Why shouldn't I scratch up my stainless steel cooking pot?
April 14, 2014 3:17 PM Subscribe
I've got a cheap Farberware cooking pot that I've been using heavily for several years. I clean it after using it, usually, and its inner surface still looks pretty good. I use one of those tough green scouring pads (nylon I guess?), with a bit of ordinary liquid dish soap, to clean it. This scratches it up and often seems to actually remove enough material from its surface to turn the cleaning water grayish. I figure steel can take this much abuse. But when I look up cleaning tips for stainless steel cookware, I see some complicated stuff about using baking soda or vinegar or Bar Keepers Friend, plus various sorts of soaking, boiling, etc., to carefully remove burnt stuff and stains without scratching your cooking surface. And sometimes I see the instruction not to use tough scouring pads at all because they'll scratch. My method is simpler, and it has never failed me, so I like it better. But am I hurting my pot? Am I very slightly poisoning myself with metal powder somehow? Will I eventually grind through the steel and reach non-food-safe aluminum or whatever, or would that take like a century? I'm more curious here than worried, mind you. Maybe all I'm reading about trying not to scratch your stuff is just for keeping the surface looking super-pretty and new-looking?