Cleaning Vintage Items · Kitchen

Cleaning Revere Ware

Recently we picked up an auction lot that was marked “Scrap Metal”.  I paid a dollar for it because I thought I saw some potential in some of the items in the lot.  We buy a lot of auction lots online and then go and pick them up a few days later.  I really love this type of buying.  It’s kind of like gambling and thrifting all rolled into one.  Everyone gets a fair shot and I don’t have to get up at 4 am or stand in line for hours.  Some estate auction services have lots of detailed pictures and descriptions and then others have just a couple of photos and no descriptions at all.  I know that eBay probably has these types of auctions as well, but we have been dealing with two local companies.

How to Clean and Restore Vintage Revere Ware

Anyway, this particular scrap lot had lots of burnt up stainless steel pots and pans and a bright yellow Dansk pot in the background (which is the main reason I purchased this lot…more on that at the end of the post).

I was able to save some of the metal pie pans that will be good for upcycling projects and one large metal roasting pan (I will keep) as well as this vintage Revere Ware pan.  I think it’s 2-1/2 quarts and based on the faded logo on the bottom dates from 1939-1968.  I’m guessing 50s or 60s based on the heaviness of the pan.

As you can see by the photo below, this pan looked hopeless.  I can honestly say that I would have thrown it out too, but I was trying to salvage the dollar I spent on this lot.


The first step for trying to clean this pan was to soak it in very hot soapy water.  After it soaked for 30 minutes, I tested out a small area with a Magic Eraser and it did absolutely nothing…LOL.  I love my Magic Eraser sponges but it finally met it’s match with this pan.  After the magic eraser didn’t work, I switched it up with a little Bar Keepers Friend.  Finally, some progress, but not quick enough for my liking.

I don’t use oven cleaner, and I know that is a popular product to clean pans like this.  So I used the next best thing…..Ammonia.  I placed a glass Pyrex pie plate in the oven and then put the pan inside the pie plate and weighed it down with a heavy glass object.  I poured ammonia inside the pie plate just so that the burnt on parts of the bottom of the pot were completely covered with ammonia.  I closed the oven door and let it sit overnight.

The next day I noticed the ammonia had turned blue, presumably from the copper bottom on the pot, and there was debris from the pan floating in the ammonia.  Yes…success!  I placed the pot in the sink and scrubbed the gunk off with a scouring pad and it was actually coming clean.  I finished it off with a little Bar Keepers Friend and now it looks great, don’t you think?


There was a lot of gunk around the edges and under the rim.  That was easily scraped off using a corner of a plastic utensil designed for scraping off pizza stones.  I suppose you can further shine up the copper with a cleaner specifically designed for copper, or even with a lemon and salt (cut lemon in half, sprinkle with salt and scrub like a sponge).  I like this look, so left it more “aged”.  I will likely ask between $10-$12 for it in my booth as I also have the lid that matches.

Now on to the Dansk pot that I spotted in this “Scrap Metal” lot.  As you can see, the inside of this pot is ruined, beyond repair, but the outside still looks good.


I tried to clean it, but the enamel is actually missing on a few spots, so it’s not really worth the effort, but it still looks good on display, so that is what I am going to do with it.  I will probably store something in it, just not sure yet.  I have quite a bit of enamelware on display in our kitchen (you can view that post here).


Thanks for visiting!  Have a great week!

Below are some affiliate links to some of my favorite cleaning products.


3 thoughts on “Cleaning Revere Ware

  1. Your yellow pot is big enough to be a planter, maybe even a small fairy garden; a black chain to hang it from the handles. My Revere ware is 40 years old and still going strong! Loved your tips; thank you.


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