Is Discolored Stainless Steel Safe?

Nowadays stainless steel is mostly used in kitchenware products because it doesn’t corrode and gets heated quickly. But sometimes you would have noticed that the stainless cookware you are using gets discolored. If you are wondering whether using discolored stainless steel is safe or not, this article is for you.  Let’s start this article so you can find out more about discolored stainless steel!

Is Discolored Stainless Steel Safe?

We bet you would like to know. Well, the answer relies on the condition of discolored steel. Most of the time, the discoloration occurs on the surface of the stainless steel so it isn’t dangerous. But if you think that the discoloration has come along with some rust, you should avoid using your cookware.

If the corrosion and discoloration stay, your food can stick to the surfaces and as a result, can get burnt. You have to be cautious while cooking food in discolored stainless steel. If you feel a sudden change in the taste of your food, you should think about changing the stainless steel cookware.

Stainless Steel Cookware is meant to be used in perfect condition. A little change to its surface should be alarming to you because if the steel gets into your food somehow, it can be dangerous. Do not hesitate to buy new cookware if the old one is not in good condition.

Are The Colorful Spots On Stainless Steel Cookware Safe?

Yes, they are completely safe. We will tell you how they occur. As we know that stainless steel has a high percentage of chromium. So when the chromium and oxygen get mixed, they make colorful or rainbow-like spots appear on the cookware. These spots can be seen on the protective layer of stainless steel when it gets exposed to high heat and air. But there is nothing to worry about. It’s normal and doesn’t harm the food you cook in it.

Causes Of Discolored Stainless Steel

The cause of discolored stainless steel can also determine whether using it is safe or not. Stainless Steel can get discolored due to various reasons. Sometimes you will not even know the reason for your stainless steel cookware suddenly getting discolored. It can be quite alarming for you, but knowing the cause will help you in making sure that the discolored stainless steel you are using is safe.

Sometimes some factors are responsible for discolored stainless steel. They are the most common reasons why stainless steel has changed its color. Look for these reasons if you want to find out about the cause of discolored stainless steel:

Being Exposed To High Heat:

Sometimes when you cook your food in stainless steel cookware at high heat, the discoloration can occur. It is the most common cause of discolored stainless steel. The high heat at the base of your cooking pot can turn it black.

Harsh Chemicals:

When you wash the stainless steel with harsh chemicals and detergents, you can also feel that the cookware is getting discolored. Cleaning the cookware with hard scrubs can be responsible for discoloration.

Calcium In Water:

If the water you are using for cleaning and cooking has calcium in it, it can cause white spots over stainless steel and that’s how the discoloration can occur. Water with high percentages of calcium in it is a silent agent that can make stainless steel discolored.

Low Percentage Of Chromium:

The stainless steel that has a low percentage of chromium is a big cause of discolored stainless steel. The main component of stainless steel is a chromium and if it isn’t present in the cookware as it should be, then it can cause a lot of problems.

Overheating Oil:

If you overheat the oil in stainless steel until it starts producing vapors, it can seriously harm your cookware and cause brownish-black spots on stainless steel. They are also hard to get rid of most of the time.

Burnt Food:

Sometimes the food that gets burned also causes discoloration on the pan. It can get cleaned but sometimes it leaves color on the surface. Burned food gets stuck to the pan and makes it black.

How To Prevent Discoloration Of Stainless Steel?

By taking some measures, you can prevent the discoloration of stainless steel. Sometimes it isn’t possible to prevent discoloration as stainless steel is prone to this. But good quality stainless steel can avoid discoloration if you know how to use it properly.

Taking some precautions to not let stainless steel get discolored is the only option. Let’s find out how you can prevent discolored stainless steel:

Use Medium Heat For Cooking:

When you are about to cook something in stainless steel, make sure that the heat you are using is medium to low. Using too much high heat will not only affect the taste of your food but will also ruin the color of your cookware.

Avoid Cleaning With Harsh Chemicals:

You also have to avoid cleaning the stainless steel cookware with harsh chemicals. Buy dishwashing soaps that are easy on harsh chemicals and more inclined towards being soft on your dishes. You do not need to clean your stainless steel with hard thrusts too. This can make them corrode too.

Do Not Let The Water Stay In It:

Do not let the water stay in the cookware as it can cause spots in the stainless steel. When you wash the cookware, make sure to dry it out completely with a cloth before keeping it in the cupboard or shelf. If the water stays inside the pot, it can moisten up the surface and make it discolored.

Make Sure Your Cookware Isn’t Thin:

If the stainless steel you are using is thin, then there is a high chance that it will get discolored fastly. The material of your cookware should be thick and hard stainless steel so it doesn’t get ruined with a matter of some use. The thin surface of the pot will get more heated up and sometimes dents appear too.

How Can You Fix The Discolored Stainless Steel?

If your stainless steel is already discolored, some tricks and techniques can fix it. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. If you think that the discolored stainless steel is not safe to use, do not hesitate to throw it away. But there’s nothing wrong in trying and you try the following techniques to make the discolored stainless steel as new as ever. They are basic cleaning hacks but they do work like a charm. Let’s see if they will work on your discolored stainless steel or not.

Use Vinegar And Water:

Vinegar is the best cleaning agent for steel products. If you find some white spots on your stainless steel cookware, you can remove them by using some amount of vinegar and water in equal quantities. This can also be used to remove stains caused by calcium.

Let the water and vinegar mixture stay on the spots for some minutes and then clean them with some clean cloth. You will see a significant difference.

Mixing Some Mundane Ingredients:

This can also be removed by making a paste by mixing some of the ingredients. You will need soda, vinegar, metal polish, and bleach-free powder cleaner. Mix them well and rub the mixture on the discolored area. Rub it well and rinse it with water after. Dry it with some cloth and you will see the stains are removed.

If the stains aren’t removed, you can try this mixture a few times until you will be able to observe some change.

Restore The Shine Of Stainless Steel:

By using another mixture, you can also restore the shine of stainless steel that has faded away over time. Use baking soda and vinegar. Put it all over your cookware and let it sit for an hour. After the time is over, clean it with a good cleaning detergent and dry it. You will be able to see the stainless steel shining.

Remove Burnt Food:

Removing burnt food from the stainless steel can be hard but it isn’t impossible. You can remove the burnt food by soaking the pan in warm water and baking soda for some hours. After that, you will be able to remove everything that has gotten stuck to the surface.

Burnt food or discoloration from burnt food can also be cleaned with a mixture of soda and vinegar.


Discoloration on stainless steel is completely normal. It can occur due to various reasons but you can easily get rid of them by using some of the techniques given below. Discolored Stainless Steel is safe to use as long as the discoloration is on the surface. We have told you everything you needed to know about it. If you are not sure how the discoloration has occurred, do not use that stainless steel cookware.

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