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Old 02-02-2013, 07:14 PM   #1
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How to clean my stainless steel pot?

Okay, so I've messed up my stainless steel pot this time. :-)
I had been using it for steaming/boiling vegetables just fine. However, a month back I let it boil dry, leading to a lot of burns in the pot. Luckily, I was able to clean off these stains with a Scotch heavy duty scrub sponge, but still I could see some rainbow-colored stains on the bottom of the pan (soap?), which I could not clean off.

Anyhow, I heated up the pot on my stove and dropped in a tablespoon of corn oil. Suddenly, a huge FIRE started inside my pot. I was going to throw in water, but remembered I heard this was bad so I instead covered it with the lid and the flame went out. This was a week ago and the pot is still unwashed and dry.

How should I go about cleaning it? Can I use it for only steaming/boiling in future?

Thank you and I am still learning!! Be kind to the newbie ;)

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Old 02-02-2013, 07:23 PM   #2
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Hi, artofcooking. First, put some water in the pan - enough to cover the burned material - and bring it to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and use a wooden spatula to scrape off as much of the burned stuff as possible. Rinse the pan and set aside to dry.

Get some Barkeeper's Friend. It's a great scrubbing material for SS pans/pots. Follow the directions on the package. Hth.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:32 AM   #3
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Good recommendation from GotGarlilc. However, before starting her process I would let the pot soak over night with water and baking soda. Then rinse and see if some of the burned in material on the bottom hs come loose. Don't be too impatient with the process of getting the pot back to prime shape. If it is good stainless steel, if should be fine.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:13 AM   #4
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Thanks! I've put baking soda and water inside and will let it sit for a while before scrubbing.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:21 AM   #5
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I've boiled a solution of white vinegar and baking soda in an old pan with burnt on crud, and that worked for me.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:39 PM   #6
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A few years ago I saw a program in British TV on eco-friendly cleaning techniques. They filled the pot with water and boiled rhubarb till the pot came clean.

I've noticed that when I make apple sauce, the pot is extra shiny. Perhaps a similar chemical reaction happens there too (but the pot wasn't as badly burned).
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:10 AM   #7
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I resorted to oven cleaner once after all else failed in a similar situation. My SIL burned oil on her all clad saucepan.
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:18 AM   #8
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The baking soda failed. I will get some real chemicals to do the job this weekend... hehehe
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:54 AM   #9
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Good luck. Let us know how everything comes out.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:15 AM   #10
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Okay, so I boiled white vinegar and baking soda and scrubbed a lot using some flat head metal tools (my brush was ineffective). The comet detergent I tried earlier didn't work.
I got a lot of gunk off, but still a lot remains. I guess this will take a few days...

My pot has also gotten quite scratched up. Are these harmful to health or cooking? Should I avoid adding more scratches?
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