How to Clean Stainless Steel Pans

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How to Clean Stainless Steel Pans

How to Clean Stainless Steel Pans with the Best Hacks Tidyhere Infographic

Stainless steel is an excellent heat conductor, so stainless steel pans are often preferred for cooking. While the cookware is durable and versatile, it is difficult to keep clean. The heat often discolors stainless steel.

In addition, because the metal is such a good heat conductor, burnt-on food and food residue are problematic. When you know how to clean stainless steel pans the right way, you can optimize your pan’s cooking performance and longevity.

What Is the Best Way to Clean a Stainless Steel Pan?

Before you start cleaning a stainless steel pan, read the manufacturer’s care instructions, as variations in manufacturing processes and materials can affect the best cleaning methods. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions if they differ from these steps.

While it may be tempting to soak a dirty stainless steel pan immediately after cooking, avoid putting a hot pan in cold water. Allow the pan to cool before cleaning it. Once cooled, rinse off any loose food with warm water, then let the pan sit in warm, soapy water for several minutes to loosen any baked-on food. Often, this step is sufficient to remove food debris.

If you need extra cleaning power, sprinkle a small amount of Bar Keepers Friend powder (or apply the liquid version) onto the pan. Use a soft sponge or cloth to gently scrub the pan in a circular motion, applying light pressure to avoid scratching. After removing all the food, rinse the pan thoroughly with clean water. Finally, use a microfiber cloth to dry the pan immediately to prevent water spots from developing.

Watch this video to learn three simple methods for cleaning your stainless steel cookware.

How to Prevent Discoloration on Stainless Steel Pans

Stainless steel pans typically become discolored when they are overheated. Water stains can also make them look discolored. To prevent overheating, cook with the lowest heat level that suits your needs. To prevent water spots, thoroughly dry the pan immediately after cleaning it.

How Do I Clean the Bottom of Stainless Steel Cookware?

While the interior of your stainless steel pans will become dirty with food, the bottom may be discolored from excessive heat. If your pans are discolored, wipe the pan with distilled white vinegar and a non-abrasive scrubber. When the discoloration is gone, rinse and dry the pan.

How Do You Remove Burnt Residue From a Stainless Steel Pan?

It only takes a minute or two for food to burn onto a stainless steel pan. Removing burnt residue could be a tough job, but you can simplify the process with the right steps.Let the pan cool down. After the pan is cool, sprinkle baking soda in it, and cover the burnt-on food with water. Boil the water and baking soda. After it reaches a boil, turn the heat off and allow the soapy water to cool down in the pan.

Then, use a non-abrasive scrubber to remove any lingering residue. When the pan is clean, rinse it off, and dry it with a microfiber cloth. Keep in mind that this cleaning process is useful on an as-needed basis. Generally, you should use only soap and water unless you are dealing with a tough mess.


Tips to Keep Stainless Steel Pans Looking Like New

  • Cook with the lowest heat setting for your needs.
  • When cooking with gas, choose a burner that is equivalent to or smaller than the diameter of your stainless steel pan.
  • Stay on top of stain-removing and cleaning efforts. Do not allow layers of burnt-on grease to develop.
  • Do not run stainless steel pans under cool water when they are hot. Allow them to cool to room temperature before cleaning them.
  • Use cookware protectors to prevent scratches when storing your stainless steel pans.
  • Avoid using abrasive scrubbers and cleaning products on stainless steel pans.
  • Thoroughly dry your pans after washing them to prevent water spots.
  • Do not clean stainless steel pans with vinegar.

How Do You Make Stainless Steel Pans Shiny Again?

Stainless steel pans are prone to stains and discoloration. You can prevent stains by drying your pans thoroughly after washing them. Scorch marks and burnt-on food can be removed by boiling water and baking soda. After boiling the water and allowing it to cool off, you can then scrub away the filth.

How to Clean Stainless Steel Pans with the Best Hacks Tidyhere Image of a Hand Washing Stainless Cookware

If you aren’t dealing with stubborn areas, dish soap, water and a soft sponge work well. Dry your pans with a microfiber cloth to make them shine. If your stainless steel pans look dull, buff them with a microfiber cloth and either mineral oil or olive oil.

How to Prevent Scorch Marks

The bottom of stainless steel cookware is prone to scorch marks. Scorching stems from food remaining still in the pan for too long and from water, grease or other liquid burning up or evaporating.

To prevent scorching, ensure that the pan always has an adequate supply of fat or liquid to cook with. Heat the pan for a few minutes before adding the fat or liquid to it. In addition, use a spoon or other utensils to stir or move the food in the pan frequently.

How to Store Stainless Steel Cookware

Storing stainless steel cookware improperly can result in scratching and other damage. For example, if stainless steel pans are stacked on top of each other, scratches are likely to occur. Special cookware protectors are available to prevent scratching and safeguard your cookware.

Keeping your stainless steel pans shiny and in great condition requires frequent effort. However, this is only one of many cleaning chores in the kitchen that need your attention, and it can easily feel like you spend every free minute cleaning various items and rooms throughout your home.

At TidyHere Boston, our housekeepers know how to tackle your toughest messes and keep your home in pristine condition. Schedule your first TidyHere service today.