help! how do you remove spotting from stainless steel?

My Stainless Steel flatware and cookware seems to have developed a rainbow colored spotting. I have tried a number of cleaners including steel wool which seems to have worked the best. I know this will in time scratch my flatware and cookware. Can you please recommend a cleaning solution that will remove the old spotting and stop it from happening again? — Kathleen

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Thanks for the question, Kathleen. We’ve written about our all-time-favorite, can’t-live-without stainless steel cleanser before: Bar Keeper’s Friend. It does an amazing job on removing stains from supposedly “stainless” steel, and also works on tile, china, chrome, grout, you name it! At only $2.50 a can it can’t be beat. Click here to buy four for $10. Another trick that may work is baking soda mixed with dishwashing liquid. Mix it up into a good paste, and rub gently. Be sure to rinse thoroughly and dry right away. To make sure those pesky stains don’t return, always dry your stainless steel right away. In all likelihood, it’s your water that’s causing the rainbow effect. Does anyone else have advice for Kathleen? Feel free to weigh in!

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In the photo: Williams-Sonoma All Clad 7-Piece Tool set.

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For less abrasive alternatives, try the “Stainless Steel Magic” spray and/or the special soft cleaning cloths that are sold at places like Bed Bath & Beyond. In particular, I’ve had great luck with the cloth and it’s far less messy!