How to Restore Magnalite Cookware

Essentially, magnalite cookware is lined with an aluminum coating, often used as a base for pots and pans. This type of cookware has been around since the early 1900s and is still used today in most kitchens. 

Without proper care and maintenance, the lining can begin to fade and change color. These stains will not change the way the pots and pans cook food, but it will make them look worn. If the cookware has become significantly warped, it should be replaced altogether. 

If the discoloration process has begun, there are a few simple ways to bring the pots and pans back to life. By combining a little TLC with some regularly used household items, your cookware can be restored to its original shine. And consistently performing these steps will help to prevent any pitting or flaking and increase the cookware’s overall lifespan.

Easy 5 Step To Restore Magnalite Cookware

Step 1: Soap and Water

First, you’ll want to get rid of any food or other residue left on the pot or pan. Essentially, you want to thoroughly clean it. 

You can do this by running it under warm water and applying a tiny bit of dish soap. Take your hand and gently work the mixture into the base of the cookware item. This will help to loosen up any leftover traces of food or debris, giving you a nice, clean surface to begin the restoration process. 

Step 2: Scrub 

Now it’s time to start getting rid of the discolored areas and bring your pot or pan back to its original, aesthetically pleasing look. 

Start by scrubbing down any discolored spots along the pot or pan. It’s best to use either a wool pad or a soft-bristled toothbrush. They are durable enough to get into the root of the stain, without causing any scratches or further damage. If you do not have these items on-hand, you can also use a sponge as a last resort. Keep in mind - a toothbrush or wool pad will work much better. 

Begin to rub down all areas that look to be discolored or are headed in that direction. Do not get too rough with it, as it can start to deteriorate the surface.

Step 3: White Vinegar (Optional)

As mentioned above, using a harsh scrub brush or intensely washing the surface can lead to damage. If the discoloration remains after a thorough scrub, try adding some white vinegar and warm water into the pot. Make sure the water evenly covers all worn sections.

Place the pot or pan onto your stovetop and bring the water to a boil. Then, remove it from the heat and let it cool down entirely. Once the water/vinegar mixture has cooled, remove it immediately. Letting the pot or pan soak for a long period of time can lead to even more discoloration. Dry it completely with a paper towel. 

When white vinegar reaches a high temperature or any sort of change in temperature, it can be used as a handy aid to balance out any discolored areas.

Step 4: Polisher (Optional)

A polisher or cleanser can be used as an alternative to white vinegar. While it’s more likely that you’ll already have white vinegar in your pantry, a bottle of polisher can be easily purchased online at an affordable price. It is a versatile product that can be used on multiple items to help with discoloration and restore a natural shine.

Step 5: Rinse

Once the surface has been properly discarded of any or all discoloration, you can rinse the pot or pan with luke-warm water. This is time to double check all problem areas have been addressed. If not, you can try repeating the process listed above.

Make sure to rinse out all lingering food, debris, or other products used. When you feel the pot or pan is squeaky clean, towel dry until there are no more wet spots. Leaving water at the bottom will counteract everything you’ve just done.

Preventive Care Recommendations

There are a few steps and procedures you can follow to prevent discoloration from occurring in the first place. Aluminum-based, magnalite cookware is subject to natural wear and tear over time. The materials will begin to oxidize and eventually deteriorate. However, this process will speed up if the cookware is not properly maintained and cared for. 

Here are some simple things you can do to help prolong the life of your magnalite pots and pans.

Tip 1: Avoid Acidic Foods

Try to avoid cooking highly acidic foods in aluminum cookware. Recipes with a tomato-base, fish, processed foods, and high-sugar meals are all examples of foods that can damage the coating along the pot or pan. Of course, this is not always doable, but it’s best to try and limit using an aluminum-base with these types of foods.

Tip 2: Avoid Water

Do not soak magnalite cookware in water for long periods of time, let it air dry after cooking, or place it in a dishwasher cycle. To clean, you should begin by scraping off excess food with a soft-bristle scrub brush. Rinse it with warm water and towel dry immediately after washing. It’s important to wipe every droplet of water, otherwise, the base will quickly begin to deteriorate.

Tip 3: Avoid Using a Lot of Soap

Soap can strip magnalite cookware of its original coating. It’s okay to use a small amount when cleaning and quickly thereafter rinsing with water. Using an excessive amount of soap and leaving leftover residue on the cookware can lead to substantial damage to the lining. The nonstick surface will deteriorate and begin to warp. Try using a pinch of soap with each cleaning instead.

Other Maintenance Tips

Another method used to help preserve aluminum-based cookware is by “conditioning” the surface on occasion. You can do this by applying a thin layer of oil across the pan’s interior. To ensure the oil is spread evenly, take a paper towel and lightly whip it through.

Then, heat up your oven to around 250-300 degrees Fahrenheit. Once it has fully preheated, place the previously oiled pot or pan into the oven. Allow it to sit for a few hours (typically one to two). 

After the pot or pan has marinated in the oil and the “conditioning” process has completed, be sure to clean it right away. You can do that by rinsing it with hot water and towel drying. You only need to use dish soap if you prefer to get rid of all the oil. Otherwise, you can leave some excess for the next time you use it.  

This process allows the coating to be sealed in even further with the assistance of oil. Adding additional grease or oil to a nonstick item will help to prevent corrosion and deterioration from occurring.