Clean Aluminum with Fruit

Written by Amy Gordon (last updated November 6, 2023)

Although aluminum pots and pans are some of the shiniest objects in the kitchen when new, they quickly lose their luster with use. Aluminum naturally oxidizes to create stains and discolorations on its surface. With time, these objects will often become downright ugly. While a thorough scrubbing can sometimes bring back the shine, it is not always effective, and the work you might put into scrubbing is often too painful and time consuming to be worth it.

Fortunately, there are other ways to return beauty to aluminum cookware. Simply use your pots and pans to cook various acidic foods, such as apples, rhubarb, lemons, or tomatoes. The acid from any of these foods will leave your aluminum pots and pans gleaming like new.

If you have no plan to cook with these or other acidic foods, there are other methods that you can use to return the shine to your aluminum. Simply boil one to two teaspoons of cream of tartar in a quart of water. You can increase or decrease the amount of cream of tartar and water you use depending on the size of the pot or pan, but keep the proportions approximately the same. Boil this mixture in your aluminum pots and pans for about ten minutes before rinsing.

The cream of tartar can also be replaced by a tablespoon or two of vinegar in a quart of water. Once again, boil this mixture for about ten minutes to return the shine to your aluminum. Avoid using any kind of alkaline cleaner on your aluminum pots and pans, like baking soda or bleach. Remember not to use abrasives, which may scratch aluminum surfaces, especially anodized or finished aluminum. Steel wool will scratch these surfaces, but it may be used on plain aluminum if no other method will remove burnt-on food.

Author Bio

Amy Gordon

Amy Gordon loves keeping things simple, natural, and safe so she can spend more time having fun. Every day she learns new things about making life at home easier and she loves to share it with you! ...


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