How to Clean Aluminum After It Has Been in the Dishwasher & Turned Dark

Aluminum cookware provides heat conduction at an affordable price, but exposure to certain chemicals and minerals can cause discoloration. When washed in a dishwasher, aluminum cookware can react and darken due to mineral content in the water, chemicals in the detergent or high heat from the dryer. Natural products such as lemon juice, vinegar or cream of tartar remove discoloration and provide fast, effective results without damaging the metal.

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Aluminum cookware reacts with acidic foods such as tomato products.

Step 1

Fill the aluminum cookware with water. Stir in 3 tablespoons of cream of tartar, lemon juice or vinegar for each quart of water.

Step 2

Place the aluminum cookware on the stove and bring the solution to a boil. Allow it to boil for up to 10 minutes.

Step 3

Remove the aluminum cookware from the stove and carefully pour the solution into a sink.

Step 4

Dampen a steel wool soap pad with warm water and scrub the aluminum to remove any remaining dark stains.

Step 5

Rinse the aluminum thoroughly with clean water and dry it with a towel.