Our restaurant burnt down a couple of weeks ago and instead of going out and buying more cutlery I was wondering if I could repurpose the previous stainless steel items as where we live is very difficult to get to civilisation to get more decent quality stuff. Can anyone tell me how to clean burnt stainless steel & porcelain (although there is very, very little porcelain remaining)
q cleaning, cleaning tips, Stainless steel gravy boats milk jugs cutlery
Stainless steel gravy boats, milk jugs, cutlery
q cleaning, cleaning tips, The cutlery has a sort of black rough texture is it saveable
The cutlery has a sort of black rough texture - is it saveable?
  16 answers
  • If the stainless ls truly stainless, then you should be able to polish them back. It will take a lot of effort and may not be worth the time and labor involved on some pieces but there is really no other method as this cannot simply be wiped off. I would suspect also that there is a fair amount of pitting on the surface of some of the items, This may render them useless because of future difficulty in getting them clean once used.

  • Sheleen Sheleen on Feb 07, 2013
    Thank you - I have heard soaking in vinegar & bicarb soda might help?? If we polish would we use anything in particular or just elbow grease

  • I would say use a table mounted buffing wheel with polishing compound. I do not think using vinegar and soda will work, but it is worth a try as that is easier then the buffing side of things. Perhaps both?

  • Sherrie Sherrie on Feb 07, 2013
    There are two different sponges you can use to remove soot and smoke damage. It depends on what kind of fire you have had before you use them. One is a chemical sponge that can not be used wet. It is called a Chemical Dry cleaning sponge. It can be used for dry soot and smoke damage. If you use it on wet or greasey surfaces it will smear. Then there are soot sponges. These can be used on greasy surfaces you can wash them so you can use them more. My father had a house fire and this is what we used to clean with. As long as your stove and if it is a Commerical one I doubt it has installation in it, but if it does it will need to be replaced. Start at the top and work your way down with these sponges. This is what Commerical Restoration companies use. Hope this helps

  • Sheleen Sheleen on Feb 10, 2013
    Thank you, I have started by soaking a lot of the items in vinegar bicarb while waiting for buffing wheels and sponges and compound to arrive, I am hoping they will help on the larger items. I think a lot of things are probably going to end up as windchimes and flowerpots and stuff but I will let you know. Thanks for the advice.

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Feb 10, 2013
    I am so sorry for your loss and wish you a speedy recovery to get back in business soon. I have no idea how to clean stainless, but if you have hundreds of pieces, I too think it would be worth replacing it. That is going to be a lot of work! Wish I could help you.

  • 2ms2 2ms2 on Feb 11, 2013
    I have heard that you can boil stainless in baking soda and water. It's worth a shot.

  • Z Z on Feb 13, 2013
    Sheleen, I too am so sorry for the lose of your business. I hope no one was injured in the fire and wish all goes well it getting it back up and running.

  • Sheleen Sheleen on Feb 14, 2013
    Thank you all for your advice and comments, I am trying all the ways you have suggested but at the moment we have a coastal monsoon going on and as we are very outdoors oriented I have to wait until we are dried out a bit. If only this rain had come the days before the fire!!! No-one was injured in the fire and we actually had not even used the restaurant that day as we had been closed in order to hold a memorial service for the founder and builder of the place who had passed away a week before. A huge time of trial and tribulation but one step at a time and I am sure we will get through. Just wish I could close my eyes and this stage of the stepping could pass by and I could open when things were sort of back to normal.

  • Z Z on Feb 14, 2013
    Sheleen, I'm happy to hear no one was injured in the fire, but so sorry for your loss of the owner.

  • Marie R Marie R on Feb 15, 2013
    There's a 'spice' called Tartar, or Cream of Tartar...? It's an 'old' remedy for removing that baked on 'black' that gets on baking pans, stovetops, etc...don't know if it's worth it or not, but it's probably cheap enough to give it a whirl:) Also, I've done that thing where you take your oven racks, drip trays from stove,,anything with the baked on black,,throw it in a trash bag with ammonia. Next day...the stuff falls off...that has worked for me many times. Good luck and I hope things start heading towards normal:)

  • Sheleen Sheleen on Feb 15, 2013
    Cream of Tartar? Who would have thought, definitely give it a try as so far I am not having much luck with vinegar & bicarb. Thank you

  • Debbie Machmer Debbie Machmer on Feb 23, 2013
    I don't know if this will work on stainless steel but have done almost all the hardware in my house by boiling in dish detergent and gently rubbing with very fine steel wool. It looks beautiful. (door knobs, backplates, cuboard latches, etc.)

  • Grannybaer Grannybaer on Jun 07, 2015
    My mother had a bad fire at her home some years ago. She cleaned all her sliver forks spoons ect. with soft scrug. They looked like new.

  • Legion Legion on Mar 26, 2016
    Contact your local fire company. They most likely have information on how to clean items that have been in a fire.

  • Susan Bechamp Susan Bechamp on Apr 14, 2016
    If there are pieces that don't clean up enough to use in the restaurant , don't hurry to throw them out. They can be repurposed in many useful ways. You can fashion a clock, use as drawer pulls. You will find more ideas on this site. Home talk folks are very creative.