The Little-Known Cleaner That Chefs Use to Polish Pots and Pans

published Oct 1, 2021
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Over the summer, I chatted with professional chefs about their best “insider tips” for cleaning the kitchen. While they shared plenty of brilliant cleaning ideas, one smart tip stood out in particular, partly because I had never heard of the product — and partly because it seemed to work incredibly well! Ready to find out what it is?

The suggested product is Flitz, an all-purpose metal polish that bills itself as “The Swiss Army Knife of Polishes.” Chef Zebbie Carney uses it to clean copper cookware at Eugene’s Hot Chicken and gave it high marks. Although I don’t have any copper pots, I do have plenty of stainless steel and aluminum in my kitchen, and most of it has seen better (and brighter) days. I ordered a tube and decided to give it a go for myself!

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

The brilliance of Flitz is that it cleans, polishes, and protects metal surfaces all at once. It removes rust, shines, and adds a “sealant” coating. It’s safe for use on pretty much every metal, including (but definitely not limited to): stainless steel, chrome, nickel, brass, and copper. It can even buff out small scratches and imperfections! And apparently shine up the headlights on your vehicle!

Credit: Rochelle Bilow
Applying Flitz on my pot that's more than a decade old!

After reading the instructions and watching a quick YouTube video, I decided to tackle a pot with heat discoloration. I applied a thin layer of Flitz on the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pot — I wanted to do a side-by-side comparison. The instructions note that you should not let Flitz dry (it comes out of the tube as a creamy consistency). Instead, leave the product on the pot’s surface for just three minutes to tackle discoloration. When my timer dinged, I buffed off the product using a microfiber cloth. 

Credit: Rochelle Bilow
Wow, look at the difference!

And guess what? The results were impressive! My pot is more than a decade old, so I know no amount of any product will get it looking brand-new. But after buffing, the bottom was definitely more even-toned, with fewer marks and abrasions. I could really tell the difference in my halfway comparison. The top part of the pot, which had not been treated with Flitz, was slightly yellow. But the bottom of the pot where I applied Flitz gleamed!

This product is non-toxic, but I wouldn’t use it on the inside of my cookware, or immediately cook with my newly polished pots without thoroughly rinsing them. I actually opened my windows while the cream did its magic to counter the strong smell.

People use Flitz for just about everything (like giving jewelry a new shine and spiffing up metal trailers and RVs!). After browsing dozens of comments, one 5-star review caught my eye: “I bought some Flitz to polish up a couple carbon steel knives, which were getting a little more patina and rust than I cared for. This product added some new shine to my old high-end stainless steel chef’s knives.”

I was inspired! I know exactly what my next Flitz project will be!

What do you use to polish the metal in your kitchen? Tell us in the comments below.