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Nov 7, 2011 10:20 AM

Stainless Steel--Help needed.

I have managed to overheat a Stainless Steel pan to the point of discolor. There was no food involved--just water that boiled away while I was distracted by kids needing help outside.
Is there any product out there that can bring back the stainless shine ?? My regular resourcefulness of usual household remedies doesn't seem to be working.
The pan is from the Cuisinart classic collection and does not specify 18/8. Thanks.

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  1. Try buffing it with steel wool.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jcolvin

      I agree with jcolvin.

      It's grunt work, you can "buff" with Comet or powdered Bon-Ami for a finer polish also.

      If it's really, really bad, you can use an end-bristle steel brush (on a drill), but it leaves "swirl" marks.

      If you're a lab geek, can chemically etch it (leaves a pearl/gray finish that, again, has to be buffed) ;
      For ~250ML etchant - (I use this for copper etching, but it eats almost any metal)
      Wear rubber gloves & eye protection ( you have been warned).. in a glass container;
      100 ml cold water
      62.5 ml muriatic acid ( hardware store)
      87.5 ml hydrogen peroxide- 3% ( dollar store)
      Add acid to the cold water & then the H2O2.
      Pour solution in the pot & swirl until the discoloration is gone.
      Rinse pot with plenty of water & dispose of excess etching soln' with plenty of water
      DON'T get this on your Stainless will etch/ gray it!!

      Had a pot that I've overheated several times, so far as to the aluminum bottom layer between the stainless bubbling/distorting.
      Yeah, I'm bad ;-)
      Etched, then buffed it with the wire brush, then Bon-ami..still not as nice as new, but not blue/black anymore.

      /end geek

    2. Try Easy-Off Oven Cleaner, let sit overnight and scrub with a bristle brush. It may take several attempts before restoring the shine.

      1. My dh did this to me once with a 1.5 quart All-Clad. Sigh. After I got over the initial shock and annoyance, I tried a lot of elbow grease and BKF and steel wool. Nothing seemed to work. It was just the outside that was discolored, it had turned a light bronze if you looked at it closely, and in the right light, and of course I did. I love the shiny. What finally worked was a hot water soak with plenty of BKF. I filled up an old stock pot with the solution and let it sit overnight. I was so happy to have the shiny back the next morning.

        1. Bar keeper's friend is always a good start if you have it. If you don't, try white vinegar.

          1. Hi,

            Can't stress enough the great suggestion by Chemicalkinetics - 'Bar Keepers Friend' - it comes in a canister (like Comet, etc.) and is usually found in the scouring powders and steel wool section in the store. There are not any substitutes for this wonderful product. Wet the bottom of your pan and generously sprinkle some Bar Keepers Friend powder on the discoloration, and spread it with a moist sponge - don't get everything too drippy - evenly moist is best. After a moment or two, begin to gently rub in a circular motion. The discoloration should begin to immediately disappear. Hope that your pan wasn't too badly over-heated and that this works for you. After using Bar Keepers Friend, I always finish with a drop or two of Palmolive liquid - (the good, original, old-fashioned green kind - not apple, or anything else - just the original green Palmolive liquid) add water to the Palmolive liquid and gently wash the pan, rinse well, and dry. The liquid soap wash will get rid of any residue from the powder. Again, hope that this works for you and that your pan is returned to its original beauty.