Stainless steel cookware is the most durable and versatile cookware you can find. However, if you want your pots and pans to last many years, you need to adopt a good cleaning routine. This article covers everything you need to know about cleaning stainless steel cookware. 

See also our review of the top stainless steel cookware sets.

Everyday Maintenance

Just like any other cookware, stainless steel cookware needs to be cleaned after each use. Not everyone feels like washing dishes immediately after cooking, but the sooner you do it the easier it will be since food stains are easier to remove when they are fresh than when they have dried out. For regular everyday cleaning of stainless steel, all you need is some dish soap, warm water, and a sponge. 

Stainless steel is quite durable and resistant to scratches, so you can really get in there and scrub without worries. If you really want to keep the shiny finish on your pot or pan, just use a sponge without a rough surface.

If you are persistent, this should be enough in most cases. For tougher stains and burnt food, you might want to try soaking your cookware for a couple of hours before scrubbing. Some stainless steel cookware is also dishwasher safe, but this is generally not recommended.

If these methods fail to provide satisfactory results – don’t worry! We still have a couple of stainless steel cleaning tricks to share with you. These will help especially with burnt pans and extremely tough stains.

See also, the benefits of stainless steel cookware.

How to Clean Burnt and Scorched Stainless Steel Cookware

So, you’ve forgotten the pot boiling on the stove and by the time you noticed it became a horrendous, burnt mess? It’s alright, it happens to everyone. The good news is, if it’s stainless steel, your pot is most likely not ruined!

The first thing you can try is to fill the pot with water with some dish soap added and let it soak for an hour or two. Then, turn on the stove again and let the water boil for fifteen to twenty minutes. The residue should come off easily after this.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

For really stubborn stains there is another trick you can try. It’s simple and easy to do and it will save you a lot of scrubbing! To do this, you will need a cup of white vinegar, some baking soda, and some water.

To begin cleaning using this method, you will need to fill the pot or pan with a mixture of water and white vinegar. Put the pan or pot on the stove and bring it to a boil. Even with the vinegar alone, the pan should be looking a bit cleaner. The next step is to add the baking soda to the mixture. To do this, remove the pat or pon from the stove first. Adding the baking soda will cause a fizzy reaction that will help resolve any residue on the cooking surface of the pot or pan. To avoid creating too much foam, you can pour the vinegar-water mixture out of the dish, until just the bottom is covered. Once you add the baking soda, wait until the “fizzy” reaction stops, and then pour everything out. You will most likely need to do a bit of scrubbing after all to remove all the residue, but it should be much easier now!

How to Remove Water Spots From Stainless Steel Cookware

If you live in an area with very hard tap water (tap water means the water has a high calcium content), you have probably noticed white residue forming on your cookware. To prevent these marks from forming, you should wipe your dishes with a soft cloth immediately after washing them. However, sometimes this is not enough and the white, chalky residue still remains on your cookware. You can fight these with white vinegar. Just apply a bit of vinegar to a cloth and rub until the stain is gone.

Alternatively, for really tough stains on the inside of your cookware, you can fill the pot or pan with a mixture of vinegar and voter and bring it to a boil. The ratio should be about 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water. Let it boil for about fifteen minutes and throw the mixture away. The stains should be gone. Always dry the pot or pan thoroughly when you are finished to prevent hard water stains from forming.

TOP 5 Stainless Steel Cookware Sets Reviewed

Read our review on the Top 5 best stainless steel cookware sets.

How to Season a Stainless Steel Pan

Although it’s certainly not necessary, you can season a stainless steel pan just like you would a cast iron one. This will make the pan less sticky, so you can even cook eggs on it (which tend to stick to stainless steel). To season a stainless steel pan, start by washing it thoroughly.

Once the pan is dry, coat the inside with a layer of oil. Oils with a high smoke point, like peanut oil, work best. Put the pan on the stove on medium heat and wait until the oil starts to smoke and turn off the heat. That’s it, you now have a seasoned stainless steel pan.

Stainless Steel Cookware Cleaning and Maintenance: Useful Tips

Once you find a high-quality piece of stainless steel cookware, you’ll want to take care of it in the best possible way. These are some tips and tricks that will help you keep your stainless steel cookware in a perfect state for years to come!

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Dry your cookware after washing to prevent water stains
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Cooking salted water in stainless steel cookware may lead to pitting corrosion which is irreparable. To avoid this, put salt in your water only after it boils.
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When frying, don’t add the oil as soon as you put the pan on the stove. Let the pan heat up and then add the oil.
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Wait for the cookware to cool down completely before you wash it. Pouring water on a hot pan can cause warping

You may also be interested in:

  • Is stainless steel cookware safe? Read here.
  • Benefits of stainless steel cookware. Read here.