How to Remove Heat Stains from Stainless Steel


Betsy asked: How do I clean heat stains from a stainless steel cook top? I have tried undiluted vinegar, club soda and olive oil to remove the baked on heat and splatter stains. None of them have worked. I don’t what else to do to rid the cook top of these unsightly marks! Any more suggestions?

Heat stains can occur on stainless steel appliances for a variety of reasons. Simply setting a hot pan on the surface can result in a mark left behind. Though these marks appear as damage to the surface, they are simply a discoloration that can easily be removed.

You Will Need:

  • Club soda
  • Soft cloth
  • Elbow grease

Steps to Remove the Heat Stain:

  1. Moisten a soft cloth with club soda.
  2. Rub it over the heat stain using a circular motion.
  3. Turn the cloth to a clean portion as needed and apply additional club soda to keep the surface moist.
  4. Even more prominent stains can be removed with this method, however, it will take some time and elbow grease to get the job done.
  5. Once the stain is removed, simply wipe the surface with water and dry with a soft cloth.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Though it is tempting to scrub stainless steel with well known cleaners such as Comet and scouring pads, the surface will become scratched and leave a noticeably dull area. Do not use any abrasive cleaners or scrubbing pads when cleaning stainless steel.
  • There are commercial stainless steel cleaners that can also be used to clean the surfaces and remove stains.
  • If your cleaning efforts create scratches, see our guide How to Remove Scratch Marks from Stainless Steel.
  • Betsy’s tip: “For dog owners, be aware that a coat of olive oil on your stainless steel appliances could entice them to lick the oil off. We used olive oil on our appliances, and our dog promptly licked it all off!”


  1. Dianne says:

    Please tell me how to clean the outside of my stainless steel toaster oven; it has a dull finish from the high heat.

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