Written by Author: HomeCook Vivian, Blog

How to Clean a Stainless Steel Wok Brand-New?

I love my stainless steel wok. It is beautiful, looks sleek but burns easily after cooking. So, I was searching for some of the best practices to clean a stainless steel wok that is 100% working.

My friend Chef Michele has given me some of the best cleaning and maintenance tips to keep a stainless steel wok in good health for years.

She has also given me tips on how not to burn my stainless steel wok each time I cook. So, I have listed them here too.

Check out the cleaning tips of a rusty stainless steel wok, if you have one at home. Bring back the luster in your stainless steel wok by following these useful cleaning and maintenance tips.

Stainless steel wok cleaning methods

Table of Contents

  • How to wash a stainless steel wok?
  • The best way to clean a stainless steel wok
  • How to clean a rusty stainless steel wok
  • How to clean a burnt stainless steel wok
  • How to maintain a stainless steel wok?

How to wash a Stainless steel wok? 

how to clean a stainless steel wok after use

There are various easy and simple ways to clean a stainless steel wok. These could be done with readily available ingredients in very little time. Hence, to mention some of the easiest ways to wash a stainless steel wok are:

Salt and Lemon:

Cleaning the stainless steel wok with salt and lemon is one of the most unusual yet the best ways to do so. The acidic nature of lemon and the lightly abrasive salt together helps to retain the luster of the wok. The steps to clean are:

  • Cut the lime and squeeze the juice in the wok.
  • Add some salt. Let the mixture stay in the wok for a while. 
  • Take a non-abrasive scrubber and gently scrub the surface. 
  • Once clean, wash with regular dishwashing soap. 

Cream of Tartar:

This is one of the most useful ingredients that many chefs swear by. Just a few amount of it works great in retaining the luster of the stainless steel wok back. The process is: 

  • Take some amount of water.
  • Add half cup of cream of tartar to the water. Make a paste.
  • Apply the paste on the surface of the stainless steel wok. 
  • Let it soak overnight.
  • Take a soft non-abrasive pad to scrub the surface of the wok.
  • Wash it with water. 

Dishwashing Soap:

Just using the regular dishwashing soap in the proper manner to clean a stainless steel wok can also do wonders. The steps are:

  • Take warm water. 
  • Add the dishwashing soap to the water. 
  • Let the mixture be in the wok overnight. 
  • Take a non-abrasive pad. 
  • Scrub the surface of the stainless steel wok gently. 
  • Wash well using warm water. 
  • Take a paper towel and pat the wok dry. 

What is the Best Way to Clean a Stainless Steel Wok?

the best way to clean a stainless steel wok

Cleaning and maintaining stainless steel wok is easy. Following just these simple steps can ensure that your stainless steel wok has a good and long lifetime. 

Here is the best way to clean a stainless steel wok

  • Step 1: Ensure that the wok has cooled down before taking it to clean. This is mainly because adding water in a hot wok can force it to warp. 
  • Step 2: Use warm water. Add your regular dish wash soap to it. 
  • Step 3: Use a non-abrasive scrubber. Gently scrub off any food particles that are stuck to the wok. 
  • Step 4: Wash the wok properly. 
  • Step 5: Clean the wok dry. Ensure there are no water droplets left else it will leave spots. 

In case there are any spots: 

  • Take a moist paper or towel. 
  • Put a small amount of baking soda on it.
  • Rub the surface of the wok. 
  • Wash the wok in warm water. 
  • Take a paper towel and tap the wok dry. 

How to clean a Rusty Stainless Steel Wok?

how to clean a burnt stainless steel wok

Here are the most simple and easy steps to clean a rusty stainless steel wok

  • Step 1: Rinse the stainless steel wok.
  • Step 2: Take a steel wool pad. Scrub the rusty parts of the wok until it comes off. 
  • Step 3: Wash the wok again in hot water. Keep it away for drying. 

Repeat the process until the rusty areas become completely smooth and shiny. 

Once done, the wok needs to be re-seasoned for it to get back its luster. The steps to season the stainless steel wok is: 

  • Step 1: Put the wok on the oven and let it heat for some time. 
  • Step 2: Add oil and spread it throughout the wok. 
  • Step 3: Let it heat slowly 
  • Step 4: Take a paper towel and rub the oil evenly throughout the surface of the wok. 
  • Step 5: Use warm water and your regular dish wash soap to clean the surface. Do not scrub excessively. Dry the wok properly. 
  • Step 6: Apply a thin layer of oil on the wok and store it. 

How to clean a Burnt Stainless Steel Wok? 

how to clean a burnt stainless steel wok

Stainless steel wok can easily burn if overheated. Hence, here are the steps to clean a burnt stainless steel wok

  • Step 1: Put the wok in the oven. Add water enough to soak the burnt areas. 
  • Step 2: Add vinegar to the wok. 
  • Step 3: Turn the oven on. Let the mixture come to a boil. Boil for around 3 minutes. 
  • Step 4: Switch the oven off. 
  • Step 5: Add the baking soda in the mixture. There would be a fizz. 
  • Step 6: Take the wok to the sink. Use a normal scrubber to scrub off the burnt particles. 
  • Step 7: For better results add some more baking soda. Scrub off the burnt areas. 
  • Step 8: Wash with normal water. 
  • Step 9: Tap the stainless steel wok dry with the help of a paper towel. 

Here are some other tips and tricks to clean a stainless steel wok when burnt with readily available ingredients:


Soda has properties of acid which makes it a great cleansing agent. The process of cleaning burns from stainless steel wok is easy with soda. They are:

  • Cover the burnt areas with soda by pouring it in the wok.
  • Put the wok in the oven and turn it on for some time. 
  • Use a spatula to scrub away the burnt areas. 

How to clean a wok with salt?

The method of cleaning the burnt marks in any wok using salt is almost similar to the vinegar method. 

  • Pour enough water in the wok. 
  • Turn the oven on and let the water boil.
  • Add some salt. Turn the heat off immediately. 
  • Let the water and the salt sit for a while in the wok. 
  • Pour the water out. 
  • Use a non-abrasive scrubber to scrub off the burnt areas. 

Lemon Juice: 

This method of cleaning the burnt wok with fresh lemon juice can also be done exactly like salt. The acidic property of fresh lemon juice helps not only to clean the wok but also to get back its shine. 

How to maintain a stainless steel wok? 

There are various small things which if maintained can help to increase the lifetime of a stainless steel wok. To mention, a few of them are:

  1. Clean the wok after each use. This is because leftover foods if kept for too long can discolor the wok. 
  2. Season the wok before using it for the first time.
  3. Dry the wok with a towel after washing.  
  4. Do not cook anything acidic in the wok. This retains the seasoning of the wok. 
  5. Keep the wok soaked in warm soapy water before washing after each use. This helps to retain its luster. For better shine consider washing it with hands.
  6. After washing the wok in a dishwasher, apply a thin layer of oil before storing it. This would help to retain the non-stickiness of the wok.
  7. Refrain from using bleaches, hard scrubbers, and steel wools amongst others to clean a stainless steel wok. 
  8. Do not heat the wok at high flames. It can often cause the food to stick to it. This can result in discoloration of the wok. 
  9. Overheating the wok can also make the sides black or blue. This makes it lose its luster. 
  10. Avoid storing food in a stainless steel wok. 
  11. Do not flip the covers when storing food. This is because the knobs can leave scratches on the non-stick surface. 

Bottom Line:

I have learned from Chef Michele, that cleaning a stainless steel wok will not be an upheaval task if we follow some cooking dos and don’ts. I have listed those in the maintenance tips. These tips are crucial if you don’t want to spend a significant amount of time just cleaning your wok and not trying tasty wok recipes.

To clean a stainless steel wok like brand new you definitely need to take care of it. Do comment your thoughts in the comment section. I would love to know if these cleaning tips worked for you.

Related Resources: