Tips to Clean Stainless Steel Cookware & How to Remove a Rainbow Stain

I truly love to prepare a healthy home-cooked meal for my family as much as possible, but what I don’t love is the clean-up after the meal is done and everyone else has left the kitchen. A few years ago I got an amazing deal on a beautiful set of Cuisinart stainless steel pots and pans, my first time ever having high quality cookware in my kitchen. While I was, and still am, grateful to have this gorgeous set of pans, they require a bit more love and attention to keep them looking all pretty and shiny. It’s worth it, though, and much easier than you might think! First and foremost, if you are like me and hate to clean up the kitchen all by yourself after a family dinner, it is important to create a positive and fun environment to get yourself through this necessary chore. CRANK UP THE TUNES! I always grab my iPad, bring it with me to the kitchen, and turn on the Pandora music app. Nothing makes work a bit more tolerable than some really great music.

Tips to Clean Stainless Steel Cookware

I have heard people say, on more than one occasion, that they also love their stainless steel pots and pans, but they get frustrated when it comes to cleaning them. The key is to be patient and follow a few simple steps and your cookware will always look like it just came out of the box!

Here’s what one of my pans looked like right after dinner last night:

Dirty pan

Lovely, right? What with all that stuck on goodness that remained from my homemade Spanish Rice. Here’s the thing. If I tried to get that clean right away, I’d get frustrated because it would take forever to scrub everything out of that pan, so the first thing I do is fill the pan with hot, soapy water and set it aside while I get started on cleaning everything else.


How to Clean Stainless Steel Cookware

After about fifteen minutes something truly magical happens. All of the yucky stuff begins to lift away from the pan and I can easily wipe it away with a sponge! The only problem is that then I am often left with a pan that looks like this, especially if anything tomato-based has been prepared.

How to Remove a "Rainbow" Stain from Stainless Steel Pans

┬áDo have pans that look like this? Have you ever thought, “how the heck do I get rid of that ugly rainbow in the bottom of my beautiful pan?” I have the answer that will literally change your life. I’m not kidding, IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

How to Remove a “Rainbow” Stain in Stainless Steel Pots and Pans

Okay, listen. Sometimes I get really excited about big things in life, like hearing my name called to Come on Down on The Price is Right, but things like that just don’t happen every day so I also get really excited about the little things that make my life easier and my stainless steel pots and pans prettier. And now for my tip that will change your life, like big time. After you scrub and clean a pan and grumble to yourself about how that ugly prism-looking stain seemingly came from out of nowhere, there’s a trick to make it disappear in nearly an instant.

  1. First, I leave enough warm water in the pan just to cover the bottom.
  2. Then I add a splash of white vinegar and allow it to sit for a minute or two.
  3. Finally, I rinse out the pan and dry it and voila! It looks as good as new. I wish I had another picture for you, but I don’t. I promise it works, though. Just use your imagination and envision a shiny, silvery pan that looks at good as the day you purchased it!

Oh, one more thing. If you have more than one pan with the rainbow stain, just follow the steps above, but instead of rinsing out the pan, just transfer the water/vinegar mixture to your other stained pot. Can you believe the secret is something as simple as vinegar, which you probably already have in your kitchen?!?! Truly though, you don’t have to thank me because it is my pleasure to share my expert advice with you. I mean, my head might burst if I kept all that wisdom bottled up inside.




  1. Gloria Armstrong says:

    Well, thought my stainless steel pots& pans were ruined forever. Thank you..????

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