I live and die by my All-Clad d5 Stainless Steel pots and pans, which I use for making just about everything. But the other day, while tackling some stuck-on food that was particularly stubborn, I consulted the computer to verify the correct way to clean my cookware. And guess what? I've been cleaning them all wrong! Cleaning stainless cookware, it turns out, involves a little extra TLC. Put that scouring pad away, and find out the right way to preserve your quality pots and pans, when you read on.
- It's okay to throw those pots in the dishwasher! While not all cookware materials are dishwasher-safe, stainless steel typically is.
- Clean it gently. Lay off the steel wool, scouring pads, or harsh chlorine detergents, as they can scratch and penetrate the surface — although nylon-scrubbing pads are OK.
- How to clean by hand the recommended way. Immerse your pan or pot in warm water. Using water and a fine powder cleanser (such as dishwasher detergent), form a loose paste. Apply the paste using a soft cloth, rubbing in a circular motion. Wash in hot soapy water. Also recommended by stainless cookware manufacturers: a cleanser known as Bar Keepers Friend.
- Prevent water spots. After washing, rinse in hot water, then dry with a clean towel immediately.
- Avoid the pits. You know those small white dots that can sometimes form? Those have a name: "pits." To avoid their formation, bring liquids to a boil and cook food before adding salt. Pitting won't interfere with the performance of your pots or pans; but it can diminish the appearance of your cookware.
Is this how you've been taking care of your stainless steel?