Cookware Cleaning Tips You Should Definitely Consider
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Published by TOP4 Team
Today, there’s a wide selection of pots and pans manufactured from a variety of materials. A good set can last a lifetime, so take into account the advantages and disadvantages of each type when deciding what to buy.
It’s important to remember that special care is needed to clean and maintain different types of cookware. Aluminium is lightweight, conducts heat well and is fairly inexpensive, while the most popular form of cookware is probably stainless steel. This is inexpensive, long-lasting and resists wear and tear. Some traditional care methods will go a long way to protecting any set of pots and pans.
- Avoid using metal implements when you can or use them carefully as they can cause surface damage, particularly to non-stick pans.
- Wash dirty cookware with dishwashing liquid and water using a sponge or brush. For enamel and stainless steel, use a plastic scourer for heavy-duty cleaning or follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Soften dried-on and burnt-on food remnants overnight with water and a little salt. Boil the mixture in the pan, let it cool, wipe it out and rinse.
- Take special care when cleaning cookware with wooden handles. Wood may swell and split if it’s soaked.
- Don’t use steel wool on cookware unless you’re sure the latter can take the former – some materials are more delicate than others.
- Rinse out immediately after cooking as salt can attack the surface.
- Rub with a moist cloth sprinkled with bicarbonate of soda so it will shine like new.
- Rub stains and small scratches off cookware with a paste made from 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid and 1 tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda. Rinse it off with cold water.
- Fill the pan with water and leave for an hour to clean off burnt food. Cut up an onion and place it in the pan with enough cold water to cover the burnt area. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and boil it for 10 minutes. The burnt residue will dissolve and can be removed with a dishcloth. Boil for longer if the stain remains.
Cast-Iron Pots and Pans
- Before you use cast-iron cookware for the first time, clean pots, pans and dishes, rub in some vegetable oil and heat them in the oven on the top rack. For cast-iron saucepans, add 1-2 tablespoons of oil and heat them until the oil smokes. Wipe them out with paper towels when cold.
- After use, wash pots and pans in a warm, soapy dishwasher, dry and rub with cooking oil.
- To avoid rusting, store cookware in a dry place.
- Never wash aluminium pots in the dishwasher or with abrasive cleaners as you risk discolouring or scratching the finish. Scrub lightly with a little soapy water and a scourer.
- Boil rhubarb in an aluminium pan for a few minutes to restore its shine. But don’t eat the fruit – aluminium forms toxic compounds with fruit acids, so you shouldn’t use aluminium pans for cooking fruit or vegetables unless they’ve been treated with a non-stick or similar coating.
- Don’t soak aluminium pots for long and avoid storing food in them as they have a tendency to discolour.
- Before you use enamel pots for the first time, boil them for an hour with a vinegar-salt solution (50g salt, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 litre water) to increase their durability. Faulty enamel coating allows harmful heavy metals to leach into food, so throw them away if they’re chipped or damaged, or recycle them as plant pots.
- Don’t pour cold water into hot enamel cookware to avoid cracking.
- Coat any stains on enamel pots with a paste of bicarbonate of soda and water. Let it sit for an hour, then boil for 20 minutes (leaving the paste in the pot) and wash with hot, soapy water. You can also boil orange and/or lemon peel for 20 minutes in a pot three-quarters full of water. Finish by rinsing thoroughly.
- Immerse new pots and pans in boiling water and allow them to cool.
- Rub any tarnished spots with half a lemon and a little salt until they become shiny.
- Try a paste of vinegar and salt to make copper shiny. Let it work for 30 minutes, wash off with cold water and then dry with a chamois.
Coated Pots and Pans
- Wash with warm water and rub sparingly with vegetable oil.
- Remove dried-on remains from pots and pans by boiling 3 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda in 150 ml water in the pan. - Pour out the liquid and wipe out the bicarbonate of soda residue along with the leftover food.
- Place paper towels between pans when you store them to avoid scratching them as you take them out or put them back.
Bonus tip: Avoiding burning foods
Prevent food from catching on the bottom of pots and pans as it cooks by lightly coating them with oil and salt after each washing and wiping them with a paper towel. Foods won’t stick so much and subsequent washing will be quicker and easier.
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