Stainless steel is one of the finest materials available for cookware, as it is durable and attractive. Unlike non-stick pans, however, stainless steel can present some tough cleaning challenges if used improperly. It is important to establish a regular cleaning routine for your cookware and to learn how to effectively clean tough stains.
Several methods for cleaning stainless steel cookware are outlined below.
If the pan has food crusted onto it, start by soaking it for several hours in warm, soapy water (you could also let it soak overnight). Drain the water, and then scrub vigorously with a scouring pad. This will remove most food build-up.
Do not use steel wool pads or copper-based scrubbers – although they do a good job of removing burnt-on food, they can also scratch the surface of your cookware.
If your pan has heat damage (for example, from being left on a lit burner for too long), you may be able to clean it off using baking soda. Make sure the pan is completely dry, then sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda onto the surface. Rub the baking soda around the pan thoroughly with a dry cloth or sponge.
You can also add a little water to the baking soda to achieve a paste-like consistency.
If you’re really having trouble with burn marks, try a mildly-abrasive cleaner, such as Bar Keeper’s Friend. Just sprinkle a generous amount onto the bottom of your pan and add a little water to form a paste. Scrub with a wet sponge, then rinse thoroughly. Your pans will look good as new.
Water spots are actually caused by the minerals in the water, not the water itself. These will occur more frequently if you live in an area that has mineral-rich water, but water spots can also result from added compounds like fluoride. If you hand dry your pans, water spots are not likely to be a problem. If they occur, swish some club soda around in each pan. Rinse them off, and then wipe them dry with a clean cloth.
Alternatively, you can try soaking the pan in vinegar, then clean as usual with a mild detergent and soft cloth.
Serious Burn or Scorch Marks
Sometimes you may burn a pan in a serious way. What do you do then? You can cook away serious burn marks.
If the pan’s burn marks cannot be scrubbed away with baking soda or soap, you can actually attempt to cook them off. Fill the pan with just enough water to cover the damage, and bring the water to a boil on the stove. Add a few spoonfuls of salt to the water, turn off the heat, and let the pan sit for several hours. Dump the water out and try scrubbing away the damage with a scouring pad. Repeat this process for very difficult stains.
You should only add the salt when the water is already boiling. If you add salt to cold water, it has the potential to “pit” the metal.
Instead of the salt, you could also try adding lemon juice or white vinegar to the pan. Another interesting option is to boil 100% tomato juice in the burnt pan. The tomato’s natural acidity can also help remove stains.
Many people have their attractive stainless steel cookware on display in their kitchen. Even if you do not display it you will still want it looking its best when you are using it. A clean kitchen may not seem quite so clean with stained or tarnished cookware. We hope you found value in these tips for cleaning stainless steel cookware.
The link to the post below also has some tips and advice about the cleaning of stainless steel appliances.
Give us a call at 802-295-6065 if you live in the Upper Valley and need extra support for keeping your home clean and tidy. We have been providing homeowners of the Upper Valley with top-notch home cleaning services since 1993.