How to Clean Stainless Steel That Is Discolored From Heat


Stainless steel has an advantage over other forms of metal in that it resists rusting. Stainless steel is used in any area where metal must come into contact with other materials on a regular basis. Cooking utensils made from stainless steel are also popular because they are low-maintenance. However, stainless steel can become streaked with unsightly heat stains. There is no reason to live with the stains. With a few simple household products, it is easy to clean stainless steel that is discolored from heat.

Things You'll Need

  • Vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Club soda
  • Paper towels
  • Soft cloth
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Wash the stainless steel using a soft cloth dipped in hot water into which a few drops of dishwashing soap have been dissolved. Do not use abrasive cleaners on the stainless steel, or else the stainless coating will come off of the metal and it will eventually rust.

  • Dry the stainless steel object with a towel.

  • Dip a soft cloth in vinegar and rub over the surface of the stainless steel. The heat streaks should start to rub off of the metal and transfer onto the cloth. Continue to rub the surface of the steel vigorously until no more streaks come off of the surface. If stains remain, move on to Step 4. If they are gone, proceed to Step 5.

  • Pour a small amount of club soda over a clean, soft cloth. Rub the cloth vigorously over the surface of the metal until all traces of heat damage are removed. The metal should shine and look mirror-like once more.

  • Pour a small amount of olive oil onto another dry, soft cloth. Rub the oil into the surface of the stainless steel to provide additional protection from heat damage and to remove any streaks caused by issues other than heat damage.

  • Remove any excess oil with a dry cloth before storing the stainless steel.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a stainless steel polish to remove stuck-on stains such as food, tar and surface scratches from the surface of stainless steel. These cleaners are sold at most home supply or hardware stores, and contain tiny abrasives that lightly scratch the surface of the stainless steel which removes the contaminants from the surface and leaves the metal shiny.
  • If cleaning stainless steel pots or other cooking utensils, do not clean the inside of the pot with anything that is not safe for consumption, such as stainless steel polish. Olive oil should also not be used inside a pot because it can become rancid and ruin the taste of food.

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  • Photo Credit stainless steel objects image by Avesun from
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