One of the most important maintenance items around the house is to keep the cooking pans in perfectly clean condition. I consider this to be by far the most important DIY item to stay healthy at home.

On occasion I find there is some particularly resilient residue.

bottom of pot

The white layer you see in the picture has the habit of showing up after cooking beans or lentils. While boiling anything else, it's enough to make sure there is a reasonable amount of water left in the pot for it to remain easily cleanable, but beans and lentils leave this particular residue. This suggests that it is not caused by water hardness.

What is this residue and what is an effective way to get rid of it?

  • Do you rinse the beans/lentils before cooking them? Also are the scrape marks in the pot itself?
    – user3169
    Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 3:48

5 Answers 5


That white stuff is usually starch residue. If you put some hot water in the pot and some baking soda in it and let it soak overnight , it should be easier to clean, failng that,you could try cider vinegar and hot water


Vinegar and hot water usually does the trick. I may follow up with a little cleanser I use on my glass top stove. Bright and shinny, with no scratch marks!

  • Welcome to Seasoned Advice! Good answer on how to clean up the residue. Commented Dec 6, 2018 at 5:10

I use a bit of white vinegar brought to a light boil, then let it sit for a bit. Anything left after that Bar Keepers Friend I use it on the inside of the pot with a scotch brite pad (if necessary), and then a bit on my damp wash cloth for the outside as well. Cleans and polishes the shiny stainless or aluminum.

P.S. it works on stains on my chrome and aluminum car rims too.


Bar Keeper's friend cleaned them up in snap for me.

  • 1
    Welcome to Seasoned Advice! Not everybody (including me) knows what Bar Keeper's Friend is, can you please elaborate?
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Mar 9, 2023 at 19:58

If it's stainless steel or porcelain-finished, spray it with lime-away, let it sit for a few seconds and then wash it with soap and water. No scrubbing needed.

I didn't believe it until I tried it.

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