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HELP!! tin baking pan black after dishwasher cycle

I'm sorry if there is a recient thread like this, but I'm new. I'm at my wits end. I have a tin pan that was my mother's when I was growing up. It's been through the dishwasher countless times. This time I used the new Cascade 3 in 1 packets and it turned black. I tried to clean it but to no avail. When I clean it with a little soap and water it turns the water black. I don't want this black in my food, but I don't want to throw it away if there is a way to save it.

I cleaned it with Dawn, soaked it in bleach water (I never used bleach on it and hated to do so now), scrubbed it with a green scotch bright pad, and even tried to clean it with brillo. I know brillo can scratch it, but it's got it's share of scratches as it's maybe 50 years old or more. My mom use to use it when I was a kid and I'm 46 now, so I'd say well over 50 years.

Please help. I'm not even sure they make backing pans like this any more. It's never rusted. It's made one piece not the folded corners that are in the store today. I've bought tin cookie sheets and they lasted about 10 years before producing a black layer that came off in the oil when I greased the sheets. Needless to say they went in the trash. I don't want to have to do the same with this.

Let me know if you need any other details.

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  1. I hear the frustration and just wish I had a solution for you. Unfortunately I don't. But hopefully someone will have an idea.

    I have a friend that whenever I loan cookie sheets to they come back all grey and I'm convinced it is her detergent too. Unfortunately I've never been able to reverse the coloring.

    1. Read like a bad oxidation.

      Try soak the pan in warm Bar Keeper's Friend solution for a 10 minutes+ and clean it with a nylon scrubbing brush.

      1. If it is oxidation maybe it can be buffed out.

        1. Sorry I'm of no help here. The instructions on the pans that I have specifically says no DW allowed.

          I'm curious when you said you've put yours into the DW countless times. What detergent were you using? I may start putting mine into the DW then!!

          1. Yeah, today's DW detergents are pretty harsh. They'll strip the anodized layer right off Calphalon, too.

            Sounds like the tin itself is actually completely gone and you're looking at the base metal. You may need to have the pan re-tinned, which is what you usually had to do periodically in the old days when everyone used tinned copper as well.

            1. It isn't merely a matter of harshness, but chemistry. Pure water is "harsh" to everything which (witch?) will dissolve in it. As it happens, while tin is resistant to ordinary water and air, it will dissolve in strong acid and alkaline solutions.

              1. try soaking and boiling in a stockpot with the old box of baking soda you keep in the fridge.

                Baking soda is how many commercial kitchens clean their stoves, pots, pans and etc.

                21 Replies
                1. re: fourunder

                  The detergent I used before the packets is Cascade liquid. It doesn't have the third ingredient that the new packet has. If the tin is worn off and is base metal then it's been that way since I was born. Whatever the base metal is I don't know, All I know is that it's always been a light color metal and it never rusted or turned green like copper does. It's been in the oven, on the stove - electric and gas - nothing has damaged it until now. It's the one pan I use for making cornbread and I'd hate to end up with black cornbread. I'll try all the suggestions and let you know if anything works. I don't care if it stays black (or gray) as long as it stays on the pan and not in the food. When I took it out of the dishwasher and saw what happened I could have cried. I think I'm the third generation in the family to use it just like some of my cast iron pans. A couple of those were made by my grandfather (during the depresion era) - he worked in a foundry so he knew how to work with molted metal and molds. A good coat of grease and they work better then any non-stick I've ever known and last forever.

                  Where do I get Bar Keeper's Friend? I've never heard of it.

                  Anybody know where I can get other's like it - a pressed form pan rather than folded corner pan - not non-stick. The non-stick ones rust after a year, sometimes sooner, and those folder corners make it hard to clean. Food gets in there and the only way to get it out is with a knife. I'm convinced I've never got all the food out of those corners. The one I'm having trouble with is a 9" x 9". My other is a 12" X 9", and I think it's just as old. It's a non-stick, at least as old as I am, and most of the coating is off - I wouldn't trade it in for a ton of new pans. It's also been in the dishwasher countless times without problems, but never with the new packets. I think as long as the new packets are used, it's never seeing the inside of a dishwasher again. I don't want it turning out like this one. I really wish I can get more like them - maybe e-Bay.

                  1. re: cinvowell

                    By "like it" do you mean tin? Pressed aluminum is easy. For tin, I expect you would have to look in vintage/antique stores.

                    1. re: cinvowell

                      Your pan is probably tinned steel. So the base metal would be steel. Put a magnet on it, and if it sticks, it is steel. If the tin has come off, it would have been dissolved in the dishwasher, is what I think GH was saying. You can't just go out and buy a 50 year old pan just like the one you have been using. You can certainly troll ebay, and you can look hard at junky antique stores or flea markets.

                      I am troubled by the idea of you using a 50 year old pan with the Teflon flaking off. If my understanding of what you wrote is correct--the Teflon coating has mostly come off--then you should not use it, unless you fancy eating Teflon. If the pan is as old as you say its, then the coating has to be original Teflon, which did indeed scratch and come off with use.

                      And now for an observation: I've used really old pans. I have an enamel baking pan that came from the household of my maternal great grandmother. I've used it with pleasure, But with use, it has deteriorated. Our kitchen ware of whatever vintage never stays new, and almost always wears out over time. The value of the piece that you may have ruined, is attributed, not intrinsic. If it never can be restored, it doesn't change the regard you have/had for the original owner. But I understand how you feel.

                      1. re: sueatmo

                        The pan with the Teflon has a few scratches and a couple places where there is about a dime size missing and no rust. I'm sorry if I sounded like it was pealed off to nothing. I bought 2 non-stick baking pans a few years ago and within 6 months one rusted to the point I could smell the rust - trash can it went. The other lasted a little longer. It's ready for the trash can. I had 2 cookie sheets, top brand, made of tin I think. They lasted 10 years. They looked fine but when I greased them for cookies the oil turned black and put out a funny odor. They went out. I'd rather take a chance with the Teflon on my old pan then deal with rust on my new. All my newer non-stick pans that can't peel are pitted. The pan that turned black didn't do it over time. It did it over the course of 1 hour. I don't expect my old cookware to be perfect after 50+ years. They have some dents and bends and stuff like that, but they have yet to rust or produce any other kind of residue when oiled. The value of the piece I ruined isn't just the memory of where it came from, it's the fact that I can't find another pan that is/was as reliable as this one. It's a matter of do I spend $10 or $20 on a pan that may last a year or two, or do I buy a considrably older pan for what ever price it's taged at a junky antique store that will still be of use well after the new pans have entered the trash. The blacked pan has the memories attached to it but more importantly it's been one of the most reliable pans in my kitchen. Thats what upsets me most - I ruined what I consider one of my best pans in the kitchen and I want to try to fix it rather then replace it with one of the substandard pans I see in the stores.

                        I put a magnet to both pans and the magnet did not stick. As far as what it's made of maybe it's not tin but aluminum. Would the same cleaning methods work for aluminum as with tin.

                        Memories or not if I try to clean it and when I oil it the oil turns black it goes out just like the rest and eBay here I come.

                        1. re: cinvowell

                          If it's aluminum, that's another story. Does it have a mfr name on it? There are vintage Bake-King and Wear-Ever aluminum baking pans:


                          Read this old thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/609961

                          1. re: GH1618

                            No markings what so ever. I don't know where my mother got it from and she's not here for me to ask. I looked into the links you provided and the etsy web site baking pans look a lot like my pan. The chowhound thread, I think I know what the lady was trying to say. I just took a Viva paper towel with a little olive oil and rubbed the inside of the ruined pan and picked up black on the towel. If I can do something about the black residue to the point that I can put oil on it without the oil turning black then I'll continue to use it, otherwise I do need a good shallow pot for my cat's cat grass that has yet to be planted. Now that I know what to look for, I'll be buying some used Were-Ever or Bake-King regardless if I can fix my ruined pan or not. The new pans keep failing me and I'm tired of spending good money on something that may or may not last a year.

                            Thank you for the links. it's a great help to know what the manufacturer of my good pans might be so I can get more. One square pan and one rectangular pan is not enough for baking and cooking at the same time.

                          2. re: cinvowell


                            I found this thread at Cooking LIght. Apparently you should not put aluminum in the dishwasher. I admit this is news to me. I put my aluminum cookie sheets in the dishwasher and they have not turned black. However, I am using new dishwasher detergent, with a new dishwasher, and I probably won't in the future.

                            I am guessing that is what happened to you. with your aluminum pan.

                            I find that newer pans are generally better than older pans. I don't think you'll have problems finding something that gives good service. I buy at Home Goods, Bed Bath and Beyond and the grocery store. But I think that from now on, I'll be reading the care instructions! And it is too bad about your nice old pan.

                            1. re: sueatmo

                              Yea, lession learned. I'm convinced it was the Cascade 3 in 1 packet. I used the 2 in 1 once before but not on this pan. It did such a poor job I had to re-wash the whole load. I was a regular user of the Cascade liquid and never had a problem with this pan. It didn't always get everything clean but it wasn't enough to get worked up about. Come to think of it, one time I bought new spring form pans non-stick. I always wash new pans before using. I put them in the dishwasher and they came out rusted. These pans were straight out of the package. I bought another set and they have yet to see the inside of the dishwasher. The 3 in 1 was a suggestion by my friend. He hated seeing me washing things that were already washed by the dishwasher even though it would be 1 or 2 pieces most of the time and not every load. Neither one of us would have guessed this would happen.

                              So in the future nothing tin or nothing that might look tin will not see the inside of the dishwasher. On the bright side, I know what brands put out the same type of pans as my favorites and will look into buying more. I really needed more baking pans. If I didn't ruin my pan, I wouldn't have come to this site looking for a way to fix it and wouldn't have gotten the information about the brands. So, maybe I gained more then I lossed in the end. I think it's better to look at what you learned from an expirence the dwell on what went wrong.

                              Thanks everyone.

                              1. re: cinvowell

                                Except that your damaged pan was aluminum, right? What I've taken away from this is not to put aluminum in a newer dishwasher.

                                If your pans rusted after one wash, I wonder if the drying cycle is at fault?

                                Have fun looking for new pans.

                                1. re: sueatmo

                                  It's a little hard to follow, because there are multiple pans being discussed, of different (and uncertain) materials. When alumunum turns black by exposure to dishwasher detergent, it's because of alkaline chemicals in the detergent, not the water.

                                  1. re: GH1618

                                    OP stated that her pan had no magnetic reaction, therefore it is probably aluminum. I found a thread elsewhere dealing with the same problem she had on aluminum pans, therefore I assume, unless told differently, that her damaged pan is aluminum.

                                    I did not mean to imply or state that the pan would turn black because of the water, but because of the (possibly) newer dishwasher detergents.

                                    If her pan is not aluminum, but has no magnetic reaction, then I think it might be stainless steel. But she did not state that.

                                  2. re: sueatmo

                                    Aluminum cannot rust.....it can only corrode(oxidize)

                                    1. re: fourunder

                                      Before starting this thread I didn't really know how to tell between tin and aluminum pans. I thought they were tin (the one that turned black is a ver soft metal - when the side got bent not too long ago I was able to bend it back very easily) but after viewing that one sight with the Wear-Ever aluminum pans I thinks you guys are right - the one that turned black is aiuminum, not tin. Not sure about the other, it might have some steel in it. It's much stronger then the other. I can say with some certanty that what turned the pan black was the new dishwasher detergent. The dishwasher itself is only a couple years old, and the pan has been in at least a dozen times or more. The only thing that changed was the dish soap. The ironic thing is I didn't want to us it in the first place. My friend insisted that I use it because his mother uses the packets and really likes it. (In his defense, he knows how resistant to change I am and his way is the only way to get me to try new products many times. If something works, I tend to stick to it no matter what improvements have been made. A version of 'if it's not broke, don't fix it'.) It didn't matter that I had used the other 2 in 1 Cascade packets and didn't like them, but I gave in because they were the new kind and maybe they would do a better job. Up until now I was glad he insisted. They do a better job the the other packets and the liquid. I just didn't know this would happen to my favorite pan. If I had I would have washed it by hand.

                                      OK, enough of my whining. Can I try the same cleaning suggestions offered above or are there different ways to deal with the black? Or does the cat get a new container for his cat grass.

                                      1. re: cinvowell

                                        Before you toss it to the cats, so to speak, you might as well try plain old metal polish. I don't know of a specific brand for aluminum, but presumably it's there along with the others on store shelves.

                                        1. re: cinvowell

                                          I have a very old Wear-Ever stock pot given to me that's probably 60+ years old. Whenever I use it to cook crabs or lobsters....or if I simply leave the salted water in too long on the stove top(overnight) because I forgot......the pot develops a dark oxidation inside from the water level down. It's obviously discolored, but not corroded in any way and it is still smooth to the touch, without any film or such that rubs off if you run you fingers over it. With each future use in making soups, the oxidation goes away.

                                          I suggest you just continue to use the pan and see what happens with it.

                                          1. re: cinvowell

                                            First, try soaking it in vinegar. Vinegar is a weak acid, so get a gallon jug of inexpensive white vinegar, and let it soak for a long time. This advice is from a neighbor of mine who has a chemistry background. It might help, but might not be sufficient. Let us know, please.

                                            Here's a possible next step, after the vinegar treatment:


                                            This is for removing anodizing, but note that the black, oxidized aluminum is an intermediate state. Try starting there, but skip the sanding steps and just do the polishing.

                                            1. re: GH1618

                                              Funny, this might explain what happened to some old T-fal pots (thin aluminum, color finished exterior, nonstick interior) that I used to put in the dishwasher. Probably same reason too: switching to the Cascade packets when I used to use gel/liquid. With the pots I just kept cleaning until it stopped running black on me. I still don't really know if something happened to the exterior like the finish failed or if it all came from the exposed rim at the top. This was probably a little easier on these pots, though, because the exterior is...black. ;-) So I didn't have to be perfect with it, just kept washing the outside until the black stopped rubbing off. I used SOS pads. Now I just don't put them in the dishwasher. They're getting pretty long in the tooth anyway, but I still use them occasionally.

                                              It took a while of washing them before that stuff came off. I think at one point I let them dry and still had to wash them some more. Whether this means something simple like SOS will clean the aluminum baking pan I really don't know, but I'd certainly try cleaning it before pitching it, and then just don't wash it in the DW, or possibly change detergents (there may still be some that wouldn't react this way, but it also would be a risk of it happening again).

                                              1. re: GH1618

                                                Thank you so much. The vinegar worked. It took a couple days. I wish I knew about this when I tossed my (about 10 years old) 3 cookie sheets. They didn't look black but when I greased them for cookies using a little olive oil it turned the oil black. This is something good to know and simple too. Again thank you.

                                                1. re: cinvowell

                                                  I see by this post you have found the solution to get the pan bright again. My suggestion was to try soaking it with tomato sauce. Found out back when my grandmother and mother cooked with Magnalite pots. The insides would turn black looking after cooking some foods, and then later spaghetti sauce in the same pot and the insides would be shiny again. This is probably only one of the reasons I do not use aluminium pots.

                                          2. re: sueatmo

                                            Perhaps the pan that rusted wasn't aluminum at all, but stainless steel. It can look a lot like high polished aluminum.

                                        2. re: sueatmo

                                          Hey Sue,

                                          What cookie sheets do you have? Mom had some heavy jelly roll pans (now mine) that are only a few years old. They were nice and somewhat shiny until my SIL ran them through the DW. I think they might be Chicago Metallic. They were never high polished, but now they're dull and rough, clearly showing some passivation.

                                          Although I don't run mine through the DW, it would be nice to know I could.

                                2. Too late for this one but I have found that for washing tin coated steel the best drill is use a soft natural bristled brush, like a Lola, and hot sudsy water, rinse, and put in a low heat oven to dry. Tin melts around 450 F. So keep it away from the heating elements while drying. The reason I like this method is I have yet to find a piece of tinned steel where the tinner didn't miss some little place and if you rely on a towel as the way to dry it you will invariably develop small rust spots.

                                  1. When I worked at the bakery we would send out the tin loaf pans for coating. They came back with a shellac like coating that was used to help in creating a non stick surface, so the oven hot bread could be sucked out of the square loaf pans. I had to pull the top pan off three at a time four loafs wide. burnt my wrist several times in the process. Production line baking gave me nightmares as they pushed for 12 and 14 hour shifts. Thus the demise of the Twinkie. I believe that everything old is usually made better stronger etc and hate to throw out anything. But since you are dealing with food everything has to be non leaching and perfect. Teflon has under attack. Its found to be like dealing with asbestos. It's ok where it sits as long as its not breaking down and not flaking. Some states have it naturally laying on the ground. A total resurfacing is probably the only alternative. But your dealing with food, important to insure its right. Racing pistons use Teflon coating and can be done on a small basis. But then again is it food grade teflon, is it worth the hundred dollar process etc. Small production would be the only answer for the replacement of the Teflon coating. Tinning I hear is done in the Midwest. But during a recent trip I found a guy who sends out small batches for zinc coatings of automotive parts. The government has strong scrutinizing laws governing toxic substances. Teflon is on its way out because of that. Sad but its just like everything else, that can be proven and radicalized by the press and a group of Lawyers of course.

                                    1. On cleaning the aluminum cookie sheets... You can put them in the oven during a cleaning cycle and the embedded food turns to ash. Pretty harsh on the pans but works great.

                                      1. hope this helps it is from http://www.cleaninginstitute.org/

                                        Discoloration of Aluminum

                                        Problem Causes Solutions Preventive Measures
                                        Discoloration of aluminum Exposure to certain minerals and alkalis in some foods and water plus high drying temperature. Boil a solution of 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) of cream of tartar, lemon juice or vinegar to 1 quart (.95 L) of water in the utensil for 5-10 minutes. Then lightly scour with a steel wool soap pad.

                                        Clean with a metal cleaning product recommended for aluminum. Follow package directions.

                                        Cooking an acid food such as tomatoes will also remove the stains and will not affect the food. If water is causing the discoloration, do not use dry cycle or remove aluminum ware after the final rinse.

                                        Check manufacturer's instructions on the dishwash ability of the aluminum ware.
                                        Plastic Distortion

                                        1. I have the same problem and it is not just with Cascade! I have also tried Finish and had the same issue! I have also noticed problems with my non-stick not lasting long even when it says dishwasher safe on top shelf. I am not sure what to do except that I no longer put my pots and pans in the dishwasher. I have no problems with dishes and silverware. In addition to some of the things already mentioned, I have tried baking soda soak, baking soda plus vinegar soak, a cleaner called De-Solv-it (orange oil cleaner), and another cleaner called SUDS which is just about the most abrasive cleaner I have and still it does not come out! I can only think that there is some chemical reaction taking place that penetrates into the metal.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: mes0126

                                            I finally spoke to a professional my mother she told me to go to Wal-Mart and get plan old fashioned SOS pads with blue soap in them and a box of muletrain and a set of rubber gloves. She said to go back and forth not in cicles. And use elbow grease her birthing gave me . It worked. it is not set in the metal like people said. shine is back but it took me about 30 min a pan keep rinsing with cool water . And my mother's advise is why would you want to put metal into a dishwasher pans should be hand washed they need to be treated with respect. So SOS pads win oh an muletrain who would of thought. I attached pic of one befor and one after.

                                            1. re: kc0rdf

                                              Wow that is a huge difference. Good to know!

                                              But what the heck is muletrain?

                                              1. re: thimes


                                                Oops muleteam I typo . Go to link my mom uses it for everything has for years . You can get it at wal Mart cheap. Also fels naptha soap for grass blood and greese spots I put bar of soap in tupaware containers with water to make it jelly like and brush on jeans and cloths spots I can't get out and we're already washed and dryed. Good luck

                                              2. re: kc0rdf

                                                I am rediscovering many of the old products that are still around for a reason--they WORK...and cheaper is a bonus! 20 Mule Team Borax, A&H Washing Soda & baking soda are similar, but decreasing strength in that order. Newer OxyClean is stronger than all of them, so use very carefully--will even soak out perspiration stains in whites. And SOS Pads are da bomb, tho be careful of scratching.

                                                1. re: kc0rdf

                                                  I am rediscovering many of the old products that are still around for a reason--they WORK...and cheaper is a bonus! 20 Mule Team Borax, A&H Washing Soda & Baking Soda are similar, but decreasing in strength in that order. Newer OxyClean is stronger than all of them, so use very carefully--will even soak out perspiration stains on whites. And SOS Pads are also "da bomb", tho be careful of scratching...Glad to see you were successful!

                                              3. Never put tin anything in the dishwasher. Wash with mild dish soap and a soft sponge or cloth.

                                                1. K kc0rdf Apr 23, 2014 09:13 PM
                                                  I finally spoke to a professional my mother she told me to go to Wal-Mart and get plan old fashioned SOS pads with blue soap in them and a box of muletrain and a set of rubber gloves. She said to go back and forth not in cicles. And use elbow grease her birthing gave me . It worked. it is not set in the metal like people said. shine is back but it took me about 30 min a pan keep rinsing with cool water . And my mother's advise is why would you want to put metal into a dishwasher pans should be hand washed they need to be treated with respect. So SOS pads win oh an 20 mule train who would of thought. I attached pic of one befor and one after.

                                                  1. K kc0rdf Apr 23, 2014 09:13 PM
                                                    I finally spoke to a professional my mother she told me to go to Wal-Mart and get plan old fashioned SOS pads with blue soap in them and a box of muletrain and a set of rubber gloves. She said to go back and forth not in cicles. And use elbow grease her birthing gave me . It worked. it is not set in the metal like people said. shine is back but it took me about 30 min a pan keep rinsing with cool water . And my mother's advise is why would you want to put metal into a dishwasher pans should be hand washed they need to be treated with respect. So SOS pads win oh an 20 mule train who would of thought. I attached pic of one befor and one after.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: kc0rdf

                                                      oh and you will have to recure the pan in oven with a good veggie pan oil i use same pan cure as stuff i use for cast iron pans and make sure you do on grill out side it will smoke badly at first but tin needs a good couple cures on it at hi heat it will blacke a little but use disposable rags to wipe off ...