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So my roommate forgot about his boiling water and burned one of the pots pretty bad. The bottom is a dark brown/gray with colored spots underneath (electric range).

What are some household remedies to restore the pot? I'm worried that the heat might have changed the properties of the metal (such as annealing),

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I would say have your roommate buy you a new pot! –  boxed-dinners Feb 8 '11 at 14:30
    
At least, it's his! –  Curry Feb 13 '11 at 3:17
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3 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Barkeepers Friend is a product that works wonders on steel and aluminum cookware. With a little elbow grease, this stuff removes discoloration very well. If you can't find BKF, Zud is another product that uses Oxalic Acid for it's cleaning power, although it seems to be less potent.

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I used Cameo which uses sulfamic acid and that worked well. –  Curry Aug 20 '11 at 18:48
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Don't worry about the properties of the pot being altered. The metal was heated to many hundreds of degrees in forging, so your stove adventure can't match the initial het.

That being said, it can warp and discolor, but this will have little practical effect on the pot's properties, mostly the aesthetics of it.

The suggestion of a cleaner with Oxalic Acid is right on, and safe for Stainless Steel.

So, if it is warped, then it will be harder to use for some applications, but it is safe and usable otherwise. The discoloration can be cleaned and will fade further over time.

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It might not fade much ... I have a pot that I scorched pretty bad years ago, although it was more than just water (I was reducing stock on a hard boil, and got distracted ... it smelled like burning hair... not good, and the pot's still got some black splotches on it) –  Joe Feb 8 '11 at 23:31
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There is nothing wrong if it is outside of the pot to use Easy-Off®. Take it outside, turn it upside down, spray and leave overnight.

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Easier to understand with capitalization, dash, and link: Easy-Off ®. –  zanlok Feb 9 '11 at 0:53
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