Removing that brown gunk that collects on the bottoms of your cookware is possible with these simple steps and a couple of easy-to-find cleaning products.
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It can be pretty discouraging when your nice set of stainless steel cookware looks like this.
UPDATE 8/12/19: This is one of the first articles I ever wrote for a blog. I didn’t have “blog brain” yet and started the cleaning process forgetting that I need to photograph it.
The brown gunk that collects on the bottom looks terrible. It even affects the performance of your cooking set by causing uneven heating. I had tried some of the ideas for cleaning that gunk off that I’d seen on Pinterest, but nothing worked well.
Bar Keeper’s Friend for Cookware Works Great!
One afternoon, I was picking up some things (okay, a lot of things) at Marshall’s, and I saw a can of Bar Keeper’s Friend for Cookware on the clearance shelf. It was the only can left. I remembered my grandmother always used The Bar Keeper’s Friend to scrub her pans and clean her kitchen. I had never seen a formula for cookware. So I bought it to try, and I photographed the process in case it worked so I could tell you about it.
I’m telling you about it, so it worked.
Wow, I’m so happy! The Cuisinart stainless steel cookware set that I’ve had for about 15 years polished up beautifully! (There is still some discoloration in the bottoms of the inside of a couple of pieces because I got distracted and left them empty on a hot burner. Don’t do that. Leave it to me to find a way to stain stainless steel so you don’t have to.)
How I Removed the Brown Gunk from My Pans
Sprinkle a generous amount of The Bar Keeper’s Friend onto the bottom of the pans. With a wet paper towel, I wiped the cleaner all over to form a paste.
I let the paste sit on the pans and dry for about an hour.
Then I used another wet paper towel and began rubbing the paste off to see if it worked. It did.
With a wet paper towel, I was able to remove that brown gunk from the bottom of my stainless steel pan. I then used the wet paper towel with some of the paste on it to polish all over the pan. It gleamed.
Removing Brown Gunk from Aluminum Pans
Next, I did the same thing with the aluminum non-stick skillet. The brown gunk didn’t come off as easily.
I had to use an SOS pad in addition to The Bar Keeper’s Friend and put some serious elbow grease into getting the bottom of the skillet clean. As you can see, there are still some spots that wouldn’t come off, but it’s definitely much improved.
I’m also thrilled with the way Bar Keeper’s Friend cleans my stainless steel kitchen sink and polishes up the chrome bathroom faucets and sink stoppers. So Bar Keeper’s Friend is my new friend. If you have that brown gunk on the bottom of your pans, it will be your friend, too.
Give it a try and let me know in the comments how it worked for you. That faux plant in the picture below is also one of the many purchases I made that day at Marshall’s. It makes a pretty good blog photography prop, dontcha think?
All the Best,