How to Restore Heat-Tarnished Stainless

Daisy Cuinn

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.