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Jan 6, 2010 10:52 AM

Daily cleaning of stainless steel cookware?

I recently purchased my first higher end cookware (All Clad stainless saute pan and saucepan) and I am curious about any proper do's and don'ts for cleaning after use. I'm not talking about some of the surface polishing or cleaning with Bar Keeper's Friend or similar.

With most of my cookware, I hand wash with water and soap in the sink, and leave it to air-dry on the counter with other drying cookware. The only exception to this has been with my cast iron skillet which I never soap, and if it needs a rinse, I do it with a never-soaped sponge and then I dry it immediately by putting it on the stove top on low for about 10 minutes or so.

For my stainless steel cookware, I've been treating it so far like my cast-iron skillet (no soap + drying on the stove on low), but I'm not sure if this is necessary or good/bad for the cookeware. I imagine stainless steel doesn't absorb the soap flavors like cast iron can, but I thought I'd ask here.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Was in the dishpan, with regular liquid dish deterent. Air or towel-dry.

    1. The All Clad with the polished stainless exterior can also go into the dishwasher if you are so inclined. All Clad with anodized finishes can also go in the dishwasher but the finish gets kind of gnarly over time. Non-stick stuff always gets hand-washed.

      5 Replies
      1. re: chococat

        Cool... for some reason I can't bring myself to put pots/pans into the dishwasher, but it looks like simple handwashing with soap and water with air-drying will do the trick. Thanks!

        1. re: nasv

          I am using stainless since 2 years or so. For pots, most of the time soap and water is OK, every now and then I use Bar Keepers friend.

          For pan's this is a complete different story. If I pan sear at high heat I use Bar Keepers Friend all the time, soap and water does not much for these cases.

          1. re: jk1002

            It's an excellent idea to deglaze after searing, or even sauteeing at length ... really helps with cleanup too.

          2. re: nasv

            nasv: "for some reason I can't bring myself to put pots/pans into the dishwasher"

            We have been putting our stainless pots and pans (mostly Demeyere Apollo, but also Mauviel Induc'Inox and Zani Karen) in the dishwasher almost every night for a dozen years. No problems. None. Lose your inhibitions. Feel free. WHEEE!

            1. re: Politeness

              Now you have me dying to lose my inhibitions ... but I *already* put my stainless in the dishwasher :(

        2. Stainless steel cookware are the easiest to take care of. In fact, that is the whole point. They do not readily react (thus stainless). They are strong, unlike enameled cast iron or clay cookware. They do not lose their ability after they get scratched up, unlike nonstick pans.

          You can clean them with water or soap or vinegar or baking soda, or you do not even have to clean them regularly. Now, having uncleaned stainless steel cookware may affect your health, but not the cookware.

          1 Reply
          1. I live in the country, so I tend to dry my All Clad directly after washing due to water spots caused by my water softener (I'm assuming.) Probably not necessary - tt may be just me.

            I hate spots, if I can help it.