7 Most Popular Cookware Materials cleaning tips

Top Tips for Cleaning Kitchen cookware

Kitchen cleaning can sometimes turn to be most stressful cleaning task performed in the home. This is because it has become a continuous activity which we can’t but do. Cooking and cleaning are two activities that go together in the home, as you cannot do without cooking and if you cook, you must clean up the messes resulted from cooking. As you mix ingredients in the bowl, turn-on the burner; dirt, bacterial, and other messes pile up on plates, pans, pots, dishes, gas burners, and much more.

However, after an extended period of using your cookware materials, they are bound to get old, and you may think to do away with them to get a replacement. Wait! With these tips, you can still make your stockpots, sauté pans, skillets, and grilling machine shining and worthy of use once again. A little grease at the elbow and routine maintenance can keep your cookware glowing every day and as well as prolong the lifespan of the material.

If you are the type that loves to have your dishes washed, your cooktop sparkling, and the kitchen floor swept and mopped immediately after dinner, or you are the type that leaves them for the early morning task, these tips will help you achieve your aim. You only need some essential cleaning tools and products to perform this task and you are good to go. How do you go about it? Relax! As this will be discussed next in this article.

Cookware Materials

Essential Kitchen Cleaning Tools and Products

The sure way to continuously ensure a well-cleaned kitchen is by having the essential cleaning tools and products. Are you thinking about setting up a brand new kitchen? Or you want to upgrade the current one you are using; you need some essential cleaning tools to help you achieve your kitchen cleaning goal. Or how do you feel when you get set to perform a little maintenance or cleaning task only to discover there are no required tools to complete the task. It is frustrating, right?

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What are those essential pieces of equipment you need to keep your kitchen clean every time? Ask no more, below are the essential cleaning tools for your kitchen (more can be found in the market):

  • Scrub brush: This is one of the necessary kitchen cleaning tools every cook must have in their kitchens. There are different types of scrub brush, and you can get a variety of it from cleaning product stores.
  • Scrubbing pads (Lightly or Non-abrasive): This cleaning tool is essential in the kitchen to clean pans and pots. Scrub pads are handy due to their scrubbing capability to clean cast-iron skillets, non-stick pans, stainless steel pots, and enamel-coated dishes with or without soap and with no traces of scratches.
  • Dishcloth: It is used to wipe off any dirt or particles on counters and tables. It is sold in packs or sets, and they are of different sizes, colors and fabric.
  • Plastic scraper: This is a durable and essential tool in the kitchen to help sweep sauté pan without damaging your cookware. You can shop for your plastic scraper based on your budget.
  • Steel wool: Steel wool is the best match for scrubbing stovetop grates, ovens, and another heavy-duty scrubbing. However, this type of scrubbing tool is very abrasive and can cause scratching on surfaces; hence, there should be caution in using it. You can first test run it for a start.
  • Rubber gloves: Whenever you are carrying out hassle task like kitchen cleaning, ensure you use rubber gloves to protect your hands from harsh detergent, abrasive scrubbing, and gross food.
  • Paper or cloth towels: Many people overlook the importance of towels in the kitchen. Cloth or paper towels are used for cleaning up food spills, or messes occurred during cooking and serving. You can buy either paper or cloth towels or both for different purposes.
  • Dish drainer: Either you wash your dishes with dishwasher or hand; you surely need dish drainer to dry your dishes quickly. Incorporate it into your kitchen tools.
  • Multi-functional cleaner: Every cook needs a quality cleaner for sinks, floors, appliances, tiles, and countertops. Ensure you are closed to one whenever you are in the kitchen.
  • Dish soap: If you want to clean or cut grease more quickly, you need grease-cutting dish soap. You can get non-petroleum type of dish soap for this purpose.

Cookware Materials

Top Kitchen Tips for Cleaning 7 Most Popular Cookware Materials

Each cookware material has its own cleaning technique, and you must know how to apply appropriate strategy to get the best result. There are specific stain removal and daily care of each material. Highlighted below are top cleaning tips to maintain the seven most popular cookware materials:

Cast Iron

Cast iron pans or cookware such as frying pan, Panini presses, flattop grills, deep fryers, and more are known for their heat resistance properties. They are formed and designed with a moderately low level of innovative technology. Hence, it is essential to season cast iron pans when they are newly bought to safeguard them from rusting or any weather attack and to offer a non-stick pan surface. How can you perform this seasoning process?

  • Seasoning of cast iron cookware: It is very simple and doesn’t take time at all. Wash the pan by hand with warm soapy water and then dry it with a towel. Then put the pan in an oven at 3000C for about 5 minutes for complete dryness. Note that a little moisture on cast iron pan can result in rust on the pan. After the oven baked process, rub the surface of the pan inside and out with vegetable or olive oil with the help of a paper towel. Remember it should be a thin coat; so, ensure you wipe away any traces of excess fat. Set the oven to about 3000C and put the pan in the oven for one hour. Allow it to cool and then use a clean rag to rub the pan all over.
  • Daily maintenance: Now, your cast iron pan is set for cooking actions. What is left now is to maintain the pan by wiping out the oil with a paper towel. However, in the case of food sticks on the pan, soak the pan with hot water and use a plastic scouring pad or soft brush to scrub off the stuck food. It is worthy of mentioning that, the use of harsh soap should be avoided because it would wipe off the seasoning on the pan and create a stick surface.
  • Cleaning and removal of stain: If there is any tough and hard stuck-on food on your pan, put water in the pan and boil on the stovetop for about 10 minutes and then scrub it off as usual. It is also advisable to occasionally re-seasoning the pan for optimal cooking performance.

Cookware Materials

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a combination of different types of metals such as chromium, aluminum, nickel, sulphur, manganese, and silicon (compared to its low carbon, iron-based properties) for increase properties such as strength and corrosion resistance. Stainless steel cookwares are of different grades based on their quality. They are usually sandwiched with copper or aluminum to enhance their heating ability due to their low conduction of heat.However, copper or aluminum core can be a problem if the cookware gets grooved, scratched, or worn and expose the inner material. This can lead to rust, and it is dangerous for your health as metal particles can leach into your food. Hence, there is a need to take proper care of your stainless-steel pots and pans.

  • Daily maintenance: Stainless steel pots or pans are commonly maintained through hand wash with regular dish wash soap after each use. However, avoid using a dishwasher as it can create scratch or cloudy surface on the pots.
  • Cleaning and removal of stain: If your stainless-steel cookware is cloudy or has a spot, you can brighten it up by rubbing the surface of the pot with a dampened rag and white vinegar. You can as well remove bottom stains due to high heat by applying a scouring powder on a moisten rag or sponge to form a thick mixture and rub it on the affected area. Then rinse the pot with water.

Cookware Materials

Copper

Copper cookwares are known for high heat conduction and can distribute heat evenly for uniform cooking. Copper is in the form of soft metal that reacts quickly with food if it is not lined with a non-reactive metal such as nickel, stainless steel, or tin. Hence, there is need to buy copper with good lining to make your food safe. However, the secret to enjoying your cookware is to know how it works and how to maintain them for best performance.

  • Daily maintenance: The first maintenance approach to your copper pans or pots is to learn the actual temperature to cook various foods with your copper cookware. A standard rule is that copper cookwares require less heat than other cookwares such as stainless steel. For example, if you use stainless steel to cook food at medium-high temperature, use medium-low temperature for copper pan, so not to burn the food. It is also important not to heat an empty copper pan. Ensure you hand wash your copper pans or pots with warm and soapy water after use.
  • Cleaning and stain removal: To discolor copper pan, cover the back with ketchup or lemon and let it sit for about ten minutes. Then, take a sponge or rag to rub the discoloration from the pan and rinse the pan with warm water. If there is baked food stuck to your copper pan, just soak the pan and use a soft sponge to remove it without scratching the pan easily.
Enameled Cast Iron

Enameled cast iron cookwares are a multipurpose pan or pot utilized in marinating, cooking, and refrigerating foods. They are known for their resistant property to alkaline and acidic foods. They are bonded from their frit surface into smooth porcelain surface by baking them between 6500C to 7600C. With this, no exposed cast iron on the cookware again unless there is a scratch, as all their exposed parts are matte porcelain. They are now rustproof and can be easily cleaned.

The first step to enjoy enamelled cast iron pans or pots is to understand how they work and be handled. Enameled cast iron cookwares usually hold uniform heat when it is put to use, they heat slowly and also cool slowly. They can be used on any stove or oven, but not on outdoor grills or any related outdoor flames.

  • Seasoning of enameled cast iron: For first use, preheat the pan or pot at a low temperature (but not on an empty pan – put oil, water, or even food). Then allow the surface of the cookware to rise to cooking temperature and increase the temperature to your desired cooking heat.
  • Daily maintenance: First, soak the pot or pan in water (warm water is more preferred), then use a dishwashing detergent and a soft sponge to clean the stain. However, it is advisable not to use a harsh dishwashing detergent and abrasive scrubbing pads, as these can react with enamel seasoning and surface. Also, always allow the pan or pot to cool before any cleaning to prevent the cookware from warping.
  • Cleaning and stain removal: To remove discoloration on your enameled cast iron cookwares, make use of a mild scouring powder such as Barkeeper’s Friend or other related cleaning agents. In the case of any tough stains on your enameled cookwares, you only need to fill the pan with the solution of water and vinegar and heat to the boiling point. Then, allow it to soak and wash off the stain.
Clay Pot

Clay cookwares can be used in microwaves, ovens, or stovetops based on the manufacturer’s specification. It is essential to first check the manufacturer’s instruction before buying your clay pot. Each pot is intended for a different purpose and use, while some can be used on grills, some can be used in oven or stovetop. So, choose right for your requirement.

Unglazed clay cookwares need to be wholly submerged in water for at least 10 or 15 minutes before cooking. During this soaking, the pot will absorb moisture because of its porosity. This helps in the cooking process as the clay gradually release absorbed steam as the pot is heated slowly during cooking.

Cookware Materials

  • Seasoning of clay pot: Seasoning strengthens the pot and as well as improves the durability, making the pot crack-resistant, and removes manufacturing clay smell. Before you start using your clay pot, first apply vegetable or olive oil on the surface of the pot, fill it with water, up to ¾ levels. Cover the pot and put it in a cold oven, set at 1760C and allow it to stay for two to three hours under the heat. Turn off the oven temperature and let the pot to cool completely.
  • Daily maintenance: Always clean clay pot with a baking soda paste and rinse using warm water. In the case of unglazed pot, soap should be avoided. For glazed type, you can use a mild soap, and you can as well check the manufacturer’s instruction.
  • Cleaning and stain removal: Apply baking soda paste on the stain for about 10 minutes and rinse with warm water. Avoid the use of harsh or abrasive sponges or cleaning products in your pot.

 

Hard Anodized Aluminum

Hard anodized pans or pots are made from aluminum that is treated with acid and exposed to electrical charges. This manufacturing process of anodized aluminum makes the cookwares tougher than stainless steel, and they also have excellent abrasive resistance. Due to their stick-resistant, you can use anodized aluminum to cook with different kinds of oil. This type of cookware is a perfect heat conductor and requires lower heat setting for cooking. These cookwares can serve long if they are properly maintained regularly. What are those proper cares a hard-anodized aluminum requires? Let’s look into this.

 

  • Seasoning of hard anodized aluminum: Before you start using your newly purchased anodized aluminum, it is crucial you first season it by thoroughly washing it in hot, soapy water. Then rinse it with water and let dry before cooking.
  • Daily maintenance: Always let your anodized aluminum pan or pot to cool completely prior washing and don’t ever insert hot pot in cold water, as this result in warping. Hand washes with warm water as the manufacturers highly recommend a temperate dishwashing detergent. Never put your anodized aluminum in a dishwasher, as it can damage the pan and reduce the lifespan of the cookware.
  • Cleaning and stain removal: If the stain is on outside surface, apply baking soda paste on the stain for about 10 minutes and rinse with warm water. Avoid the use of harsh or abrasive sponges or tough cleaning products in your pot.
Nonstick

Nonstick cookwares are coated differently based on cooking purpose and need. However, the lifespan of a nonstick coating largely depends on the way it is used and maintained. Nonstick pans or pots are cost-effective, durable with lightweight, easy to maintain, and perfect for cooking, especially for baking or frying. Less oil is usually required during cooking, which makes them healthier than some cookwares. You can prolong the lifespan of the cookwares with proper care.

  • Seasoning of nonstick cookware: It is a custom to remove every residue, dirt, oils accumulated from manufacturing and shipping of your cookware by hand wash with warm soapy water prior your first use. Then rinse with water and dry.
  • Daily maintenance: The first regular maintenance tip of nonstick cookware is to use the recommended temperature for nonstick pans. Low to medium temperature is recommended by the manufacturers, as higher heat can destroy your nonstick cookwares permanently. Also, use warm and soapy water with a soft sponge to wash nonstick pans. Whenever you see traces of flakes or scratches on the surface of nonstick cookwares; toss or recycle them instantly; hence, those chips may find their ways into your foods, and this is dangerous to your health.
  • Cleaning and stain removal: You can use Barkeeper’s Friend or other related paste to remove any stain from the outside surface of nonstick pans.

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Conclusion
Cleaning and maintenance play an important role in extending the lifespan of any cookware. Regardless of the type of your cookwares, the best approach is to wash them immediately after cooking with the appropriate abrasive cleaning strategy. Another way to prolong the life of your cookwares is to hand wash them as recommended by the most manufacturers. Hand-washing prevents your pots and pans from scratching and discoloration compared to dishwashing machine.

Clean House Melbourne has shared the top needed information on the most employed cookwares. However, the techniques and tips discussed here are for general guidelines for each cookware material. You can as well check the instructions and recommendations of the manufacturers for more suggestions.

Always know that if your cookware is still under warranty and you use a wrong cleaning method or product, it may void the agreement you have with the manufacturers or suppliers; hence, it is highly advisable to use the right cleaning product and method for all your cookwares. If you are still having challenges with your cookware maintenance, you can contact us.

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