How To Clean Discolored Enamel Cookware

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Old enamel pans and pots are great because they retain heat well and are durable. They also tend to last longer than other types of pans. But over time, your beautiful enamel cookware may lose its shine and the color will begin to fade.

This is a common problem with all enamel cookware, but it’s especially noticeable in brightly colored enamel cookware. This naturally happens after some time as the enamel gets in contact with acidic foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits, vinegar, and wine.

The color of the enamel may also fade much faster when you use abrasive cleaners on your cookware. The discoloration of the enamel means that your cookware isn’t as protected anymore, and this makes it prone to deterioration.

When the enamel of your pan has faded, it’s important to know how to clean it gently so that you do not break down the enamel further.

We’ll show you how to remove stains and clean your discolored enamel cookware the right way.

Baking Soda

You can use baking soda to get rid of stains on enamel cookware. It works by neutralizing acids and cleaning off any residue left behind from food.

Baking soda is the most gentle method as it doesn’t involve any abrasive cleaners or scrubbing.


  • Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with 2 cups of hot water. Fill up the pan or pot you want to clean with the cleaning mix and allow it to sit for at least 1 hour.
  • Take the paste and apply it to the surface of your cookware. Allow it to sit for ten minutes, and then scrub the pan with a cloth until it is clean.
  • Make sure that all stains are soaked in the baking soda. This will ensure that the dirt and grime are completely removed.

Although the paste does have a similar abrasive effect, it will not scratch your enamel. With really tough stains, you can also add some coarse salt.

This will however increase the abrasive effect and may scratch the enamel, so we would recommend leaving the stain to soak in the paste for a while instead.

You can use baking soda regularly to keep your enamel cookware looking new.

Salt And Lemon Juice

If you’re having trouble removing stubborn stains from your enamel cookware, try mixing lemon juice and salt.

Lemon juice contains citric acid which helps to dissolve away grease and oil. Salt acts as an abrasive cleaner and removes any remaining stains.


  • Mix equal parts of lemon juice and salt in a bowl. Add enough water to make a thin paste. Apply the mixture directly onto the stained area of your cookware. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.

Use this method if you don’t have access to baking soda. You should be careful though because too much salt can damage your enamel.

Laundry Detergent

Another effective method to remove stains from your enamel pans is using laundry detergent. Detergents contain surfactants which help to loosen up oils and fats. They also work well at dissolving grease.


  • Add one tablespoon of laundry detergent to two cups of hot water. Mix it well and fill up your pan or pot.
  • Let it sit for 15 minutes before washing it off with warm water and a soft sponge. Then wipe the pot or pan dry with a dishtowel.

How To Prevent Discoloration And Stains On Your Enamel Cookware

Enamel cookware is durable but it’s still prone to discolorations and staining. Some of this simply cannot be avoided with natural use.

Depending on how often you use your enamel cookware, you will need to be careful how you clean your enamel, and also how you treat it during cooking.

Luckily, there are some simple ways to prevent discoloration and stains on your enamel cookware.

Do Not Store In Direct Sunlight

First of all, when storing your enamel pots and pans, do not put them in direct sunlight. The heat from the sun can cause your enamel to become brittle.

Avoid Scratches

Although enamel is a hard cooking surface, it is prone to scratches and dings.

This is especially true if you place heavy items such as cast iron skillets or Dutch ovens on top of your enamel cookware without first placing something underneath.

If you must stack your enamel cookware vertically, always place a non-stick mat between each layer.

If you want to avoid scratches on your enamel cookware, always wash them by hand with mild dishwashing liquid.

Do not use harsh chemicals like bleach or scouring powder.

Avoid Extreme Temperature Differences

The outside bottom of enamel cookware is typically made of stainless steel or other metal that heats the pot.

You must heat your enamel pot slowly so that the temperature does not exceed 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 Celsius).

Overheating your enamel cookware can cause cracks and chips in its outer coating.

When heating your enamel cookware over high temperatures, it’s best to use a ceramic stovetop burner instead of gas or electric burners.

Wash By Hand

To keep your enamel cookware looking new and shiny, you should only use soap and warm water to clean it regularly.

It’s best to clean your enamel cookware by hand. This avoids any extreme temperature changes that could make the enamel brittle.


There are many different methods on how to clean your old, beloved enamel pots and pan.

We hope you found this article useful, and that you will enjoy cooking with your discolored enamel cookware for many years to come.

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