How To Clean The Outside Of Pots And Pans: A Step-By-Step Guide

Taking the time to properly clean your pots and pans is well worth the effort. When you spend money on a set of cookware, you want it to stand the test of time.

Most people clean the inside and forget about the outside, but have you ever thought about how to clean the outside of pots and pans?

Washing your cookware in a sink full of hot, soapy water is a great start, but sometimes that isn’t enough to remove any burnt-on stains or hard-water deposits.

Depending on the type of cookware you have, here are some great tips on how to make the outside of your pots and pans shine once again.


Pots And Pans

Products to avoid using on your aluminum pans:

  • Ammonia can make spots worse and create dents on the surface
  • Strong alkali, a corrosive substance that can cause discoloration
  • Chlorine bleach will corrode the aluminum material and will cause discoloration

Aluminum scratches easily; the detergents used in dishwashers are unforgiving, so hand wash your cookware. To remove stains, soak your pan in hot water then gently rub away the burnt food.

To restore discoloration and remove any remaining stubborn stains, cut a lemon in half and cover with salt as you rub the outside of the cookware. Rinse off the salt and then wash and dry as usual.

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel Pans And Pots

This material is sturdier and can handle the rougher side of a sponge. Coat any stains on the bottom of the pan with some baking soda and scrub it fiercely with a non-abrasive pad. Rinse and dry thoroughly.

Similar to baking soda is a product called “Barkeepers Friend,” it is non-abrasive and contains no bleach. It can be found at many hardware stores, or even ordered online and can also remove stains.

Once you have your stainless steel pots and pans shiny and clean, you need a cooker to match. Check out the best cooktop cleaner to keep your cooker looking brand new!


Pots And Pans Made From Copper

In your sink, with the pot turned upside-down, pour salt over the bottom of the pan. Drizzle vinegar, or lemon juice, on top of the salt. Let it sit for about 15 seconds, then with the rough side of a two-sided sponge, proceed to give it a good scrub all over.

You can add some extra vinegar directly into the sponge and keep scrubbing until all the stains are gone. After, give the pot a good rinse under water and make sure to properly dry it off.

Cast Iron

Skillets Made From Cast Iron

Cast iron pans require special treatment; they are less about cleaning with soap and water and more about maintaining. Although burnt-on stains and water residue are less of an issue with this type of cookware, rust is a big problem that can ruin a pan.

If you find that you made the mistake of washing your cast iron cookware and see that it is now covered in rust, you can still save it.

Pour half a cup of coarse salt into your pan. Cut a potato in half and rub the open side of the potato with the salt over every visible inch.

Place the pan on medium heat on your stove for ten minutes to remove any lingering moisture. In order to season it for use, rub cooking oil over every inch of it. Bake it in the oven at 350 degrees for one hour and let it cool.

Try any of these tricks to remove even the toughest stains and residue from the outside of your pots and pans. Keep them looking their best and help maintain their longevity in your kitchen.



This post was last updated on January 18th, 2021 at 02:36 pm

  • Adil says:

    Now I can clean my burnt pan easily. It is seriously tough to maintain pots and pans in their real shape after being used. Thank you for sharing an informative post.

  • Mila says:

    Let me tell you you make thissound a lot easier than it actually is!I have had to scrub and scrub and scrub again and he results is far form perfect……:-(

  • sabakh says:

    thanks for sharing amazing tips to clean pots and pans.

  • lena says:

    i have calphalon cook set & their outside are ugly Please tell me how to clean them Thank you very much

    • Sammy Dolan says:

      Hi Lena, I would recommend just using regular dish soap and good old elbow grease! Avoid any harsh abrasives or scrubbers or you risk the Calphalon coating coming off.

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