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How to Fix Oxidized Kitchen Utensils

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If you’ve ever accidentally placed your aluminum KitchenAid mixer attachments in the dishwasher, you know the frustration of oxidized utensils.

Utensils that, when handled, leave nasty black and gray streaks all over your hands and even on food items (such as gray cream cheese!) Yuck! But, don’t throw out those oxidized utensils just yet, we have a fix that’s as easy as boiling water.


At one time or another, I’ve reminded the kids to please DON’T put my KitchenAid mixer attachments in the dishwasher.

The detergent wreaks havoc on them, causing them aluminum to oxidize and leave nasty black and gray streaks all over everything and anything they touch. Ever try to whip mashed potatoes in a mixer and have them turn out GREY? Yuck.

How to Fix Oxidized Kitchen Utensils

You’ll Need:
Pot big enough to submerge your oxidized utensils
white vinegar

Place several inches of water in the pot, enough to submerge the utensils that need to be cleaned. Add about 2- 3 cups of regular white vinegar and bring the mixture to a steady boil. Once boiling, add the oxidized utensils.

This is what an oxidized utensil looks like BEFORE: (This is not a mistake, this is not clean WHITE- this is majorly oxidized aluminum!)


Go vacuum, read a magazine, fold a load of laundry, etc because they need to boil for about 20 minutes.

Remove the (HOT!!) utensils from the water, wipe off any remaining residue with a soft clean cloth or paper towels. Run the item under cool water, and run your fingers over it, if you get any gray/black streaks at all, put it back in the water and boil for another 5-10 minutes.

This is what the utensil will look like AFTER: – Note that it is nice and clean and all the crunchy gray has been removed.


For Better Comparison, view this NEW Whisk (photo from Amazon)


Here it is again- notice that in the AFTER photos there is no longer a nasty grey mess left behind on the fingers after handling the whip.


Voila! Just like new again and you don’t have to toss them out.

Kitchen Cleaning & Care Tips : How to Remove Discolorations From Aluminum Pans

What Kind of Pot Should You Use to Fix Oxidized Utensils?

It is best to use non-reactive cookware when opting to fix oxidized utensils at home. The most common types of non-reactive cookware include glass, glazed ceramic, or stainless steel. In addition, most non-stick pans, such as Teflon, are considered non-reactive.

Enamelware pans are reactive metal pans coated with non-reactive enamel. This coating results in a pan that heats evenly, without the issue of reacting with acidic food ingredients.

Aluminum, copper, iron, and non-stainless steel are types of reactive cookware. Pots and pans made from these materials can discolor or give acidic foods an off-taste. Therefore, it is best to avoid cooking foods that are high in acids, such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, or vinegar, in reactive cookware.

For the purposes of cleaning oxidized kitchen utensils, I highly recommend using non-reactive cookware to achieve the best results.

Is the Grayish Residue Harmful

Burnished aluminum may oxidize when washed in the dishwasher or soaked in the sink. Despite the grayish color, this residue is not harmful but may discolor food items mixed with it.

What to Do:

1 Soak the burnished utensil in hot sudsy water.
2 Use a nylon scrubber to remove any residue build-up. It is important to not use a wire brush as the wire bristles can scratch the beater and may damage the nonstick coating.
3 Dish soap, bleach or powdered cleaning agents not designed to remove oxidization will only make the problem worse by causing food to discolor from contact with those areas.
4 It is recommended that you rinse and dry thoroughly before storing. The beater will not be as shiny as it originally was, but this should not deter from its function.

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