Lately, as I boil water in a steel pot, it is making the pots very dark brown, and the inner surface of the pots seems to have changed to feeling rough and scrubby.

Can anyone help with this?

Also, as I was doing slow cooking in the pot, strangely, the bottom thick layer came off! I am baffled! My pots look awful.

If this is what is happening to pots, how is this water for drinking? I live in northwest Indiana. I have lived here for twenty years and this hasn't happened before. I had also boiled water from brita in these small pots first, and as it reduced. Seems tap and brita water are doing the same thing to the pot. I want to know what is causing this?


3 Answers 3


Is this rust by chance? If so, let it dry and it'll be powdery at the bottom. Run your finger on the surface and some will come off on your finger. If it's rust, you may be able to get it clean with some steel wool. Just make sure to keep it dry after use from then on.

SmemSeger could be correct and that it's mineral deposits. I usually find those to be whitish rather than brown, but I'm not sure. If you want to clear out the mineral deposits, just get some white vinegar from the grocery, and fill the pot half with vinegar half with water. Boil it to speed up the process and it'll dissolve those minerals right off. Best part, no chemicals to clean up. The vinegar evaporates completely and leaves nothing behind. It's also safe to pour down the drain.


When you boil water, the minerals and anything else dissolved in the water will remain and can build up as deposits. This is true for filtered water as well, filters don't really soften your water, they only help remove any particulates and organisms that may be in it. I imagine the brown mineral layer you're getting in you pots is fine silt from your water supply, if I had to guess, I'd guess that the banks of the rivers in your area are probably close the same colour.

What you're seeing in your pot are likely mineral deposits, they aren't bad, it just means that you have hard water. It doesn't affect your health, hard water is only a concern for appliances and in industrial settings because the deposits can cause maintenance issues by clogging up pipes, faucets, etc. There are cleaners that are designed to help you clean mineral deposits out of you pots, they dissolve the minerals and make them easier to remove.


My municipal water added Chloramines, and I have heard it is corrosive and not just to steel. One of the city workers, as he was out in the street flushing the underground pipes through the fire hydrant, told me he didn't think they thought it out very well, that "people may have to replace their plumbing sooner." He was also using a neutralizer because this water would run into the bay and be bad for the fish.

Some of the water sources in my town are mixed with ground water, and others are very good sources of water. I experimented using both of those to see if sediment would remain when it dried on its own. It was off-white, slightly yellow.

I wondered about build up in my yard so I searched online and found an article that's a bit more concerning. The article said combining iodized salt, cooking, and Chloromines could create new chemicals that might be dangerous.

I also found somewhat corroborating statements on a website about adding chloramines to water causing damage to plumbing. If so, then where else are the dissolved metals going to go?

  • 2
    You may want to consider adding some sources to back up your answer.
    – Malco
    Aug 15, 2018 at 19:54
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    Thank you Malco- I just looked now and found somewhat corroborating statements on a website per the likely damage to plumbing and if so then where else are dissolved metals going to go. This is a website for Walter and waste water management I think. wwdmag.com/contaminants/…
    – JusssMe
    Aug 16, 2018 at 5:02
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    Welcome JusssMe! Thanks for sharing your experience and for coming back with a source. I edited it to make the paragraphs a bit easier to read. Then I incorporated the site you listed into the answer. Since you're new, I invite you to take our tour and have a look around our help center. How to Answer as a good place to start. This explains the downvotes. If this answer doesn't fit, don't get discouraged. Look around and answer something else, or ask a question! Aug 17, 2018 at 1:36

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