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I bought a stainless steel pot, soaked it in water and dishwashing detergent overnight.

When I went to dump the water, there was a brown ring around the top.
I then boiled water and a muddy appearance showed up on the bottom and sides.

Can you tell me why?

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Could you include a picture? – derobert Apr 30 '14 at 17:36
Do you mean that you soaked it in automatic dishwasher detergent? That would probably always cause that and require more than normal rinsing to be normal again. It would also be massive overkill to clean a brand new stainless steel pot which shouldn't require more than a rinse before the first use unless it had stickers on it or something. – Jolenealaska Apr 30 '14 at 19:06

"Stainless" steel is an exaggeration at best. It will stain. Chances are you have some level of mineralization in your water (hard water), and that's what's causing the discoloration.

If it really bothers you you can use Bar Keepers friend or something similar to polish it, but it's unlikely that anything that doesn't come off with normal washing will come off in your food.

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