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The most common question we get – lid knob won’t fit screw

I’d venture a guess that a quarter of all questions we get are about this issue.  Probably untold more people return lid knobs (mostly on Amazon) because they think they got the wrong one. Take a look at these pictures that accompanied recent emails.

The questions are typically:

  • The replacement knob that I recently ordered X000W1KUXZ does not fit on my pot lid. As illustrated in the pictures attached the screw is much larger.
  • I recently purchased this knob to replace one that broke from my parents’ set from 1960 only to discover that the stem for the knob is larger and does not have threads!  Does any such replacement exist?
  • Problem is the hole in the knob is too small for my screw that is on my lid!  I am hoping you can help find the right one?

What you see in the above pictures is the nut insert from the old knob that has stuck to the lid screw.  The corrosion on the nut insert and the state of the old knob is a pretty good indicator why; the disparate metals (typically aluminum and stainless steel) and the moisture trapped under the knob promotes corrosion which bind the screw and nut together, as the Bakelite in the knob corrode around it from years of use, and probably cleaning in the dishwasher.

The solution is to try and unscrew the nut from the screw with a pair of pliers.  Most of the time this is successful.  Some of the time the corrosion is bad enough that the screw will break off.  If that happens, you can drill a hole and use a separate screw, as we’ve outlined here.

Hopefully this new post, and the addition of the most recent posts to our home page will help more people find this information.



Another Revere Ware aluminum core cautionary tale

I can’t quite tell the model from the pictures I was sent, but clearly another catastrophic failure of the aluminum inside a Revere Ware sandwiched aluminum cookware piece:

I was boiling water so I could make macaroni. While heating the water the copper bottom melted completely fff of the pot and fell down into the burner; it was a melted blob.

We’ve gotten enough emails on failures like this that we recommend that everyone stop using Revere Ware with sandwiched aluminum cores.  So far we haven’t heard of serious injury but the potential for molten aluminum to cause a serious burn is there.

These types include models called:

  • Aluminum Disk Bottom Cookware
  • Try-Ply / slab bottom
  • 2000 Line
  • Some Micro-Fyers models have an aluminum disk bottom
  • Centura Clear

The ProLine series has a disc bottom but it has copper inside, which has a higher melting point and won’t suffer from the same issue.


Removing walnut stains from a marble countertop

I pride myself on savvy kitchen problem solving, but this one had me stumped for a bit.

We have a nice big white marble island in our kitchen.  From time to time, it will get a stain, like the time the kids left a pink feather on the counter and it got wet; pink stain in the marble.

My go to for stains natural stone has been a baking soda poultice, which you get by just mixing baking soda with enough water to make it the consistency of toothpaste, apply over the stain liberally, cover with plastic, and it will pull the stain out of the stone.  Mu understanding of how this works is that the water travels constantly between the stone and the moist baking soda, and the baking soda has a higher affinity to capture the stain molecules than the stone does, so eventually all the color ends up in the baking soda.  Works like charm.

But it doesn’t work on every stain, and there are many types of poultice designed for specific stains.

About a week ago, my wife was soaking walnuts. We soak them to remove the bitterness (and make them easier to digest) and then dry them in our dehydrator.  But this time someone bumped the bowl and some of the water got out and formed a puddle on the counter.  A few hours later when I went to wipe it up there was a nasty brown stain about 10 by 18 inches long.  It looked kind of like this, but much larger and slightly darker (I wish I had taken a picture).

My trusty friend, the baking soda poultice, had no affect on this stain.  I even let it sit for several days.   I was a little worried that this stain might be permanent.

Searching the internet for how to remove walnut juice stains doesn’t bring up a lot of answers, as I think it isn’t a very common problem. Who other than the odd nut like us actually soaks walnuts?

I did find one roundabout reference to trying bleach on some stains.  So tonight I sprayed some bleach water on the stain, and let it sit for a few minutes.  Almost like a miracle, the stain … just … disappeared.

I still can’t quite believe it.  I am quite relieved.

Hopefully this blog post makes it easier for someone else to find this solution directly.


Possible issue with Revere Copper Confidence Core cookware (circa 2018)

As a last gasp perhaps to revive the Revere brand, World Kitchen, shortly before selling or being acquired by Corelle Inc., came out with a new improved Revere Ware lined that seemed to want to bring together the nostalgia of the original Revere Ware cookware, with the more modern look of something like All Clad.  I present to you the Copper Confidence Core cookware line.  Yea, that’s a mouthful.


It must not have worked, because not too long after coming out with these beauties, the Revere Ware brand was discontinued.  That apparently isn’t the end of the story, as, turns out, these pans seem to have the potential to be dangerous. A reader contacted us with this disturbing report:

I have a pan that the rivet cap exploded and hit me in the chest. 10″ pan. Popped off ( sounded like a gun shot). I saw an orange flash.

He also sent us these pictures:

Seems that one of the rivet caps shot off the inside of the pan.  If it happened once, we have to consider that it might happen again.  Please use these cookware pieces with care, and perhaps make sure the rivet caps inside the pan are pointed away from anything living.



Best of Blog: Big Daddy Sponges

In bringing back some of my favorite (and most useful) blog posts from the 12 years we’ve been posting, this one stands out as one of my favorites.

I like Sponge Daddy sponges as they really do a great job and are scratch free for non-stick and other more delicate items.  But they are expensive.

My solution 5 year ago was to buy the bigger Big Daddy sponge, and cut it in to 4, that are roughly the same size as the Scrub Daddy sponges, at a fraction of the cost.  So, with all the inflation we’ve had lately, what does that look like today?

More expensive but almost an equal savings at 30% the cost.



Dealing with burnt on grease

Reader Ellen asks:

“Hello!”  I purchased a small old-style fry pan in an “antique” store.  There is no copper on the bottom.  Unfortunately, my husband decided to use it – on high – and seared grease into it!
I have tried Brillo/SOS; baking soda; soaking.  What will get this grease sear off?
“Thank You!”
In terms of burnt on grease, what I’ve used for grease splatters on the outside of tea kettles is to put some water in it, heat it up (to make the grease stains hot) and then use some Bar Keepers Friend (a fine polishing powder) to polish them away.
Dealing with burnt on grease on the inside of a probably poses more difficulty because it isn’t a finely polishes surface like the outside; It may have started that way, but years of metal utensils and acidic foods can leave the inside of the pan with many pits and grooves for the grease hid in.  Still, the same trick may work, with a little more elbow grease.
My recommendation is to heat the pan slightly, and then give it a good scrubbing with a green Scotch Brite pad and some soap and water.  Then heat it up again and give it a good polishing with Bar Keepers Friend.  If this doesn’t get all the grease stains off, repeat as often as necessary.
The only thing to watch out for is, with a heated pan, don’t douse it with cold water as you will risk warping it.  Better to heat the pan mildly and use some warm water for the soap and water part, and any rinsing.

The etching of glasses in the dishwasher, and what to do about it

TL;DR to solve the etching of glassware, we are using half as much detergent and running a shorter dishwasher cycle.

For years now we’ve experienced the slow fogging of our drinking glasses.  At one time we thought perhaps it was that we had bought cheap glasses, so we bought some better ones, but experience the same thing.  We thought perhaps it was hard water deposits, even though we have a softener, but soaking in vinegar and scrubbing didn’t make a difference; the glasses are definitely getting etched.

Now, to be sure, it definitely does affect some glasses and not others.  But we can’t seem to figure out why.  Some inexpensive glasses are not affected while other expensive ones are.

Some resources we found identified phosphates as the culprit, but most detergents have been phosphate free for some time. And we were using two of Consumer Reports top detergent brands.

Like many lingering issues, this one nibbled at us, and I just felt that it was somewhat hopeless as the things we had tried didn’t seem to make a difference.

Well, recently I decided to give it another go did some searching.  Something in this article stuck me.

A senior scientist from P&G explained that a perfect glass-etching storm can happen inside a dishwasher if you have these four things: soft water, low soil load, high temperatures, and chelating agents. She went on to say, “Chelating agents, or chelants, are a major part of auto-dishwashing formulations because they form soluble complexes with calcium and other metal ions, enabling them to remove food soils and limescale, soften water, and boost hygienic cleaning action.” When you soften water as I do at my home, you remove the calcium from the water. Uh oh!

To prevent glass etching, she suggested not rinsing dishes and glasses, wash in shorter cycles, not using the pots-and-pans or sanitizing settings, and using a dishwashing product that contains zinc.

Softened water – check
Low soil – check (I’ve been aggressively scraping and rinsing plates after twice having to fix a clogged discharge tube)
High temperatures – check
Chelating agents – check

So I’ve got all the elements there for the problem.  I tried to find a detergent with zinc, but no-one seems to advertise that, or even show an ingredients list for their products.

I did a little more searching and found some very interesting tips

  1. Use less detergent
  2. Use a shorter cycle

I’d read that due to energy efficiency regulations, dishwashers now run much longer than they used to in order to get the same amount of clean.  Ours typically runs a 2 hours cycle, but does have a 1 hour quick cycle.  It makes sense that a shorter cycle gives less time for the detergent to react with the glass, and there is less detergent so it has more of a chance of reacting with the dirt, rather than the glass.

So our approach now is to cut our detergent tabs in half, and run the quick cycle.  So far, the dishes are coming out just as clean, so I am hopeful that our etching problem is also solved.  I think I am going to zip tie some glasses that have previously etched in our dishwasher like I previously did with a Bakelite dishwasher test, and see what happens.

I have high hopes that this will solve our problem.

Update: After about 9 months of using half the detergent and the quick cycle, I am happy to say the glass etching seems to have stopped.


Worn Revere Ware stamps

Reader Camille asks:

There is one piece left of a set of Revere Ware that was my mother’s and is at least 65 years old. It is definitely pre—1968, and I’m thinking that it was gifted to her in the early 1950s. The piece that’s left is the large pot and it is so old that only way you can see the stamp is with a bright light and a magnifying glass. Is this common for the older pots?

This is common with older pots. The copper does oxidize over time, and when you use copper cleaner regularly it can slowly remove some copper.  I personally have quite a few pieces that have very faint stamps like this.

Use caution with Revere Ware aluminum disc cookware

We’ve previously recommended Revere Ware’s Tri-Ply cookware, because it does a good job of spreading the heat on the bottom of the pan.  The Tri-Ply cookware came in two varieties, one with the aluminum sandwiched between the two layers of stainless steel that are part of the cookware, and one with an aluminum and stainless steel disk attached to the bottom of the cooking vessel.

We were previously aware of rare occurrences where the aluminum disc would fall off, spilling out molten aluminum.  These seemed like on-off rare occurrences.  However, more recently we’ve been receiving more and more reports of this phenomenon.  Here is the latest:

This only seems to affect the aluminum disc types.  Because molten metal pours out when the disk falls off, there is a danger of series burns, and damage to stoves, counters, and flooring.

It isn’t clear why this seems to be happening more now, or whether it has always been a problem and we are just hearing about it more now.  It is possible that as this cookware ages and is exposed to repeated use, something may be happening to the materials that allows this to happen.

In the case above, the use wasn’t extreme in any way:

It was a electric stove on medium/ high heat boiling water. the pot was steaming boiling  when i went to dump the water in the sink  i hear something hit the floor  i thought it was water but it was liquid metal  the melted the flooring.  The bottom was still some what attached.

Given everything we know about this type of failure, I would caution anyone using this type of Revere Ware cookware as it may no longer be safe.


Anatomy of an eBay listing / used Revere Ware skillet

It’s worth taking a look at an eBay listing for a used Revere Ware piece to see what we can learn before we buy.  Take this skillet for instance.

When I see “unmarked” I immediately think two things – it is either a knock off, or it has been used enough that the copper layer has worn down past the stamp.

This piece, with the distinctive two screw handle and knob, is clearly not a knockoff.

So what about the bottom:

Definitely no stamp, so this piece has been used plenty, and some of the copper has worn off. It is probably still thicker than the post-1968 cookware, but still something to be aware of of you are prizing a piece like this for its thicker copper layer.

However, notice the wear pattern on the bottom:

The fact that the rim around the edge is showing some wear whereas  just inside of it is not, is indicative of a warping upward of the center of the pan.  Let’s look at the inside:

The way the light is reflecting, almost guarantees this skillet has a pretty significant warping upward in the center.  Probably not a great skillet if you value a flat bottom.  Here is an example of a skillet on eBay that looks to be much flatter, with little, if any, warping.

If you are buying a used piece on eBay, it may be worth asking the seller if the bottom is warped at all; if they say no, and it come warped, that gives you some recourse t0 return it.