Skip to main content

Caring for Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a beautiful metal alloy made from chromium, nickel and steel (steel is composed of carbon & iron).  A long lasting metal, it resists corrosion & bacteria.  Stainless steel is heat tolerant, easy to care for and can be made into anything.  It's the metal of choice in commercial kitchens because entire countertops can be fashioned out of it in one seamless piece.  There is no space for bacteria or dirt to hide.  For the home, stainless steel can certainly be used for countertops or even cabinets (if you like a modern/commercial look).  Generally, consumers tend to opt for stainless when it comes to appliances, flatware, cooking tools and cookware.  Although the material is resistant to stains and corrosion, it is susceptible  to scratches (these can take on a patina), fingerprints, dents, water stains and pitting.  Caring for stainless steel isn't too difficult. 

Countertops, Cabinets, Appliances & Sinks:
  • Never use chlorine bleach on these items or they will pit.  A soft cloth with some warm water & a mild dish soap is all that's needed to keep them clean. 
  • A commercial stainless steel cleaner (available at supermarkets & hardware stores) can be used with great success and is great for tackling fingerprints, which are almost always inevitable. 
  • Scratches will occur, but can be softened with a gentle abrasive sponge (you should always clean with the grain).  For me, scratches are not a problem because they develop a patina over time.

Flatware & Cook's Tools:
  • These come in 18/10, 18/8 or 18/0 Stainless Steel, which tell you the composition of the item.  The first number gives you the amount of chromium (chromium is added to steel to reduce corrosion & staining).  The next number gives you the amount of nickel (nickel provides shine & gleam; the higher the number, the better the quality).
  • These items are dishwasher safe.  The only thing to remember is not to soak them for long periods of time & never mix them in the dishwasher with silver items.  This will cause irreversible damage to both the silver & the stainless steel. 

Pots & Pans:
  • These too are dishwasher safe (as long as they don't have a nonstick coating) or can be washed by hand.  One thing that I recommend is drying your items by hand with a soft cloth.  This will prevent water stains.  If however, you find your pots with "heat marks" from your burners or the imprints of food or liquid on both the inside and outside, I highly recommend using a mild cleanser.  Let me show you what I do.
  • Here's a list of Essential Pots & Pans.
This is all I need to keep my pots & pans looking their best.  I love using Bar Keepers Friend powder because, not only is it recommended by All Clad, it actually works!  A good sponge with a gentle abrasive (non-scratching) side, some rubber gloves & a few absorbent cotton towels is what you want to have.

This 2 qt. sauce pan was used repeatedly before I actually decided to polish it.  The bottom was left with a bit of discoloring (this is harmless & sometimes I let it go for days before tackling it) from constant use. 

I always wet my pot or pan completely before sprinkling any powder.  I leave a small pool of water at the base of the pot to create a paste.  Always wear rubber gloves!

Using the soft side of your sponge, begin cleaning with the grain of the stainless steel, getting all around the walls & base of your pan.  If you need to add more powder make sure there is still water in the pot.  Rinse thoroughly under hot water when you're done.

The outside of these pots are polished to a mirror finish, so I'm even more gentle.  I sprinkle the powder directly onto the wet sponge & dissolve it.  Although scratches are almost always inevitable, I want to reduce the amount of them by not applying dry powder directly to the outside surface.  Make sure the outside of your pot is wet; don't apply powder to a dry pot.

Clean the outside gently with the soft side of your sponge.  When you're done, rinse thoroughly under hot water.

Using your soft, absorbent dish towel, dry thoroughly. 

This pot looks much better with a clean interior.

I much prefer a gleaming pot or pan in my kitchen.  A Good Thing indeed!

Having clean stainless steel isn't difficult.  I love the timeless look of cleanliness that this metal brings to a home.  One of the beautiful things about stainless steel is that you can have it in a mirrored or polished finish.  Shop around and decide what you want.  Although my pots & pans have a mirrored finish and look flawless, they do have many scratches.  It's only evident when you examine them up closely under the light.  I don't mind scratches.  To me it just a reminder that I'm a cook.  Cheers!


  1. Beautifully clean! I do this about twice a year and LOVE that we use the same kinds of sponges for cleaning the pots and pans!

  2. Good minds think alike! If I'm going away on a trip I like to polish my pots & pans so that when I return, everything is gleaming. THAT is a good thing.

  3. Depot that are especially good as they offer useful information not only about the right product for your kitchen countertops but also about installing it in the correct manner. The staff in these stores is very friendly which makes it a pleasure for you to approach them for help.

  4. The Home Depot does seem to have knowledgeable staff. I'm always pleased when I walk in there and need information and/or suggestions.

  5. You ought to be a part of a contest foг one
    of the best blogs on the internet. I am going tο highly recοmmenԁ thіs
    Here is my blog post ... powder coating equipment

  6. Thank you for liking the blog! I will have a look at your own blog post in just a sec.


  7. Woаh! I'm really digging the template/theme of this blog. It's simρle, yеt effective.
    A lot оf times it's very hard to get that "perfect balance" between user friendliness and visual appeal. I must say you've done a vеry good
    job with this. Additionally, the blog loadѕ very fаѕt for me on Chrome.
    Exceptional Blog!
    Visit my web-site ... Sandblasting

  8. Thank you! I try to keep it user friendly.


Post a Comment

Thank You for Posting!

Popular posts from this blog

Antique Salt Cellars

There was a time when salt cellars played an important role on the dining table for the host or hostess.  As a result of it being such an expensive commodity several hundred years ago, salt was seen as a luxury and it was the well to do that made salt cellars quite fashionable & a status symbol for the home.  A single salt cellar usually sat at the head of the table and was passed around throughout the meal.  The closer one sat to the salt cellar, the more important one was deemed by the head of the household.  Smaller cellars that were more accessible and with an open top became a part of Victorian table settings.  Fast forward to the 20th century when salt was no longer a luxury and when anti caking agents were added to make salt free-flowing, and one begins to see salt cellars fall out of fashion.  Luckily for the collector and for those of us who like to set a table with Good Things , this can prove to be a boon. Salt cellars for the table come in silver, porcelain, cut glass

Collecting Jadeite

With its origins dating back to the 1930s, jadeite glassware began its mass production through the McKee Glass Co. in Pennsylvania. Their introduction of the Skokie green & Jade kitchenware lines ushered in our fascination with this jade color.  Glassmakers catered jadeite to the American public as an inexpensive alternative to earthenware soon after the Depression, both for the home and for its use in restaurants.  The Jeanette Glass Company and Anchor Hocking introduced their own patterns and styles, which for many collectors, produced some of the most sought after pieces.  Companies marketed this beautiful glass under the monikers of jadite , jadeite , jade glass , jad-ite , jade-ite , so however you want to spell it, let it draw you in for a closer look.  If you want a thorough history of the origins of jadeite, collectors’ pricing, patterns & shapes (don’t forget the reproductions in 2000), I highly suggest picking up the book by Joe Keller & David Ross called, Jadei

A Tour of Turkey Hill with Martha Stewart and Friends

Martha Stewart led an intimate tour of her former Westport, Connecticut home and gardens for a few of my friends this past weekend.  From the photographs I've seen of that special day, it was an experience that will be remembered for a lifetime by those who were in attendance.  As much as I regret not going to this momentous occasion, my friends were kind enough to allow me to share their amazing photographs here on the blog. Let's take a tour of Turkey Hill with Martha Stewart and a few of my friends. Without the kindness of Jeffrey Reed, Dennis Landon, Darrin David, Anthony Picozzi and Colin Eastland, this post would not be possible.  It must also be stated that the fundraising event was graciously hosted by the current owners of Turkey Hill, the Bergs. Many thanks to the Berg family for opening up the property. Turkey Hill is the Federal style home that was purchased, renovated and landscaped by Martha Stewart and her then husband, Andy, back in 1970.  It was he