The Best Way To Clean Stainless Steel Cookware

Stainless steel cookware is a true thing of beauty. You can practically see yourself in that shiny new surface, and they match those stainless steel appliances you've always dreamt about too. It's the kind of cookware that you just want to leave sitting out even when it's not in use. Oh yeah, also they're great for sauteing, broiling, boiling, and baking which is nice too. Even in the maintenance department stainless steel has other pans beat. For example, they don't require all of the maintenance of a cast-iron pan. There's no need to season stainless steel, and they're perfectly safe to clean with soap too.

You would think with a name like "stainless" that cleaning wouldn't be an issue, but even the finest stainless steel cookware is going to meet its match someday. Even if you're a master chef, certain clingy foods will make a mess of your gorgeous new cookware. That's why it's important to know how to safely clean off those beautiful pots and pans, and bring them back to near new condition. For stainless steel, it just takes a little bit of time, effort, and care to bring them back to cooking shape.

Stainless steel cookware cleans easily with simple tools

Most cooking stains on a stainless steel surface are going to be handled easily by wiping out excess oil with a spatula or paper towel before deglazing the pan with some hot water while it's cooling down, according to Wirecutter. Using hot water also keeps your pan from experiencing thermal shock and warping as well. Any pieces that are still stuck on can also be scrubbed or wiped away afterwards, though it's best to avoid steel wool which might leave scratches.

Ur Design notes that stainless steel cookware should not be placed in the dishwasher — even for trickier stains. Instead, they recommend submerging the pot or pan into boiling water with soap to help loosen the grime before giving it a gentle scrub. Wirecutter recommends a similar method, though they prefer the cleaning power of simple baking soda to soap. According to Better Homes & Gardens, even a clean pan might still show some discoloration as well due to overheating. They say discoloration can usually be solved by a splash of distilled white vinegar, and a quick scrub with a soft sponge. They also recommend boiling a water and vinegar mix to get rid of any white chalky residue left behind by hard water.

The key with stainless steel is to treat it gently. Avoid rough scrubbing surfaces, and use heat, mild detergents, baking soda, or vinegar to get out even the toughest stains, and burnt-on foods.