How do I keep my flatware from turning brown?
February 24, 2011 6:08 PM   Subscribe

How do I prevent brown spots on my new flatware?

Several of my new pieces of flatware have brown spots on them after one wash in the dishwasher. I bought what I thought was good quality flatware in order to prevent this from happening (Nicole Miller Satin Slip 47-Piece Flatware Set, Stainless, 18/10), and I would like to prevent it from occurring to the rest of my pieces. What can I do, if anything?
posted by Four-Eyed Girl to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What dishwasher detergent do you use?
posted by cooker girl at 6:15 PM on February 24, 2011

If it's still new, I'd complain about the quality and ask for a refund. My household has a mix of two sets of stainless flatware, one IKEA and one from Pottery Barn (I think), both purchased at roughly the same time. Since they live in the same drawer, they get treated and washed exactly the same way and have been for the last few years. The one from IKEA looks terrible because of the brown stains, the other one still looks new.
posted by halogen at 6:17 PM on February 24, 2011

Stop using dishwashing detergent that contains any citrus ingredients. Citrus often causes these brown marks on flatware. Once you stop using it, they'll go away.
posted by echo0720 at 6:27 PM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

I am assuming these are rust colored stains?

Crappy stainless steel. That's all it is. Return them. Extra-specially if the stains are always in the same place on a particular piece. It just means that the stock they were made of wasn't mixed up properly, and your fork got a glob of metal that is more iron than that alloy is supposed to have.

I too have a mixed set- the Ikea ones are fine in my case, the other ones are not. They will rust at the drop of a hat.
posted by gjc at 8:10 PM on February 24, 2011

Unfortunately, it has been too long since I bought them to return them, and I do not have the receipt anymore.

If I were to buy another set, what should I get so this doesn't happen again?
posted by Four-Eyed Girl at 7:13 AM on February 25, 2011

I use Palmolive Gel Eco + Citrus Apple Splash.
posted by Four-Eyed Girl at 7:14 AM on February 25, 2011

Ah-ha! echo0720 is right. Stop using the citrus stuff and you'll be fine. As an added plug (just because I like them, not because I get paid or anything), we started using Finish Tabs (with the little red ball thingie) on the recommendation of Consumer Reports and I cannot believe how well it cleans. We've been ramping up the dirtiness of the dishes every time, just for fun, to see if there's a threshold and so far we haven't found one! I mean like lasagna pans get totally sparkly clean even if there's gunk on them.

So yeah, stop using any detergent with citrus in it.
posted by cooker girl at 7:43 AM on February 25, 2011

For the cookware, you can go with All-Clad, but it's expensive. Like, a couple hundred dollars for individual pans expensive. The best bang-for-the-buck seems to be Tramontina, who sells a decent set for ~$150. Their cookware sets seem to be exclusive to Wal-mart, if that makes any difference.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:25 AM on February 25, 2011

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