First of all, it’s important to regularly clean your cookware. The best way to take care of your pots and pans is by cleaning them after each cooking session. The longer you leave your equipment stained the harder it will be to clean it perfectly.
How to clean stainless steel cookware
Stainless steel is one of the most durable cookware materials. It can withstand tougher cleaning methods but it doesn’t mean that you can’t damage it.
The easiest way to clean stainless steel is to put it into a dishwasher. Simple as that! High-quality stainless steel pots and pans are usually dishwasher safe. Make sure you select the most intensive program for the best results.
If you don’t have a dishwasher then multiple other methods will require more effort:
- Soak a pan or pot in soapy warm water. Leave it for at least a couple hours but we would recommend keeping it overnight.
- Scrub while soaked and then drain the water. This should help to remove the majority of food build-up.
It is very important to use a soft sponge or brush made from nylon or plastic. Avoid metal scouring pads or abrasive cleaners as they could damage the surface of your cookware.
- If this method doesn’t help then move to another one
Vinegar and baking soda method
- Cover the bottom of a pan or pot with vinegar.
- Add couple tablespoons of soda and let it sit for 2-3 minutes.
- Scrub the surface and then rinse it.
Boiling and salting stains
- Fill cookware with enough water to cover the stains.
- Bring it to a boil
- Add couple tablespoons of salt and turn off the heat.
It’s very important to add salt only when the water is boiling. Otherwise, it might pit the metal. This rule should be used no only when cleaning but while cooking also.
- Leave it for a couple of hours
- Dump the water out and try to scrub leftover stains
- Rinse it
If none of the above methods work then you can try cleaners like Bar Keepers Friend or Bon Ami Powder Cleanser. They are not guaranteed to work but some people have a great success rate.
How to clean enamel cookware
Enamel cookware is durable and can handle heavy scrubbing even with metal utensils. The following methods should help with the discolored and stained enamel surface:
Not all enamel cookware can be washed in a dishwasher. Make sure you check manfacturers instructions first.
Enamel itself is dishwasher safe but cast iron that it surrounds isn’t. If there are no exposed cast iron or cracks in the enamel surface then it is safe to put your cookware to a dishwasher. One of the most popular enamel cookware brands Le Creuset is dishwasher safe but over time the enamel surface will become dull. This will impact the looks of your Dutch oven but performance will still be the same.
- Fill enamel pot, pan or most likely Dutch oven with water and boil it for 2-3 minutes.
- Turn off gas and scrub the stains.
- Wash it with dishwashing liquid and hot water.
- Let it dry.
- If it doesn’t help try the next method.
Baking soda method
- Once again half fill the cookware with water and bring it to a boil
- Add two tablespoons of baking soda
- Lower the heat and let it simmer for few minutes
- Turn off the heat and use a wooden spoon to scrape off the residue.
- Rinse and dry with a soft cloth
Salt and lemon juice method
- Cover the stained surface with salt.
- Cut the lemon in half and squeeze lemon juice over the salt to soak it in. You can also use bottled lemon juice.
- Scrub the stain. You can use sponge or cloth to scrub it in
- If the stain persists leave the created paste for a couple of hours.
- After cleaned rinse the cookware and dry.
If none of the natural methods work you can try using enamel cleaners. Make sure to check your cookware manual what kind of cleaners manufacturer recommends.