Using and Caring for Aluminum
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The following general tips are useful for using and caring for aluminum cooking equipment, utensils and cookware.

  • New aluminum utensils require washing in warm sudsy water, to remove any residual manufacturing oils.
  • After use, aluminum utensils, like most cookware, should be allowed to cool before washing or soaking. This is a simple safeguard against warping, as well as preventing accidental burns in handling. Drying immediately after washing, will help preserve their appearance. Utensils, should be washed each time they are used.
  • Undissolved salt allowed to remain on an aluminum surface may cause pitting. Consumers should add salt to liquid after it reaches the boiling point and stir to dissolve it completely. Acidic or salty foods should not remain in aluminum or aluminum-finished utensils for long periods of time, because this may cause pitting.
  • Because it combines easily with other natural elements, aluminum may stain when it contacts minerals in water and foods. Automatic dishwashing may increase the amount of staining when the high heat of the drying cycle is added to minerals naturally present in water and the chemicals used to purify water. For that reason, hand washing may be preferred to preserve the attractive finish of aluminum utensils.
  • Utensils with coated exteriors and interiors may be washed in automatic dishwashers. However, care should be taken when loading them into the dishwasher to avoid marring or scratching the coating.
  • Stains and discoloration that may appear on aluminum utensils can be removed by boiling a solution of 2-3 tablespoons of cream of tartar, lemon juice or vinegar to each quart of water and letting them soak for  5-10 minutes. Then, lightly scour with a soap-filled scouring pad. Cooking acidic foods such as tomatoes or rhubarb will remove the stains naturally without affecting the cooked food product. To remove stains from the aluminum exterior, use a nonabrasive cleanser.
  • Cooking tools made of wood, plastic, or smooth-edged metal are recommended for use with  aluminum pots & pans, particularly those with nonstick interiors. Sharp-edged tools such as knives, mashers and beaters may scratch aluminum. Check the manufacturer’s recommendation.
  • Plain, unclad aluminum cookware may discolor foods containing white wine or egg yolks.