How To Clean Burnt Pots And Pans: 3 Easy Solutions

Ever left your pots and pans on the stove and went on to do something else, only to come back to a burnt pot or pan? Well you're certainly not alone. It's certainly quite a shame when you've burnt your pots and pans, especially if they were still in relatively good condition. While you might be tempted to throw your burnt pot or pan away immediately after this little mishap, don't get rid of it just yet! With these 3 simple cleaning solutions, you'll probably be able to salvage your burnt pots and pans and bring them back to life! 

1. Vinegar and baking soda can basically solve any (cleaning) crisis 

Vinegar and baking soda are 2 ingredients that every household needs to have. No, really. If you don't have them in our pantry right now, you should probably head to the supermarket to pick some up ASAP. Often known as miracle workers for any cleaning crisis (or nightmare), vinegar and baking soda can practically solve any cleaning crisis in every household. From eliminating stains and odours to disinfecting surfaces, these two ingredients can certainly solve almost any cleaning issue at home, including your burnt pots and pans!

Boiling vinegar, baking soda and water to clean burnt pot

(Image credit: The Kitchn)

What you'll need:


  1. Pour water and white vinegar into your burnt pot or pan. 
  2. Heat the diluted vinegar on the stovetop and allow it to come to a boil.
  3. Allow the diluted vinegar mixture to boil for a minute. Then, remove from the heat and drain the vinegar down the sink.
  4. Add a tablespoon of baking soda to the empty pot or pan. Use a dish scrubber or sponge to massage the baking soda to combat any remaining burn marks on the bottom of the pot or pan.
  5. Rinse clean with water and dish soap.
  6. If there are any stubborn stains that aren't budging, mix a 1:1 ratio of baking soda and water and apply it on these stains. Then, let it sit for a couple of hours, or overnight, before washing with clean water and dish soap.  

2. Boil some lemons 

If you had been cooking with lemons, don't throw the leftovers away just yet! Instead, place them in your burnt pot or pan and boil them with some water. Apart from being a highly effective method to salvage your burnt pots and pans, this method is also rather effortless, requiring minimal scrubbing effort! Curious about how this works? Well, just like the acetic acid in white vinegar, the citric acid present in lemons serves to break down burned food stains, minus the pungent odour, leaving your burnt pots and pans smelling and looking fresh. 

Boiling mixture of lemons and water to clean burnt pot(Image credit: The Kitchn)

What you'll need: 


  1. Quarter two or three lemons and place in the burnt pot or pan. Fill with a few inches of water and bring to a boil.
  2. Boil for 5-10 minutes or until you start to see food particles float to the surface.
  3. Discard water and lemons before rinsing with some water and dish soap, using a dish scrubber or sponge to remove any leftover bits. 

3. Get scrubbing with some aluminium foil 

Using baking soda and aluminium foil to clean burnt pot(Image credit: The Kitchn)

Aluminium foil is probably an item that's available in most households, especially those that use the oven or toaster on a relatively regular basis. This might come as a surprise but aluminium foil is a pretty effective tool to clean your burnt pots and pans. It's also rather inexpensive too! However, compared to the 2 previously mentioned solutions, this method is going to require a bit more effort (and elbow grease). A word of caution though, don't use this method on non-stick pots and pans as this method is rather abrasive and will likely scratch the nonstick coating on these pots and pans. 

What you'll need: 


  1. If using baking soda, begin by creating a paste, consisting of an equal ratio of baking soda and water. Then, cover the burnt area with this paste and allow it to sit for about half an hour.
  2. Alternatively if you're not intending on using baking soda, you could simply soak your pot or pan in some warm water and dish soap, allowing it to sit for approximately half an hour. 
  3. Crumple up some aluminium foil and begin scrubbing it all around the pot or pan, until all food bits and stained areas are clean. Rinse with clean water and some dish soap.  




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