Stainless Steel Pots & Pans Cleaner

Total Time
Prep 2 mins
Cook 15 mins

I just switched to stainless steel cookware this year. I've had several instances where I get food bonded to the bottom of a pan. One day my Mother was visiting and I was complaining about it. She said, "cream of tartar". I said, "huh"? She said it just popped into her head that my Great Grandmother used to say to sprinkle cream of tartar in a hard to clean stainless steel pan put some water in it and boil it until the crud comes off. Guess what? It works everytime! *This is my favorite posting because it has helped so many people...and apparently it works on more than stainless steel. :)

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 tablespoon cream of tartar (depends on the size of the pan, I usually use about 1tbsp)
  • water (1-2 inches)


  1. Sprinkle the cream of tartar over the stuck on crud.
  2. Pour water over it. If the crud is really thick you may need more water so it can boil for while. If it's thin then you only need about an inch or two.
  3. Boil over medium heat until you see the crud start to flake off.
  4. Once most of it has flaked off the rest will be easy to scrub off.
  5. Hope it works for you too!


Most Helpful

I always keep a spray bottle with vinegar on my counter by my dishsoap. You can spray your pan with it; add a squirt of dishsoap; let it sit for a few minutes; and it will wash clean. Just Like New!

wwltmom October 03, 2007

Decided to really take this handy out on a spin and tried it on my nonstick cookware as well as a stainless steel pot. Thrilled to say it worked on both. The former is especially exciting as too often you end up ruining the non stick finish trying to get the cruddy bits off the surface. Thanks for sharing this handy technique.

justcallmetoni September 18, 2007

I thought I had lost a pan until I found this recipe. I never thought anything would be able to take over a 1/4" of built-up, overly burnt, gooey sauce cooked and stuck to the pan with hard meatballs attached to the bottom of my pan. I had soaked for 24 hours and nothing was moving. I searched on RZ and found your recipe and thought what do I have to lose. Amazing!! I thought my mistake of cooking meatballs with BBQ sauce for 4 hours on medium heat instead of LOW had ruined my pan. Then along comes this terrific cleaning recipe and now I have my pan back better than ever! Thank you so much for sharing this with the RZ community!!

HokiesMom April 15, 2010

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