How to get the black out of an aluminum pot

Aluminium pots and pans are inexpensive and easy to use, requiring very little maintenance to keep them in shape. When exposed to high heat or food and when grease stains burn and build up inside the pot, unsightly black stains are left on the aluminium surface. Although the aluminium cookware may look like it's ready for the trash, black stains and discolouration can be removed from the metal to restore the appearance of your cookware.

Drop 2 tbsp of cream of tartar into the blackened aluminium pot. Add 1 qt. of water and stir the two together until the cream of tartar is dissolved. Bring the liquid to a boil and continue boiling for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and pour out the cream of tartar mixture.

Rinse the pot with water to remove loosened stains and the cream of tartar solution. Treat any remaining stains on the inside of the aluminium pot by filling it with 1 qt. of water and 4 tsp of white vinegar. Boil the solution for a few minutes, then empty the pot and rinse it out with cold water.

Scrub the inside and outside of the pot with a few drops of dishwashing detergent and a nylon mesh scrubber. Rinse the pot and dry it with a clean kitchen towel.

Remove black stains on the bottom or exterior sides of the aluminium pot by polishing it with silver polish. Apply the polish and rub it into the aluminium according to he package directions. Give the aluminium pot one last washing to remove any polish residue that might have got into the interior of the pot.


Soak stained aluminium pots in a half-and-half mixture of white vinegar and water to prevent them from building up black stains. Burnt-on food is easily removed by first placing the pot in the freezer, then scrubbing out the hardened stains.


Avoid using metal scrubbers when washing aluminium as it can become scratched.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 tbsp cream of tartar
  • Spoon
  • 4 tsp white vinegar
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Nylon mesh scrubber
  • Kitchen towel
  • Silver polish
  • Clean cloths
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About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.