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Cleaning brown spots from stainless pan

Posted by dmlove (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 24, 06 at 22:06

I followed the pesto recipe in Cooks Illustrated, which called for "toasting" pine nuts and then garlic in a dry pan on medium heat. The pesto came out great, but the pan (Calphalon stainless) is much worse for the wear! It's all brown-stained and I can't get it off, even with SOS. Any ideas for me? Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Cleaning brown spots from stainless pan

I just did pesto tonight.....put the pine nits on foil to roast.
I suggest you do what I do....and that is to say..." these are tools and tools often show the marks of use....and so be it."
Rather like worrying because your hammer shows marks of where you struck the nail.
That's what it's for....cooking. A few marks are OK.
Linda C


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RE: Cleaning brown spots from stainless pan

Try Barkeepers friend.


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RE: Cleaning brown spots from stainless pan

whatever you do, don't use chlorine bleach; it'll make little pits in stainless.

Barkeeper's friend is pretty good, that and some elbow grease.

Also try a whitening toothpaste if it's just a localized area.

But I've also found that people who make a fetish out of sparkly clean cookware tend to be less than wonderful cooks. Let the spots show and don't worry about them.


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RE: Cleaning brown spots from stainless pan

Before using anything else--give baking soda a try. It's an amazing cleaner and the first thing I always reach for. Very effective (even gets koolaid and grape juice stains out of formica).

Besides being a great cleaner--baking soda is non-toxic to family and pets, doesn't scratch, is cheap, kills germs, safe for the environment. Hard to find anything else with as many advantages.


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RE: Cleaning brown spots from stainless pan

I'll try baking soda, and I'll try Barkeepers Friend, I definitely won't try chlorine bleach (LOL), and if none of them work, I'll just live with it. Thanks everyone.


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RE: Cleaning brown spots from stainless pan

I think the Barkeepers Friend will work.

Brown (and blue) stains usually are the result of too high a temperature, especially when you have little volume of food in the skillet. You might try working over lower heat next time.


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RE: Cleaning brown spots from stainless pan

Thanks gardenlad, I wondered about that.


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RE: Cleaning brown spots from stainless pan

BTW, Barkeepers Friend comes in both liquid and powder forms.

While I'm sure others will disagree, in my experience the powder works better. Just be sure and follow the instructions, and never pour it directly into a dry pan.


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RE: Cleaning brown spots from stainless pan

Thanks. I already have the powdered form, but I haven't tried scouring the pan yet. I'll read the directions first!


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RE: Cleaning brown spots from stainless pan

dmlove, I have been using powder BKF on my SS pans for a few years. It does not scratch the pan. Picked up the tip here. Also, my All Clad SS pans came with the directions to use BKF.


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RE: Cleaning brown spots from stainless pan

eandhl, what kind of "scrubber" you use with the BKF - green or blue scrubby? Dobie? Regular sponge? Steel wool?


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RE: Cleaning brown spots from stainless pan

I don't use any kind of scrubber on my stainless cookware. What I do is pour some BKF onto a soft, wet cloth, and pat it into a paste. Then I use that to rub the pot. Works like a charm.

You especially don't want to use steel wool; it will scratch the cookware. I don't guess a Scotchpad or Dobie would do any harm.


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RE: Cleaning brown spots from stainless pan

gardenlad, forgive me if I'm being a butthead but why does it matter if you pour it directly into the pan? It's not likes it's acid. I pour it directly in the pan, then pour in some water then use a cloth towel to polish the pan and have had no problems :)


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RE: Cleaning brown spots from stainless pan

According to the directions: "If applying BKF directly to metal, porcelain or plastic, make certain surface is wet---then rub gently until rust or discoloration disappears. Rinse."

My understanding is that although BKF is a very mild abrasive, applying it dry can cause scratching.


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RE: Cleaning brown spots from stainless pan

you are correct sir, I will conform and wet the pan from now on even though it probably doesn't matter :)


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RE: Cleaning brown spots from stainless pan

It says on the label that BKF contains oxalic acid. Here's a link that talks about oxalic acid,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxalic_acid

I've been using BKF for years and it's great stuff.


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RE: Cleaning brown spots from stainless pan

dmlove, I have my pan wet and moist paper towel with BKF on it. I have never needed any sort of scrubbie.


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RE: Cleaning brown spots from stainless pan

Go with BKF. I tried the baking soda and the dishwasher detergent regimen(which do work to a certain extent), but to get high-heat, "burned-in" brown spots, use BKF. I decided to sear a steak with my KA Distinctions SS pan/De Dietrich 309x on high and thought I ruined the pan. Tried the baking soda and DD route, but neither got the pan back to its original state. Picked up BKF at BBB, put it on a damp dish towel,worked into a paste and without any pressure the brown spots disappeared!


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RE: Cleaning brown spots from stainless pan

A friend of mine fills her SS pans with water, puts in a fabric softener sheet, and lets it sit overnight. She says it works well.

Personally, I don't even like the idea of fabric softener on clothes (what's in that stuff anyway?), so I wouldn't try it, but I thought I'd share it anyway.


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RE: Cleaning brown spots from stainless pan

Wow. I use my pans until they are either, warped, or too gross to use any more. Then I throw them out. A few spots don't bother me. However, I could never have a hanging potrack because the pans ain't pretty.

But, my very best cookie sheet is dark brown. I love it! Oven fried foods crisp up beautifully on it in a very short period of time. The pan was fairly dark when I bought it though.


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RE: Cleaning brown spots from stainless pan

I cannot get the brown spots off of the bottom of my All-Clad ss roasting pan status post huge goose last night. Used BKF and Dawn Power Dissolver. The varnish-y stuff came off, but not the brown. I roasted, per recipe, at 375 degrees. Goose was great, pan looks terrible. Since roasting uses high heat, and the AC roasters are solid stainless, should it be so difficult to clean them after roasting? I'll continue to try to clean the pan tomorrow, but I believe it should not be so time-consuming. OTOH, I do not like putting dirty-looking pots and pans back in my cupboard.


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RE: Cleaning brown spots from stainless pan

Kitchendetective. I used to sell high-end cookware lines. Our ultimate, last-resort cleaner was simmering for a few minutes a solution id powdered dishwasher detergent, a couple tablespoons in a quart of water, then letting the pan sit an cool overnight. Rinse the next morning. Use a little vinegar water rinse to remove any detergent residue.


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