I've been using a stainless steel sheet pan and an aluminum sheet pan for baking/roasting for the last year (new to cooking). I used the steel one regularly, so it accumulated a lot of brown stains. Eventually I started lining it with aluminum foil until I found a way to clean it. On a friend's advice, I got steel wool, and with some vigor, dish soap, and time, I scrubbed all that grime off. Also scrubbed off the little bit of grime on my aluminum pan.
Felt pretty proud of myself until I noticed that the fingers of my dishwashing gloves were stained DARK GRAY. I used wet paper towels and wiped the steel wool, the steel pan, and the aluminum pan, and it appears the gray color is mostly coming off the steel pan. A little bit of gray is also coming off the aluminum pan.
What on earth is this stuff? Is it no longer safe to use either of these sheet pans for cooking? If not, can I make it safe or do I have to toss them?