How to Clean Vintage Aluminium Pots and Pans

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Vintage aluminum pots and pans can acquire stains and clouding from repeated use. There are, however, some common household items and simple techniques that can help fade or remove stains as well as bring luster back to your vintage cookware.

Things You'll Need

  • Cream of tartar
  • Water
  • Steel wool scouring pad
  • Liquid soap
  • Lemon juice
  • Combine 2 tbsp cream of tarter with 1 qt. water inside the pan you want cleaned.

  • Heat the pan and mixture on a stove top set at medium heat.

  • Bring the mixture to a boil.

  • Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

  • Empty the contents of the pan and wash the inside of the pan with a steel wool pad saturated in liquid soap.

  • Polish the pan by boiling a mixture of 2 tbsp lemon juice with 1 qt. water for 10 minutes inside the pan.

  • Empty the pan, then rinse it under warm water.

  • Finish polishing the pan by using the soapy steel wool scouring pad again. Use back and forth strokes rather than circular motions to bring out the shine.

Tips & Warnings

  • Vinegar can be used in place of lemon juice. Acid-based foods cooked in aluminum pans can help remove dark stains.
  • Excessive exposure to water can discolor untreated aluminum pots and pans.

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