Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Jan 18, 2007 06:55 PM


Warning: This story contains some graphic abuse to Magnalite pans. Not advised for some readers. Please forgive me for reposting as a separate topic.

We moved to a new house in September. The man next door to us seemed to be a recluse. We rarely saw him, until the day his mother died and the house went up for sale. Then we discovered, as the estate's liquidator began empting the house and putting things to the streetside for the dump, that he had a "hoarding problem." This is putting it lightly. 23 vaccuums, 16 different power sanders, stacks and stacks of old magazines, dozens of rugs, bicycles, the list goes on.
One day I noticed a huge stack of pans on the curb. I knew these. Magnalite! They were great quality! I snatched them up in a heartbeat and took them home. They were a little dirty, but what a find! I would clean them and make them my own.
Upon closer inspection, I noticed there was orange rust in the bottom of the pan. No problem, I'll use the ol' elbow grease and get it off.
Then I noticed uneven black patches all over the insides and out. Just some old burned-on food. More elbow grease.
Some of the rubber handles had been carefully nibbled away. Hmm. Rats eating the grease. Curious.
Long story short, these pans are whupped. The guy never cleaned himself, much less any of his propery or his house. They seem to have lost much of the adonized coating and are hence uneven in spots, rust never went away after much cleaning, grease seems to be everpresent. PLEASE help and tell me if there is a way I can save their lives! Is it safe to use them with the rusty brown stuff?? What kind of cleaner should I use? Can I send them to some kind of special clinic?
Thanks for your help...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. So... those were the only pots he left? ;-) I'm not sure if there is a re-anodization process that could potentially save them but my guess is not. Sorry about your neighbor, and good luck with the rats.

    1. The anodized coating will erode over time. It can be replaced but it would cost more than buying a new set of pans. You can still use them with the bare aluminum if you want. Thanks for the great story.

      1. It is shot. But i feel your pain. I have some Mag Pro pieces I really love and the anodizing is wearing off after 17-18 years of strong usage. It is wearing off of my Calphalon of similar vintage. The rubber handle covers were sold separately and are removable. You might try something like Comet, Calphalon used to suggest that you make a past of it and scrub stubborn stains a burned on crud. What you cannot do is use something like oven cleaner or Dawn Power dissolver on it because it will pit the aluminum.