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How do I clean my cookware?

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Almost each pot, pan, and cookie sheet I have - certainly the stainless steel ones, have lots of brown, greasy, sticky muck on the sides and in the corners. It has built up over a period of time, and it doesn't come off with regular washing, scrubbing, or soaking. I can sometimes scrape off a little with my nails (yuck) but not much.

Does anyone else have this problem, and how do you clean your cookware to prevent the buildup, or to eliminate it?

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  1. I dont know about prevention but Brillo pads will get that stuff off.

    1. I use Barkeeper's Friend along with a Dobie pad on my stainless steel cookware. It restores that "right out of the box" look. For heavy duty cleaning, I would still use the Barkeeper's Friend along with a heavier type scouring pad (not metal).


      1. I have 2 suggestions:

        1. Baking soda: sprinkle on the muck and add water, make sure it covers the area you want to remove and boil on the stove for a few minutes, cool and scrub.

        2. Barkeeper's friend. It comes in a powder and is sold in a container like Bon Ami.

        1 Reply
        1. re: grubn

          I use this baking soda trick, but I also use baking soda as one would Barkeeper's Friend - like cleanser. Works great and it's environmentally friendly. Great to scrub up your stainless sink too.

        2. Barkeeper's friend works well for me...and I don't let my husband make bacon on my good baking trays anymore.

          I should clarify that I meant this:


          Not the bartender's buddy (which sounds like more fun...).

          1. Try some Dawn Power Dissolver on the gunk.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jillp

              I use oven cleaner or Dawn Power Dissolver on SS and enameled cast iron like Le Creuset, but never on aluminum or annodized aluminum. It will destroy it and pit the surface.

            2. You should NOT be letting this crud build up on your pans! It's unsanitary, and also makes food stick to the pan when you cook. As soon as you're finished cooking, immerse your pans in hot, soapy water. When you're finished with dinner, scrub with a nylon pad, or Brillo if you've got a very stubborn crust. If it's really stubborn, soak for an hour or so and then scrub.

              1. If you can't get it off with hot soapy water, then isn't it pretty much carbonized, not organic any more, and ugly but harmless? This is what people do *on purpose* to season cast iron, burn oil until it is carbon? Alton would know!
                Also, wink wink, you can cook something in the stained pan and give it to a neighbor--when returned, the pan will be spotless!