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How to Clean Stainless Steel Cookware to Retain Shiny Look

How to Clean Stainless Steel Cookware
Cleaning Stainless Steel Cookware

Stainless steel cookware is often favored for its durability and resistance to corrosion. However, it can become discolored and stained over time, mainly if it needs to be cleaned correctly.


Proper cleaning of stainless steel cookware is essential for aesthetic reasons and to ensure that the cookware remains safe.


Here, we will discuss the best methods of how to clean stainless steel cookware. 


When it comes to cleaning stainless steel cookware, there are several effective products that can help you maintain its shine and remove stubborn stains. When you will face discolored cookware problem, let’s read How To Clean Discolored Enamel Cookware?


Here are some of the best products for cleaning stainless steel cookware:


Bar Keepers Friend Cleanser & Polish:

This versatile product is highly recommended for cleaning stainless steel cookware. It effectively removes stains, discoloration, and baked-on food without scratching the surface.


Baking Soda:

Make a paste with baking soda and water, and apply it to the stainless steel cookware. Gently scrub with a non-abrasive sponge or cloth to remove stains and residue. Baking soda is a mild abrasive that helps restore the shine of stainless steel.


White Vinegar:

Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the cookware and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, scrub with a sponge or cloth to remove stains and water spots. Rinse thoroughly afterward.


Lemon Juice:

Cut a lemon in half and use one half to scrub the surface of the stainless steel cookware. The natural acidity of lemon juice helps remove stains and restore the shine of the stainless steel. Rinse well after scrubbing.


Stainless Steel Cleaner:

There are specific stainless steel cleaners available on the market that are designed to clean and polish stainless steel cookware. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for best results.


Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and care of your specific stainless steel cookware. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbers that can scratch the surface. With regular cleaning and maintenance, your stainless steel cookware will stay looking great for a long time.


When it comes to chemical products for cleaning stainless steel cookware, there are a few options that can effectively remove tough stains and restore the shine. Here are some recommended chemical products for cleaning stainless steel cookware:


Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish:

This product is specifically formulated to clean and polish stainless steel surfaces. It helps remove fingerprints, smudges, and grease, leaving a streak-free and shiny finish.


TriNova Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish:

This cleaner is designed to remove stains, fingerprints, and water spots from stainless steel cookware. It leaves a protective layer that helps prevent future stains and adds shine to the surface.


CLR Stainless Steel Cleaner:

This cleaner is effective in removing tough stains, grime, and discoloration from stainless steel cookware. It is particularly useful for tackling stubborn stains or mineral deposits.


Bon Ami Powder Cleanser:

Bon Ami is a non-abrasive powder cleanser that is safe to use on stainless steel cookware. It helps remove stains, baked-on food, and grease without scratching the surface.


Remember to always read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer when using any chemical cleaning product. Test the product on a small, inconspicuous area of the cookware first to ensure compatibility.

Additionally, ensure proper ventilation and use protective gloves if necessary. Always rinse the cookware thoroughly after cleaning to remove any residue from the chemical cleaners.

7 Steps to Follow to Clean Stainless Steel Cookware Properly

Before cleaning your stainless steel cookware, you must gather some tools and materials. Here is a list of the items you will need:


  • A non-abrasive scrubber or cloth


  • A mild dishwashing soap


  • White vinegar


  • Baking soda


  • Warm water for rinsing 


  • Stainless steel polish (optional)


  • Damp sponge for removing discoloration


Details Steps for Cleaning Stainless Steel Cookware

Now that you have your tools and materials, it’s time to start cleaning your stainless steel cookware. 


Here are the steps you should follow:

Step 1: Rinse the Cookware

Before cleaning your stainless steel cookware:


  1. Rinse it with warm or tap water to remove loose debris or food particles.
  2. Collect heavy objects, including stainless steel pans, fry pans, and spoons.
  3. Avoid cleaning the hot pan directly. 

Leave it for some time to cool down. You may sometimes use the cookware to cook pasta, chicken, bacon, or other food items. In that case, you need to place the food on the plate. Then, spray some water and wipe off using tissue paper or a paper towel.

Step 2: Apply Dishwashing Soap

Apply mild dishwashing, regular dish soap, or stainless steel cleaner to a non-abrasive sponge or cloth. If you want, you can dip all the utensils in soapy water. Avoid using abrasive sponges or steel wool, acidic foods cleaning products, as these can scratch the surface of the stainless steel.

Step 3: Clean the Cookware

Now you need to do some elbow grease here. Gently scrub the cookware with the sponge or cloth using a circular motion. Keep it until you notice all the stuck-on food will come off from the pots and other utensils. Some experts suggest using a wooden spoon to omit the remaining food particles from the knives. A wooden spoon is so gentle in cleaning the stuck-on food particles.

This is important while you’re going to clean stainless steel pans. Those steel pans get stubborn dirt as you cook a regular meal.

Step 4: Rinse the Cookware

Once you have cleaned the cookware, rinse it thoroughly with boiling water to remove any soap residue. Ensure you’re cleaning stainless steel pans that seem shiny and stubborn-free. Use more elbow grease if anything remains left over on the scorched pans and pots.

Step 5: Dry the Cookware

Conduct a soft cloth or paper towel to dry the scorched pan thoroughly. Avoid using a rough or abrasive towel, as this can scratch the surface of the stainless steel.

Step 6: Remove Stains

Suppose your stainless steel cookware has stubborn stains like cold food or discoloration. In that case, you may need to use some additional cleaning methods. But always ensure you’re working with cooling stainless steel utensils instead of a hot stainless steel pan. Here are some options:

White Vinegar: 

Apply a few amounts of white vinegar to a non-abrasive sponge or cloth, and use it to scrub the stained area. Rinse the cookware thoroughly with water afterward.

Note: Maintain a 1:3 ratio while using this method. That means a user needs to add one part of vinegar with three parts of water.

Baking Soda: 

Mix a baking soda paste and hot soapy water, and apply it to the stained spots. Leave it to sit for several minutes, scrub it with a non-abrasive sponge or cloth. Rinse the cookware thoroughly with water afterward. Apply a little more elbow grease on these utensils if necessary.

Step 7: Polish the Cookware (Optional)

You can use a stainless steel polish to give your cookware extra shine. Pick a slight polish to a soft cloth, and rub it onto the cookware’s surface. Mimic the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.

Once all the remaining food residue comes from the pans, rinse them with cold water.

5 Tips for Maintaining Stainless Steel Cookware

In addition to regular cleaning, there are some things you can do to maintain the appearance and functionality of your stainless steel cookware. Here are some cleaning tips:


Clean It Properly: 

Avoid harsh cleaners and scouring pads on stainless steel, as they can scratch the surface. A non-abrasive commercial cleaner or a mixture of baking soda and water should be used instead to clean the cookware gently. Try to keep the utensils soaked with warm water overnight. Soaking a stainless steel pan overnight will quickly remove the refrigerated foods easily.


Dry It Thoroughly: 

To prevent water spots or rust from forming on your stainless steel cookware, always dry it wholly with a clean, dry cloth after cleaning it.


Avoid High Heat: 

Stainless steel can withstand high heat, but it’s best to avoid cooking on high heat for extended periods as it can discolor or damage the surface. Instead, use medium heat and preheat the cookware before adding food; they will bit burn off the utensils a bit.


Use the Right Utensils: 

Avoid using metal utensils or non-abrasive sponges on stainless steel cookware, as they can scratch the surface. Instead, use wooden or silicone utensils.


Store It Properly: 

To prevent scratching and damage, store your stainless steel cookware with care. Storing cookware in damp or humid environments should be avoided using soft cloths or paper towels.


Following these tips, you can keep your stainless steel cookware looking and functioning like new for years.

How to Clean Burnt off Stainless Steel Cookware

Cleaning burnt food off stainless steel pans can be a frustrating task, but there are several methods you can try:


Boiling Water Method:

  • Pour some water into the pan and bring it to a boil.
  • Then, turn off the heat and add a few drops of dish soap with that boiling water to the burnt stainless steel pans
  • Up next, leave it to sit for a few hours or overnight. The burnt food should loosen for the hot water shower. 
  • Now you can scrub it off with a non-abrasive sponge.
  • Scrub gently and use only hand or elbow grease to prevent unpredictable damage.


Vinegar and Baking Soda Method: 

  • Sprinkle baking soda over the burnt food and pour vinegar on top. Baking soda is very effective in cleaning the tomato sauce residues or other sticky foods from the pans.
  • Use a non-abrasive sponge to scrub the pan after it fizzes.


Salt and Lemon Juice Method:

  • Slice a lemon in half and sprinkle salt on one half of it.
  • Use the lemon to scrub the burnt food off the pan. 
  • The acid in the lemon juice and the abrasiveness of the salt should help remove the burnt-on residue.


Bar Keeper’s Friend:

  • This is a cleaning product specifically designed for stainless steel. 


  • Sprinkle it on the burnt food and add a little water to make a paste. 


  • Using a non-abrasive sponge, scrub it after a few minutes.


Stainless steel should be cleaned with a non-abrasive sponge or cloth to prevent scratches.

Mistakes to Avoid While Cleaning Stainless Steel Pans & Pots
  1. Use the hand washing method to clean the utensils instead of chemicals.


  1. The stainless steel pots and pans are completely submerged in the warm water. It will lessen the tendency to put burnt-off residues over the utensils.


  1. Ensure that the cookware you purchase from a shop can resist corrosion and rust.


While cleaning leftover food stains from the cookware, ensure the water isn’t too warm. Excessive warm water may cause thermal shock.


Rinsing the materials with too much hot water is also called thermal shock. So, you should say no to cleansing and irrigating the utensils with boiling water.

Frequently Asked Question

What Is the Most Recommended Way to Clean Stainless Steel Made Utensils?

The most recommended way to clean stainless steel utensils is by using boiled water. Add vinegar to the water to eradicate its cloudy-looking residues. Add one part of water with three parts of vinegar to the boiling pan.


How to Clean Stainless Steel without Damaging Its Polish Look?

Use olive oil, white vinegar, or any specifically formulated cleaner to make the utensils shiny. Use a regular microfiber pad to prevent dirt or food particles from there.


What to Do to Remove Burnt Stainless Steel Cookware?

Put 1 part of vinegar and 3 parts of water onto the pots. Leave it to sit overnight. After 24 hours left, gently scrub the pots and pans using both hands to remove the water spots and other residues.


How to Make Stainless Steel Utensils Shine Again?

Ensure the cookware is completely dry. Scrub the burnt residues from the utensils. Then, sprinkle some baking soda powder over the utensils. Gently rub the surfaces with non-abrasive scrubbers and rinse them using clean water.


Are Stainless Steel Materials So Expensive?

Yes, the beginner estimated cost of any stainless steel cookware is so expensive than others. It’s because of the binding metals used on the stainless steel pots and pans to distribute heat evenly.

Final Words

Stainless steel materials are designed to stay longer forever. Their material is so solid that makes it handy for regular use.

Despite having so many advantages, you should consider how to clean stainless steel cookware properly. Otherwise, it may ruin or not be appropriate to use further.


By following the ways mentioned above, it becomes easier for you. Maintain all the tips and caring instructions firmly.


Hope you will never suffer burning issues or discoloration problems after that. Store them in a regular room-temperature place to retain their brand-new look.

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