How To Clean a Stainless Steel Pan

Updated on August 12, 2022

Are you wondering how to clean a stainless steel pan? A lot of people find these pans intimidating and think stainless steel is hard to cook with and hard to clean but that isn’t the case at all. If you learn how to clean a stainless steel pan, and see how easy it is, you are sure to fall in love with this type of pan.

Luckily, stainless steel is not difficult to care for. If you have burnt-on messes, you can soak the pan with hot water and dish soap. If that doesn’t work, you can simmer vinegar and dish soap in the bottom of the pan and scrub it afterward. There are some other ways to easily get rid of messes in your pans.

Cleaning Stainless Steel Pans

While most cookware only has a couple of ways they can be cleaned, that is not the case for stainless steel. There are a few choices for stainless steel, in fact.

Simple Cleaning

For normal day to day cleaning, you just need to wash your pots and pans in hot water and dish soap. Every once in a while, if you have something stuck in the pan, you can even just soak the mess with dish soap and hot water either while you wash your other dishes or overnight. A lot of stainless steel pans are dishwasher safe as well, so you can just toss them in the dishwasher.

Difficult Messes

Here are 4 methods you can follow to get rid of tough, burnt-on messes.

  1. Hot Water: Place your pan on the stove and let it heat up for a couple of minutes. Once the pan is hot enough that water will sizzle, add about a cup of water and a couple drops of dish soap. Let it simmer for a few minutes, then use a nylon or wooden spoon to loosen up and burnt bits on the bottom of the pan.
  2. Vinegar: This is the same method we just went over, but rather than using water, you use vinegar. This is intended for tougher messes.
  3. Dryer Sheet Method: This is a great way to get rid of tough, burnt-on messes. Put enough water in the pan to completely cover the mess. Bring it to a boil, then remove it from the heat. Add a dryer sheet to the pan, making sure you push it down with a spoon so it is completely wet. Let that rest for a few hours and then wipe the pan clean.
  4. Baking Soda Scrub: Take a few tablespoons of baking soda in a small dish. Add just enough water to make a paste. Smear it on the mess and let it sit. Once the paste dries, scrub it with a dish scrubber and you should be good!


All in all, cleaning stainless steel cookware is very easy. You can wash it in the sink with regular dish soap and hot water, you can wash it in the dishwasher, or you can deep clean it depending on the severity of the mess.