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Need Help with New Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Calphalon

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Okay, before I start, just, please forgive me. I've always, always loved the look, of stainless steel pots and finally gave in, and purchased a expensive set at BB&B.

I already understand, that it's a big change from Non-Stick, but, I've always hated my semi-expensive, "Aluminum Anodized" (I really have no idea what that means) pans. And, I'm fine, with things sticking from time to time, and using oil or butter beforehand.

My Question is in, Maintaining Them. I noticed there "Dishwasher Safe", and would like to sparingly put them in there, from time to time, just to kill off any bacteria, and to prevent any build up of anything.

My first Question is, what's the safest Dishwasher Detergent? I know the Gel is probably a big no-no because they contain Bleach, is there anything else, I should avoid? Also, Heated Dry, Yay or Nay?

I actually called Cascade, earlier, and was told there little "Complete Packets" should be safe. But, in all honesty, I'd just rather hear from actual people here, who have similar, sets of pans and experience.

Like I said, I really plan to hand-wash them as much as possible, but, I'd like to prevent any greasy buildup, and any nasty crap, during Flu Season.

Another Thing. My set already seems to have some scratching (or what looks like it) in some of the pans. Is this Common? I've never cooked with Stainless Steel before, but, I've never really seen noticeable scratching on Friends Sets, either.

I wonder, if you could even polish it out to a degree?

There's also a small place, on two of them, that looks like a Black scratch of sort. Although, looking really close up, it's almost like a stain. Although, it's not really removeable, with my fingers.

I really, like all the shiny-ness of the set, and, I just wanna keep it looking great. I know I probably sound, weird to a degree, but, I'm just, scared I'm gonna ruin them.

Anyone with any Advice, I'd really appreciate it.

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  1. "... put them in there, from time to time, just to kill off any bacteria..."

    When you cook in them, the heat kills anything you're concerned about.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Muddirtt

      I understand, I'd just feel good, about putting them, through the dishwasher every once in a while, so they get a little more throughly scrubbed.

      1. re: Michael2000

        The diswasher won't scrub them more thoroughly than a little elbow grease and Bon Ami & Bar Keeper's Friend. I have the Calphalon tri-ply 12" skillet I picked up for $25 at a factory second store - it had a 2 inch scratch on the BOTTOM of the pan (right where I was planning on putting one!) so I was pleased. My house is 104 years old and it just so happens yours truly IS the diswashwer.

        If you had concerns about bacteria and what not, you could always dry the pans in the oven for a few minutes at 350.

        I get more mileage out of a little BKF & Bon Ami (I use both because they are actually different products and I seldom spend more than 15 seconds before I'm ready to return proudly display my trophy on the pot-rack we designed.)

        I realize this is an answer to a question you didn't ask, and not an answer to what you did ask, but I thought it might be of some use.

        1. re: CaliforniaJoseph

          <I get more mileage out of a little BKF & Bon Ami (I use both because they are actually different products and I seldom spend more than 15 seconds before I'm ready to return proudly display my trophy on the pot-rack we designed.)>

          Let me add that, like CaliforniaJoseph, I don't believe in spending a lot of time scrubbing my cookware. If it doesn't easily wipe out the first go-round, I'll be letting something else soak off the grime.

          I've found that the best way to eliminate work is to deglaze the pan with some water while it's still on the hot stove. A couple of extra seconds there saves so much time and energy later. I do end up using a vinegar rinse several times a week, but the BKF only seldom, maybe once a week.

    2. Congratulations on your new cookware. I hope you enjoy them for many years. I had the same line until recently, when I needed new induction cookware. The old stuff wasn't induction capable, but it gave me great service in every task I needed.

      Calphalon Tri-Ply is dishwasher safe, to a degree. The rivets on the lids and tall pans are aluminum with stainless steel caps. The aluminum will corrode in the DW. Eventually, they could fail. Calphalon does stand behind them and replaced one of my lids without question.

      If you've got really soft water any cheap stuff should work. If not, there's a product called Bubble Bandit that does an ok job and should be pretty mild. It isn't cheap, but it's got phosphates, which is what allows it to work without damaging your cookware. http://www.bubblebandit.com

      The bad news is that the best DW detergents are the most harsh. The ones that don't work all that well do the least damage, but you won't be happy with the results. As much as possible, avoid citric acid. This means no Lemi-Shine and none of the detergent packets that "have it all".

      Scratches are inevitable and in time will be less apparent. I mean that the first few show up horribly, but eventually they'll blend into a lovely patina. I loved the way my 12+ year old pans looked. They had a soft glow that was beautiful to me.

      I share your desire to keep them looking shiny. I absolutely require that my stainless steel be shiny and bright. Ideally, it should gleam like a new pan. My two best friends are white vinegar and Barkeeper's Friend. For white stains from beans, salty water for pasta, etc... I pour in enough vinegar to cover the stain and let it sit for a bit. Then I rinse it out and it shines like new. I treat blue, brown and rainbow heat "stains" in the same way. Easy peasy, but because they need to shine for me, I go through a lot of vinegar. YMMV.

      For cooked-on partially-polymerized grease (that lovely golden stuff) I use the BKF. Make a slurry, let it work, then scrub it clean. If that doesn't do it (and sometimes it won't), I pull out the big gun, my oven cleaner. I use the stuff made to work in a cold oven and let it sit overnight. It wipes clean in the morning and leaves my pans gorgeous. I use this stuff at least twice a year on the bottom of my frypans, because they can get really gunky in time.

      My DW doesn't have a heated dry cycle, but still gets pans clean, shiny and dry. Still, I can't imagine heat would hurt the pan. It's going to get a lot hotter on your cooktop.

      2 Replies
      1. re: DuffyH

        The only reason, I use those stupid packets, is the normal, powder leaves all this white crud on everything. With the packets, I get a bunch of spots, but... It doesn't build up like the Powder does. Gel on the other hand, really works best for me, although, it contains "Chlorine Bleach" which I think I should probably be avoiding.

        Are there any really good, packets, or powders that don't leave so much crud? I wonder if bubble bandit would work in my semi-soft water.

        I have a pretty decent, dishwasher, that *can* scrub off dried on crap, if I let it. Although, I've kinda gotten out of that, because, of the annoyance of occasional leftovers. I'd just rather have everything come out, well, Clean.

        I honestly, just wanna use the dishwasher, to take care of any leftover grease, like you mentioned. I'd try my best to scrub everything off, but, the dishwasher, can just be so helpful at times. Plus, I'd imagine, it'd prevent all that, bottom buildup, I've noticed on my non-stick ones.

        Does the Oven Cleaner? Discolor, or do any Damage? I mean, it just seems scary in my head, to try.

        1. re: Michael2000

          I can't see why bleach would be a problem, it won't harm the metal and gets rinsed off. I'd use it, no problem.

          As for oven cleaner, if it scares you, try it on the bottom of a cruddy stainless pan and see what happens. Again, it won't harm the metal and gets washed off. You'll love the results, I promise. As long as you're not eating it, there's not much that can harm stainless steel. :)

          EDIT - Some commercial kitchens routinely use a bleach solution to sanitize their stainless steel work tables.

      2. Hi Michael. Your stainless will look great but if you use it it will also look used - it does and will scratch - this is patina and will even out right now you notice every little mark because your pans are new. The good thing is its ok they are tools and this is just a sign of use. Unlike with your non stick where visible scratches were basically the grim reaper with stainless its does not compromise performance or shorten the life of your pans. You don't need to worry about using metal utensils or using the dishwasher ruining your pan. Use, enjoy and scrub away. A well used pan that makes great food is way more beautiful than a mirror finish never used one - that's just sad.

        2 Replies
        1. re: JTPhilly

          I know, it's not exactly possible, to keep them, looking new forever. But still, I mean, I guess I was slightly disappointed that there we're scratches straight out of the box.

          I do plan, to try to avoid metal utensils (I always have) and, stick straight to Plastic.

          I'm sure I sound, all, well, Crazy, I just really like them. And, to a point, I'd love to keep them looking great, in anyway I can.

          1. re: Michael2000

            <I do plan, to try to avoid metal utensils (I always have) and, stick straight to Plastic.>

            It's your call, of course, andI'd never tell another cook what to use or how to cook, but I think in the end plastic won't really do you much good, unless you never plan to scrub your pans.

            Really, i know you hate the scratches now, but as we've noted, they WILL blend together into a lovely silvery patina that lends a nice subtle glow to the pans. I far prefer it to shiny polished (unscratched) stainless, which always looks unloved (no one cooks with it) to me. In fact, I deliberately seek out brushed stainless for this reason.

        2. I'm sorry, I haven't been online since. I really wanted to thank all of you for your advice.

          You we're all right. These are way too easy, to clean by hand. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever, to put them in the dishwasher.

          I will admit, I already *did* have Barkeepers Friend, but had never used it. It does an amazing job, at making them look all sparkly & shiny :D

          I've had *one* bad food sticking, incident, so far, and that came off really easily, just, letting it sit in the sink, with warm plain o'l water.

          Also - I'm even experimenting, with Metal, and I've gotten past the scratches. I really love these pans. I do.

          :)

          1 Reply
          1. re: Michael2000

            I'm glad to hear you're enjoying your pans and feeling the love. Happy cooking! :)

          2. I put similar SS clad cookware in my dishwasher from time to time when I'm in a hurry or being lazy or just don't to waste hot water (less than a full dishwasher load). Also, it truly de-greases the pan's exterior surfaces. I use Finish Complete balls (tablets) with no ill effects. They will show some water stains so if your looking for pristine mirror finish you'll have to polish with a cloth afterwards.

            2 Replies
            1. re: zackly

              Generic white distilled vinegar works wonders. It even removes rust. 99 American cents.

              1. re: Muddirtt

                Between white vinegar and baking soda, I no longer purchase BKF. Now that I think of it, there isn't much in the kitchen I don't clean with vinegar and baking soda.