Clean and Care for Stainless Steel Cookware

The best bet for everyday cleaning is hand-washing your cookware in hot, soapy water and drying it thoroughly with a soft cloth before storing. Using a dishwasher is controversial; experts are divided on the effect the detergents have on stainless steel finishes. If you do use the dishwasher and want to prevent spotting, remove your cookware after the wash cycle and dry it by hand.

To remove chalky white residue, fill the pot or pan with 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then take it off the heat and let it cool to the touch. Wash the pan thoroughly with hot, soapy water and dry it with a towel.

To remove stuck, burned-on food, fill the pan with enough warm, soapy water to cover the mess and let it sit for an hour. Then put the pan back on the burner and boil the soapy water for 10 to 15 minutes. Let the water cool to the touch, then scrub the pan with a nylon scouring pad. Wash it out again with hot, soapy water, rinse, and dry. Repeat the same process for stubborn residue.