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How to Clean Calphalon Hard-Anodized Pans: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are your Calphalon hard-anodized pans starting to look worn?

Are stains baked into the sides and bottom? Is the cooking surface discolored?

If you’re nodding your head right now, you’ve come to the right place.

In this guide, I explain exactly how to clean Calphalon hard-anodized pans — or any hard-anodized pan for that matter. You’ll learn:

  • The best approach for everyday cleaning
  • Why you shouldn’t clean hard-anodized cookware in the dishwasher
  • How to remove stubborn stains and discoloration step-by-step
  • How to clean and restore the bottom and exterior
  • And much more.

So, if you’re trying to restore your hard-anodized pans to their original condition, but soap and water aren’t getting it done, keep reading.

Use the links below to navigate this guide:

How to Remove Stubborn Stains and Discoloration (5 Methods)

Over time, Calphalon hard-anodized cookware can develop stains, discoloration, and blotches, especially on the exterior. These stains can bond to the pan.

In this case, routine cleaning techniques might not be enough.

In this section, you’ll learn the best methods for deep cleaning stubborn stains to restore your Calphalon pans.

Method 1: Vinegar and Dish Soap

How to Clean Calphalon Hard Anodized Cookware With White Vinegar

This method is excellent for burnt bits on both the interior and exterior of your Calphalon pans. All you need is distilled white vinegar, water, dish soap, and a sponge. 

The vinegar is what makes this method so effective. Vinegar is acidic, so it’s great at breaking down stains, food particles, and the burnt residue. 

Here’s what to do:

  1. Fill up a sink using the ratio of one cup of vinegar to three cups of water. Fully submerge the pan.
  2. Let the pan soak for 15 minutes. The food particles will dislodge.
  3. Use a soft-bristled brush or sponge to loosen the food particles.
  4. Empty the sink. Fill it again with hot soapy water.
  5. Clean the pan with dish soap, a non-abrasive sponge, soft-bristled brush, or washcloth. The remaining residue will come loose. Make sure to clean both the interior and exterior.
  6. Rinse the pan.
  7. Dry with a dishtowel.

Method 2: Bar Keepers Friend

How to Clean Calphalon Hard Anodized Cookware With Bar Keepers Friend

Bar Keepers Friend also works on your Calphalon hard-anodized pans. It removes food built up and tackles stains.

Make sure to use the Powder Cleanser (available on Amazon). Although the company offers a cookware cleaner, it’s meant for stainless steel and isn’t suitable for non-stick.

Bon Ami is a similar and highly effective product. Although, I conducted a head-to-head test of Bon Ami vs. Bar Keepers Friend and found Bar Keepers Friend to be slightly more effective.

Here’s how to use Bar Keepers Friend (or Bon Ami) to clean your pans:

  1. Test in an inconspicuous spot, as it may etch or dull surfaces.
  2. Rinse the pan so that it’s wet.
  3. Sprinkle a small amount of the powder cleaner over the entire pan.
  4. Using a washcloth, rub gently, focusing on the affected areas.
  5. Repeat if necessary.
  6. Within one minute of applying the product, rinse your pan. Bar Keepers Friend should not stay on the surface for too long.
  7. Dry thoroughly.

Method 3: Baking Soda Paste

How to Clean Calphalon Hard Anodized Cookware With Baking Soda

For an all-natural method, using items you probably have in the home, the baking soda paste method works well for burnt marks and stains. Baking soda is a slightly abrasive, natural cleaner.

Here’s how this method works:

  1. Mix baking soda and a little water in a bowl until you’ve created a paste. Make sure there’s enough to coat the pan two or three times.
  2. Gently apply the baking soda paste to the pan using your fingers. Wear rubber gloves if you prefer.
  3. Let it rest for between 30 minutes and an hour.
  4. Rinse the paste and notice the difference in your pan!
  5. Repeat if necessary.

Method 4: Cream of Tartar

How to Clean Calphalon Hard Anodized Cookware With Cream of Tartar

This is a brilliant method for cleaning grease stains from the interior and exterior of your pan. This method is effective because cream of tartar is acidic, so it can break down grease, grime, and remove odors, too.

All you need is a few tablespoons of cream of tartar, hot water, a soft sponge, and a dishtowel.

  1. In a small bowl, mix cream of tartar and water until you’ve created a paste.
  2. Apply the paste to the affected areas of the pan. You can apply it to the whole pan if you’d like, too.
  3. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Scrub the paste in with a soft sponge, gently lifting the stains.
  5. When you’re satisfied, wash the pan thoroughly with your routine cleaning method.
  6. Dry well with a dishtowel.

Method 5: Salt and Lemon

How to Clean Calphalon Hard Anodized Cookware With Salt and Lemon

Here’s another natural method. It works because salt is abrasive, and lemon is a natural cleaning agent. This method is excellent for tackling stains, burnt spots, and discoloration on the interior and exterior of your pan.

  1. Mix a 1:1 ratio of salt and lemon juice. Increase the amount to ensure there is enough to cover the affected areas.
  2. Using your fingers (wear rubber gloves if you’d like), gently apply the mixture to the burnt spots, discoloration, and stains.
  3. Let it rest for no longer than 30 minutes.
  4. Scrub with a washcloth. Be gentle, or the salt could damage the pan’s coating.
  5. Rinse well.
  6. Dry thoroughly with a dishtowel.

How to Clean the Bottom of Calphalon Pans

The bottom of Calphalon pans can be extremely frustrating to clean.

Grease and other ingredients spill over the sides during cooking, and the resulting stains seem to get burnt into the bottom and exterior of the pan.

How to Clean the Bottom of Calphalon Hard Anodized Pans

If the bottom of your Calphalon pans look stained and splotchy, and the previous methods didn’t help, there’s hope.

The best way to restore the bottom of your Calphalon pans is to use Calphalon Dormond Hard-Anodized Cookware Cleaner and Polish (available on Amazon). This product is designed specifically to clean and restore the exterior of Calphalon pans.

Here’s how to use Calphalon Dormond to restore the bottom of your Calphalon pans and get the best result:

  1. First, scrub your pan with a soft sponge, dish soap, and water and dry thoroughly.
  2. Then, apply the Calphalon Dormond to the bottom of the pan using a damp pad or cloth (it comes with a circular sponge, which works great).
  3. Let the solution sit on the pan for 15 to 30 minutes.
  4. Scrub the pan with warm water and a sponge (these Scotch-Brite sponges work the best). You may need to scrub for 10 minutes or longer, depending on the severity of the stains.
  5. Rinse and dry thoroughly.

It’s important to understand that this is not a silver bullet, and the stains won’t magically come off the bottom of your pan when you apply this product.

It requires quite a bit of elbow grease, and, even then, your pans won’t look brand new when you’re done.

However, they will look significantly better, as you can see below. I cleaned the pan on the left with Calphalon Dormond, but it looked like the pan on the right before doing so.

How to Clean the Bottom of Calphalon Hard Anodized Pans_before and after

Routine Cleaning

For everyday cleaning, dish soap, a sponge, and water is enough to keep the hard-anodized Calphalon pan in excellent condition.

The best way to prevent stubborn stains and discoloration is to clean the cookware after every use properly. Routine cleaning is easy and only takes a few minutes.


  • Liquid dish soap
  • Non-abrasive sponge or soft bristle brush
  • Hot water
  • Dishtowel


  1. Let the cookware cool completely. Otherwise, the sudden exposure to the contrasting water temperatures can cause warping.
  2. Fill up a sink with hot water. Add a drop of liquid dish soap as it’s filling.
  3. Place the pan in the hot, soapy water. If there are stubborn bits of food stuck, let it soak for 15 minutes.
  4. Use your non-abrasive sponge or soft brush to clean the interior and exterior of the pan thoroughly. Be gentle. Vigorous scrubbing can scratch the pan.
  5. Once the pan is clean, rinse it thoroughly.
  6. Dry immediately with a dishtowel.


  • Don’t scrub hard-anodized cookware with sharp utensils, metal utensils, or scouring pads, even if food is stubbornly stuck on. Doing so will scratch and damage the surface.
  • Cold water can warp the pan if it is still hot.
  • Never place Calphalon hard-anodized cookware in the dishwasher.
  • If you don’t have a brush or non-abrasive sponge, opt for a washcloth.
  • Never put the cookware away if it’s still wet. Doing so can lead to water spots.
  • The lids for Calphalon hard-anodized pans are dishwasher safe.

Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Calphalon Hard-Anodized Cookware

When you clean your Calphalon hard-anodized cookware, avoid the following: 

Putting Hard-Anodized Cookware in Dishwasher

Even though Calphalon claims some of their hard-anodized cookware is dishwasher-safe, don’t do it.  The harsh detergent and extremely high temperatures in the dishwasher can damage the hard-anodized layers and wear down the non-stick surface. It can chip, peel, scratch, or reduce its non-stick ability. 

Using the Wrong Cleaner

When cleaning Calphalon hard-anodized pans, always opt for good quality and mild cleaners (Dawn and Ajax are my go-to’s). Avoid alkaline-based detergents as well as brands that aren’t recommended by Calphalon.

Also, avoid rough scrubbers. Don’t use scouring pads or overly textured sponges. Instead, choose soft cloths, non-abrasive sponges, or soft-bristled brushes.

Immersing Hot Cookware in Cold Water

Don’t immerse hot cookware in cold water. Let the cookware cool completely, or you risk warping.

Never Use Aerosol Cooking Sprays

Avoid aerosol cooking sprays. They contain a difficult-to-clean chemical propellant. Instead, I recommend using oil (such as olive, vegetable, coconut, etc.) or butter.

Letting the Pan Air Dry

Dry your pan thoroughly with a dishtowel. While air-drying might feel like less work, using a clean dish towel to dry Calphalon hard-anodized pans reduces the risk of rust and water spots. If your pan has any scratches or cracks, moisture can get into these areas and cause more damage to the pan.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Calphalon Hard-Anodized Pans

This section will answer some of the most commonly asked questions about cleaning Calphalon hard-anodized pans.

How Do You Clean Burnt Calphalon Hard-Anodized Pans?

Submerge them in hot soapy water (once the pan has cooled), scrub gently with a cloth, soft-bristled brush, or non-abrasive sponge, rinse and dry thoroughly with a dishtowel. If that doesn’t work, try one of the methods suggested earlier in this article.

What Is This White Film on My Calphalon Pan?

It is most likely a build-up of natural cooking ingredients, such as butter or oil, or hard water stains. You can avoid this by always cleaning and drying your pan thoroughly after use. 

My Calphalon Pan Is Losing Its Exterior Coating. What Do I Do?

First, consider what you might be doing to cause this. Have you put it in the dishwasher? Have you used abrasive cleaners? If so, it won’t be covered by the warranty.

But if it’s a manufacturing issue, contact Calphalon and ask them for help. The warranty may cover it.

Can I Use Metal Utensils to Scrape Bits of Food Off My Calphalon Hard-Anodized Pan?

No. Don’t ever do this. Even just once can scratch the pan. Use nylon or wooden utensils only.

How Do I Remove Stubborn Grease From the Cooking Surface?

Try using my methods listed above for cleaning stubborn stains from Calphalon hard-anodized pans. In this case, I recommend trying the vinegar or the cream of tartar method.

How Do I Prevent Food From Sticking to the Cooking Surface?

If your non-stick surface is in good condition, this shouldn’t be a problem. However, even non-stick surfaces can be tricky to navigate sometimes.

Here are some helpful tips:

Ingredients should be at room temperature before cooking.

Preheat your non-stick pan over medium heat or a couple of minutes before adding food.

Make sure that the butter or oil is evenly distributed as the pan is heating. You can use a little bit of oil or butter with non-stick pans. Never cook in a bare pan.

Add a couple of ingredients first and listen for a sizzle. If there is no sizzle, the pan isn’t hot enough, and you should wait a couple more minutes before adding food.

Don’t overcrowd the pan. Doing so causes a temperature drop, which can lead to foods sticking.

If your pan isn’t performing as you expected, contact Calphalon for assistance.

Final Thoughts

Calphalon hard-anodized aluminum pans are high quality, durable, and easy to clean. But over time, you will notice stains, discoloration, and burnt bits of food.

When this happens, there’s no need to stress. Cleaning Calphalon pans is relatively easy and won’t be too much of a chore.

Let’s recap some main takeaways to keep in mind when you’re cleaning Calphalon:

  • Your everyday cleaning method should consist of hot soapy water with a soft cleaning tool, a good rinse, and a thorough dry with a dishtowel.
  • To deep clean your pan, an excellent method is using Bar Keepers Friend. Sprinkle a little on a wet pan, scrub it in with a cloth and after one minute, rinse it off. It will break down stains and discoloration.
  • The best way to clean burnt stains on the bottom of your Calphalon pan is to apply Calphalon Dormond Cleanser, let it sit for thirty minutes, then scrub for ten or more minutes.
  • Avoid putting Calphalon pans in the dishwasher, using the wrong detergent and tools, immersing hot cookware in cold water, cooking with aerosol sprays, or letting the pan air dry.

Follow the steps in this guide, and your pans will be looking like this in no time!

Clean Calphalon Hard Anodized Pan

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He began his career in marketing, managing campaigns for dozens of Fortune 500 brands. In 2018, Andrew founded Prudent Reviews and has since reviewed 600+ products. When he’s not testing the latest cookware, kitchen knives, and appliances, he’s spending time with his family, cooking, and doing house projects. Connect with Andrew via emailLinkedIn, or the Prudent Reviews YouTube channel.

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