How to Remove a Rainbow From Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a metal alloy that is used for cookware and appliances because it is durable, rust-resistant and not prone to discoloration under normal wear. However, when stainless steel is used in high heat settings, a rainbow discoloration can appear on the pan. You can avoid this by using a low to medium heat setting when cooking. Salt can similarly leave marks in its path when applied to a cold pan, so it's advisable to avoid using salt in the pan until it has reached a boiling point. If your stainless steel cookware develops rainbow discolorations, however, it's possible to revive it and make it look new again.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild dish soap

  • Soft cotton cloths

  • Cream-based stainless steel cleaner

  • Lemon juice

Step 1

Wash the cookware in hot water with a mild dish detergent. Use a soft cotton cloth to rub residue, dirt and food from the cookware.

Step 2

Rinse the pan well and dry it with a soft cloth.

Step 3

Apply a cream-based stainless steel cleaner with a clean soft cloth, rubbing in a circular motion. Cover the entire surface of the area with the rainbow with the cream.

Step 4

Rinse the cookware in cool water, removing all remnants of the cream cleanser.

Step 5

Dry the cookware with a clean soft cloth and inspect for discoloration. If the discoloration still appears on the pan, continue to Step 6.

Step 6

Apply lemon juice to a soft cloth. Rub the surface of the cookware with the lemon juice, covering the entire pan. Rinse the pan with cool water and dry well with a clean soft cloth.


Dry stainless steel right after cleaning to avoid water discoloration spots.

References & Resources