No matter how hard you scrub or soak, your pots and pans remain stained, brown, and grimy. And while well-used pans are a sign of your cooking prowess (or at least, how often you cook), sometimes you just want to see your own reflection in the bottom of a pan.
So here are the most effective methods we found for restoring your cooking vessels to their original lustre.
Try getting your hands on some Barkeepers Friend. This heavy-duty household cleaner works wonders on stained metal. Simply wet the surface, apply the powder, rub with a wet sponge or cloth, and rinse. While this isn’t technically a hack (it’s a product made for this specific purpose), it does the job it’s advertised to do, so worth getting your hands on a can of this stuff.
Cream of tartar
For household items, try dissolving a tablespoon of cream of tartar in a pint of water in your pot. Boil for 10 minutes, and then wash normally. This method works well, but only for the surface beneath the boiling liquid. If you have a pot with stained sides, you’ll need to add more water and cream of tartar.
Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide
If your pot is especially grimy, make a past with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Slather it on the surface and let sit a few hours. Then wipe off with a dry cloth or paper towel. You’ll remove the paste and grime.
For nonstick pans
Finally, don’t forget that your nonstick pans may need some love as well. Mix equal parts baking soda and water to clean a nonstick surface. When the pan is clean and warm, add a few drops of vegetable oil to restore its nonstick properties (like you would cast iron). Rub the oil in with a dry paper towel until now excess remains, then let cool before storing.
To see all these methods in action, check out the video above.