Stainless Cookware cleaning - again... :

wazatronJune 14, 2005

Hi all,

IÂve read a lot of posts on how to clean stainless steel, however they all seem (at least the ones IÂve read) to deal with big problem stains, like leaving a burner on or something.

I recently got my first All-Clad skillet (slowly building my kitchen here), and have noticed that it seems almost any time I use it, thereÂs an oily film that I canÂt scrub off with a regular green scrubby. There also tends to be some darker discolored spots when I do things with oil at low heat, like caramelizing onions.

Granted, cookware is functional, but it seems to me that part of the beauty of stainless was that it didnÂt well stain? :) Does anyone have any general cleaning/upkeep suggestions for this?

Thanks!

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wazatron

...followup - in case anyone is wondering, yes I have tried the baking soda trick. It does work well (though there are still a couple of brown rings I can't get off) but it only works on the bottom - or as high up to the edge as you dare boil water. :) I still have some spots of a dark, stick/oily film on the inside edges (fry pan) that just don't want to budge.

Perhaps I'm using the wrong kind of scrubby? Would anyone mind posting a URL to the "right" kind of cleaning tools?

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2005 at 5:50PM
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wazatron

sorry - one more follow up from me. I tried, again, the baking soda technique, and am left with a nice clean "ring" on the inside. :)

    Bookmark   June 14, 2005 at 10:37PM
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kris_zone6

Have you tried Bar Keepers Friend and a Dobie pad? Only add oil after the pan is hot and never use PAM.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 11:47AM
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meskauskas

We use Bar Keeper's Friend - works like a charm on all of my All-Clad. It rinses very clean too. You can find it at some supermarkets, at Sur La Table, and on-line.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2005 at 12:52PM
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dnaleri2

I have found that Bar Keeper's Friend works the best. I use it with my regular cleaning cloth I use to wash the dishes with. I echo the fact that you should never use Pam on cookware! It leaves a film that is impossible to get off. Also, I have learned to heat the pan over the burner for a little bit, then add any oil you want to use (if you are using oil, THEN add the food. This helps to keep from from forming a film on stainless steel. Do not put cold meat(or any food) into the pan and then turn the heat on. And lastly you could try putting a small amount of lemon juice into the pan and let it sit for a couple of minutes. The acid in the lemon juice will get rid of lots of things.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2005 at 6:38PM
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lynndr

I was already to purchase a large set of all-clad and then my friend down the block bought an 8" skillet- the all-clad standard stainless steel. The pan is nice and shiny when you purchase it and after just making two things (a grilled cheese sandwich with butter and pancakes but a spray of Pam before), there were some brown film stains on the surface. We tried Bon Ami (we didn't have Bar Keepers friend but aren't these about the same) and there was NO way these stains would come off. We next tried a bit of vinegar and water heated up and a little bit of it came off but it didn't touch much. Finally, I did a google search and saw a rep from all-clad recommended a 20-30 min boil in water and a tablespoon of dishwasher detergent (I used trader Joe's dry dishwasher detergent which is recommended by Consumer reports). After an hour, it finally came off.

She will try to cook with a lower temperature but she said she used a medium/low setting. I can see however that staining is an issue and frankly, I don't want to get such a high maintenance piece of kitchen equipment. Boiling your pans after every use is too much for me. Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   November 5, 2005 at 4:45PM
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eandhl

Lynndr, My bet the staining came from the Pam. I will not have it my house after seeing what a mess it can make with baking and cookware. All I could think of is must be building up in our system too.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2005 at 10:42AM
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deanb

Lynn,
Bon Ami and BarKeeper's Friend are not about the same. BKF contains oxalic acid and BA doesn't. It makes a lot of difference. As already stated above, always preheat the pan, then preheat the oil before you add the food, and never, ever use Pam. I've had All-Clad for 25 years and it still looks and performs great. If you use and care for it properly it will be low maintenance.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2005 at 3:18PM
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kbuzbee

dnaleri2 wrote:

"Also, I have learned to heat the pan over the burner for a little bit, then add any oil you want to use (if you are using oil, THEN add the food. This helps to keep from from forming a film on stainless steel. Do not put cold meat(or any food) into the pan and then turn the heat on."

Thank you dnaleri2! I had never heard that before. Just the opposite actually. Never heat an empty pan. Probably meant "non-stick"!

Anyway, about a year ago my wife bought me a couple Calphalon Hard Annodized pans. Everything stuck to them. So hard I couldn't even use them. Everything was destroyed. I tried your method on some hashed browns today. Wow! They were a breeze to cook and browned up so nicely. The pan cleaned up in about a minute! Thank You!!!

Ken

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 1:17PM
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wazatron

Hello Lynndr,
When you suggest boiling your pan, are you literally meaning to place your pan into something else and then literally boil your pan? What are you able to put your pan into?? :) My problem piece is a skillet, but I donÂt know that I have anything large enough that itÂd fit into to boil it in! Thoughts?

IÂm pretty disappointed at not being able to get these stains out. I know there were not caused from Pam either. IÂve used Bar Keepers Friend, and as mentioned above IÂve tried baking soda and a number of other things. Basically IÂm able to get my skillet nice and shiny and pretty but with some dark brown stains around the inside edge, and especially where the bolts are where the handle is connected. IÂm at a loss! :( My hope is that from what I've learned from all of you (heating pan first, heating oil, etc) I can prevent stains on other pieces, but I'd really like to get these stains out - and know they CAN come out - to feel good about buying more All-Clad.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 2:02PM
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solarpowered

Arrgghhhh!--Those stupid rivets! That's why I won't buy All Clad. You'd think with their claim to all this advanced technology, they'd be able to weld on the handles, instead of an 18th-century rivet job. I've gone with Demeyere, who welds the handles on. They also have a special reverse-plating process they call "Silvinox", where they plate some of the iron out of the surface of the pan, which increases the proportion of the alloying metals, giving a harder and more durable surface. I don't have any All Clad to do an A-B comparison with, but I'm not having any problems at all cleaning up the Demeyere. Usually, I just put it in the dishwasher. (Which is something that Demeyere actually recommends, because their Silvinox surface is tougher than normal 18/10 stainless.)

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 2:41PM
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kbuzbee

Is Demeyere available anywhere "locally" or is it a mail order only kind of thing??? Which finish did you choose??

Thanks!

Ken

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 3:31PM
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wazatron

I've never heard of Dymeyere - I'll have to check them out. I was considering Viking, but I see they have rivets too. Interesting. :)

Anyone out there have Viking? How do they clean up? I imagine you'd have the same staining issues as with All-Clad, what with the surface material being the same.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 3:54PM
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eandhl

No you don't put the pan into another to boil. Put water in the stained pan, you can add DW detergent, Bring it to a boil and let it simmer a bit.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 6:58PM
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jxbrown

I find that a little DW detergent and some hot tap water and a bit of a soak will remove just about anything. I don't think you need to simmer it. DW detergent is especially good for cleaning coffee film out of Thermos bottles or carafes.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 7:53PM
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lynndr

Dear Wazatron-

The skillet was 8" so indeed I just dunked it into my stock pot and put a Tablespoon of Trader Joe's powdered dishwasher detergent and heated it up. Obviously, I couldn't do this was a larger pan. I simmered/boiled it for an hour and it was clean. I did this because some of the crud was at the top rim and just boiling the pan didn't get the top rim clean.

Since then, my friend has learned to use a lower heat and she said the pan is staying clean and working very well. I told her to stop using Pam.

Thanks for the tip on Bar Keepers friend. I will get some with my new All-clad set (that I have yet to purchse).

FYI, I saw a cleaning tip in cooks illustrated to clean up a Le Cruset pan (I'm thinking of getting a dutch oven). They used 1:3 ratio of bleach to water and let the pan sit overnight.

Lynn

    Bookmark   November 10, 2005 at 12:16PM
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sillywabbit

I agree on both the Pam and the Barkeeper's Friend. The only time I'll use Pam now is in a casserole where the food is going to cover the surface where the Pam has been sprayed. It works ok in that case. Made the mistake one time to spray a baking sheet with it. What a mess. Barkeeper's Friend also works great to clean Le Creuset stains in addition to cleaning stainless steel.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2005 at 12:53PM
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solarpowered

Some of the Sur la Table stores have Demeyere, although the selection varies. I got their Atlantis line, which the San Jose store doesn't have, but the San Francisco store does. I actually ended up buying them online, from Knife Merchant, which I've linked to, below.

Demeyere's web site is www.demeyere.be

125West, at www.125west.com, has a pretty good presentation about Demeyere products.

Here is a link that might be useful: Knife Merchant

    Bookmark   November 10, 2005 at 1:17PM
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solarpowered

Also, the Viking cookware is made by Demeyere, although, per Viking's specs, it has rivets, and doesn't have the Silvinox finish. So, for my money, you're way, way better off going straight to Demeyere.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2005 at 1:20PM
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triciae

Lynn, I'm glad to see your post about using bleach to clean LC. I was afraid to say anything fearing backlash. That's exactly what I do...and it works beautifully. Then, I run the pot through the dishwasher to make sure all of the bleach is gone. I fill my sink and let them soak for an hour or so. It cleans exterior & interior getting rid of even really tough stains. I'd sure give it a try on SS too.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2005 at 1:40PM
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lynndr

Oh...and a comment about the handles that are riveted on. I believe this is the only way to thermally isolate the handle from the pan. This way, the handle stays cool. If they are welded on, it would conduct heat much easier to the handle. I suppose this is why All-clad attaches their handles with rivets. Lynn

    Bookmark   November 10, 2005 at 11:11PM
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lizql

To clean stainless cookware...I got Copper Glo, made by Bar Keeper's Friend, OMG, does this stuff work! My stainless looks like brand new. And the copper bottom pots, unbelievable. My rag was black. They all were clean but lacked luster. I have them hanging on a pot rack for all to see. Now they gleam in the light.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2005 at 8:23PM
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blondelle

Be aware that over time bleach will cause the enamel to etch and lose it's shine. The new Mario Batali enamelled cast iron cookware tells you NOT to use bleach in their care directions.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2005 at 6:32PM
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mrsmarv

For cleaning around the rivets...use an old toothbrush with BKF speinkled on it (or squirted on it of using the liquid) around the rivets to dislodge food when you clean the pan. Works every time.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2005 at 12:54PM
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brucedelta

The lack of rivets was a big reason for my selecting Demeyer over All Clad. We recently put in an induction cooktop and needed to replace cookware as part of the switch. Ended up deciding on a mix of Demeyer and Le Cruset, both of which have proved very nice.
I loved the modern look of the Demeyer Sirocco line and the fact that it did not have rivets sealed the deal because I always hated the rivets on our old circulon.
I do not believe rivets have anything to do with thermal isolaton. As stated above I have found the Demeyer to be easy to clean so far.
Day after thanksgiving I made scrambled cheesey eggs with onion in the 11" frypan because I did not have a nonstick big enough for the 15 eggs to feed all the guests. This was my first time ever cooking eggs without nonstick, and as the bottom got covered I thought I was going to have a disaster, but it came clean easily with just a short soak.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2005 at 10:21PM
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pratzert

I've thrown my PAM spary into the trash. It destroyed my Calphalon Non-stick pan. Plus, anything else I've used it on, it seems to build up a film coating of it's own which I cannot remove. As time goes by, it gets kind of sticky/gooey feeling and is anything BUT slick.

I now use Olive oil mist, OR a paper towel with a little corn oil on it to coat the pan.

I've always had good luck removing anything stuck in a SS pan with a little Auto Dish Detergent and water too like many others have posted. Bring it to a boil and let it soak. Everything comes off with no problem.
Tim

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 9:08AM
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glassquilt

I use old baking soda to clean Pam. I wet my finger, dip it in the soda and rub. I have used it to get old baked on brown crud off glassware. That takes more elbow grease.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 10:14AM
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lizql

The last Calphalon I bought had an extra label on it that stated not to use any type of cooking spray.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 2:10PM
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StanleyRoper

I recently bought a shiny new 18/10 stainless steel skillet and my first time out, frying a burger, was left with a brown film that I could not scrub or boil off. Needless to say I was ticked off. The next day I filled the pan with about 3/8 inch of white vinegar and scrubbed vigorously with a nylon scrubby and slowly but surely the pan became shiny again!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 2:39AM
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triciae

StanleyRoper, did you preheat the skillet before adding anything or spray the pan with Pam?

    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 10:08AM
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solarpowered

I suspect that Bar Keeper's Friend would have had the same effect, with less effort. It works really well on my SS.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 6:25PM
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pratzert

Calphalon puts a warning on their Non-stick cookware "now", but when I bought mine, it was not part of the warnings/instructions.

I wish it had been.... would have saved me a lot of trouble.

I have experienced the same brown film on baking pans etc, that I have used PAM on. So, like I said, I tossed the Pam in the can.

Tim

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 9:16AM
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bonbons

Can anyone tell me how to clean s.s.pot HANDLES? I can get everything else clean except the handles. I tried using " Kleen King " stainless steel & copper cleaner. Even with alot of elbow grease, the handles were only marginally cleaner. However, after being used 2 or 3 times, the handles were back to their original states. Someone, PLEASE help!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 11:38PM
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marys1000

Demeyer fans - do you handles get hot?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 10:56AM
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antiquesilver

My Demeyere Atlantis handles stay cool.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 1:53AM
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