Many people choose stainless steel cookware because it is durable and easy to clean. However, just like with any surface that is prone to scratches, stainless steel pots and pans require a certain degree of care and materials to maintain their polished look.
To clean a stainless steel pan that does not have any stains or food stuck to it, you only need to boil water in the pan. Allow the pan to cool with the water in it. You can add a couple of drops of dish washing liquid to the pan if there is grease in it. Then, use the soft side of a sponge to wipe away stains or stuck-on food. Avoid using very harsh materials, such as a wire sponge or the green side of some sponges, to clean your pans. Even though stainless steel is durable, it may become scratched if you use the wrong materials to clean it.
Generally, using just boiling water in the pan will help remove any food stuck to it. However, you may need a slightly stronger cleaning product. If you do not want to purchase a cleaning product specially made for cleaning stainless surfaces, you can create your own mild acid solution. Try adding a couple of teaspoons to a couple of cups of water, then boiling that water and vinegar mixture in the stainless steel pan. Let the mixture simmer with the pan’s cover on it, and see if any of the gunk comes off. You can even allow the mixture to cool down in the pan overnight. Again, use a soft scrubbing brush or sponge and gently remove any particles that are still attached to the steel.
If you want to use cleaning products, you can use an oven cleaner to clean your stainless steel pans. Spray some oven cleaner onto the pan that you intend on cleaning, and let the oven cleaner sit on the surface for 30 minutes or so. At this point, you can use a cleaning brush or soft sponge to wipe away stains or food. Repeat the process as necessary.
If you have burned food in your stainless steel cookware, you can add water to the hot pot or pan. Make sure that the heat source is still on and that the pan is still quite hot. As water or any liquid comes into contact with the dry, but burned, part of the pan, the water will lift all the stuck-on and burnt food.
While maintaining the look of stainless steel can require some work, stainless steel is nevertheless a great choice of material for cookware that you will use on a daily basis.