How to Clean Stainless Steel Pans

This article will talk about how you can effectively clean any frying pan (including cast iron) from soot, old fat, and rust at home.



Aluminium pans are now rare in modern kitchens, but they are still preserved, and some are happy to use them.

If the metal is thin, such pans quickly lose their shape, and it is simply impossible to fry on them; everything burns and sticks. However, thick frying pans produced in the USSR are perfect (at least according to our grandmothers).

Soot on them is formed as quickly as on cast iron. And it also makes sense to lubricate them with oil and harden them. But they need to be cleaned in different ways since metals have different densities and structures.

Aluminium is better washed with store chemistry; you can also safely use sandblasting. But they should not be burned at stake; the bottom can be deformed.

Also, you can not use a drill with an iron brush, as the metal will be poorly scratched, and it will become impossible to cook in a frying pan. Aluminium, after all, is very soft. And after severe damage, no calcination will save him.



Cleaning pans with a non-primary Teflon coating from soot is not recommended at all; we mean – inside. Of course, you can clean the outside as you like, but it is better not to touch the inner surface and not to destroy it.

Whichever way you use it, it will cause damage to the coating, and Teflon will lag much faster than old soot. And soot is much less dangerous than a scratched Teflon pan. Here’s a good video.

The only thing you can try is to soak the pan in Coca-Cola, and even then, you should not keep it for a long time.

In general, try not to bring your Teflon pans to form a strong film of fat or soot.



Ceramic pans are not made of a single piece of ceramics. It’s as thin a non-stick coating as Teflon. And it is also impossible to clean such pans with abrasives or strong chemistry since the layer will be damaged or completely erased.

And if it is lost, then all the convenience of such a frying pan will disappear: the food will stick, and when cooking, you will need as much oil as ordinary cast iron.

But how then to clean this frying pan of fat?

A very well-proven method of cleaning with ordinary alcohol. Apply it to the cotton wool and treat the surface. If the soot layer is small, it will instantly lag if you rub it thoroughly.

If alcohol did not help, you could use special melamine sponges; they will cope with pollution in any case. But…

If your goal is to remove the soot because it is harmful, then think three times before you rub the pan of this miracle – a sponge from Beijing. It consists of the purest melamine, a hundred times more harmful than the most malicious, century-old soot.

The manufacturer, of course, assures the buyer that the product is safe since, when it enters the body, it is not absorbed. And most importantly, the effect of melamine is repeatedly enhanced by heating.

It is unlikely to wash off the drug altogether since the ceramic layer is already damaged if you have a plaque. A melamine sponge acts as an eraser: it rubs the surface while erasing itself, which means filling all the microcracks with poison.

So choose something from two evils: either soot or melamine, the effect of which has not yet been studied and tested by time.

For soot on cast iron, we can say for sure: several grandmothers used such pans, not caring about perfect cleanliness and nothing, lived up to 80 years on average.



Copper dishes are now scarce, and it is used not for its intended purpose but simply for decorating the room since it is pretty inconvenient to cook in it.

In general, if you find a dirty copper pan in your grandmother’s attic, then cleaning it is not so difficult. Soot is cleaned mechanically with copper; it is not necessary to heat it.

And the layer of soot on copper is usually relatively small. The remains of dirt are easily removed with an iron washcloth.

But a substantial plaque, the so-called patina, is easy to remove with lemon juice and salt. Apply the liquid to the surface, pour salt on top and grate well. The frying pan will bleat like new!



We looked at standard methods when the whole pan is being cleaned. But in this case, the internal, applicable carbon deposits (on cast iron) are removed, or there is a risk of damaging the protective coating (on Teflon and ceramic).

Therefore, if the pan inside is clean, it is better to wipe it off only above. How do you clean a frying pan from the outside?

The easiest and most effective way is soaking in warm water for a long time, at least two days.

And when the layer is sufficiently softened, you need to rub it thoroughly with an iron brush. If it is very thick, then peel it off with a knife gradually.



No type of metal from which dishes are made has passed such a centuries-old test of time as cast iron.

It is used, neither more nor less, and since the 6th century BC, it is widespread and will not give up its position. Interestingly, the Chinese were the first to discover it. Still, in Russia, the first cast iron smelters appeared only by the end of the 16th century. It became a popular material for casting dishes even later, only under Peter the Great.

Almost everyone in the house has an old, good cast iron frying pan, on which fried potatoes come out unusually tasty.

Why it is in such dishes that an excellent result comes out is not very clear, but the fact remains: there are no analogues to such pans, and modern ones are not suitable even in the sweeps of grandmother’s.

It is noticed that too cleaned cast iron pan will lose its beautiful properties, the food will begin to burn to it, and the walls will rust.

One trouble, they are too susceptible to accumulation on the walls of soot, from which it will not be so easy to get rid of, but it would be necessary.

Firstly, it looks completely unaesthetic, and secondly, soot is not so harmless.

There is an opinion that the old soot, which is chipped during cooking and gets into food, is the most potent carcinogen.

Of course, it gets very little, and the concentration of harmful substances there is not so great. Still, when everything is dangerous in our technological age, it is better to take care of yourself as much as possible, at least in such trifles.

So, what is the easiest way to clean a cast-iron pan?

There are several ways here, but before you choose something, we will remind you of one thing: too cleaned cast iron pan will lose its beautiful properties, the food will begin to burn to it, and the walls will rust.

Therefore, after making the dishes look new, you will need to lubricate them with oil and calcinate for 20 minutes.

That is, to create fresh carbon on it! Otherwise, it will simply be unusable. But, this soot will not break away and will be invisible in appearance.

Another important note: cast iron metal is vital but at the same time fragile. It does not tolerate sudden temperature changes. Therefore, such a frying pan can not be heated and then cooled under a stream of cold water. Otherwise, it will simply burst.

And now, let’s get down to business and consider all the available methods.


Household chemicals

The best remedy for these purposes is Shuman. It is both inexpensive and effective. You can also use means for cleaning the toilet or pipes.

But, in our opinion, it is better not to get involved in such chemistry, as it has a detrimental effect on the structure of porous cast iron and makes it fragile. For him, firing at the stake is much less destructive than vital modern means.


Boiling in soap and silicate glue

The method came to us from the USSR. Then these components were available, and the people invented recipes from improvised means.

Now the soap is not the same, and silicate glue in the afternoon with fire can not be found, but we will still give a method, if it is you, suddenly, these substances will be available.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 400 grams of silicate adhesive
  • 1 bar of laundry soap or 500 grams of soda ash
  • 5 litres of water

Grate soap, add to water, dissolve. There is also glue or soda ash. Then immerse the dirty dishes in the solution and boil for about 2 hours.

According to those who used this method – the effect is unique.

In addition, I would like to tell you how to remove rust from a cast iron pan to calcinate it, and it is covered with stains.

Rust is cleaned exclusively with sandpaper or metal counting; it will not work since there is no point in washing it.


Cleaning by firing on a gas burner or in a fire

A pretty good way, known for many centuries.

If you put the pan on the fire and forget about it for two hours, then all the soot will burn out, dry out and fall off itself. But the burn will be just unreal!

Therefore, if you are not ready for such a turn of events, it is better not to conduct this experiment in the apartment but use a street fire.

However, in this case, getting rid of soot will not work, as the fire will burn much faster than soot “surrender”, and you will need to repeat the process again or twice to the victorious end.

After the walls have become clean, do not forget to calve the dishes to form a natural protective film on them again.


Cleaning with soaking in Coca-Cola or citric acid

This method will help if the layer of soot is tiny. Let’s say you recently thoroughly cleaned a frying pan, and after a month or two, a film has formed on it, which is no longer washed with a conventional dishwashing detergent.

The method is simple: pour into any container Coca-Cola or a robust citric acid solution, immerse the pan there and leave overnight. In the morning, rub it well with a stiff brush, and then be sure to calcinate.


With sandblasting

This, of course, is not quite away at home, but we consider it necessary to talk about it in the first place since it is the most effective!

The service is inexpensive, and the result will please you without any torment and long manipulations.

The only disadvantage of this procedure is that the old dishes may not withstand such a pressure of the sand jet, and microcracks will appear inside it, which will lead to a subsequent split of the pan.

Therefore, it is better not to risk and use more gentle methods if you have it old.


Cleaning with a drill with a metal brush

This is already a home method, but there should be a drill in the house, as you know.

Scrape off the surface well, then wash the pan and be sure to calcine it again with oil.

Since such a radical removal of the upper layer will expose the porous structure of cast iron and, as we wrote above, it will begin to rust, and the food will burn. Moreover, the finished dish will give metal.

Our article ended, and we shared all the ways that we found convenient and suitable for use. We hope that now the problem is solved for you and how to clean the pan from soot,

And how do you clean your favourite frying pan? Could you share your experience with us?

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