Removing Discoloration from Aluminum Utensils

aluminum pans
Left: Discolored
Right: Clean

Are your aluminum pans discolored?Discoloration that appears on aluminum utensils can be removed by boiling a solution of two to three tablespoons of cream of tartar, lemon juice or vinegar to each quart of water in the utensil for 5 to 10 minutes. Next, lightly scour with a soap-filled scouring pad. Cooking acid foods such as tomatoes or rhubarb will remove the stains naturally without affecting the cooked food product. To remove stains from the aluminum exterior, use a non-abrasive cleanser.

Beth Marrs

I graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Adult Home Economics Education. I love to cook and entertain and spend time with my family.

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7 thoughts on “Removing Discoloration from Aluminum Utensils

  1. Removing aluminum discoloration on a kitchen appliance requires hard work and is usually only partially successful. I opted for the easy way on a low pressure/convection oven door that was a mess. I suppose this has been done before but I haven’t seen it. I repainted the frame of the oven door, masking parts not to be painted and used Vaseline on spots not accessible. Then using a high heat semi black glossy spray paint (used for grills) I spray painted the door. It may not be aluminum colored but to me it looks as good as the original finish. I also have an aluminum removable crumb tray that was a mess. I opted not to paint that, though. Instead I covered it with foil. When cleaning the oven, I remove the old greasy aluminum and replace it with a new cover. Saves time and work.

  2. Why do cups left on an aluminium draining board leave little black “holes” in the surface? It looks like rust in a steel sheet. Obviously, on aluminium it cannot be rust.

  3. I set a dish with a custard dessert I had made into an aluminum pan half filled with water to bake. When I took it out the aluminum pan is stained with a very dark stain where the water was. It doesn’t seem to be caked on, just stained so how can I remove it. If I can’t remove it, is it safe to use anymore? Thanks for your help.

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