Ways to Easily Clean Your Cookware

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Home Improvement

After enjoying a wonderful meal with your loved ones, the last thing you want to do is clean up all the dirty dishes. However, cleaning your cookware doesn’t have to be a daunting task. In this article, we’ll provide you with some useful tips and guidelines to make your cookware cleanup easier and faster.

General Tips for Cleaning Cookware

Before we discuss the cleaning of individual surfaces, here are some useful tips that apply to all cookware:

The key to maintaining cookware is to read the manufacturer’s care instructions. After use, thoroughly wash pots and pans inside and out. If there is baked-on food, wash it in soapsuds and dry it over a warm burner before rubbing vegetable oil into the pan. Keep gas flames low to prevent heat stains on the outside of pans. Additionally, avoid sudden temperature changes and allow cookware to cool before washing or soaking.

When it comes to cleaning aluminum cookware, don’t wash it in a dishwasher or let it soak in soapy water for long. To remove interior discoloration, simmer the pan in water with cream of tartar or lemon juice and scour the pan with a steel-wool soap pad. For cast-aluminum cookware, use a steel-wool soap pad to remove burned-on food. Liquid nonabrasive bathroom cleanser or baking soda paste with a synthetic scouring pad will polish both cast and sheet aluminum.

Cast-iron cookware needs proper seasoning to avoid rust. Scour pots with a steel-wool soap pad, rinse, wipe the inside with vegetable oil, and place it in a warm oven. Repeat this periodically and whenever rust spots appear. Wash cast-iron cookware in hot sudsy water, dry it thoroughly, and store in a dry cupboard without the lid. Never wash it in the dishwasher.

Clay and enamel cookware require extra care. For clay cookware, soak it in water before using it for the first time. Avoid sudden temperature changes and never put it in the dishwasher. For enamel cookware, use a soft sponge and mild detergent to clean it. Avoid abrasive cleaners, and don’t use metal utensils that can scratch the enamel.

The article provides tips on how to care for clay and enamel cookware, as well as cleaning and polishing copper cookware. For clay cookware, it is recommended to soak it in water for 30 minutes before the first use, line it with parchment paper, and avoid putting hot cookware on a cold surface to prevent cracking. To remove stains or odors, add baking soda to water and let it stand. It is important to never wash clay cookware with steel wool or in the dishwasher and to dry it thoroughly before storing it. If mold appears, a paste of baking soda and water can be used to remove it. For enamel cookware, it is safe to use a dishwasher and a synthetic scouring pad for cleaning. To clean copper cookware, a homemade paste of salt, vinegar, and flour or lemon juice and salt can be used. Copper cookware should be lined with another metal, such as tin or steel, and wood, nylon, or nonstick-coated spoons should be used for stirring to prevent scratches. Protective lacquer coating should be removed before heating, and liquid or fat should always be added before placing the pan on heat to prevent scorching.

The fact that a cookware has a nonstick coating doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s easy to clean. The following tips can help you clean your nonstick cookware without damaging the coating. Firstly, use wooden, nylon, or specially coated spoons and spatulas to prevent surface damage. Most nonstick cookware can be washed in the dishwasher, but it’s advisable to wash new pans before using them, and lightly coat the inside with vegetable oil. After each washing in the dishwasher and after treating for stains, apply vegetable oil again. Avoid soaking pans in soapy water as the coating may retain a soap flavor. To remove stains from nonstick cookware, boil a solution of 2 tablespoons baking soda with 1 cup water and 1/2 cup liquid bleach in the pan for several minutes until the stains disappear, then wash as usual. Cleaning plastic and rubber utensils and containers requires a paste made of baking soda and water to remove stubborn soils and stains. Do not use solvents, harsh abrasives, or scouring pads to remove stains from plastic or rubber. To remove odor from a plastic container, crumple a piece of newspaper into the container and secure the lid tightly, leaving it overnight. Stainless steel cookware requires little special care, but it’s advisable to dry it promptly to prevent water spots. Letting a pot boil over high heat for a long period of time will discolor stainless steel, and storing the cookware stacked with other pots and pans may cause surface scratches. To polish stainless steel, sprinkle baking soda on the wet surface of a pan, and scrub the metal with a synthetic scouring pad while wearing rubber gloves.

Tips for Cleaning Wooden Cookware

Cookware made of wood, such as bowls, trays, rolling pins, spoons, salad utensils, and cutting boards need special attention to prevent damage. The porous nature of wood makes it susceptible to absorbing moisture, which can cause warping and cracking. To avoid these issues, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Regularly clean and oil your cutting boards to restore their smooth surfaces and protect them from moisture.
  • Some salad bowls come with a waterproof varnish, but many prefer to keep them untreated to absorb seasoning and enhance the flavor of the salad.
  • Immediately wipe wood surfaces with a sponge or paper towel moistened with cold water after use.
  • If washing is necessary, avoid soaking the wood item in water, and never put it in the dishwasher.
  • To remove stains, use a solution of 1/4 cup chlorine bleach and 1 quart of warm water. Rinse and dry, then coat with vegetable oil.
  • Eliminate odors by rubbing the surface with a slice of lemon.

    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Remove odors from wood surfaces by rubbing them with a slice of lemon.
  • Baking soda can clean and deodorize wood. Mix 1/2 cup baking soda with 1 quart of warm water and rub it on the surface. Caution: wear rubber gloves.
  • Use a synthetic scouring pad to clean the gummy residue on the edges of a cutting board. Rinse with clear water, blot the moisture with a towel, and air-dry.
  • To restore the natural finish, give woodenware a coat of boiled linseed oil or vegetable oil, rubbed in with a synthetic scouring pad. Apply two thin coats 24 hours apart, wiping off the excess 1/2 hour after each application.

Next, we will discuss the proper care for glass and ceramic cookware.

Cleaning Glass and Ceramic Cookware

It’s important to give tender loving care to glass and ceramic cookware. Follow these guidelines to ensure that your cookware lasts:

  • Most heat-resistant glass and ceramic-glass cookware is designed for oven use only, but some can be used on stovetops.
  • Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to use your cookware appropriately.
  • All glass and ceramic-glass cookware is dishwasher-safe.
  • Glass cookware that boils dry is likely to shatter. If this happens, turn off the heat and leave the pot where it is until it has cooled.
  • To remove mineral deposits from glass coffeepots and teapots, boil full-strength cider vinegar in the container for 15 minutes.

Now that you have learned how to clean every piece of cookware in your kitchen, it’s time to get cooking again! By following these tips, maintaining clean cookware will be a breeze.

©Publications International, Ltd.


1. What is the best way to clean burnt-on food from cookware?

The best way to clean burnt-on food from cookware depends on the type of cookware you have. For non-stick pans, use a soft sponge or brush with a non-abrasive cleaner. For stainless steel or cast iron cookware, soak the pan in hot soapy water for 30 minutes before using a scrub brush or steel wool. You can also use a mixture of baking soda and water to create a paste and scrub the pan with it. For tougher stains, try boiling water and vinegar in the pan for a few minutes, then scrubbing it with a brush or sponge.

2. Can I use metal scrubbers on non-stick cookware?

No, you should not use metal scrubbers on non-stick cookware. Metal scrubbers can scratch the non-stick coating, which can damage the pan and cause food to stick to it. Instead, use a soft sponge or brush with a non-abrasive cleaner to clean non-stick cookware. If you need to remove burnt-on food, soak the pan in hot soapy water for 30 minutes before using a scrub brush or non-abrasive cleaner.

3. How often should I clean my cookware?

You should clean your cookware after every use to prevent food from sticking and to maintain the quality of the cookware. If you leave food in the pan for too long, it can become more difficult to clean and may cause damage to the pan. For best results, clean your cookware immediately after use with warm soapy water and a soft sponge or brush.

4. Can I put my cookware in the dishwasher?

It depends on the type of cookware you have. Most stainless steel, cast iron, and copper cookware can be washed in the dishwasher. However, non-stick cookware should not be put in the dishwasher, as the high heat and harsh detergents can damage the non-stick coating. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions before putting your cookware in the dishwasher.

5. How do I clean the outside of my cookware?

To clean the outside of your cookware, use a soft sponge or cloth with warm soapy water. For tough stains, you can use a non-abrasive cleaner or a mixture of baking soda and water. Avoid using harsh chemicals, as they can damage the finish of the cookware. For stainless steel or copper cookware, you can use a stainless steel cleaner to maintain the shine and prevent tarnishing.

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