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Do you have a favorite stainless steel pan even though you’ve bought a whole new set? Phew, ok so I’m not the only one lol. That’s why I thought it would be great for me to share with you how to clean stainless steel pots and pans.

Just like you would find in our clothes closet many items to choose from yet we often find ourselves wearing the same pair of comfy pants. Or so many colorful blouses yet we find ourselves choosing black a few times a week. Well, in the kitchen we tend to do the same!

We have favorite bowls, mugs, pots, pans, and so much more and, hey, it’s OK. The thing is when we use these items so much they tend to get more worn out than the rest. Sometimes, we just don’t have it in us to throw them out. In fact, we may try our best to salvage the ones we can.

Bring Your Old Pans Back to Life

An image of old stainless steel pots and pans that could be cleaned to look new again
No matter how old some pots and pans get, they stay our favorites

Prevention is Key

It may be too little too late for this piece of advice: don’t let your pans burn. Easier said than done right?

Sometimes we’re doing so much at one time that we forget we’ve got something cooking. What’s the result? A scorched stainless steel pan (hopefully not burnt food though lol).

Line pans with parchment or wax paper when possible. Also, use non-stick cooking sprays when you’re making something that might stick to a pan and leave a mess.

If you’re planning on searing meat or chicken, make sure it’s dry before putting it into the pan. Cooking a stew, casserole, or sauce? Wipe down splatter on the sides of pots or off the edges of pans before baking to avoid caked-on liquids that will burn and blacken.

If you feel something is sticking or possibly starting to burn, you can lower the heat and pour a small amount of water in. Then, using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom or the sides of the pot or pan.

So obviously the best way to avoid ruining your pots and pans is to avoid misusing them. Also, give them a good scrub when washing them.

Getting Started

Depending on whether you’ve recently used said pot or pan to make a yummy dish, there are steps you’ll want to take before actually cleaning.

Two great precleaning methods for burnt, grimy, or greasy stainless steel pots and pans are the boiling method and the soaking method. Remember, these are just to get the pot or pan prepped before a really good cleaning.

The Boiling Water Preclean Method for Stainless Steel Pots and Pans

This method works great for burned stainless steel pots or pans. It works especially great if there is old thick grease or grime caked on or thick black scorches in it.

Fill the pot or pan with some water, it doesn’t have to be full. The steam from the boiling water will help to get the dirt on the sides loose. Bring the water to a steady boil for about 5 to 7 minutes.

Next, you pour out the hot water and use the scrubby part of a sponge to remove the remaining grease or burn residue.

The Soaking to Degrease Method for Stainless Steel Pots and Pans

If you don’t want to complicate things or aren’t up to putting a pot or pan on the stove to boil, try this:

Fill the pot or pan to the top with hot water from your tap. You can choose to cover it or not, but let it sit upwards of 15 minutes or closer to 20 if it’s really scorched or greasy. If it’s in really bad shape, then let it soak overnight.

After you pour out the water, scrub with a sponge.

Make them New Again

A burnt stainless steel pan half cleaned and shiny, half greasy and burnt
Use the soaking or boiling method to start the cleaning process for your stainless steel pots and pans.

What You’ll Need to Clean Stainless Steel Pots and Pans

  • Good sponge or damp towel
  • Scouring pad (optional)
  • Aluminum foil (optional)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Lemon or lemon juice
  • Dishwasher tablets (optional)
  • Your favorite scouring product

How to Clean Old or Burnt Stainless Steel Pots/Pans

As a reminder, check the manufacturer’s instructions because it differs depending on the brand. What I’m suggesting is according to my experience and what has worked for my stainless sets.

Method One

This is the easiest quickest method of the two. Be sure to rinse first using hot water. Next, put on the rubber gloves and sprinkle or spray a strong, abrasive, and acidic cleaning product (preferably a powder) that can cut through the burns or grease. Dishwasher tablets may be helpful if you don’t have a strong cleaning product.

Then, rub the cleaning product with a damp towel or sponge. Scrub the sides, inside bottom, and the entire outside of the pot or pan. Wait a minute or two then rinse with hot water and use a scouring pad to scrub any remaining loosened grease or scorches. Repeat one or two more times until see you a difference.

Left or Right?

A stainless steel frying pan that is half burnt and half polished
Degreasing grimy pans just got easier

Method Two

Sprinkle 2 or 3 tablespoons of baking soda into the bottom of the pot or pan, depending on its size. Then, add a tablespoon of vinegar and some lemon juice to form a paste.

Next, crumble a piece of aluminum foil into a ball (or use steel wool) and scrub away inside and out. Let it sit a minute or two and then rinse with hot water and wash one or two times with soapy water.

Other How-To Hacks to Try:

About Lama

I'm Lama, welcome to my blog where you will find simple and diverse recipes your entire family will enjoy. I am honored to connect with you through the recipes I prepare!

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