I have a metal (probably stainless steel based on its weight) cooking pot that seems to be getting old. I am not worried about the outside, but on the inside, I can see:

  • Shallow scratches
  • Small oxide dots
  • Overall a darker (yellowish/brownish) color that looks as if it is always uncleaned

enter image description here

The usual tools I use (soap and a sponge) do not seem to work well against that... No matters how hard I try.

I saw a video of someone cleaning and polishing a saucepan and I wondered which products he was using.

  • At first (1:40) he uses a white cream cleanser and he says "calcium carbonate". It looks to me like ceramic glass cleaner, but it may be completely different, and he only uses that for the outside, so maybe it is not safe for the inside?
  • Then (2:23) he uses stainless steel polisher to make it shiny

I have a couple of questions:

  • Is that the recommended way to go?
  • Can I use any stainless steel polisher or any cleanser considering this is a cooking pot? (I plan to cook food on it... :-D)
  • What are the generic names of those products? Or would you recommend only specific products/brands? I live in Spain and I may be unable to find certain brands if they are local to your country.
  • Beside the linked questions, we have a ton of other stuff which is about cleaning stainless steel without mentioning the exact type of stain. We also have stuff about oil which has polymerized onto stainless steel pans. – rumtscho Apr 8 at 5:31
  • @rumtscho Thanks for your help. My question is not about the white/gray bottom though (unlike the "marked as duplicate" question). Would you mind removing that duplicate link or replace it with a more precise/relevant one? Perhaps one talking about safe-for-food steel polishers or chemicals for rush removal. – Peque Apr 10 at 12:37

Aluminium rusts white but that looks like stainless steel which if it rusts will rust brown. Not sure what the residue is. Have you tried just simmering water for a while? Either way, I would just scrub it with soap and steel wool. The scratches might cause you problems if you decide to scramble eggs in it but since it's generally going to be hot when in use and dry when not, it's not going to be a food safety issue. If you really want to use a product then use something based upon sodium hydroxide and neutralize it with vinegar or something if it feels slimy when you're done.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thanks. Yeah, the rust is brown (you can see some spots and a brownish color near the border). The white residue is probably due to "hard water" and not drying the surface with a cloth. Probably not the best picture I could share... :-D – Peque Apr 8 at 0:12
  • I will have a look at steel wool and sodium hydroxide plus vinegar, thanks. ^^ – Peque Apr 8 at 0:13
  • The brown could just be grease that has burned into what looks like a crease or corner in the pan. – MaxW Apr 8 at 1:42

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.