Black residue on new stainless steel cookware

polecrabJune 22, 2011

I just bought a Kirkland Signature 13-piece stainless steel cookware set. I thoroughly cleaned the pieces twice with lots of Dawn dishwashing liquid and dried them. However, afterwards I wiped one of the inside surfaces with a clean paper towel and the paper was stained black with some kind of residue. Does anyone know if this is a defect and I should return the set or if this normal for brand new SS cookware and I just need to clean it with stronger stuff?

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That residue likely came from the "polishing" procedure used to manufacture your cookware. Give it a cleaning with Bar Keeper's Friend to remove it.

Semper Fi-cus

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 8:15AM
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The black residue is a very small amount of chromium rust which when it forms a thin coating on stainless steel gives it the brilliant shine. The same effect can be seen much more clearly when cleaning a stainless steel sink using the various cleaners made for the purpose. It can be minimized in cookware by using a suitable cleaner to shine things up once in a while but it has no real concerns otherwise.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 11:01PM
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IMO that residue IS NOT chromium oxide....and what you call "chromium rust". The protective chromium oxide layer on stainless steel is PASSIVE (not active) and does not come off readily with just a paper towel wipe. What does come off readily it that "other stuff" which clings to the stainless. Bar Keeper's Friend will clean that black residue right up........even if it were active chromium oxide....which it is not. BKF is nothing more than oxalic acid which is a very good chelating agent. In layman's terms....that means it cleans the HECK out of metal cookware. It is especially good at chelating active iron rust. It is very good for cleaning stains (often iron rust) and hardness residue (calcium and magnesium carbonates) off porcelain. For cleaning soapy scums and hard water films in tubs, showers, and sinks in the is hard to beat Comet Bathroom Cleaner. Citric acid is the chemical in this product that does the cleaning.

Every kitchen should have a can of BKF because it chemically cleans so well. It does an excellent job of SAFELY cleaning cast aluminum pot/pans where that residue/discoloration often is active aluminum oxide. Same goes for Dawn Power Dissolver.....great for cleaning baked on grease. All three are wonderful time saving cleaning agents......that actually work!!

Semper Fi-cus

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 11:47AM
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If you have granite, marble, or any natural stone countertop, be careful and avoid getting Bar Keeper's Friend on the natural stone. If it does, wipe it off asap. The acid from BKF can damage the natural stone.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 1:30AM
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Here's an update. Even Bar Keeper's Friend didn't get all of the black residue off, so I returned the set and bought a Tramontina Triply set instead. What do you know, the Tramontina has the black residue also, although not quite as much as the Kirkland. Bar Keeper's Friend got like 95% of the residue off the Tramontina, but if you rub a wet rubber glove across the inside brushed surface, you can still see a little bit of residue coming off. So that makes me wonder if this stuff is on every new stainless steel cookware and I'm just being overly picky and clean freaky about this. If there's anyone out there who just bought a brand new piece of stainless steel cookware, can you test this out by wiping the inside brushed surface (going with the grain and pressing hard) with a paper towel or wet rubber glove and checking to see if any black or residue comes off?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 8:50PM
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Quality stainless steel cookware is 18/8 or 18/10, silicon/nickel ratios. Some knock-offs from other countries is labeled as 18/0.. Do not know what the /0 nickel?? could be a bunch of metals thrown in to reduce the cost of the product and use up scrap..... Anyway...18/8 or 10 should not have any oxide on the surface.... Check the utensil to see if the nickel content is stamped on it...

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 10:56AM
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I am having a similar problem with my new stainless steel sink. After washing it several times with dishwashing liquid I still get a black residue when I rub it with a soft cloth. I haven't tried BKF but will get some tomorrow. I am concerned about contaminating any food I put in the sink.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 10:40AM
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Better off buying carbon steel or cast iron and enameled cast iron anyway.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 12:49PM
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I bought two stainless steel pots and same issue. I'm kind of nervous about the residue. I had bought a stainless steal food container from Walmart and it had the same issue too. The bottom of my pots are stamped with 18/10 and I did pay more for my pots, so I'm hoping the quality is okay.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2014 at 2:05AM
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This is very common with new stainless steel cookware. Just give the inside a good scrub with Bar Keeper's friend and you should be fine. Also note when you scrub it with Bar Keeper's Friend in the future there will be a black residue on the sponge. This is just a small amount of the stainless coming off due to the abrasiveness of the cleaner.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2014 at 2:14PM
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