How To Clean Stainless Steel Pan

Stainless steel pans are prized for their durability, versatility, and sleek appearance in kitchens around the world. To maintain their pristine condition and ensure optimal performance, regular cleaning is essential. 

Whether you're a seasoned chef or a novice cook, mastering the art of cleaning stainless steel pans is a valuable skill that will prolong their lifespan and keep them looking as good as new.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the best practices for cleaning stainless steel pans, from everyday maintenance to tackling stubborn stains and burnt-on residue. 

We'll explore various methods, tips, and tricks to effectively remove grease, food particles, and discoloration without damaging the surface of your pans. With the right techniques and a little bit of elbow grease, you can restore your stainless steel pans to their former glory and ensure they remain a staple in your kitchen for years to come. 

So, roll up your sleeves and let's get started on the journey to sparkling clean stainless steel pans!

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How do you clean a badly burnt stainless steel pan?

Cleaning a badly burnt stainless steel pan is fairly simple. Here's how to restore it:

  • Soak in hot water
  • Scrub with dish soap
  • Try baking soda, or vinegar
  • Soak again if necessary!
  • Use a hard, blunt scraper (wooden spoon) to remove tough burnt residue.

Soak in Hot Water: Fill the pan with hot water and a squirt of dish soap. Let it soak for an hour to loosen the burnt residue.

Scrub: Use a non-abrasive sponge to scrub the pan. For stubborn spots, add more dish soap directly to the sponge. You can scrub stainless pretty hard without damaging it!

Use Baking Soda. If stains persist, sprinkle baking soda over the burnt areas and scrub again. Baking soda acts as a mild abrasive that helps lift burnt food without scratching the surface.

Boil with Vinegar. For extremely tough burns, add a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar to the pan. Bring it to a boil, then let it simmer for a few minutes. This should loosen the remaining residue.

Rinse and Dry. Rinse the pan thoroughly with water and dry it immediately with a soft towel to prevent water spots.

These steps will help you get your stainless steel pan looking as good as new, ready for your next cooking adventure.

What is the best thing to clean stainless steel with?

The best way to clean stainless steel is using simple, non-abrasive materials that won't damage the surface.

Warm water and dish soap are effective for daily cleaning. For routine maintenance and to restore shine, use a microfiber cloth with a few drops of dish soap to wipe down the surface gently.

For tougher stains, white vinegar proves highly effective. 

For water spots or mineral deposits, rubbing with a baking soda paste (made of baking soda and water) can be very effective.

Rinse thoroughly afterward to prevent any residue.

Finally, for a polished finish, a small amount of olive oil or mineral oil can be applied to the surface with a soft cloth, which helps to prevent streaks and adds a subtle sheen. 

How to clean stainless steel pans with vinegar and baking soda

Cleaning stainless steel pans with vinegar and baking soda is an effective, natural method. Here's a straightforward way to do it:

  1. Sprinkle Baking Soda: Start by sprinkling a generous amount of baking soda over the surface of the pan.
  2. Add Vinegar: Pour white vinegar over the baking soda. The mixture will fizz and bubble, helping to lift stubborn stains and residue.
  3. Scrub: Use a soft sponge or brush to gently scrub the pan. Focus on areas with tough stains or burnt-on food.
  4. Let It Sit: Allow the mixture to sit on the pan for about 5 to 10 minutes, especially if the stains are severe.
  5. Rinse and Dry: Rinse the pan thoroughly with warm water to remove any residue. Dry immediately with a soft cloth to prevent water spots.

This simple method helps maintain the pan’s shine and cleanliness without harsh chemicals.

How to clean stainless steel pan bottoms

Cleaning the bottoms of stainless steel pans is no different to cleaning the rest of the pan. Start by washing the pan bottom with warm soapy water and a non-abrasive sponge to remove initial grime. 

Use your preferred method of soap or baking soda, then gently scrub. After scrubbing, rinse the pan bottom under warm water to wash away residue. Wipe the pan dry with a soft towel to prevent water spots.

Why did my stainless steel pan turn brown?

Stainless steel pans can turn brown due to several reasons. One cause is overheating the pan, which can cause any thin layers of oil to burn onto the surface, creating brown stains. 

Burning more delicate ingredients such as fish, paneer cheese, or diced vegetables will also cause a layer of thick brown residue, which will need to be scrubbed off.

Additionally, minerals in water or cooking ingredients can react with the metal, resulting in little spots. Most marks or changes in colour are easily reversible, with a good and thorough clean.

How do you make stainless steel look new again?

  • Consider polishing your pans
  • Make sure they dry perfectly, without water spots
  • Pay attention to small cracks around handles, and keep those clean too

Once you’ve cleaned your stainless steel pan, following the steps above, you may want to go an extra step to make your pans really gleam:

Start by wiping the surface with a very soft cloth. This removes any fingerprints or watermarks where the pan has dried after cleaning.

Finally, polish with a microfiber cloth and a few drops of olive oil. This step enhances the steel’s natural gleam without harsh chemicals. Use a very, very tiny amount - not enough to leave any smears on your pan. But just enough to make it really shine.

What is not recommended to clean stainless steel?

Certain cleaners and tools can damage stainless steel. Never use bleach or products containing chlorine. These chemicals can tarnish the surface - and are also not food-safe to use on cooking equipment.

Steel wool and brushes with hard bristles can be too abrasive. They might leave scratches and affect the finish.

Also, steer clear of super-harsh cleaning powders. These can scratch and dull the steel’s appearance. And you don’t want any acrid cleaning smells near your cooking pans.

Will Brillo pads scratch stainless steel?

Never use brillo pads to clean stainless steel pans. They can permanently damage the finish.

Does tomato sauce clean stainless steel?

No, not really. Tomato sauce is not recommended for cleaning stainless steel. The acidity in tomatoes can actually harm the surface. It might leave stains or degrade the metal’s finish.

For effective cleaning, use products designed for stainless steel. Options like mild soap and water are safer. They clean without damaging your items.

Stick to proven methods to keep your stainless steel in top condition.

Browse our Stainless Steel Pots & Pans collection here 


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