Remove Calcium Deposits from Cookware

Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated July 11, 2016)


Ask yourself how many times this has happened to you: You open your dishwasher expecting to find perfectly clean stainless steel pots and pans. Instead, you end up finding pots that have little white spots all over the place. Often this is because of calcium buildup or other mineral deposits on the cooking gear. Removing calcium deposits is a fairly simple matter. Here are some of the best ways that you can remove calcium deposits from your cookware.

  • Vinegar and water. The perennial cleaning solution, white vinegar and water can clean just about everything under the sun. Pour a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water into the afflicted pot or pan. You want to use white vinegar because it is going to stink a whole lot less than other kinds of vinegar. Slowly heat up the vinegar and water until it starts to gently boil. Allow it to simmer for about fifteen minutes, and then remove from the heat and let the mixture cool. Once at room temperature, pour out a majority of the mixture and wipe away the spots if they haven't lifted off already. Once you have cleaned the white spots off of the pot or pan, wash again as normal before you use it for cooking.
  • Tang. One of the easiest ways to clean off these white spots is to use a little bit of Tang fruit drink mix like dishwashing detergent in your dishwasher. The reason that this works so well is that Tang is high in ascorbic acid and that acid can eat away the calcium deposits. Also, since Tang is a powder it will work just find in most dishwashers.
  • Soft cloth or sponge. When cleaning stainless steel you don't want to use any harsh abrasives, as this is going to leave scratches in the metal. Scratched stainless steel is susceptible to stains, regardless of its name. Instead, try using a soft cloth or sponge and gently "scrub" the deposits away.

These methods work well for most types of calcium deposits. However, there is a time when this won't work. In those situations it is because the metal has become pitted from use. There isn't a whole lot that a person can do to restore a damaged stainless steel pot or pan once it has become physically damaged. The best way to handle this is to prevent it from happening in the first place. You do this by being careful when using salt in your cooking. Only add salt to water after it has stopped boiling. Believe it or not, this is going to greatly reduce the chances of having a pot or pan that becomes pitted.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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What is nine less than 9?

2019-11-14 00:20:21


It really worked..!!!
Thank you for the information.

2016-10-12 00:20:48


Just tried the 50/50 water and vinegar idea in my stainless steel pan. The inside of the saucepan pan was coated with white deposits from using it to heat up well water.

Worked great! Thank you Lee. Now we have a new water filter and I'm hoping the pan stays clean!

2016-07-11 09:42:01

Bobby Thottum

Thanks, for the detailed explanation of how to get rid of Calcification on cooking vessels, and also for the tip on how to care for Stainless Steel utensils.

I have one suggestion, which I am certain is followed by all, immediately after your meal, rinse or soak the utensil before the left over food muck dries up. This way you wont need to scrub a lot and waste a lot of time and also spoil the mirror finish of your stainless steel utensil.

2016-03-27 21:54:47


Thank you! This is the kind of suggestion and hint I needed!
Bless youwr heart!

2015-10-24 17:16:04


I own several MasterClad cookware and was devastated when I saw calcium build up on them! Thank You so much for the tip. Vinegar and Water did the trick. I did what as advised and calcium is now gone. YaY!! Thanks again!


2015-10-21 21:39:10


Bar Keepers Friend is made to clean stainless steel, it is not abrasive, use with regular soft sponge and rinse well, dry immediately so there are no water spots. My set is over 20 years old and still looks new, even the pots used every day. Tip from Grandma is to wash or at least rinse as soon as done with pan, do not let sit with food residue on pot. Hot pot + hot water = easy removing gunk with little effort.

2015-10-06 22:06:29


If you don't add salt it won't raise the temperature at what the water boils at