If your pots and pans have seen better days, they look a bit grimny and yucky try this: put your pots and pans in a clear trash bag, add three or four cups of ammonia and close it up for about three hours. Stand back when you open the back as the odor will be strong. The exteriors of the pans are going to be shiny clean! Just be sure to wash in soapy water as you usually do.
Stains can be a problem in pots and pans. So fill the pot or pan with a solution of 3 tablespoons of vinegar to a pint of water. Boil until stain loosens and can be washed away.