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Mar 2, 2007 01:21 PM

How to Clean Hard Anodized Cookware's Exterior

Having problems cleaning newly received gift of Calphalon,contemporary non-stick cookware with hard anodized exterior. While many posts seems to be in regards to cleaning the non-stick interior surface of the cookware, I am having problems keeping the exterior of the pots/pans clean. I have noticed oil and other stains/scratches on the exterior surface which seems next to impossible to get rid of. Are there any type of cleaners or sponges that I can use to get rid of this unattractive stains?
Your experienced help/comments would be most apprciated.

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  1. With the original Calphalon they suggested that you use a paste of Comet and just scrub. I did that all of the time and it never hurt it at all. I just did it a couple of weeks ago on a pot that had some grease burned on it. Came out just fine. alphalon used to make a cleaner called Dormond, I don't know if they do anymore you might check their website. Do not use anything like oven cleaner or Dawn Power Dissolver they will destroy the surface.

    1. I am glad you posted about the oven cleaner. I was just about to try that on my single Calphalon pan, as nothing else seems to work. I use Barkeeper's Friend or King Kleen on my copper and stainless, but it doens't work well on the anondized exteriors. I will try the regular cleanser.

      1. I absolutely agree about the oven cleaner. I tried on a really messy roaster pan a few years ago and destroyed it! The Comet cleanser works really well, but not on everything. But I do love those pans. I look at the blemishes as battle scars, proof that I really cook.

        1. Calphalon says NOT to use oven cleaner. Go to their site for all the info you need. They have it all posted. My impression is that on the outside, for scratches, knicks, if BarKeepers Friend doesn't work, don't use anything else. If the blemishes are from the fire underneath, turn down the flame so that it doesn't "creep" up the side of the pan. Also, if it really bothers you, contact Calaphon. They'll probably replace it. But if the blemishes are from something you're doing, you'll only get the same thing again.
          Hard anodized has to be cared for in it's own way as Calaphon explains on their FAQ sites.

          5 Replies
          1. re: sylvan

            I think you are repeating what the three of us previous posters said .IE No oven cleaner, at no time under no circumstaces.That holds true for all aluminum pans. I would also hold that to be true with aluminum amd the old, pan in a plastic bag with amonia trick or our parents generatiom. Oven cleaner while a godsend on enamels, stainelss and glass (hello, enamel) will pit and destroy the finish on any alnimum, annodized or not. It is too acid and wil pit the surface

            1. re: Candy

              Actually oven cleaner is strongly alkaline ... but Candy and others are correct that it reacts with aluminium.

              As I haven't been able to get BKF for some time I've started cleaning my calphalon pans with Bon Ami (inside and out) and it works a treat. I don't use it every time, just now and then for a "deep clean".

            2. re: sylvan

              "scatches, knicks" can't be removed. They're not stains or the like.

              1. re: sylvan

                Since I have used oven cleaner on my Allclad LTD I can say that it discolors the anodizing, but seemed to have no other detrimental effect. My Allclad is stainless inside, not all aluminum.
                If you want a tie-dyed bleaching effect have at it with a non-uniform application. Hard anodizing hardens and leaches colors into the aluminum in the process. I don't think an alkali will undo the surface hardening.

                1. re: sylvan

                  Not applicable in this case but there is one caution regarding getting a replacement from Calphalon. If you have an older model they will replace your pan with a newer model. I have one of the early hard-anodized models with very thick and heavy aluminum walls and the anodize finish wore off exposing the aluminum. I asked for a replacement and received a newer model with very thin wall construction. As they informed me that the pots were still safe to use I felt like I was better off keeping my older model.

                2. Found this on a nonstick site... I am trying it tonight!
                  Deep Cleaning:
                  To remove stubborn spots, soak in hot, soapy water and wash by hand; never place in a dishwasher. A nonabrasive sponge or cloth may be used to rub exterior and interior surfaces.

                  For tougher food buildup or occasional deep cleaning, prepare a baking soda paste by mixing 1/2 cup/125 ml baking soda with 3 tbsp/45 ml water. Apply to desired areas and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes. Wipe off excess paste, rinse thoroughly and towel dry. To remove residue from rivets, clean with a kitchen brush.

                  Mineral buildup can occur with normal use from boiling water or preparing starchy foods. To remove, wipe interior clean with nonabrasive sponge or cloth dipped in white distilled vinegar. Rinse and hand wash with hot, soapy water.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: mandolin2626

                    Watch this Caphalon video

                    Cleaning & Care:

                    Allow pans to cool completely before washing. Never immerse a hot pan in cold water as this will cause irreparable warping.
                    Hand wash only – not dishwasher safe. NEVER place cookware in an automatic dishwasher, or use abrasive cleaning pads or cleansers that can damage the pan and void the warranty.
                    Interior: Clean the interior nonstick surface of the pan with a liquid dishwashing detergent such as Dawn® and a non-abrasive sponge or soft bristle brush.
                    Exterior: Clean the exterior enamel surface of the pan with a liquid dishwashing detergent such as Dawn® and a non-abrasive sponge.
                    Dawn® is a registered trademark of Procter & Gamble.

                    1. re: mandolin2626

                      We've got a number of calphalon pieces that are more than 10 years old. We hand clean them using Dawn and a Dobie brand sponge -- i.e., a sponge encased in a plastic meshing, which provides a bit of abrasiveness to remove tough food particles and grease but does not scratch the cookware surface.