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Cleaning Burnt Oil From Stainless Steel Pans

Category Kitchen
A stubborn substance that can adhere to your pan is cooking oil. This guide is about cleaning burnt oil from stainless steel pans.
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Solutions

Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

October 17, 2013

I forgot to remove my pan from the burner after frying taco shells, causing the oil to burn onto the pan.

Total Time: 10 minutes

Supplies:

  • 1 Tbsp Dawn dish soap
  • water
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Steps:

  1. Add Dawn dish soap to the pan. Fill the pan about halfway with water.
  2. Put the pan on the stove and boil for about 5 minutes. Be sure to set a timer.
  3. Using a metal spatula, carefully scrap away as much of the oil as possible. NOTE: Do not use a metal spatula on a non-stick pan.
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  5. Empty the soap water into the sink. Then scrub with a sponge to remove any remaining oil.
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Comment Was this helpful? 3
October 26, 20130 found this helpful

SOS pads work great for this. They clean up glass and metal baking pans with no soaking required. Just wet the pan and swipe with an SOS...comes out great! Make sure you buy the pads that are already soaped.

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Videos

August 9, 20140 found this helpful

If you are having a hard time getting burnt oil off a frying pan, try this simple tip. This method will get your pan looking like new in no time!

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August 15, 20141 found this helpful

Why the noise, and no proofreading?

Best way to clean burned oil from frying pans is to sprinkle some Comet onto wet surface, wait a minute, and put half an inch of warm water onto it. Let it soak half an hour, and rinse. The oil will be gone without scraping. Sometimes a bit of wiping with a sponge is needed, but never any scraping, which might scratch the surface.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

0 found this helpful
August 30, 2015

I burned oil in a stainless steel pan, about 10 minutes on the stove burning. The pan has a burnt oil smell I can't get out. Any suggestions?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

0 found this helpful
January 6, 2011

How do I clean burnt oil from a stainless steel pan?

By RichardT from Sterling Heights, MI

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
January 7, 20110 found this helpful

Apply any of the following (as available) to the burnt parts, leave overnight and scrub with a stiff scouring pad next day:

- scouring powder + vinegar paste

- baking soda

- ash + lemon juice

- tamarind paste

use very little water, so it creates abrasion, and scrub away, it should come off.

All the best.

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January 7, 20110 found this helpful

Hi Richard!

What I do is to sprinkle liberally the burned part with baking soda, and then pour just enough water over the soda to make a paste. Let the pan sit overnight, and then take a scrubby and scrub the burned part. The debris should come off very easily, along with the baking soda paste.

Easy, good for the environment, and cheap! :)

Hope this helps,

Bron from Augusta, Georgia

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

June 22, 20050 found this helpful

I scorched a stainless steel skillet after spraying it with PAM. It looks glazed on. Baking soda did not help. Any ideas?

Thanks,
Mike S.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
June 22, 20050 found this helpful

Try putting the baking soda in the pan with water and bring to a boil. This may help some. Also you can try putting hot water in your pan and a sheet of Bounce that you use in the dryer and let it soak over night. It will help take off the scorched part of the pan and maybe the glazed look. Hope this will help you.

Pat in GA

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June 23, 20050 found this helpful

Use a steel wool pad (like SOS). This has always cleaned my stainless steel pans after all kinds of embarrassing disasters. Let the pan soak a few minutes (or overnight) first.

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June 24, 20050 found this helpful

I use oven cleaner. It works great. Spray on, leave awhile. Then wash as usual.

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Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 6, 20110 found this helpful

Someone had the heat up too high in my stainless steel frying pan and burned the olive oil right into it. No amount of scrubbing or soaking has helped, not even boiling Cascade. Any ideas?

By Mel from Frankfort, IL

Answers:

Burnt Oil on a Stainless Steel Pan

If the pan is ruined and unfit for use, try spraying it with oven cleaner (outdoors on cardboard or newspaper) with you wearing rubber gloves. (11/19/2010)

By OliveOyl

Burnt Oil on a Stainless Steel Pan

I think easy off oven cleaner will do it. (11/19/2010)

By Lilac

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November 19, 20100 found this helpful

I had an oil fire in my stainless steel pot. I got the burned oil off the bottom of the pot, but the black marks on the side won't come off, neither will the black dots on the outside. Anyone have any suggestions?

By Judy from Cornwall, Ontario Canada

Answers:

Burnt Oil on a Stainless Steel Pan

Barkeepers Friend and elbow grease. (10/20/2010)

By Noella

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

October 18, 20100 found this helpful

I have burnt a stainless steel saucepan. I had a little oil in the bottom of it and left it on the stove, it caught alight and now is quite burnt. I have tried cleaning it in the dishwasher to no avail. Please help.

By Janet

Answers:

Burnt Oil on a Stainless Steel Pan

Wow! I posted a response to similar question back in 06. I've been here for a while!

Sorry! I found an even better idea, is Bon Ami cleanser. Get some on a scrubby and scrub it away. The dishwasher doesn't work, it just heat sets it! But if I have some oil burnt on or some pans just looking not so shiny, I use the Bon Ami and it's better. It comes in a gold can, next to the powdered cleansers in the kitchen cleaning section. Cheap and works on your stove without scratching too! (05/06/2010)

By michawnpita

Burnt Oil on a Stainless Steel Pan

Try this: fill your pot with enough water to cover the burnt oil residue (if the stain is only on the bottom, an inch of water should be enough). Add 1 teaspoon of dishwasher powder or powdered laundry detergent (a bit more if using liquid detergent). Boil hard for 5-10 minutes, after which the oil should come off easily. I've found that this works well for many burnt veggies too, but alas not as well for burnt rice which requires a lot of elbow grease too. (05/07/2010)

By anlod

Burnt Oil on a Stainless Steel Pan

If Easy Off oven cleaner won't take it off, it won't come off. Try it. (05/07/2010)

By Ann Parker

patience

I've done this with steel pans and butter and it just takes a lot of soaking, with soaking time being correlated with how much oil residue is burned onto the pan. You'll need a steel wool or tough rubber scrubber. When soaking, put fill the pan with enough water to cover the bottom of the pan and raised residue with dish soap. Let sit for a day and then scrub with water and soap still in the pan. If you get most or some, but not all off, then repeat process. Adding dish soap is important as oil and water don't mix, you'll need the detergent affects to dislodge the hydrophobic oils. No worries, your pan is not lost, that is the wonder of stainless steel pans! (05/07/2010)

By wishsparkle

Burnt Oil on a Stainless Steel Pan

I use anlod's method only with dish soap or vinegar, and it works like a charm :-)

Please do not use oven cleaner on anything you're going to be cooking or storing food on/in! The materials are porous and the oven cleaner chemicals build up in those porous pockets. (05/07/2010)

By Deeli

Burnt Oil on a Stainless Steel Pan

Try a paste of salt, baking soda, and dish soap (Dawn)
and elbow grease : ) (05/12/2010)

By Carly34

RE: Burnt Oil on a Stainless Steel Pan

Burnt Oil on a Stainless Steel Pan

My husband sold stainless steel pots and pans of high quality for years. He said the way to clean them is to use Comet or Ajax with a brown paper bag. The bag is strong enough to cut whatever in on the pan.
I have kept my clean for over 40 years using this method. (07/13/2010)

By Thunderlights

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

May 6, 20100 found this helpful

After leaving a small amount of oil to heat up in my Cuisinart frying pan a little bit too long, it left a large black and also brown oil stain. I tried everything suggested on how to remove the oil stain on my stainless steel fry pan and nothing worked. So I decided to try a razor blade scraper.

First I heated the pan slightly; I then applied a small amount of now abrasive powder. Using a gentle pressure I used the scraper and presto the oil stain was removed. It left small fine scratch marks, but it did not alter the cooking or cleanup. And the scratches became almost invisible after a few more usages. Thank goodness the black and brown oil stain was gone.

By Juneyb1 from Mt Dora, FL

Answers:

Burnt Oil on a Stainless Steel Pan

You can remove burnt oil marks from a stainless steel or aluminum pan much more safely by using a baking soda paste. Mix baking soda and water (just enough to form a paste) in a bowl. Then use either a wash cloth or a scrub brush to apply it to the pan. Scrub and allow the paste to sit. It may take several applications, but eventually it will come off scratch free. (09/24/2009)

By linex_4

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

December 19, 20090 found this helpful

I have a question about cleaning a stainless steel pan: I was heating a thin layer of olive oil in my big frying pan when I got distracted.

Read More...

September 23, 20090 found this helpful

I have a burnt on food stain on my stainless steel pan from oil. I have tried baking soda, vinegar, simmering water with baking soda and vinegar and soapy water.

Read More...

August 12, 20090 found this helpful

How do you clean burnt oil from a stainless steel pan?

Read More...
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