How can brown stains be removed from pots and pans?

  • I haven't been cooking for long — recent college grad — so I'm doing a lot of experimentation and making a lot of rookie mistakes. One of them is shown here for your viewing pleasure:

    brown stains on a frying pan

    My mom gifted me this pan less than a year ago. She used it for over 15 years and kept it spotless the entire time, so I'm more than a little embarassed. I suspect that these stains were caused by stray drops of oil getting onto the bottom of the pan and getting burned on. Is that right, or were they caused by something else? I use an electric stove with resistive heating coils, if it makes a difference. And more importantly, how can I get this pan clean again?

    I have a theory that what you've managed to do is cause the exact same reaction as what you're *trying* to do with season a cast iron pan -- effectively cook down the oil so it forms a tough, plastic-like surface. (I've done it in a few of my pans, and I find cleaning it whil fairly hot, and one of those free scrubby pads works pretty well)

  • mtominaga

    mtominaga Correct answer

    7 years ago

    I too use barKeepers it. However, use a piece of crumpled up aluminum foil to scrub off the stain. It comes right off!

    I used the BarKeepers Friend with crumpled foil and it worked like a charm! Required minimal scrubbing, and my pan bottom was a mess. Now it looks like I have a new pan.

    +1 for the aluminium idea! Steel wool will destroy the pan (small scratches, making it more sticky). Aluminium is softer than steel. Good idea.

    BKF worked okay, but not great, on its own. Foil on its own didn't do much. But the combination really is amazing! Here's an "after" photo to compare to the "before" from the question.

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Content dated before 6/26/2020 9:53 AM