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Gray residue on sheet pans/garlic press

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I have a couple of jelly roll sheet pans and a Zyliss garlic press that are about 10-15 years-old and, after I wash them, I get a gray residue on the towel when I'm drying them. I don't know what's causing this and I'm concerned that it may be harmful to continue to use them. Any CHer's know what might be causing this and whether, or not, I should continue using them?

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  1. Are you washing them in the dishwasher? A darker film will form on bare aluminum if run through a dishwasher with most soaps.

    Hand-wash bare aluminum.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ThreeGigs

      I have discovered the same thing with my metal lemon reamer. It's fine if I wash by hand, but gets that dark gray residue if I run it through the dishwasher. I always assumed it had something to do with the detergent.

      1. re: ThreeGigs

        I've never put them in the dishwasher. I wash them in the sink with Dawn detergent and a sponge.

        1. re: ThreeGigs

          Also, I don't see a film on the sheets, It looks just as shiny as ever, but for the past few uses, I'm seeing the residue on the towel when I dry them.

        2. Finally figured out the cause of the gray residue on my pans - heavy duty sponges! I have been buying heavy duty sponges at Costco. The last time I replenished them, they didn't have the same green/yellow ones, so I got blue/blue. I have not had any gray residue on the pans or the garlic press since I started using the "non" heavy duty sponges.

          2 Replies
          1. re: bucksguy14

            You're confusing cause and effect...

            Heavy duty sponges *do not cause* the so-called gray residue on your pans. Heavy duty sponges are just better at scrubbing/loosening the oxidized aluminum ("gray residue").

            Bottom line: Your aluminum products are safe to use, aluminum oxide is not a concern, and feel free to use heavy duty sponges as long as you're fine with excessive scratching (that is, stick with the less aggressive blue sponges).
             
             
            P.S. The other thread you started on the same subject: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/680009
             

            1. re: bucksguy14

              I agree with Joe. To confirm this, watch your heavy duty sponge thoroughly, then use it to clean a ceramic or glass bowl or something and you should not able to see the gray residue.