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How to Restore Heat-Tarnished Stainless

Although it resists rusting and corrosion, stainless steel can become discolored if it comes into contact with high heat. Causes of heat discoloration may include overheating a stainless pan on the stove, leaving stainless flatware on a hot stove surface, or the drying cycle of the dishwasher.

Although it resists rusting and corrosion, stainless steel can become discolored if it comes into contact with high heat. Causes of heat discoloration may include overheating a stainless pan on the stove, leaving stainless flatware on a hot stove surface, or the drying cycle of the dishwasher. Heat tarnish needs a bit of extra attention to restore your piece to its original gleam, but the discoloration will come off with little effort in most cases.

  1. Moisten a microfiber cloth with white vinegar.

  2. Wipe the heat-tarnished stainless steel with the vinegar-moistened cloth, adding more vinegar as needed. You should not need to rub very hard.

  3. Rinse the stainless steel well to remove the vinegar residue.

  4. Scrub the stainless steel gently with a nonabrasive cleanser, such as Comet NA, Soft Scrub or Earth Friendly Creamy Cleanser, and a sponge if any heat tarnish remains after treating it with vinegar. Rinse well.

About the Author

Delaware-based Daisy Cuinn has been writing professionally since 1997, when she became the features editor for her local biweekly music newspaper. She has been a staff writer and contributor to online and offline magazines, including "What It Is!," Celebrations.com and Slashfood. Cuinn holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Temple University.