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How to Clean Stainless Steel Pans So They Look Brand New Again

Learning how to clean stainless steel pans won't just save you money—it also benefits the environment. Here's everything you'll need.

Written by
Angelica Pizza

Ready to scramble some (plant-based) eggs? You take out your handy-dandy stainless steel pan, only to see it's riddled with grease build-up, stains, and other residues. So you drop it in the sink and try everything to get the residue off. Nothing seems to work.

Just because your stainless steel cookware has those tough stains doesn't mean it's destined for the trash bin. Instead of stocking up on all-new cookware, you can revamp what you already own with a simple cleaning hack.

Here's how to clean stainless steel pans so they look brand new—and so you don't have to buy new.

How to Clean Stainless Steel Pans

According to Nicole Modic, aka @kalejunkie on TikTok, this is the only natural hack that's going to get rid of those tough stains and residue. And it's going to leave your stainless steel pans looking good as new.

With a few simple ingredients (that you probably already have in the pantry), you'll have what she says looks like a "science experiment." Plus, it only takes five short and simple steps. Use the instructions below to clean stainless steel pans like a pro.

What You Need:

Half of a lemon
Baking soda
White vinegar


1. First, squeeze half of a lemon into your dirty stainless steel pan. Add the rind to the pan, and don't worry about the seeds.

2. Pour in your baking soda and white vinegar.

3. Place your pan on the stove and turn the heat up. Bring the concoction to a boil and let it melt away all those yucky stains.

4. Stir for about one minute. Yes, just one minute.

5. Rinse the pan under running water and watch the magic happen. Your stains will disappear in a matter of seconds.

Additionally, if you notice that even your nonstick cookware has residue buildup, Modic says you can use baking soda and olive oil to remove the stains. Scrub gently, and you're good to go.

These hacks aren't just great for your stainless steel pans—they're great for the environment and prevent you from trashing old products that definitely still have some use to them. Plus, this hack saves you from breaking the bank.

If you're looking for more ways to make your kitchen sustainable, check out our favorite eco-friendly kitchen swaps.