Cooking can be a lot of fun. But what about afterwards, when you’re faced with a mountain of crusty, blackened pots and pans? A sink filled with an unsightly mess is enough to make even the hardiest cook vow to stick to takeaway menus; much more so when you’ve just fed your entire household and no one has offered to help clean up.
What most people don’t realise is there are so many cheap, easy-to-use and eco-friendly cleaning solutions found in your very own kitchen. You don’t have to buy numerous different commercial cleaning products, as they are not only expensive but they also contain harmful chemicals.
We’ve put together a list of easy cleaning solutions for different types of cookware. For more information on each type of cookware, refer to our Cookware Sets Buying Guide.
No matter what the manufacturer promises, no cookware is immune to grease and stains. For non stick pans, just dip a piece of cloth in undiluted distilled vinegar and rub the stains out. If the grime refuses to come off this way, mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 100 ml vinegar and 250 ml water and let it simmer for 10-12 minutes. Empty the pan and you can wash as normal.
Stainless Steel Cookware
Stains and burned-on grease on stainless steel cookware are tough to get out, but vinegar is up to the task. Let the pot or pan soak in 2 cups of white vinegar for 30 minutes. Pour out the vinegar, rinse the cookware with hot, sudsy water then cold water.
Dark stains caused by cooking acid-rich foods in aluminium items can be eliminated quickly by mixing white vinegar in an equal ratio of water as needed to fill the cookware. Boil the vinegar and water for a few minutes then rinse immediately with cold water.
Cream of tartar is an effective way to get rid of discolouration in aluminium cookware. In the container, dissolve 2 tablespoons cream of tartar in 1 litre of water, bring to a boil and leave for 10 minutes. Wash as usual and see the difference.
The problem with cast-iron cookware is that they are prone to rust when washed with water. To prevent this, use salt instead, except in cast-iron cookware with nonstick surfaces. After cooking, while the pot or pan is still hot, pour about ¼ cup of salt in and scrub it well with a wire brush. Wipe the cookware, brush a bit of vegetable oil to coat the surface and store as usual.
A note from the experts: never wash cast-iron pots and pans in the dishwasher as it causes even more rust.
Who would’ve thought tomato sauce was good for anything other than for smearing on hotdogs and hamburgers? For copper cookware, tomato sauce is a surprisingly good way to remove tarnish and brighten up surfaces. Just coat the cookware with a thin layer of ketchup, leave it for thirty minutes to allow the acid to do its magic, rinse the pot or pan well and dry right after.
A paste made of 50 ml white vinegar and 2 tablespoons table salt rubbed onto the cookware’s surface with a sponge also works well for cleaning copper.
Glass Cookware and Bakeware
Glass cookware and baking dishes are fairly easy to clean, but some stains will persist no matter how hard you scrub. Fill the glass pot or pan with water, add a couple of Alka-Seltzer tablets and let it soak for an hour. When you scrub it afterwards, the stains will come right off.
Stubborn food stains on glass cookware can be banished forever by slowly heating 1 part vinegar and 4 parts water in the pan until it boils. Allow the mixture to simmer for a few minutes, let it cool and wash gently. Mineral deposits left on glass teapots and coffee pots can be removed by boiling distilled cider vinegar in the pot for 15-20 minutes, letting it stand then rinsing it out well a few times with cold water.
Plastic/Rubber Cookware and Food Containers
The least high-maintenance of all containers and utensils, plastic and rubber can still hold a few stubborn stains. Use a soft sponge to apply a paste of baking soda and water on the stains, let stand and rinse.
Bad odours left in plastic containers will cease to exist if you put a piece of crumpled newspaper inside it overnight. Screw the lid on tightly and let the newspaper absorb the odour.
Like teeth, which have enamel, denture tablets are the perfect cleaning solution for enamel cookware. Pour warm water into the pot or pan, drop in two or three denture tablets, wait for the fizzing to stop and there you go – it’s clean!
For stains on enamel, soak the item in salt water overnight. The next day, boil the salt water in the pan or pot and wait for the stains to come off. A reminder: let all enamel cookware cool first before subjecting it to cleaning as drastic temperature changes may crack the coating.
If you’ve gone traditional with your cooking, be sure to soak any new clay cookware in water for an hour before using it, then scrub it with a stiff brush to get rid of clay dust. Line clay pots and pans with parchment paper, never attempt to put it in the dishwasher and don’t use a steel wool pad when washing it.
For stains and undesirable odours clinging to clay cookware, fill the item with water and mix 3-4 tablespoons of baking soda in. Let it stand for half an hour before rinsing. This will likewise get rid of any mould should it appear.
Easy Ways to Clean Cookware
There you go – you need never spend hours sweating over the clutter of pots and pans in your sink. With these easy home solutions, get your pots and pans sparkling clean and ready for the next big occasion!
If you have any questions about any of the tips found above, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly customer service team on 1800 332 934.