Ellen asked: How do I remove scorch stains from stainless steel cookware? I allowed a large pot of greens to burn in my best cookware. I have scrubbed, soaked and scrubbed again to no avail. What, if anything, can I do to remove the scorch marks (burnt-on stains) in my stainless steel pot?
When food burns, the scorch marks go deep into the tiny grooves of the surface. The added heat causes the burnt food and stains to adhere tightly to the surface. Fortunately, there are products that will remove the stains without damaging the surface.
You Will Need:
- Stainless steel scrubbing pads
- Bar Keeper’s friend
- Baking soda
- Dish soap
Steps to Remove the Stains:
- Begin by washing the surface of the stained area to remove any loose food debris.
- Scrub the surface with dish soap and a nylon scrubber.
- Apply a small amount of Bar Keeper’s friend to the scrubber and rub it over the scorched area. If Barkeeper’s Friend is not available, baking soda can be substituted.
- It may take some elbow grease to get the stain off if it is severe.
- Continue scrubbing and adding additional cleaner if needed.
- If the scorch marks are stubborn and/or severe, add a bit of distilled vinegar to the sponge as well for a cleaning boost.
- Once the scorch marks are removed, wash the entire piece as normal with water and dish soap.
- Rinse with clean water.
- Dry with a soft cloth.
Additional Tips and Advice
- There are different colored scrubbing pads, with different levels of abrasiveness. The green scrubbing pads are often too abrasive and can leave marks on the stainless steel. There are blue pads that are less abrasive, or look for scrubbing pads specifically designed for stainless steel. Look for nylon scrubbing pads, and avoid steel pads.
- For some, ketchup has worked well. Spread a layer over the scorched area and allow it to set for an hour or so. Scrub away stain and then wash.
- You can fill the pan with water and add one of the following: lemon juice, denture tablets or automatic dishwasher detergent. Allow it to soak overnight. For tough stains, some have found it useful to boil the solution in the pan for a few minutes.
- Do not use bleach to soak the pans as it can damage the steel and leave it pitted.