Three times a year
The bottoms of pots and pans take a lot of abuse, but it's easy to get them gleaming again.
1. Take the pots outdoors or into a well-ventilated space.
2. Spray the bottoms with oven cleaner, then place in a plastic bag—a grocery bag or trash bag works—for a few hours to keep the solution from evaporating.
3. Finally, rinse thoroughly (if you're working outside, use a hose), then wash with soap and water. To avoid damaging the cookware, check the cleaning instructions in the manufacturer's guide before you start.
Calling all DIY fanatics! For pots and pans with stains on the inside, try a nonabrasive scouring cleanser. If that doesn't do the job, soak the cookware in a 50-50 solution of vinegar and water. For ultra-stubborn stains and grease, soak in a 50-50 solution of water and household ammonia for several hours.