Cleaning bottom of stainless kettle


I've got an old stainless steel coffee carafe, the kind they use (used?) in coffee shops with the flip-up lid. This does not have a copper bottom. I use it exclusively to boil water on a gas range. Whistling tea kettles annoy me and I find it faster to boil X amount of water in the carafe. Besides, it's way easier to estimate how much water is in this thing.
I've been cleaning this from time to time (it's at least 10 years old), but presently, the bottom and a couple inches up the sides it's gun-metal black/grey.
Besides the bottom, the insides are almost all practically black. On the bottom it says "18-8 STAINLESS STEEL," no brand. I bought it at a restaurant supply warehouse. Maybe the quality of the steel is bad, I don't know, but it doesn't seem appropriate to call this stainless!
Bon Ami doesn't touch this. The only thing I can think of that seems to be working is a TON of elbow grease and progressively finer grades of wet-dry sandpaper, starting with something like 220 (I also have 150 and 180, in case the 220 is too slow) and ending with 600 or 1200. It looks to me that I'd have to spend 2+ hours just with the 220 and then hours to get the scratches out.
Is there a way to get this thing looking good without spending a whole day on it? I almost bought a new one but decided to try to rehabilitate this one. I'd appreciate any suggestions.
Dan
Email: dmusicant at pacbell dot net
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Fill with water and slowly boil with a tablespoon of cream of tartar (found with spices in the market). I know it works with aluminum...not sure if it works for SS.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I almost did not respond to this. Every SS item I have has not tarnished nor discolored. I would not use abrasive cleaners. Try polishing with a cloth dampened with vinegar, then dipped in table salt. Also there are (non-abrasive) food-safe metal polishes you can try. If the discoloration is due to tap water, try "Dip-It" (used for cleaning coffee pots) or CLR.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
have you tried filling it with vinegar and boiling it? then boil water in it to get the vinegar taste out. that's how i clean mine, but it's not black inside, just mineral build up.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Barkeeper's Friend. Very mild abrasive with mild acidic activity. I use it occasionally on all my stainless pots & sinks. I find that it will not remove black stains from boiling a pot dry, however.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.