How best to clean your stainless-steel cookware
When it comes to kitchen utensils there are a few things every good home needs and some decent stainless steel cookware should be close to the top of the list. A favourite of both enthusiastic home cooks and professional chefs due to its durability, versatility, and ability to distribute heat evenly, stainless steel is used in everything from pots and pans to spoons, sieves and more.
However, while it looks great and is ideal for cooking everything from soups and stews to curries, cleaning stainless steel cookware can be quite tricky. If not cleaned properly, it can develop ugly stains, scratches, and discolouration. So, to ensure your utensils maintain their looks and give you years of use, here are a few top tips to consider.
Use a soft sponge or cloth
While it might look incredibly sturdy, stainless-steel cookware is actually surprisingly delicate so you must avoid using abrasive materials like steel wool, scouring pads, or harsh detergents. These materials can scratch the surface of the cookware, making it more susceptible to stains and discolouration. Instead, use a soft sponge or cloth.
Soak it in warm water
If your cookware has stuck-on food, start by soaking it in warm, soapy water for a few minutes to help loosen the particles. This will make it easier to clean without having to scrub too hard and if it doesn’t work on the first try, don’t be afraid to resoak and see if it works on the second or third attempt. Also, always ensure you’re using filtered water, as unfiltered tap water can contain particulates that will damage your shiny steel cookware.
Use a mild detergent
Always use a mild detergent, such as regular dish soap or a specialised stainless-steel cleaner. Avoid using bleach or other harsh chemicals, even when heavily watered down, as they can damage the surface of the cookware and could actually damage your hands too. Cif Perfect Finish is a great choice, though it can be rather expensive. Method stainless steel cleaner is also a great choice and is completely plant-based too.
Don’t use a high heat
While stainless steel can withstand high heat (and that’s what makes it so good as cookware), it’s best to avoid using aggressively high heat when cleaning it as this can cause discolouration and damage the surface.
Use vinegar and baking soda
Many of the old wives’ tales about cleaning still ring true and using vinegar and baking soda as cleaning compounds is one of them. You can use white vinegar to remove stains by simply soaking a cloth in it and gently rubbing the stains until they disappear. For scratches, meanwhile, you can use baking soda by mixing it with water to make a paste, then gently rub the paste over the scratches. Rinse the cookware with warm water and dry it with a soft cloth and it should be as good as new!
Dry your cookware
Finally, after cleaning your stainless-steel cookware, always be sure to dry it thoroughly with a soft cloth to prevent water spots and discolouration. Putting it straight onto the drying rack will often lead to spots and blemishes. Even if you’re removing it from the dishwasher after a drying cycle you should always give it a pat down.