Perhaps a chef who has lots of experience with cookware might know when to or when not to replace a stainless pot.

I use the pot for cooking great northern beans and it has been used for maybe 60 years. It is a 4 quart Revere Ware stainless steel sauce pot with a copper bottom. I use a 3M scouring pad to clean. After cooking there is some dark discoloration and I can feel residue there but the 3M pad gets it shiny clean.

What prompts me to ask is that I have to clean it every time I cook the beans and that used not be the case so I thought I would ask before thinking about replacing it.

The same pot on Amazon used is over 100 dollars since they are no longer made and it could be worse than mine so it behooves me to at least ask.

2 Answers 2


I have a couple of those of the same vintage that are just fine.

Sometimes the copper coating on the bottom wears away but these are generally long lasting quality cookware.

Not sure about your cleaning assertion. I clean every pot and pan after using it, and as it is not a non-stick surface a little scrubbing with a scotch-brite, SOS or the like pad is not out of line at all, it will depend on what you cooked and what residue is left over.

And yes any pot or pan will wear out, it just depends on how well they are made and how they are treated. A well-treated, quality, pot/pan could easily last a lifetime or two, or more...

  • ..thank you I am going to hang on to my vintage pot. A little muscle to keep it clean and spotless is worth the effort.
    – Sedumjoy
    Feb 3, 2023 at 14:55

The age of your pot shouldn’t affect if your pot needs scrubbing on its own, but the longer you have it, the more chances that you’ve had to damage it.

If you’ve scratched up the surface, that might cause problems, but you may be able to buff them out. Adding salt before the water is boiling can cause pitting in some types of stainless steel which might be a sign to retire it. The disk underneath it delaminating (because you overheated it) would also be one of the other things that might be worth replacing it for.

I own Revereware that’s probably a similar vintage (I got it when my great uncle passed about 30 years ago). I’ve dropped it, overheated one piece (so it has a sort of rainbow effect), but it still cooks just fine.

It’s possible that something else has changed that might be causing your issues. Have you moved? Do you use hot water? (And when was your hot water heater last replaced and what’s the state of your sacrificial rod?). Are you still using the same recipe? Have you changed any ingredients?

  • 1
    Thank you . As an experiment I will cook the beans with distilled water to see what is left at the bottom. You also mentioned the pot can be buffed. If you don't mind telling me what did you use to do this? Thank you.
    – Sedumjoy
    Feb 3, 2023 at 2:17
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    I wouldn’t try to buff it unless you can specifically feel ridges / scratches in your cookware. I’m no expert on this, but I’d probably start with fine steel wool to get any ridges down, and then use buffing compound on a rag (or get a buffing wheel that chucks into a handheld drill). There’s also clay bars that they use for automotive stuff that might work. (You might also try an automotive body shop to see if they could do it, but their tools might be too big). Unfortunately you don’t have too many ‘tinkers’ left in this world (people who repaired pots and other metal goods)
    – Joe
    Feb 3, 2023 at 14:52
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    @Joe Scotch brite pad are much harder than metal which is why they are, and originally made for, metal and wood working. Harder than steel wool but small particle size leaves finer scratches you are less likely to notice. Your supermarket will only have the gentlest kind. Industrial suppliers have the rest. Even these can be used to polish steel on a lathe. They have things like aluminum oxide (sandpaper particles) embedded in the fibers. It's also why they do not feel like a cheap scrub sponge or even the green scrubbing side of a two-sided sponge.
    – DKNguyen
    Feb 3, 2023 at 15:40
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    @DKNguyen There are pads made out of thin strips of copper. Should be next to perfect for stainless steel: The sharp copper edges are harder than most stains, but copper cannot hope to scratch steel of any kind. The downside is that they corrode over time, and I guess the resulting copper compounds are neither healthy for you nor the environment. Feb 3, 2023 at 16:28
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    @cmaster-reinstatemonica That would scratch less than scotch brite. Brass wool too. Although, they may still scratch the stainless steels passivated oxide layer. I don't know how hard those are. And in case anyone is thinking brass: most brasses have lead added to it unless otherwise stated. Brass wool for kitchens shouldn't but suspect brass in other forms.
    – DKNguyen
    Feb 3, 2023 at 16:29

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