Is your stainless steel pot or pan looking a little … rough? One TikTok user, Stephanie Booth (@stephanieboothhome), has a super simple trick to get rid of that rainbow glare bogging down your cookware — and the solution is probably already sitting in your cabinet.
Booth starts by showing off her own stainless steel pot with a dreaded rainbow bottom.
@stephanieboothhome If you’ve used stainless steel cookware, you’re familiar with the rainbow bottom (AKA heat tints.) It’s created from heat and minerals in our foods. Not to worry. It’s purely a cosmetic thing. You can magically remove this oxidized layer with a small splash of good old-fashioned distilled vinegar. The acid in the vinegar quickly restores that stainless steel shine. Simply put some vinegar in your pan, swirl it around, rinse and dry. Boom, like new! #cleaninghacks #tiptok #cleantok #cleaningadvice ♬ Sex and the City (Main Theme) – TV Sounds Unlimited
The rainbow tint, Booth explains, is actually a heat tint, and it’s caused by the heat of our ovens and stoves combining with minerals in our food.
She then pulls out the cleaning holy grail: an industrial-sized bottle of vinegar. Booth explains that all it takes is a little vinegar swirled around the bottom of the pan. Seriously, it’s that simple.
“You can magically remove this oxidized layer with a small splash of good old-fashioned distilled vinegar,” Booth writes in the caption. “The acid in the vinegar quickly restores that stainless steel shine.”
How it’s helping
This is a great trick for restoring pots and pans you were maybe eyeing to replace. This simple hack can not only save you money, but it’s also helping our planet. We’ve all heard of the three R’s of waste management, and this simple hack falls under “reuse.”
One of the most effective ways to reduce the waste we create is to not create it in the first place. Producing new products like cookware requires materials and energy. From extracting raw materials to the pollution caused by products being made, reusing items is one of the best ways to reduce our effect on the environment.
This trick can even go beyond the items already in your kitchen. Next time you actually need to replace a pot or pan, consider hitting up the thrift store or secondhand shop, knowing that you can easily erase pesky heat tint and make a new-to-you pan look brand spanking new.
What everyone’s saying
“OMG running to get my pans and vinegar,” another says.
Booth even went on to explain how she removed the tint from the outside of her pans.
“What about for the outer bottom? I’ve tried vinegar already ☹️,” @moshi_17 asks.
It’s another easy fix, but it may not be in your house already. Booth says she used Bar Keepers Friend, a viral cleaning solution many swear by, and a Scrub Daddy — another cleaning tool with a dedicated following.
Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.