How to restore anodized aluminium pans

Aluminium pans come in multiple colours as well as the traditional silver shade. Anodised aluminium is a form of aluminium commonly used in the manufacturing of pots, pans and even car accessories. With frequent use, the aluminium develops scratches and scuffs. The pieces may also develop pitting, which looks like small dents on the aluminium, and oxidation, which is evident by dark patches. When you restore anodised aluminium pans, you remove all of these problems.

Set the aluminium pan on the stove and pour the distilled white vinegar in the bottom. Add the water, bring the pan to a boil and let it boil for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it cool to make the aluminium look shiny again.

Turn the pan upside down and sprinkle baking soda all over the surface. Add a small amount of water and rub the baking soda until it creates a paste. Keep rubbing baking soda all over the pan, removing any food stains or burnt-on food on the outside of the pan.

Rub the anodised aluminium pan with steel wool, if severe stains persist or you have leftover food and grease stuck on the pan. Use a light hand to reduce scratching. Add a small amount of vegetable oil to lubricate the pan and rub with the steel wool.

Sprinkle the cream of tartar around the bottom of the aluminium pan and add 1 litre (1 quart) of water. Stir the solution with your hands and place on the stove. Bring the mixture to a boil and let sit for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool.

Crumble a piece of aluminium foil in your hands and dip in the cream of tartar mixture. Rub the wet aluminium foil on both the inside and outside of the pan, buffing and polishing the aluminium. Rinse the pan with fresh water and let dry.


You can use metal polish to restore shine to aluminium pans, but only use it on the outside of the aluminium, not on surfaces that touch food. The website Repair Home recommends using a mild detergent and warm water to clean aluminium, as baking soda tends to discolour aluminium over time.

Things You'll Need

  • 3 tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 2 litres (2 quarts) water
  • Baking soda
  • Steel wool
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp cream of tartar
  • Aluminium foil
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About the Author

Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.