Care for Your Pots and Pans

Between sautéed spinach and sugar cookies, your cookware sees a lot of action in the kitchen. Properly clean your cookware to ensure it lasts and performs well every time. Regardless of your cookware type, never clean while the pan or pot is still hot! Wait until your cookware has cooled completely before you clean to prevent warping.
1. General care. Hand wash your cookware with hot, soapy water and a non-abrasive cleaning pad such as a sponge. Do not leave your dirty pots and pans overnight, because food will dry and stick to the surface. If you absolutely cannot clean your cookware for a few hours, fill it with hot, soapy water and let it soak to loosen the remaining food in the pot or pan.
2. Avoid the dishwasher. We recommend not using a dishwasher to clean pots and pans because some dishwasher detergents can damage the finish. Note: Some stainless steel cookware is dishwasher safe, but check with the manufacturer before tossing it in with the plates!
1. General care. Stainless steel is a nonreactive metal, meaning it doesn’t react chemically with foods and won’t alter the taste of acidic foods. It’s low maintenance because it doesn’t corrode, is easy to clean and doesn’t scratch. However, stainless steel has low heat conductivity, so it will take longer for your cookware to heat up.
2. Shine your stainless steel with olive oil. First, wipe off any debris on the stainless steel surface. Then, pour the olive oil on a clean, soft cloth. Buff in a circular motion with firm pressure until the surface shines.
1. General care. Copper is reactive, meaning it reacts chemically with other foods and conducts heat extremely well. It’s best to avoid cooking highly acidic foods such as tomato sauce in copper because it will leave your meal with a metallic taste. Tip: Dishwasher detergent will also discolor and ruin your copper pots and pans, so keep them out of there!
2. Treating discoloration. If your copper starts to discolor, mix a paste of ¼ cup white vinegar with 2 tablespoons of coarse salt. Rub the mixture onto the copper with a sponge and then thoroughly rinse the copper.
1. General care. Aluminum is another reactive material, meaning it conducts heat well and shouldn’t be used to cook acidic foods.
2. Remove stains. In the stained pot or pan, boil apple peels in water and let it simmer for 30 minutes. The acid released from the peels will break down any stains and discoloration and restore the cookware back to its original finish.
1. General care. You want your cast iron cookware to be seasoned or cured, meaning there’s a baked-on layer of oil called the patina. This will help prevent rusting, give the cast iron nonstick properties and provide extra flavor to your food.
2. Never use soap or detergent. Soap or detergent will remove the seasoning and cause corrosion! Clean your pan with a stiff brush and hot water. First, boil water in the pan for a few minutes to loosen stuck-on food. Then, rub the surface with your stiff brush until the food particles are gone.
3. Dry thoroughly. Thoroughly dry your cast iron cookware immediately, then lightly coat it with vegetable oil while it’s still warm. Note: If your cast iron develops rust spots, they can be scoured off with sandpaper.
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