How To Clean White Spots On A Stainless Steel Pan Or Pot?

If you have a stainless steel pot or pan, you may have noticed that some white spots appear on the surface after a while.

Stainless steel is a common material for cooking tools and pans. However, some people think you can use soap and water to clean their stainless steel kitchenware.

To clean white spots on a stainless steel pan or pot, use a solution of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water, cool, then wash. Alternatively, employ stainless steel cleaners like Barkeeper’s Friend or Bon Ami, or scrub with vinegar and aluminum foil.

Additionally, Apple cider vinegar and aluminum foil can offer quick results, followed by a warm water wash. For stubborn stains, sprinkle baking soda, add water, and let it sit before scrubbing.

While this may be true for regular steel, it’s not for stainless steel. If you use the wrong cleaning method on stainless steel, you could get scratches and rust.

On the other hand, white spots on stainless steel cookware are super annoying because they are hard to remove. They’re almost impossible to get clean.

But if you want to get rid of them, there are some things you can try.

3 Main Causes and Solutions Of White Spots on Stainless Steel

Causes of White SpotsSolutions
Boiling waterUse a solution of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water. Let it cool, then wash and dry the pan.
Salt depositsAvoid salting water until it has come to a boil to prevent pitting.
Calcium depositsClean with a stainless steel cleaner like Barkeeper’s Friend, Bon Ami, or scrub with vinegar and aluminum foil.
For quick cleaning, use apple cider vinegar with aluminum foil, followed by a warm water wash.
For burned or stuck-on food, sprinkle baking soda, add water, and let it sit to loosen the mess.
3 Main Causes and Solutions Of White Spots on Stainless Steel

Key Takeaways

  • Choose an appropriate cleaning agent based on the severity of the white spots. Vinegar, stainless steel cleaners, or homemade solutions like baking soda can be effective options.
  • Use non-abrasive materials such as soft sponges or cloth to avoid scratching the stainless steel surface while cleaning.
  • To prevent future white spots, be cautious with the use of salt and avoid salting water until it has come to a boil. Proper maintenance can reduce the likelihood of white spots.
  • Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for specific cleaning recommendations, as they may provide valuable insights into maintaining your stainless steel cookware.
How To Clean White Spots On A Stainless Steel Pan Or Pot

How to Clean White Spots on a Stainless Steel Pan or Pot

Stainless steel cookware can develop cloudy, white spots after washing. These spots are harmless and will not damage your stainless steel cookware.

These spots occur due to calcium and bicarbonate deposits, which are present in water. This problem is further exacerbated by hard water. However, there are effective solutions for cleaning these spots.

One of the best ways to clean white spots on stainless steel pots and pans is to use vinegar.

A simple solution of 1/2 cup of vinegar and three cups of water is sufficient to remove most stubborn spots. After the solution has cooled, you should use a soft sponge or cloth to scrub the inside of the pot.

Another way to remove discoloration is by applying a white vinegar solution diluted with water. This solution is non-corrosive and will dissolve the thin rainbow layer that clings to stainless steel.

This solution also works with non-abrasive sponges. The acidity of vinegar breaks down this thin layer and restores the stainless steel to like new condition.

White spots on stainless steel pans and pots are caused by calcium deposits. To clean these spots, simply pour a small amount of vinegar into the pan and leave it for 10 minutes.

After that, dry the pan as normal. If the spot is not removed completely, you can try using a solution that contains vinegar, which contains 5% acetic acid.

What Causes White Spots on Stainless Steel Cookware?

White spots on stainless steel are caused by oxidation. Oxidation is a natural process when the metal comes into contact with air. The most common way to prevent white spots from forming on stainless steel is to keep it covered with oil or grease.

Another way to prevent white spots on stainless steel is to use a non-stick coating. These coatings are made of unique compounds and can be applied to any metal surface.

When you do this, you should keep it clear of food particles because it is easier for the coating to wear away.

But you can’t just apply a coating and expect it to last. You have to apply it correctly.

Once the coating starts to wear off, you’ll need to reapply it again and again.

How to Get Rid of White Stains from Stainless Steel Cookware?

I’ve mentioned this before, but you can also use a salt solution to eliminate white spots. The best way to do this is to add a pinch of salt to your dish, wait 30 seconds, and then rinse it with warm water.

You can also use this solution to get rid of stains on other stainless steel items. Moreover, here are the steps to follow to get rid of white spots.

Use Soap and Water

There are different ways to clean a stainless steel pan. Some people prefer soap and water, while others prefer the dishwasher.

Soap and water is the most popular method, and there are a couple of reasons it works. First, it is a simple way to clean cookware. Second, it does an excellent job of removing food stains.

If you use the dishwasher, you’ll probably have to use the automatic setting. If you do, you might also need to use dish detergent designed explicitly for stain removal.

Use a non-abrasive Scouring Pad

If you’re looking for a cleaning solution for stainless steel cookware, you should avoid abrasive materials.

Unsurprisingly, abrasive materials such as salt, sand, and fine grit can scratch or damage stainless steel.

Instead, use a non-abrasive scouring pad like those made by Alpha-Moist, designed to clean stainless steel cookware without scratching or damaging it.

You’ll want to use this pad regularly to eliminate the white stains.

Use a Scrubby Brush

I know what you’re thinking, “I don’t have a scrubby brush.”

Don’t worry, and you don’t need one.

There are plenty of options available on Amazon, such as the Amazon Basics Stainless Steel Scrubber Brush.

To get started, use the brush across the white stain.

You’ll notice that the brush becomes wet and removes the white spots.

If you want to get fancy, you can use the wet brush to get into hard-to-reach areas.

Other Ways to Clean Stainless Steel

I recently bought a set of stainless steel cookware. I was so excited to try it out, but when I first started using it, I noticed some white spots on the surfaces.

I cleaned it with soap and water, but the spots remained.

Then I tried to scrub the spots with a cloth, but that didn’t work either.

So I was left wondering what to do.

Fortunately, I found some tips to help you get rid of those white spots stainless steel pan.

Baking soda and water are a classic combination for cleaning. It’s also the number-one recommended cleaning method for stainless steel cookware.

You’ll want to mix one tablespoon of baking soda with enough hot water to make a paste. Then, you’ll want to rub the paste on the spots with a cloth or paper towel.

After you’ve done this, you’ll want to rinse off the paste with cold water. The baking soda will dissolve the white stains and help them to disappear.

If you’re worried that the baking soda is too strong, you can dilute it with warm water. This should do the trick.


In summary, cleaning white spots on stainless steel pan spots can be achieved through simple yet effective methods, including vinegar solutions, stainless steel cleaners, and preventive measures.

By following these guidelines, you can restore and preserve the shine of your cookware, ensuring its longevity and continued utility in the kitchen.

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