Keeping your aluminum pans clean requires you to have appropriate cleaning materials and know the procedure. Due to its affordability, durability and weight, it is among the most popular metals in the kitchen. However, pans made from this material can get grimy and discolored. So, to always keep them sparkling, ensure you know how to clean aluminum pans. Using the right materials and tools will keep your pans cleaner and stain-free for longer.
Cooking in a clean pan motivates you and makes the food come out well, ensuring that it does not keep stains or discolor. In our guide today, we shall discuss how to clean aluminum pans, so if it has been challenging you, be sure to read to the end.
How to Clean Aluminum Pans
1. Method One
- Cream tartar/lemon juice/white vinegar
- Dish soap
Step 1: Remove loose dirt
Let the pan cool, remove any loose food particles, and remove grease with warm water. Use warm water, sponge and dish soap to clean off all dirt.
Remove any burnt food if present, and if there is stubborn food, you can dislodge them with a wooden spoon.
2. Step 2: Make a solution
Aluminum pans tend to get discolored due to oxidation. So, using an acidic solution will help reduce the discoloration. Fill the pan with water and for every quarter of the water used, add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, tartar or white vinegar.
3. Step 3: Boil the solution
Let the solution boil for 10-15 minutes. This process clears the discoloration from the aluminum pan. Next, pour out the water and check if the stains have cleared.
4. Step 4: Final Cleaning
Using warm soapy water, clean the pan with the rough side of the sponge to remove the remaining discolorations. Note that steel wool may scratch your aluminum pan, so avoid it as much as possible.
Finally, rinse the pan with clean water and dry it with a dishtowel. Now your pan is sparkling clean, and you're tempted to use it again, aren't you? Or you don't want it ever to get dirty again, lol.
2. Method Two
Using Baking Soda and Peroxide Duo
Hydrogen peroxide is a strong cleaner that can help in stain removal. When mixed with baking soda, the mixture can easily remove oxidation from aluminum pans, giving the back the sparkly shine.
- Baking soda
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Dish soap
1. First, you'll need to remove all remaining food particles from your pan. This includes all loose and burnt food bits.
2. The second step requires using mild dish soap and a sponge to remove the remaining food particles and grease.
3. Rinse off the soap and ensure the pan is clean. If it is stained, you will need baking soda to remove the stains.
4. Take two tablespoons of baking soda, mix with three tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide, and add a few drops of cold water to form a paste.
5. Use your sponge to spread the paste onto the stains and leave it for up to 10 minutes.
6. Once the paste dries up, scrub it off, ensuring you remove all the stains.
7. Lastly, rinse the aluminum pan with warm water and dry it with a towel.
3. Method Three
Boiling The Pan
This stain removal method works like a charm if you have aluminum pots and pans with stuck-on food that does not wash easily.
- Source of heat
- Dish soap
- Sponge/ scouring pad
1. You will need the stubborn stuck-on food before washing. So, fill the pan with water and place it on the stovetop to boil.
2. Once the water boils, remove the pan and let the water cool. Do not wash the pan with hot water as that could cause scalds and stain your pan surface.
3. Scrub off the food particles and pour the water, plus the food remains.
4. Using dish soap and the scouring pad, scrub the pan all over to remove all the food remains and other stains.
5. Rinse with clean water. If the pain is stained, repeat the process using the same method.
6. Dry with a soft cloth and store appropriately.
4. Method Four
Use of Aluminum Foil and Bar keeper's Friend
This is also another extremely effective method to clean aluminum pots and pans.
- Bar keeper's friend
- Aluminum foil
1. You will remove any loose food particles on the aluminum cookware. Clean it with clean soapy water.
2. Add a small amount of Beekeeper's friend on the wet pan and scrub with the ball of aluminum foil. Scrub until all stains come out.
3. Once you have removed the stains, use a scrubber with soap to wash off all dirt remaining on the pan.
4. Rinse with clean water and use a towel or a dishcloth to wipe dry. Store as necessary.
Keep in mind that this method is not good for cleaning painted pans or those with a special coating as the coil can scratch the coating.
5. Method Five
Using Borax and Warm Water
Try warm water and borax if you want one of the simplest ways to remove stubborn stains. Although borax is well-known for laundry work, it also works well in washing aluminum cookware.
1. If the pan has dirt food particles, start by rinsing it off.
2. Clean it off with warm soapy water and rinse.
3. Add half a cup of borax to the cookware and add warm water.
4. Let the pan soak in the water for a few more minutes, remove, and then wipe off the water. This is an excellent cleaning method to remove well stuck-on food.
If you decide to use this upset, remember to wait for the borax to dissolve before you start scrubbing fully. If you use borax crystals, they may scratch off the pan surface and leave markings.
What Causes Black Stains on Aluminum Cookware?
Aluminum pans are popular because aluminum is a low-cost metal that is light and uniformly distributes heat. You may notice that your aluminum pots and pans are beginning to develop black or dark gray markings. The oxidation of aluminum produces these marks as a natural consequence. The black stain may be due to;
When aluminum reacts with air, it undergoes oxidation, a normal chemical reaction. When you handle the pans, you may notice a black or gray residue on your hands or detect oxidation on the pan if stored for a long time.
Acidic foods or cleaning the pan in the dishwasher can also cause oxidation.
b). Cooking Acidic Foods
Acidic foods can damage many forms of metal, and the metal can occasionally provide a metallic flavor to acidic foods. As a result, acidic foods like tomato sauce should not be cooked in an aluminum pan. The pan will get black or dark gray stains.
c). Using the Dishwasher
Putting your aluminum in the dishwasher, for example, will increase oxidation. Dishwashers can cause metal objects to rub against one another, speeding up the oxidation process and resulting in black and gray streaks.
Hand-washing aluminum or placing aluminum items far apart in the dishwasher will prevent this.
How Can you Remove the Black Residue From Pots and Pans?
Fill the pan with 5 cups water and 5 tablespoons white vinegar to remove the black residue. In a saucepan, bring the white vinegar solution to a boil for several minutes or until the water turns quite dark.
Pour the solution and repeat until the black residue is no longer visible. To remove black stains, clean the outside of the pan with a scrubbing pad soaked in white vinegar.
Storing Aluminum Pans
Aluminum can easily be bent or scratched because it is not as sturdy as stainless steel. The cookware can also easily start showing signs of rusting.
So, for proper storage of aluminum pans, you can line them with soft materials or a piece of a soft cloth. This provides a buffer between the pans, which prevents damaging and peeling the coatings of an aluminum pot, especially if it has a non-stick coating.
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Clean Aluminum Pans
1. Can you re-use aluminum pans?
Trays and pans made of aluminum can be washed and reused several times. You can also use them to store craft materials, stuff from the shed or garage, or catch drips from domestic plants.
2. Is aluminum safe for storage?
The food-grade aluminum is safe, but the non-food-grade aluminum is not. Pots, pans, and cooking sheets made of food-grade aluminum. Aluminum foil, disposable baking trays, and foil packets are all non-food-grade aluminum.
3. How can you keep aluminum pans from sticking?
The easiest and most popular way is to use a barrier. For example, you can use cooking oil or butter. Place the barrier between the aluminum cooking pot or pan, and our food will ot stick at the bottom of the pan.