How to Clean Hard Anodized Cookware Exterior


How to Clean Hard Anodized Cookware Exterior

To many here, hard anodized cookware might be somewhat of a novelty. Hard anodized cookware is made of aluminum and put through an electrochemical process. It is considered one of the best materials for cooking. And let’s be honest we always try to have the best cookware and appliances in our kitchen.

Now, is hard anodized cookware safe? The answer to this is “there is no evidence that it isn’t”. Hard anodized cookware does not react to acidic foods or emit harmful chemicals. But one should take into account non-stick coatings. Hard anodized cookware is not non-stick, so coatings are often added. While the pot or pan itself might not be harmful, non-stick coatings might. Some coatings are made of PTFE (Teflon) which is known to be harmful.

Daily Cleaning Routine for hard anodized cookware interior and exterior

Every time you use your cookware. Here is a short guide to how to clean hard anodized cookware exterior. You will also find listed below all the materials you will need to do so. 

What do you need 

  • Warm water
  • Dish soap
  • Non-abrasive sponge
  • Dishtowel.

Many people believe that cookware isn’t clean enough if there isn’t a cleaning solution involved. What they don’t know is that harsh cleaning agents and abrasive sponges will damage the surface of your pot. If your cookware happens to have a non-stick coating, it will be ruined on the very first wash.


  1. Before washing the cookware wait till is cold. If you sink a hot pot in cold water, the contrast in temperatures will cause the cookware to warp.
  2. Fill the sink with hot water and a couple of detergent drops and then, submerge the pot in the water for about 15 minutes. This will help to remove the stuck food and grease easily.
  3. Using a non-abrasive sponge and dish soap gentle clean the interior and exterior of the cookware. The interior of a pot or pan is where the non-stick coatings are placed, thus making it the most fragile part. To avoid scratches do not use cleaning agents and an abrasive sponge to clean the interior 
  4. Once the pot is clean, rinse it under running water 
  5. Last, dry the pot  with a clean and dry dishcloth before storing

Removing Stubborn Stains: How to clean hard anodized cookware exterior? 

Many people avoid cleaning the exterior in an attempt to preserve the shine of their new pots. But this is counterproductive at best. Grease still sticks to the outside of a pot, and the underside will get stained while in contact with the stove. Let us not forget that grease can attract the unwanted attention of roaches. 

Sometimes, the cleaning routine with dish soap and cloth isn’t enough to take care of stubborn stains. The exterior of anodized pots can be quite hard to clean. But there is no reason to panic, there are several ways to get rid of them. 

Baking Soda and Water Can be an Ally

One of these methods is using a mixture of baking soda and water. You simply have to mix both until they become a paste-like mixture. You need to apply this mixture to the exterior of your pan and let it rest there for a while. The longer, the better. After you deemed it long enough, simply rinse your pan with warm water and dry with a cloth. If the stain is more persistent than you thought, don’t panic. You simply need to repeat the process, but this time, leave the mixture overnight. 

Vinegar is a Great Option

Another method you can use is vinegar. Vinegar is one of the most powerful stain removers. You simply need to immerse the pot in vinegar for 15 minutes. Once that is done, soak the pot in warm water for 20 to 30 minutes. The stains should come off easily when you scrub the pot gently with a soft bristle brush. After that, all that is left to do is rinsing. 

Try Scouring Agent

Yet another option is to use scouring agents. Scouring powders are quite effective in getting rid of stains, so make sure you use a mild one. Much like baking soda, all you need to do is use the powder to make a paste and apply it to the pot. You then leave it on for a few minutes. You can either rinse it away or scrub at it gently with a cloth or a soft-bristled brush. Once again, being mindful of the interior non-stick coating. 

Salt and Lemon: They Can Do Magic

Another answer to how to clean hard anodized cookware exterior is lemon. Lemon is a natural cleaning agent, and salt is quite an abrasive exfoliant. These two components make a very powerful cleaning agent, so be mindful when using it so as not to damage your pot. Mix salt and lemon juice in equal parts. Make sure to make enough of the mixture to cover all affected areas. Apply to your pot with your fingers and let it rest for no more than 30 minutes. After that, scrub gently with a washcloth to avoid scratches. 

Using Cream of Tartar

This method works well with grease stains because the cream of tartar is acidic. It breaks down grime, grease and even removes the odor. You simply need to mix a few tablespoons of cream of tartar with hot water. You use this mixture to scrub at your pot with a soft cloth or sponge. 

Things to Avoid When Cleaning Hard-Anodized Cookware

As I said before, harsh cleaning agents and abrasive sponges should be avoided. Scratching or wearing down the non-stick coating of your pan makes it even harder to clean. The same thing goes for cooking utensils. You should avoid cooking with metal utensils, they will scratch the surface. Cleaning your pans with hot water is also discouraged. Be sure to avoid cooking at high temperatures as well. The bottom of your pan will thank you for it.

Is safe to use a dishwasher to clean hard-anodized cookware?

The use of dishwashers is an unknown in asking how to clean hard anodized cookware exterior. Some brands claim that their hard anodized cookware is dishwasher safe. But even if they were, the non-stick coating would get damaged regardless. High temperatures and harsh detergents can strip the coating of its non-stick properties. 

How to take care of your hard-anodized cookware to make it last longer

You should clean your pot or pan before the first use. Make sure you remove all label stickers carefully. Do not use metal utensils to do so, you might damage the pot.  If there is any stickiness left, remove it with rubbing alcohol and cotton. After that, boil water in it -if it is a pot- or oil -if it is a pan. Wash them both carefully afterward and dry them properly before storing them. 

You should clean your anodized cookware before and after every use to preserve it. 

While cooking, avoid using metal utensils and make sure to cook on low to medium heat. Cooking on high heat can cause warping and damage the coating on your pan. You can also use a stovetop that is smaller than the pan to make cleaning easier. 

With constant care and careful maintenance, anodized cookware is easy to keep clean. All you need to do is care for it like it should be cared for. You will be thankful for it in the long run when you have an old pot that still looks like new. 

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