juice once you spot them. Create your own homemade degreaser with a few tablespoons of hot water and two lemons.

Squeeze the juice into your pan and bring it to a simmer. Let it boil for two minutes, then shut off the heat. Scrub food remains if required. Wash your clean pan and let it dry thoroughly.

6. Lime & Salt

The combination of coarse salt and lime is a superb solution for removing residues of bits from your pan. The acidity will seize up tough particles while the salt helps with scouring loosen food.

Cut a lime in half first, then squeeze the sap of one half right into the dish. Bring it to a simmer. Turn off the heat and sprinkle some salt. Let the mixture soak for five to fifteen minutes then. The timing length depends on the type of stains.

After pouring out the mixture, add more salt for the second time. Scrub the pan surface of your pan with the other half of the lime. Finally, rinse it properly and dry it when finished.

7. Flour

Even though cleaning stainless steel pots with this method sounds very strange to you just like when we first heard of it, it is quite an effective process. In fact, this gentle abrasive washing scrub acts like baking soda.

When you want to remove fat and oil stains from your stainless-steel pan or non-stick pan, you can achieve it by adding a half cup of water with three tablespoons of flour. Then, scour the stains with a worn out toothbrush. Rinse the pan, and let it dry when finished.

8. Lemon Juice & Cream Of Tartar

The cream of tartar is another excellent substitute for baking soda. It will work as a mild abrasive cleaner, which effectively removes food grease and residues from your stainless-steel pans without harming their surfaces.

One tablespoon of cream of tartar mixed with a few blobs of lemon juice needed to make a paste. You can also use vinegar instead of lemon juice with the matching result. Cover the affected spots with this mix and let it soak all night long.

Then, scrub the remaining food with a mushy scouring pad and wash the pan thoroughly. After drying it with a soft fabric, your stainless steel pan will become glossy again.

9. Ketchup, Tomato Sauce, or Crushed Tomatoes

The drawback of the stainless-steel pans is the development of rainbow-colored discolorations after daily usage. If you habituate in an area with hard water, you can see white calcium developing on the surface of your steel pan, as well.

There are a few fantastic stainless steel pans cleaning methods for such a case, which can turn your stainless-steel pan bright again. One of the top options is cleaning it with ketchup, tomato sauce, or crushed tomatoes. Their acidity will behave with existing tarnishing the same exact way as vinegar.

Add any of the aforementioned ingredients over your pan’s bottom. Turn the heat on, and let it boil for approximately ten minutes.

Another way is to let it rest overnight when you want to steer clear of heating. Then, rub off any residues with a mushy brush. Rinse your pan, and let it dry thoroughly.

10. Club Soda

Club soda is again, for cleaning stainless steel pots and pans, another excellent procedure to eliminate mulish burnt oil stains. It can also effectively clean sticky substances and stains, like caramel.

Cover the bottom of your pan’s surface with club soda or any other fizzy drink such as Coca Cola. Let it boil for a few minutes until the soda soaks into the scum.

Then, scrape all the bits away with a gentle scrubbing brush. Repeat the procedure if you feel necessary. In the end, you should wash and dry your steel pan before resting it in its place.

11. Baking Soda, Toothpaste, & Salt

The mix of baking soda, toothpaste, and salt is an excellent homespun abrasive. It holds highly efficient grainy materials against burnt fats and oils that build on your stainless-steel cookware. Don’t fret, the quantity of grit this mixture contains won’t harm the plane of your steel pan.

Pour water into some baking soda and make a paste. Then, add exactly an equal amount of toothpaste. Then clean the pan with your dishcloth. You can also dust some salt over the grease directly and append toothpaste before begin scrubbing the pan vigorously.

If you want to fasten the process and make it easier for you, then heat up your pan for about thirty seconds before you add the ingredients. It will slacken the oil more quickly. Finish the cleaning by cleaning and drying your cookware perfectly.

12. Commercial Cleaners

If you are not concerned about being an eco-friendly type of person then you’re your stainless steel pots and pans cleaning you can always pick a commercial cleaner to extract burnt food excess from your stainless-steel pan. Dampen the surface of your steel pan before adding the cleaner over the surface.

You can also buy a soft variation of the agent. Apply it to the affected spot directly. Scour all loose food bits with an old toothbrush. Rinse the cleanser from your pan completely. Dry the pan with a soft fabric to get a bright polish surface.

13. Abrasive Pads

You can also use abrasive cleaning pads to wipe burnt-on oil from your steel pan. Please do remember that metal pads need less pressure than plastic pads while scrubbing. Nowadays, you can find and buy metal pads made of stainless steel or copper available on the market.

How to Take Care of Your Stainless Steel Pan

  1. Before first use, wash in hot soapy water. Then rinse the pan and dry it with a towel.
  2. Keep your stainless steel pans looking adorable by soaking in soapy hot water after each usage. Then give it a wash, rinse and hand dry the pan. We advise hand drying for a spotless shine.
  3. Daily use may result in slight scratching. But such will not hinder with cooking performance.
  4. Do not use scouring pads, steel wool, bleach, oven cleaners, or strong abrasive cleaners.
  5. It is okay to use your metal instruments, but do not use knives or electric beaters.
  6. To stop sticking, you can spray the pans with nonstick cooking spray. Or add a small portion of margarine, oil, or butter to the cold pan. Heat on moderate temperature for one to two minutes before you start putting food in it.
  7. Make sure that your cooking surface is even. Stoves and burners that are not level may force fats to pool: pooled oils and fats do not sufficiently cover cooking surfaces.
  8. Clean the pan properly after each use. Food films cause clinging and discoloration on your pan when it is reheated.
  9. Sticking of foods in your pan may also be caused by high heat. When oils and fats smoke, it means that the heat is too high for you.
  10. To avoid small white dots or pits (salt damage), add salt after your food starts to cook. Or add salt after liquids begin to simmer. Please note though, pitting does not hinder cooking performance. However, it can lessen the beauty of your stainless steel pan.
  11. Do not store any food that is seasoned with salt in your stainless steel cookware.
  12. Never let fluids boil dry. The extreme heat can cause irreversible damage to your stainless steel cookware.
  13. Allowing gas flames to rise up the sides or overheating of the pan can create brown/blue stains. A low to medium temperature setting is all you want for most cooking applications other than for boiling water.
  14. For optimum results, use a burner not larger in diameter than your steel pan.
  15. High iron contentment in water can cause a steel pan to seem rusty.
  16. Lightly run cooking oil before first use into the nonstick surface.
  17. Use wooden or plastic utensils. Always avoid cutting food in the pan or apply electric beaters.
  18. Regarding cleaning stainless steel pots, regular dishwasher use will harm the properties of any nonstick steel pan. If you use the dishwasher sometimes, wipe your pan with cooking oil before usage.
  19. It is not recommended nor necessary to submerge cookware in water for an extended period of time. For the occasional burnt food or dried-on, buff with baking soda.

Cleaning & Maintaining

How to Clean Seasoned Stainless Steel Pans?

Do not use any rough cleaner like metal mesh or soap. It will take off the seasoning from your pan and it will need to be re-seasoned.

The Black patina from the seasoned pan is the most beautiful part. So when you are cleaning, simply wash the pan under hot water. Wipe the water out with a paper towel. That’s it! If there is hard stuck on gunge boil some water in your pan and by the time you are finished eating it should come forthwith.

How to Keep Stainless Steel Pans Shiny?

Fill the bottom of your pan with water. Then add one cup of white vinegar. Bring it to a boil. Remove from the heat and put in two tablespoons of baking soda. Then empty your pan and start scrubbing. Also, you can use a commercial mildly abrasive cleaner that is made for stainless steel pans.

Is It Normal for Stainless Steel Pans to Discolor?

Allowing cookware to boil dry or overheating can cause brown, yellow, blue, dark purple, or rainbow tints on your stainless steel pans. Although these are harmless, these tints can blemish the beauty of your pan.

Can You Use Normal Water to Clean Stainless Steel?

You would be surprised how much plan cleaning you can achieve with just a lint-free cloth and warm water. This is the least dangerous option for cleaning your stainless steel pans. Plain water works well to clean most of the time. Dry with a cloth or towel to stop water risking marks. This is important because minerals in water can leave plunks on your stainless steel.

How to Make Steel Pots Look New Again?

Sprinkle some salt on your pan and scrub it strongly with half of a potato cut side down. The moisture from the potato and salt will make a mess very quickly. In that case, clean it with water, put in salt newly, and repeat the scrubbing until rusts come off from it all. Once fully rust-free wash it and clean it with a dry cloth and let it dry properly.

Use low oven heat or stovetop heat. After it dries out completely rub oil all over your pan with a paper towel. Use a fresh paper towel to remove excess oil. Heat up your pan on low heat for 30 minutes. Once it’s done rub it with a paper towel to wipe excess oil from it and you are done!

How to Remove Stains from Stainless Steel Pan?

Simply wash your steel pan with white vinegar and clean it with water to remove stains. Also, white vinegar can be used to remove white calcium build-up stains. Make a solution of one part white vinegar to three parts water for it. Then simmer in the affected pan. Allow the mixture to cool down, then empty the pan, and wash as usual.

What are the best cleaners for stainless steel cookware?

Abrasive cleaners such as Bar Keepers Friend, Bon Ami, or plain baking soda can help remove blackened stains, caked-on food, or baked-on oil. We recommend baking soda because it’s easy to find and cheap. Avoid caustic chemicals like an oven cleaner, which may be an enticing quick fix but can cause lasting damage.

Wrapping Up

Protect your precious stainless steel pots and pans from damage, discoloration, and debauchery. These steel pans conduct, dispense, and maintain heat gracefully, and are an absolute delight to have these around the kitchen.

Stainless steelpans and pots offer high-grade even distribution of heat while cooking. This makes them some of your key and go-to utensils in the kitchen. And when it comes to how to clean stainless steel cookware, the methods and simple tips and tricks we have discussed can help you change your oldest pans and pots into brand new cookware.

This can extend the lifespan of your stainless steel utensils and keep you on-budget by putting an end to the need to purchase replacements.

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