Dear Home-ec 101,
I hang pans up above the stove and cruddy looking, stained bottoms look bad.
I bought two new shiny ones and the smaller one looks like heck after
just one run through the dishwasher. The packaging did NOT say to avoid
the dishwasher so what happened? It said it was “professional grade”
with non-stick coating and 3004 aluminum alloy bottoms with cast
stainless steel handles. Any suggestion on how to restore that shiny look?
A buddy suggested I just hang them with the non-stick surface showing.
Chapped in Charleston
Unfortunately some pans require handwashing. Aluminum alloys will oxidize and eventually pit. This can be a big problem if you use a smooth top stove as it will reduce the contact surface and create uneven heating.
As far as returning the shine, you had me stumped at first and then I thought to ask my husband who is a bit of a car nut. (He likes shiny things.) According to him, the answer is surprisingly easy. Find some jeweler’s rouge and mineral oil. Crumble a tablespoon or two of the jeweler’s rouge and mix with enough mineral oil to give the consistency of dish soap. Wipe onto the pan with a clean rag, wait until it turns black, then remove with a soft lint free cloth. You may have to apply a second coat, but this should restore the shine to your pans. And dear, don’t chuck those pans into the dishwasher again.