HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >


Am I the only one who finds Al Clad difficult to clean?

I just bought all new pots and pans and for the most part I purchased LeCreuset stainless. I did, however, buy one small Al Clad frying pan and have found it miserable to clean. I gave in and took the SOS to it, so what's the deal. I don't want to spend all day scrubbing. The LeCreuset on the other hand is great.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Barkeeper's Friend perhaps? Works really well on the SS.

    1. Is it stuff that sticks from the food you have trouble with, or general discoloration (blue/brown spots)?

      2 Replies
      1. re: razkolnikov

        which ever the problem is (food or grease) bar keepers friend WILL take it off. You will spend so little time scrubbing you'll kick yourself for not trying it earlier. I get the pan wet, sprinkle on BKF then use my teflon scrubber to get off any stuck on foods as well as the yellow grease that seems to get all over the bottom of the pan. If you find something particularly tough, make a little paste with the BKF and let it sit for a minute before scrubbing. It will work. It's also perfect for any other discolorations you might have.

        1. re: sandih

          Well, the reason I asked is because if it's not food, I probably wouldn't bother. I have those blue/brown spots on mine (presumably from overheating), but just leave them be. Once in a while when I have some BKF out for something else, I clean the pan. But it gets those spots soon again.

          Maybe I should dial down the heat ...

      2. All-Clad fry pans are notoriously
        difficult to clean. Hardly worth the
        trouble, for many people,

        4 Replies
        1. re: mpalmer6c

          really? i hadn't noticed all clad being any harder to clean than sitram stainless

          1. re: chuckl

            Besides BKF, I've found that the discoloration can be removed with some Limeaway.

            1. re: chuckl

              It's not as bad as Sitram, but still difficult for some reason. My Sitram pan is impossible.

            2. re: mpalmer6c

              I have one and love to cook with it but yes, it is difficult to clean. A pain at times, but I still like the pan. BKF is very helpful.

            3. Barkeepers Friend is the trick. 1st clean with soap and water and then sprinkle on the powder and wipe with a scrubby. It will come out beautiful. I don't seem to need it every time, although I know people who do both steps all the time.

              1. Pegmeister, I agree with the Barkeeper's Friend advice. I do find my All Clad a bit more of a challenge to clean, but I love them.

                1. My All Clad pans are just as easy to clean as any other pan. Unless you consider the discolorations as part of the cleanliness but I don't see why it's bothersome or why you would even need to clean the discolorations off.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: AndrewK512

                    Yeah, I don't worry about getting all the discoloration off either. Just the grease and food stains. I can't be bothered trying to keep them looking like new. They're for cooking not for show, at least in my kitchen.

                    1. re: flourgirl

                      Barkeeper's Friend or if the blueish bottom won't go away .. try baking soda and vinegar. Let sit for a minute or so, and the blue disappears like magic. I use it on my pressure cooker too or SS pots when for some reason, rice leaves these marks.

                      As for cleaning the All-Clad, allow to cool, put hot water and soap and within 10 minutes or so, everything cleans out with no hassle.

                      After years of using and loving All-Clad, I still haven't figured out an easy way to get the burnt on yellow grease stains off of the side and bottom. I've used Goo Gone which sometimes works and my husband has had success with carb cleaner.

                      Any better and easier suggestions?

                      1. re: Canthespam

                        For "yellow grease stains" on the sides, only elbow grease w/ the green scouring pad (not the scratch-resistant stuff) works for me. For me, helps to clean while pans are still warm. I don't even try removing the stuff on the underside of the pans.

                        1. re: pharmnerd

                          pharmnerd - thanks for the response... elbow grease and the pad haven't worked for me - although I don't think that I have tried it while the pan is still warm, I will try it. I'm so compulsive that I try to do the undersides too :-)

                          1. re: Canthespam

                            May try the Barkeeper's Friend stuff to clean the bottoms. I normally wouldn't care, but am thinking of installing a potrack to free-up cabinet space, so dirty pans may not fly w/ the SO.

                            1. re: pharmnerd

                              My pans hang, with the bottoms showing, so I do like to keep them as clean as possible. I love Barkeepers Friend, but it doesn't do anything to clean the bottoms of the yellow greasy stuff.

                              1. re: Canthespam

                                Sorry, meant to say "I may try Barkeeper's Friend...", not for "you" to try.

                  2. Since this seems to have turned into the blue spot thread, I notice these only in stainless interiors, when I cook with tap water. Seems to be a mineral deposit/ reaction from the water source. If I use distilled or RO water it doesn't happen. Wright's stainless cleaner works, as well as their copper cleaner.

                    1. Thanks for all the advise. I'll give Barkeepers Friend a try, which I assume I can find at the supermarket? The problem I had with the pan was a film left from scrambled eggs that was really difficult to remove.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: Pegmeister

                        Barkeeper's friend should definitely take the eggs off with no problem. Just soak the pan in hot water & dish soap for a couple of minutes, then use the barkeeper's friend and a scrubby sponge thingy and it should come off easily.

                        1. re: Pegmeister

                          Williams Sonoma always has it in stock. I have found it at Stop & Shop on Newport Ave, but it has not been on the shelf for quite some time. I stock up when I go to Williams Sonoma.

                          1. re: pasta

                            Thank you. I'll check Stop & Shop which is really convenient for me. Unfortunately, Williams Sonoma in the plaza just closed last week. If not, I'll try WS at Derby St.

                            1. re: Pegmeister

                              Curry Hardware will be a lot less than WS. WS sells salt and sugar in a jar for brining at $10 a pop!

                              I didnt know the WS at the Plaza closed. Grrrr.... I have a Xmas gift certificate to use.

                              1. re: C. Hamster

                                Curry Hardware works for me. I hate to admit it, but I had never heard of Barkeepers Friend. I tried Bonami, but it really didn't do much. Oh, and I also hate to admit that I spent $10 for sea salt at WS (hand harvested in France).

                                1. re: Pegmeister

                                  That's not too much for the salt probably. But they are getting into "convenience" foods like jarred coq au vin sauce, etc for $15 and brining stuff.

                                  I asked the folks at Stop and Shop to start carrying BKF again but have no idea if they started becasue I bought 3 cans at Curry.

                                  Its really amazing stuff. I use it on all kinds of things now.

                        2. I have a huge collection of All Clad stainless, inlcuding 6 skillets, and find that's it's really easy to clean. Generally just in the dishwasher or handwash with Dawn. Barkeepers friend if there is a stain or something.

                          Is it the inside or outside that you are having trouble with?

                          The Stop and Shop in NQ used to carry BKF but they stopped becasue they have a policy of not stocking what people actually want to buy. Other grocery stores probably have it

                          Curry Hardware has it, for sure.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: C. Hamster

                            as far as the "yelow grease stains" on the sides and bottom, I think the trick is to keep it in check as you go along. A friend uses Barkeepers after every use and her pans all look brand new. She does this because she has them displayed on a rack, as mentioned above. Once I dicovered Barkeepers, I tried to go back and clean up the bottoms...I was able to get alot of it off but not all. An old toothbrush is good for around the handles.

                            One thing that bothers me about using this is that on occassion, after letting the pot air air dry, I'll give it a wipe w/ a towel before putting away and I'll sometimes get a grey stain on the towel. This makes me think there is residue left behind which is not a pleasant thought. Has anybody else expereinced this? Perhaps I am using too much.

                          2. Our Stainless AllClad pans get a white-ish residue on the inside that is annoying as you can't see it until they're dry. Barkeeper's Friend WILL get it off but it's kindof a pain, especially because we keep them on a pot rack above our central sink/prep counter. I assume it has something to do with the harsh tap water where we live.

                            1. Just thinking, the All Clad is OK, but the chap knock-off, Al Clad, is a little more difficult.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: AHan

                                BKF will take the yellowy grease off the sides and bottom of your pans, it will take the blueish color out and will polish the pans to look like new. You can find it at any grocery store next to the Comet and Bon Ami. You don't need any other product to clean your stainless.

                                1. re: sandih

                                  Gotcha. Apparently you missed the bit of humor. Anyway, yes, been using BKF for 20 years, and most of the other posts here has also recommended it. The point is it does not always easily remove the burned on black bits, which can make the AC pans hard to clean. I don't really care about discoloration.

                                  1. re: AHan

                                    As my DH always says, "You can look at it, or you can use it!"

                              2. BKF is a must with these pans and will bring the interior sheen back to out-of-the-box new. If you're talking about brown bits sticking as a result of pan frying, I deglaze with water (working the bits up with a wooden spatula/spoon) prior to using the BKF. Much less elbow grease involved and it works like a charm.

                                1. My cleaning problem involves the rivets inside the pots/pans. I sometimes notice food residue around the edges, and all the soaking, BKF and plastic scubbies I can lay on it doesn't seem to get it all. I've even tried the point of a steak knife.

                                  Any ideas, CHs?

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: mcsheridan

                                    Dawn Power dissolve?

                                    I admit that that stuff doesn't bug me so I don't try to scour it off.

                                    1. re: C. Hamster

                                      Wow. I hadn't heard of this product, so I looked it up on your recommendation. This stuff looks like something worth buying. (Good thing Amazon's got it online; many reviewers say it's not in stores anymore, although I'm going to check Ace Hardware first.) It's not the visual that bothers me but the nagging thought of some kind of bacterial buildup.

                                      Thanks. Here's another proof of why I love this place.

                                    2. re: mcsheridan

                                      The rivets are the hardest part to clean and a real pain - especially when I make scrambled eggs. I just use a toothpick on the wet pan and it does the job and doesn't scratch my non-stick pans.

                                    3. My sympathy goes out to you.
                                      I am 71. I switched to Circulon II a few years ago because of all the cleaning issues with other cookware. Regarding cookware, it was the best decision I have ever made.

                                      1. To get the blue haze off my SS I use a little Soft Scrub and it takes it away.