You’ve been using your aluminum pans for a year now, and to your surprise, even though you’ve been using the best cookware, the color just isn’t staying. The bottom becomes so black that you hardly can imagine it’s an aluminum pan.
This usually happens a lot when there’s too much burn. Sometimes, the food-stains can be an issue too.
Whatever the case is, cleaning aluminum pans discoloration is what we’re going to focus on. You may not be able to get the perfect shiny aluminum that you’ve seen a year or a few months back. However, the processes we’re going to discuss will make it look way too much better.
Why Are They Discolored?
Some aluminum pans might have gotten so black over the years that you might think that it’s better to go buy a new one. But trust us on this one; you can actually restore that back to shape with a few neat tricks. Some utensils just aren’t meant for lasting long.
So, what actually causes the discoloration? Aluminum pans actually have a ton of enemies. Apart from the usual burnt food residues, grime, or built-up grease from different parties, aluminum pans can also get discolored if you rely on machines a bit too much.
A dishwasher can actually nick the surface of the aluminum and expose the inner part. This can eventually cause some discoloration. So, it would help if you cleaned them yourself.
How to Clean a Discolored Aluminum Pan?
Phew! That’s all about the basics. Now, it’s time to get your hands dirty. Just follow along, and of course, don’t be afraid to make a mess.
Soaking the Pan
First off, you need to soak the pan that’s accumulated all that grease. If your aluminum pan is deep, you probably need to fill it up with water first. Wait, that’s not everything. You will also need a few squeezes of a large lemon.
If you don’t have a lemon lying around, you can also opt to use cream of tartar. The acidic properties will start doing their magic on all that discoloration. Put the pan on top of a stove and turn it on.
Boil the lemon juice-infused water for around 10 minutes. If your pan has a deep dark coating on top of the aluminum layer, this step should remove it.
The coating will come off or become loose, and a little wipe with a sponge should remove the black coating. It’s not done just yet; you need to wipe the pan clean with a slightly dampened cloth. Leaving it to air-dry will certainly cause problems again.
Aluminum cookware can take quite the beating. You can scrub for hours, and they wouldn’t give in. So, you don’t have to worry about scrubbing off any important material since most of the pans made of aluminum are quite durable.
Time to bring out the big guns in the form of white vinegar and baking soda. Create a paste by combining the two, and make sure that you mix until the mixture becomes homogenous. If you haven’t mixed the solution well enough, this will not work.
After you’re done making the solution, bring out the pan and locate where the discoloration has occurred. Now, slather your homogenous mixture of baking soda and vinegar onto those spots.
Once you’re sure that you haven’t missed a spot, leave the pan be for a couple of minutes. After a few minutes, come back, take a steel wool pad, and scrub the surface. If there was any prominent discoloration, this step should take care of it for good.
Spray the Pan
Even if, after all that, you still have a few discolored bits left, it’s spraying time! Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water for this solution. Now, pour the solution onto a spray bottle.
Spray the solution onto the dark spots on the pan. Again, make sure you don’t miss any spots. Bring out your steel-wool pad again and give it another scrub. If the scrubbing didn’t work the first time, it definitely should do the trick now.
Rinse and Dry
Rinsing the pan well and leaving it to dry is something we do with a lot of cookware. But experts suggest that it’s better to clean the wet aluminum pans with a damp cloth. Once you’ve gotten all of the discolored spots, clean the pan with the cloth, and you should be good to go.
Cleaning aluminum pans discoloration can be challenging. And in some cases, no matter how hard you try, you can’t bring back that original shine. But even if you can get rid of that discolored bit, consider it a job well done!
Now, here’s one thing you need to keep in mind, though. Since you’re going to use vinegar, make sure it’s of pure variety. Otherwise, you won’t have a great result.