Stainless Steel Stains Part 2: Water Stains & Rust

In part 1 of this 2-blog series, we began our discussion of the types of stains which can develop on stainless steel pots and pans. Though they are highly resistant to staining, cookware made of stainless steel can actually stain. We have already discussed what rainbow discoloration, burnt food, and pitting/discoloration dots are, how they can affect your food or the performance of the cookware, and some tips on cleaning these stains. 

Here are two other types of stains which can develop through normal wear and tear of stainless steel cookware: white stains/water stains/calcium deposits and rust-like stains. 

These stains can appear on any stainless steel and are well known in the industry. If you find any of these or other kinds of stains have appeared on your Avacraft stainless steel cookware, don’t worry. We are here to help! Cooking with stainless steel involves a bit of a learning curve from the usual non-stick pans or even cast iron. Because we have tested each of our products in our own home kitchen, we understand the types of situations you will likely put your cookware through, so we can answer your questions and address your concerns. Email us with your comments and questions, and we will personally return your email.

White Stains/Water Stains/Calcium Deposits

After you have used your stainless steel cookware for cooking in water and washed it out, you may see cloud-like white spots forming across the surface of your pot or pan. While they may look a bit whimsical (like something right out of Wonderland), you probably don’t want to keep them on your cookware permanently. Don’t fret! You haven’t ruined your pan. Far from it.

Why Does This Happen?

The water, even if it is not hard water, contains small amounts of calcium bicarbonate. During the process the calcium gets deposited in the pan. If you have especially hard water, the issue may be worse than those who don’t. These are also referred to as lime deposits, calcium deposits, or protein deposits.

Effects on Performance and Food

The white stains or calcium deposits will not negatively affect your cookware or the food you make in it. This is very normal on any type of steel or other metals, and more of an aesthetics issue, and you definitely don’t want that getting into the delicious food you will be making in your Avacraft stainless steel cookware. So, it is best to remove these deposits as soon as you see them.

Tips on Cleaning

The quickest and easiest solution is making a diluted white vinegar mixture (1:3 vinegar to water). Bring the solution to a boil in the pan, let it cool, then wash and dry as normal. You shouldn’t even need to scrub the stains! For tougher deposits from extra hard water, you can make the solution twice and let it sit overnight with the second mixture. Then clean as normal.

Rust-Like Stains

By its nature, stainless steel is rust or corrosion resistant, but unfortunately, it is not corrosion-proof. One of the common misconceptions is that stainless steel will never stain or show signs of rust or corrosion. While high-quality stainless steel cookware like Avacraft is certainly much tougher to stain or corrode, it isn’t perfect.

Why Does This Happen?

For some pans, the composition of the steel is more prone to rust. 18/0 (nickel free) is less resistant to rust than 18/10 (18% chromium, 10% nickel) which is why at Avacraft, we only use 18/10 stainless steel. Sometimes it is the type of food being cooked in the pan which can cause corrosion.

Effects on Performance and Food

Although consuming small quantities of rust has not shown to cause any ill effects to the human body, it is not recommended. Definitely avoid ingesting large quantities! You should always remove the first signs of rust from your pans to help prevent further corrosion and from rust ending up in your wonderful meals.

Tips on Cleaning

First and foremost, avoid steel wool or other harsh and abrasive cleaners. These can make your pan even more susceptible to rusting. As a natural remedy, make a thick paste of baking soda with water, cover the rusted portions, and wipe the rust off with a soft cloth or plastic scrubber. You can also use Bar Keeper’s Friend, as we have recommended previously for other types of stains.

Contact Our Stainless Steel Cookware Experts

At Avacraft, we are dedicated to ensuring the quality, durability, and functionality of our stainless steel cookware. We welcome any and all questions, comments, and suggestions from our customers and hope to always continue improving our products. We offer a 100% lifetime guarantee on all of our stainless steel products, and we will personally answer every email we receive from our customers. Contact us today to learn more about our full line of stainless steel cookware!