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Aluminum cookware is popular among home cooks because it enables them to prepare restaurant-quality dishes in the comfort of their own kitchen.

They may, however, be a bit high maintenance in terms of cleaning and upkeep. Aluminum pans discolor more easily and acquire more crud and dust than steel or cast iron pans.

Also, if adequate maintenance is not taken, your aluminum pans may begin to corrode and gather rust on their surface.

When this occurs, don’t be too eager to throw the pan away. It is still salvageable and restoreable.

Getting rid of oxidation might be a challenging procedure, but you don’t have to worry about it if you have the correct equipment.

What Causes Aluminum Pan Oxidation?

You may question whether there is anything you can do to prevent oxidation. Sadly, oxidation is a completely natural, organic, and organic process that happens as a result of an interaction with air.

As a result, it is usually suggested that you keep your metal pans in a cabinet rather than putting them outdoors.

Moreover, oxidation may occur when acidic foods are cooked in a pan.

Simple recipes using tomato paste may cause a pan to oxidize. The greater the acidic content of the meal, the more likely it is that the pan will oxidize.

In fact, even something as easy as putting the aluminum pan in the dishwasher might raise the danger of oxidation.

The dishwasher increases the likelihood of oxidization because it promotes metal items to rub together.

This friction wears away at the pan’s protecting coating, causing oxidization to proceed more quickly.

You can’t always avoid paying attention to these things. Aluminum pans may oxidize due to age or just normal wear and tear.

In such cases, understanding how to reduce oxidation may be really beneficial.

To assist you, we will take a deeper look at how you may easily clean and repair your rusted metal pans.

Best Ways to Clean Oxidized Aluminum Pans

Cleaning metal pans might be difficult, but with the appropriate cleaning procedure and some effort, you can remove the rust.

The approaches listed below are some of the most effective.

We’ve included simple procedures that employ organic items to keep your pan in optimal cooking condition.

Step 1: Scrub the Potatoes

A softer approach, such as a potato scrub, may be used for lesser oxidation if the rust is just on the surface level.

This approach use the natural fluids present in potatoes to help loosen and remove the rust from the pans. You will need the following items:

  1. A potato – any kind, the larger size is better
  2. Baking soda – as needed
  3. Plate for the baking soda
  4. Cleaning sponge

All you need for this is half a potato and some baking soda. All you have to do is cut the potato in half and then coat it with baking soda.

Any sort of potato will suffice. Place it in the pan after dipping it in baking soda and rubbing the rust areas with the potato and baking soda.

You must continue this process by cutting a tiny slice off the potato, reapplying the baking soda, and repeating as necessary.

After the rust has been eliminated, rinse the pan well with water and wash it as you would with soapy water.

Keep in mind that this procedure is only appropriate for minor rust concerns. Some procedures indicated here may be more effective for certain more severe situations.

2nd Salt Scrub Method

This approach requires the use of salt. You may use coarse sea salt or table salt, whatever is most convenient for you.

You will also need the following items for this method:

  1. Sea salt or table salt – As needed
  2. Brown paper bag – for scouring
  3. Oxidized copper pan

Apply a thick coating of salt to the rusty region of the pan. Make sure the salt is at least one centimeter thick.

Fold the brown paper bag until it is small enough to fit in your hand. Scrub the pan lightly yet hard with it.

Pay attention to the color of the salt throughout this time. If it becomes rusty, pour it, add more salt, and continue to scour.

After all of the rust has been removed, thoroughly clean the pan with warm soapy water.

Let it to air dry completely before inspecting. If there are still traces of rust, continue the salt cleaning process as needed.

Scouring the Pan Technique 3

Scrubbing the pan is an excellent method for removing rust. Most individuals do not always explore this choice since they are afraid of causing further harm.

But, if you use the scouring procedures described below, you can quickly remove the rust.

To assist you, we’ve outlined three tried-and-true methods for scouring the pan and removing rust without difficulty.

Option 1: Stainless Steel Wool

To begin with, we have steel wool. While this is a harsh and abrasive compound, it is particularly successful at removing small levels of rust. You will need the following items to complete this task:

  1. Steel wool
  2. Dishwashing liquid – as needed

You may use a little dish soap to avoid the steel wool from being too harsh on the pan.

This will assist to avoid serious scratches and ensure that the pans are in excellent shape. When you’ve eliminated the rust, thoroughly rinse the pan.

Check to ensure that you removed all of the rust spots. Wash the pan again with a sponge. Let it to air dry before using it in the kitchen and store it carefully.

Option 2: Bartender’s Friend

It’s a good idea to use mild cleaners like Barkeeps Friend.

Typically, this powder surface cleanser is used to polish countertops. It does, however, work well with ceramic, aluminum, fiberglass, chrome, tile, and similar materials.

This also makes it ideal for use on cookware. You will need the following items:

  • Barkeep’s Friend Powder – As needed
  • Water – as needed to make a paste
  • Cleaning sponge

To remove rust, just sprinkle a little amount of the powder over the rusted areas and let it sit for 3 to 4 minutes.

Next, take a damp sponge and scrape the pan in circular movements. If the rust is very obstinate, combine the powder with some water to produce a thick paste for the rust patches.

Let it to sit for 3 to 4 minutes before cleaning it. Be careful to completely rinse the pan to avoid any residue from remaining.

Option 3: Lemon Juice and Tartar Cream

Cream of tartar, which is comparable to baking soda, is often used to remove stubborn stains off cookware.

It may also be quite useful for cleaning rusted metal pans. Moreover, it leaves cookware glossy and immaculate, easily recovering their lost luster.

You will need the following items for this option:

  • Lemon juice – juice of one lemon
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Cream of tartar – 2 tablespoons

To use the cream of tartar, mix it with water and squeeze in the juice of one lemon.

Pour this into the pan and let aside overnight. You may alternatively set the pan on the heat and bring it to a boil to expedite the process.

Let the pan to cool before thoroughly cleaning it. Next drain the pan and check to see whether all of the rust spots have disappeared.

If not, continue the process until the pan is pristine. Now, wash it with warm soapy water and thoroughly clean it before using it.

Any of the procedures listed above may be used to remove exceptionally persistent rust stains from aluminum cookware.

They are also highly successful in removing burned food and stains off cookware, so try them all and discover which one works best for you.

4th Method: Vinegar Soak

Last but not least, you may clean rusted cookware with a vinegar soak.

Vinegar is an excellent cleaning agent with several applications. It is also effective in removing burned food, stains, and assisting in the cleaning of rust.

You will need the following items for this method:

  1. Vinegar – 1 cup, any kind
  2. Cleaning sponge

To remove the rust from this procedure, you may attempt two distinct approaches. Pour the vinegar into the pan, making sure it fully covers the bottom.

Add extra to the pan if you need more than 1 cup. You may now leave the pan overnight and scrape it with the cleaning sponge in the morning.

But, if you want a speedier solution or to deal with harder rust, heat the vinegar in a skillet on the stove.

Let the vinegar to simmer for 2 minutes before removing from the heat and allowing it to cool fully. Finally, scrape the pan well to remove any remaining rust.

These are some of the most efficient ways for removing rust from metal cookware. Please keep in mind that these procedures are only effective on rusted pans.

If the pan has been rusted and bent, or has lost its shape, it is best to replace it.

More articles you may find interesting:

  • How to Clean Aluminum Sheet Pans?
  • How to Clean Aluminum Pans with Cream Of Tartar
  • How to Freeze Lasagna in Aluminum Pans
  • Can You Use Aluminum Foil Pans in a Convection Oven?
  • Are aluminum pans bad for you?
  • Why Do Restaurants Use Aluminum Pans?