Keep Your Pots and Pans Clean While Enjoying Their Use This Season

With the holiday and winter season ramping up, there is a lot of incentive to spend more time in the kitchen, cooking food and sharing holiday meals with friends and family. Now is a great time to try new recipes, learn to cook traditional family meals, and enjoy the many uses of your pots and pans.

Now, if a person has invested in quality cookware, they want to make sure they remain in good condition through many uses and different stovetop preparations. So with that in mind, I have provided some healthy tips that will assist you in getting stubborn gunk and burnt food off of your pots and pans so they can remain in good condition throughout the winter holiday.

What To Look For

  • Ways to preserve and keep your pots and pans clean.
  • Healthy ways to clean off stubborn stains and burns from your cookware.

Healthy Tips

  • Consider investing in quality cookware as cheaper versions contain chemicals and aluminum and are very harmful to one’s health. This is especially true of many Teflon and non-stick pans. (Please see SmartLivingNews article, How Safe Is Your Kitchen Cookware? located in the Pots and Pans category.)
  • One of the best ways to avoid stubborn stains is to soak a burned or stained pan in hot water as soon as you are done using them. After moving the food to a dish for serving, place the skillet or pan under hot water and allow to sit until you are ready to do the dishes.
  • A combination of 3 tbsp salt and a quarter-sized amount of vegetable oil before using your non-stick frying or cooking pan will help keep food from sticking to your pan. Heat up the mixture for about 3 minutes and then wipe the salt mixture around the pan using paper towels.
  • Try using Alka-Seltzer tablets to remove stubborn stains in your pots or pans. Fill the pan with water and add 1 – 6 Alka-Seltzer tablets. Let it soak for an hour before rinsing and wiping away.
  • You could also add 2 tablespoons of baking soda to your handwashing soap for a thorough cleaning of your steel and non-stick cookware.
  • If you use cast iron pan for your cooking, add some club soda to the pot or pan while it is still warm and it will help remove sticky stains.
  • Believe it or not, ketchup can be a great, non-toxic way to remove tarnish from copper cookware! Just thinly coat the surface with the ketchup and let it sit for 5 – 30 minutes before wiping away and polishing.
  • A freshly cut lemon works great at polishing and giving a shine to steel pots and pans. Just wipe the entire dish with a lemon half-slice and then wipe away with a soft, clean cloth.
  • If you burn milk in a pot or pan, add a small amount of water to the pan and sprinkle salt to break up the milk and remove the odor of burnt milk.
  • Old pantyhose make excellent cleansing sponges for cleaning non-stick cookware. Just roll and bunch a part of the pantyhose to make a sponge, add a small amount of dishwashing liquid and wipe!
  • White vinegar is an amazing stain cleaner and remover for any difficult stain. When cleaning stainless steel, pour 2 cups of the vinegar into the pot or pan and let it sit for 10 – 30 minutes. Rinse away with hot water and finish with a cold-water rinse.
  • You can also add water to a pan or pot with a stubborn food stain and place on the stovetop. Allow the water to come to a boil under medium-high heat before cleaning out the pot. You can add a drop or two of lemon to add freshness to the cleansing process.

Pat Mulford •