If you are using aluminum pans in your kitchen then you must have come across the discoloration in your pans. This happens to almost all-aluminum pans even if they are from the best brands and of the highest quality. With time, the bottom becomes so black that you can hardly imagine it’s an aluminum pan.
This usually happens when you use the pans a lot and there’s too much burn. Alternatively, the food stains can be the issue behind this too.
Cleaning aluminum pans discoloration is what you should focus on. You may not be able to get the perfect shiny aluminum that you’ve seen a year or a few months back but you will definitely make it way too much better.
Why Do Aluminum Pans Get Discolored?
Some aluminum pans turn so black over the years that you may stop using them and look to buy a new one. However, no need to buy a new one as you can actually restore them back with some new tricks.
So, what actually causes the discoloration? Aluminum pans actually have a ton of reasons to get discolored. Apart from the usual burnt due to food residues, grime, or built-up grease from different parties, aluminum pans can also get discolored if you rely on a dishwasher a bit too much.
A dishwasher can actually nick the surface of the aluminum and expose the inner part. This can eventually cause some discoloration. So, it would help if you clean them by yourself.
How To Clean A Discolored Aluminum Pan?
Soak The Pan
First, you need to soak the pan that’s accumulated all that grease. If the aluminum pan is deep then fill it up with water first. You will also need a few squeezes of a large lemon. Alternatively, you can also opt to use cream of tartar. The acidic properties will help in getting rid of the discoloration.
Now, put the pan on top of a stove and boil the lemon juice-infused water for around 10 minutes. If your pan has a deep dark coating on top of the aluminum layer, this step should remove it.
The coating will come off or become loose, and a little wipe with a sponge should remove the black coating. Now, you need to wipe the pan clean with a slightly dampened cloth.
Aluminum cookwares are quite durable and you can scrub them for hours without worrying about scrubbing off any important material.
Now, create a paste by combining white vinegar and baking soda, and make sure that you mix until the mixture becomes homogenous. After that bring out the pan and locate where the discoloration has occurred.
Now, slather your homogenous mixture of baking soda and vinegar onto those spots. Leave the pan be for a couple of minutes. After a few minutes, take a steel wool pad, and scrub the surface. If there was any prominent discoloration, this step should take care of it.
If you missed some spots then it’s better to spray the spots with the solution. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water for this solution. Now, pour the solution onto a spray bottle.
Spray the solution onto the dark spots on the pan. Bring out your steel-wool pad and give it another scrub. If the scrubbing didn’t work the first time, it will definitely do the trick now.
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Rinse the pans well and leave them to dry. Alternatively, you can clean the wet aluminum pans with a damp cloth which is the preferred method. Once you’ve gotten all of the discolored spots, clean the pan with the cloth, and you are good to go.
The Bottom Line
Cleaning aluminum pans discoloration needs patience and can be challenging. While most pans return to their near-original state some pans can’t be brought back to their original shine no matter how hard you try.