These Pantry Staples Will Melt Ugly Cookware Stains in Minutes
If your best cookware is losing its shine, break out these pantry staples and watch those baked-in stains disappear.
David WatskySenior Editor / Home and Kitchen
David lives in Brooklyn where he's spent more than a decade covering all things edible, including meal kit services, food subscriptions, kitchen tools and cooking tips. Since earning a BA in English from Northeastern in Boston, he's toiled in nearly every aspect of the food business, including as a line cook in Rhode Island where he once made a steak sandwich for Lamar Odom. Right now, he's likely somewhere stress-testing a blender or researching the best way to make bacon. Anything with sesame is his all-time favorite food this week.
ExpertiseKitchen tools, appliances, food science, subscriptions and meal kits.
The internet is full of hot takes on the best way to clean cookware and there are hundreds of products that make the same promise. Bar Keeper's Friend is one and it works well, but you don't even need to spend the $8 on that. A mixture of white vinegar and baking powder is the best way to clean cookware. It only takes a few minutes to do and will have your best pots and pans looking shiny and new.
How to get stubborn stains out of stainless-steel cookware
Step 1: Sprinkle the stained pot or pan with one tablespoon of baking soda.
Step 2: Fill the pot or pan with one part vinegar and two parts tap water. It will cause a little temporary fizzing and foaming, so be sure to add the liquid carefully.
Step 3: Boil the pan or pot on high heat for about five minutes -- or longer, if the stains are particularly heavy. Cover the pan so the boiling solution can reach up the sides without spilling over onto the stovetop.
Step 4: Remove the pot or pan from the heat and drain most of the hot liquid carefully leaving only a few ounces. Let it cool enough so it won't burn your hands but is still warm.
Step 5: Scrub any visible stains vigorously using the special nonmetal scrubber and remaining liquid until they lift.
Step 6: Dry the cookware thoroughly before putting it away.