How To Polish Stainless Steel Cookware

Cookware made from stainless steel is very durable. You can clean it in a dishwasher without worrying if it’s going to rust, chip, or tarnish. Even if you burn the food that you are cooking, it’s safe for you to give your cookware a good scrub because the metal is so sturdy; it won’t get scratched or dented. It is designed to retain its shine for a long time. However, due to misuse and occasional neglect, stainless steel cookware can turn dull and dirty. To get back its original shine, here are some tips that you can follow to polish your stainless steel cookware.

  • Remove leftover food. After cooking, let the cookware cool for a few minutes then wash it in lukewarm water. Scrub the interior with a plastic scrubber and some dishwashing detergent. Use the same scrubber to clean the exterior of your pots or pans. Rinse with lukewarm water.
  • Sprinkle powdered cleanser on the stainless steel cookware to get rid of burned-on or dried food remnants. Pour water into the cookware until it is almost filled. Add a few drops of dishwashing detergent then leave it to soak for one hour. Place the cookware on the stove and let the water boil for fifteen minutes. Allow the water to cool for half an hour before draining. While the stainless steel cookware is still damp, sprinkle on some powdered cleanser or baking soda. Use a synthetic, non-abrasive scrubber to work the powder on the dried remnants. Avoid scrubbing in a single direction to prevent creating streaks on the surface of the cookware.
  • Remove fingerprints with a small amount of glass cleaner. The shiny surface of stainless steel cookware shows every greasy fingerprint left by anyone who handles it. To remove unsightly marks, pour a small amount of glass cleaner on a soft rag and rub it on the fingerprints. The glass cleaner is strong enough to dissolve the grease so before using any chemicals, make sure that you protect your hands by wearing rubber gloves. You can also use household ammonia as a substitute for the cleaner. Rinse the entire cookware with lukewarm water then dry it completely using a clean towel.
  • Remove calcium residue with white vinegar. If the water from your faucet contains a lot of calcium, you might encounter problems with chalky buildup on the stainless steel cookware. You can easily remove this by rubbing vinegar and baking soda paste on the stained area. For stubborn white residue, fill the cookware with water and add a few cups of white vinegar. Bring the solution to a boil then allow it to cool. Remove the vinegar smell by washing the pot or pan with dishwashing detergent. Rinse the cookware thoroughly before towel-drying.

For a shine that makes the cookware look like it is still brand new, apply a thin coat of commercial stainless steel cleaner. Polishes and cleaners specifically made for this metal can be bought from any hardware store. Check the bottle or packaging for directions on how to use the product. Make sure to test the product on an inconspicuous section of the cookware first before applying it on the entire item to see if it will react adversely. Wash the cookware after polishing and dry completely with a soft towel or rag.


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