Several years ago, my brother gave me a set of heavy aluminum army pans that I simply love. I do a lot of cooking for large groups and pans this size are a time saver, but unlike my stainless cookware, if someone forgets and puts them in the dishwasher or boils water in them they turn black and dingy. As any housewife knows, scouring pots this size is not fun.
While remodeling my house, I came up with an easier way. A fine grit, drywall sanding sponge can remove the black stains from old aluminum pots and pans in less than a third of the time spend scouring. Finish with a quick buff using steel wool to bring out a beautiful shine, then wash and dry the pot as usual.
This procedure not only saves time, but also money spend on steel wool soap pads. The drywall sponge in this photo is two years old and still going strong.