Home Remedies for Stainless Steel Cookware

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People often choose stainless steel pots and pans because they are durable, lightweight, easier to care for, and more resistant to wear. However, you have to follow proper maintenance and care to make sure the material lasts a long time. Home remedies for stainless steel cookware can help clean stains and maintain the overall appearance of your pots and pans.

Benefits of Stainless Steel Cookware

Stainless steel cookware is a combination of more than 10% chromium and other metals, such as iron. The highly stain resistant material is somewhat dark in color, but has a bright appearance because it reflects light. When preparing food, the pots and pans offer a rather hygienic surface that is easy to clean. It does not contain any pore or cracks that often attract grime, dirt and bacteria. This type of cookware won’t chip, easily rust or affect flavor.

Common Stainless Steel Cookware

When buying stainless steel pots and pans, there are a few things you can do to cut down on future problems. You have to remember that this type of steel is a poor conductor of heat that does not evenly distribute the temperature to the things you cook [1]. This will affect the overall choices you make when cleaning and maintaining your cookware. To compensate, some manufacturers may add layers of other materials, such as aluminum and copper. The number of layers are expressed as “-ply”. For example, a tri-ply pan has three layers. The more layers a pan has – the more evenly it will heat [2].

Stainless steel skillets should be easy to lift with one hand yet still feel slightly heavy. If you buy a lighter skillet, the thinness could create hot spots that tend to burn food. The sides of a stainless steel skillet should be as thick as the bottom because if not, food that touches the edge is likely to scorch. Although they cost a bit more, stainless steel cookware with copper cores or copper bottoms enhances the way your food is cooked – more evenly.

Stainless Steel Cookware Home Remedies

Keeping stainless steel cookware is not a hard task to achieve. However, there are some circumstances that require a bit of extra attention. To treat your pots and pans so they last a long time, consider the following home remedies for stainless steel cookware:

a) Soap and Water:

Under normal conditions, it will only take soapy water to clean your stainless steel cookware. For stubborn stains, you may need to mildly scrub with a scouring pad.

b) Avoid Coarse Scrubbers:

Do not use coarse steel wool or copper-based scrubbers (such as the Chore Boy brand), which will ruin the finish of copper stainless steel pans and scratch off the steel.

c) Baking Soda:

Baking soda offers a light abrasive cleaning solution for stainless steel cookware. Add baking soda to liquid dish soap until it creates the same consistency as icing. Apply the paste to pans using a soft rag. Buff with a soft clean cloth to produce a high shine.

d) Lemon:

You can treat the buildup of grease on your stainless steel pots and pans by cutting a lemon in half and rubbing the inside part on the pan. The fruit acids will also create a high shine. Use a soft cloth to buff the steel.

e) Lemon Juice:

When cooking starchy foods (like pasta or potatoes), you may develop a cloudy residue that builds up on your pans. You can remove with a small amount of lemon juice.

f) No Dishwater:

Do not place your stainless steel pots and pans in the dishwater to clean or you run the risk of water spots – the residue of chemicals found in our water.

g) Club Soda:

Try rinsing your stainless steel cookware in club soda to avoid water spots. You can reuse this method from pan to pan. Use a soft cotton cloth to dry.

h) Heat:

Some people have successfully removed a bad burn from a stainless steel pan with the help of their stove. Add just enough water to cover the damage, and turn on the heat. Allow the water to boil, and then add two to four tablespoon of salt. Remove the pan from the heat, and leave it to set for four hours. Try scrubbing the residue. You may have to repeat the process to see even better results. You can also use lemon juice or white vinegar as substitutes for the salt.

i) Propane Torch:

If (and only if) you are handy with a propane torch, there has been word of people heating their propane torches and from a distance – burning the residue off of a stainless steel pan at the highest setting of heat. If you don’t know how to use the torch, do not attempt this suggestion.

j) No Ammonia:

Using ammonia on stainless steel or copper clad pans will damage the material. The chlorine creates a negative reaction with the stainless steel that causes corrosion at the molecular level.

k) Olive Oil:

To add shine to a stainless stain pan, use a small amount of olive oil on a soft cloth. Gently rub the surface of the pan, and use a second dry cloth to buff.

Resources

[1]
[2]
http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/stainless-steel-pans

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