How to Clean Stainless Steel Saucepans

Updated February 21, 2017

Stainless steel saucepans are very popular cookware; they are tough, durable and easy to maintain. The key to keeping your stainless steel saucepans looking good as new is to clean them well each time they are used—rather than letting any burnt-on stains develop, which requires much more scrubbing to remove. You do not need any special cleaning agents for stainless steel, but avoid acids or bleaching agents.

Rinse off your saucepan in warm water to remove any larger food particles.

Squirt some mild detergent onto the sponge or soft scourer and then clean the saucepan using long, straight strokes. Stainless steel is prone to scratching, so avoid abrasive detergents and heavy scourers, and also avoid cleaning in circular motions, as this can leave scratch marks.

Rinse off thoroughly and then towel dry to avoid water marks on the pots.

Fill the saucepan with warm, soapy water let sit for twenty minutes. Boil for around 10 minutes on the stove to remove stuck or burnt-on food residue. Rinse out and then clean as normal.

Soak pots in warm water to remove the manufacturer’s stickers. Scrape off the sticker with the plastic spatula once you see it start to bloat and lift from the steel—do not use metal to scrape off the stickers, as this can scratch the saucepan. Use rubbing alcohol to remove any glue residue.


Always clean stainless steel in the direction of the polish finish, if your saucepans have a polish finish. Ammonia can be effective on really burnt-in stains that cannot be removed otherwise, but this is not recommended for stainless steel saucepans with an aluminium or copper base.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Mild detergent
  • Soft scourer/sponge
  • Dish towel
  • Plastic spatula
  • Rubbing alcohol
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About the Author

B.T. Alo is media director, chief writer and editor for a U.S.-based marketing and consulting firm. He holds a bachelor's degree in business and communications. Alo's interests include business, investments, electronics, personal finance, health, communication, popular trends and travel.