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Sep 5, 2012 04:06 AM

Refurbushing my cookware

After several years of use, my All Clad has become tarnished and looks weathered. does anyone know how or where i can get this returned to its original shiny condition? does anyone else have this problem with their cookware? Thanks for any help.

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  1. Have tried the usual "Bar Keeper's Friend" remedy?

    When you said tarnished? Can you describe a bit more? Some of these are easily to be removed with an acidic solution, while others are easily to be removed with a basic solution.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      hello there, thanks for the advice, I have owned the All Clad for several years and its the build up of carbon I think, just doesnt look fresh and shiny anymore......but I still love the brand. I would like to get them shined again, do you know of anyone who cleans them back up? kinda silly but they have been in the family for so long I want to keep them....any ideas appreciated?

      1. re: joydavie

        If it is not shiny, then you will need to polish and buff the metal, and you are better off sending the jobs out than to do it yourself -- unless you have done this many times before. For small works as slatgirl, you can use a dremel tool with polishing compound. However, I again would suggest you find someone else to do this for you.

        For buildup carbon, your best bet is to use a basic solution. If it does not look too bad, you can just use baking soda. For more serious buildup, you can try ammonia. Some people have also used oven cleaner like Easy Off. I have only used Easy Off once, and it seems to work nicely for burned on BBQ stuffs, but I have not used it more to have a better handle on it.

      2. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Thanks to all of you who have replied. I really appreciate your comments and suggestions.....I found a service that recoats non stick pans and repolishes the stainless back to near original condition. Is this something any of your would try? Thanks

        1. re: joydavie

          Hi, joydavie:

          I'm trying to avoid non-stick, so I'll leave that to you. But polishing? Yes, definitely. Were you quoted a price per pan for the polish? I ask only because it might be wise to comparison-shop with a general metal finishing biz. For that matter, a lot of autobody shops have wheel & saddle buffers...


          1. re: kaleokahu

            thanks Kaleokahu, your are awesome....good ideas.

          2. re: joydavie

            <repolishes the stainless>

            Repolish stainless is not bad, as long as the price is reasonable. Of course, if it is too pricey, then you might as well buy a new set of cookware. Most people actually can do at home with right tools and patience. You may want to give only one piece of cookware to this service for testing.

            <.I found a service that recoats non stick pans>

            Recoating Teflon cookware is tough. This is not something a mom and pop shop can handle. You may want to ask exactly how they are doing this.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              Teflon coating isn't all that though, but you do need an oven capable of temperatures over 700 degrees F. I've seen some places do the coating that weren't too fancy. We sell a component that is used in some non-stick coatings, so I know the places that do this kind of work.

              1. re: mikie

                <so I know the places that do this kind of work.>

                In your opinion, do most of these places do an adequate job of curing the Teflon coating onto the pan and also to bake out all necessary POFA's.

            2. re: joydavie

              I would be very interested to learn more about this service.

              1. re: joydavie

                I don't see the point of getting a nonstick pan recoated unless it's expensive, like All-Clad, and you're wedded to it. Even if the new coating is up to date with the latest nonstick materials and technology, it wouldn't be much more expensive to replace the pan, would it? The new pan would come with factory coating and a guarantee.

                As for shining up older cookware, I like mine to look like I use it, and as long as it's clean, the "weathered" look is fine with me. But if that doesn't suit you, then I'd think getting the stuff professionally polished makes more sense than replacing it with new.

                1. re: John Francis

                  I have several All-Clad teflon pans (purchased years ago-- I would never buy these now), that I would love to either have stripped of their teflon completely, or recoated. I would prefer to have them stripped, and would love to find a place that would do that.

            3. Hi, joydavie:

              Polished SS loses its bright look over time with scuffs, scratches, etc. No amount of cleaning--even with the world's panacea, BKF--will cure that.

              I suggest you find a reputable metal finishing and fabrication shop. They have the buffers, rouge, and expertise to restore the polish and shine. It won't be that expensive, either, at least relative to buying new A-C.

              Another option: Brushed finishes look better longer... The same shop can put on a brushed finish that will make the "weathering" disappear for a long, long time.


              1. Barkeepers Friend does a nice job getting day to day smut and water spots off. If you want something heavier duty than that, look for a metal polish/polishing compound at a hardware or automotive store. Some brands that I am aware of are Flitz, 3M, and Brasso. You want something beyond just those spray cleaner/polish types thing sold for household appliances.
                To restore All-Clad's near mirror finish to pans that are very scratched and worn, you're more into the realm of metal finishing, which you can certainly hire out if you can find a place that will take the job. OTOH, I've seen amazing things done by hand to things that started out a lot less shiny than your All-Clad The general gist of polishing anything is just like sanding wood-- you need to start with a more abrasive product and move up to the fine grit and polish stage. You can often find metal polishing compounds sold as a kit. Their grit is designated and they work just like sandpaper. Other words to look for are tripoli or rouge. I recommend experimenting with the absolute least abrasive products first, as you can make a lot more work for yourself in a hurry if you start with something coarser than you need.
                It's likely you'd find some sort of power tool useful depending on how intense you intend to get. The easiest solution here is cotton and flannel polishing wheels that go on a drill, or a dremel for smaller work.

                1. I believe the quick and easy way is to follow the advice of Kaleo and take it to a shop that does this kind of work. I've had automotive parts polished and the pros do a great job at a reasonable rate, They have all the equipment and skill to do a great job quickly.

                  The slow and tedious way is DIY as outlined by Splatgirl above. You will have to purchase equipment and the buffs and compounds to do the job. One place to look for equipment is automotive restoration businesses on line. They sell buffers, buffs, and the compounds to bring parts to a high polish. Sometimes these are avaialble in kits to make things easier to purchase. It's a lot of hard work if you don't have the proper equipment, and the equipment isn't going to be cheep either.

                  A final suggestion is a metal polish such as SemiChrome, which can be applied and buffed by hand, but that's only going to work if it's truely just tarnished and not badly scratched. We use SemiChrome at work to polish mold surfaces and it works great for light work and to remove oxidation.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: mikie

                    it's Simichrome, just to clarify

                    1. re: splatgirl

                      Yes, indeed it is. And Eastwood is one of the automotive supply houses that has polishing supplies, that I just couldn't think of earlier.