I am looking for something like a combination of reassurance and a bit of schooling right now.
I am used to cooking with sub-par pans (my mother hardly cooked so I was at the mercy of what was in our kitchen for a very long time). I am recently married, however, and I was lucky enough to receive a giant set of Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless for a shower gift along with Henckels flatware that is very pretty (the Vintage 1876 is lovely and hefty).
While my new husband and I were buying general supplies for our new apartment, I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to decide on proper cleaning items for the pans...I am used to using a nylon brush, but he wanted to get one of those blue scrubbers (I guess scotch brite-ish) on a stick that has a hollow handle for dispensing soap. I didn't think much of it and deferred.
A few days later I used said scrubber to very gently prod what hadn't lifted off the pans during a delgaze and was shocked to see tons of scratches all over the beautiful mirror finish...and also on my flatware, from which I had both vigorously washed (egg yolk) and gently went over.
I kind of had a huge freak-out; my husband feels awful - I told him perhaps the nylon brush would have done the same thing - I am not mad at him - how on earth would he have known? But -
1) So, are my brand-spankin'-new pans ruined? Will I ever see the shiny mirror finish again?
2) Will it affect performance? The internet has been surprisingly unhelpful - I've seen some extreme opinions in either direction.
3) Flatware. It looks like it's aged 10 years with all of those scratches. The ones that we hadn't yet washed are still unscathed and shiny since I bought a plain sponge to clean with. I have Jekyll and Hyde forks and knives and such.
I don't know what answers I'm looking for - I feel kind of like a nut, but it has been coming in waves of irritation with myself for not knowing better, somehow. The fact that the scratches on the giant 12" skillet are in the exact pattern I cleaned it in is not helping. I contemplated putting it all on Craigslist and buying new sets. Yes, I know I'm crazy.