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Cleaning Burnt Pots and Pans

Occasionally it happens that foods are burned onto your cookware, and it can be a challenge to get it clean again. This is a guide about cleaning burnt pots and pans.

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Burnt Pans
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May 24, 2011 Flag
14 found this helpful

A pot with burned food and the same pot that was cleaned by the sun.Don't waste your time scrubbing a badly burned pot or even think about throwing it away! All you need to do is put it outside in direct sunlight for a few days. The burnt food will crust up together, and when you turn it upside down, it will all fall out. I burned a huge pot of food the other day and my mother called up with this tip. Sure enough, the pot is back to normal thanks to the sun!

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Before: A stainless steel pot with burned food.

After: Cleaning Badly Burnt Pots and Pans

Source: My mother

By attosa from Los Angeles, CA

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January 25, 2013 Flag
6 found this helpful

I took a telephone call and completely forgot my saucepan boiling my Udon noodles. I didn't think anything would shift the burnt-on food. How wrong I was. View of clean and burnt sides of pan.Cleaning a Very Burnt Saucepan

I soaked the pot for two days with cheap cola (17p for 2 litres in my supermarket) and a dash of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda).

I was then able to remove all burnt residue with a ball of foil and it came up as shiny as if it was new! See my picture.

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    October 24, 2013 Flag

    It worked! I used the tip for using Dawn on my burnt pan and it worked! But I had to improve on the tip a little since my pan was really burnt.

    First I squirted Dawn in the pan and filled it half way with water and boiled the mixture in the pan for 5 minutes, scraping the bottom with a metal spatula every once in a while. Then after the 5 minutes, I scraped some more, poured the water out and scraped again. This removed a lot of the burnt crust. I repeated this step one more time.

    After a second round of boiling and scraping, I then filled the bottom of the pan with coarse sea salt and scoured the pan with a Magic Eraser sponge. This helped remove anything that was holding on for dear life.

    The very last step I took was to do one last wipe down with the Magic Eraser.

    The pan now looks great!

      Dawn to Clean Burnt PansDawn to Clean Burnt PansDawn to Clean Burnt Pans
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      November 24, 2014 Flag
      0 found this helpful

      pot with burnt food I didn't realise peas cooked so quickly. I left the kitchen for a bit and scorched the pot. I scrubbed for hours and hours and I'm still scrubbing. I've gotten a lot of the burnt off and broken two nails in the process, but it's not my pot it's my roommate's. I don't wanna hear about it or worse have her make me replace it. This thing could cost a lot of money. Anyways I realised my metal spoon was really good at getting hard oatmeal off of plastic so why not this pot. Sure enough it got a lot more of it off, but I had to stop cause it was leaving these huge visible scratch marks. Anyways I need to know what to do to get it clean the rest of the way and if I can make the scratches disappear. Thanks.

      By Savannah K.

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      November 25, 20140 found this helpful

      Barkeeper's Friend soft cleanser with a green scrubber should take care of it.

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      November 25, 20140 found this helpful

      Try boiling a half cup of powder dishwasher detergent in the pot full of water for about 20 minutes. Then use a plastic spatula or old credit card to scrape the burned bits out. Wash as usual. Try buffing the scratches with baking soda or a damp sponge or rag. This has saved a couple of burnt pots for me. Hope it helps.

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      March 29, 2008 Flag
      0 found this helpful

      Does anybody know how to easily remove baked on stains from my clear Pyrex bake ware? I soak and scrub to no avail. We have well water, so I prefer solutions that work with that. Thanks - all replies appreciated!

      Cathy from Delaware

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      April 2, 20080 found this helpful

      Barkeeper's Friend works well. It's like Comet, but works better for that purpose.

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      January 4, 20090 found this helpful

      Soak the gunk in vinegar, scrub a little, and dump out (but don't rinse). Then soak in a baking soda paste, scrub a little, and dump out (but don't rinse). Keep doing that until the gunk is gone.

      This works because both products will occasionally work on their own. But also, when switching back and forth without rinsing between the two, they interact in a chemical reaction that produces salt, water, and heat. This is almost always enough to get rid of any gunk.

      If the gunk is cooked-on grease or oil, try Dawn Power Degreaser, but only if the above doesn't work. It's a good product in terms of effectiveness, but I'm sure we'd all prefer a less expensive and less chemically harsh solution.

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      December 4, 2007 Flag
      0 found this helpful

      My Revere Ware has sufficient build up of burnt food on the OUTSIDE (sides and bottom) of the pots and pans. There is advice on cleaning the INSIDE not the OUTSIDE - I'm considering using a Magic Eraser but I'm wondering about the copper bottom as well. Would be interested in detailed information. Thanks so much!

      Kris from Austin, TX

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      March 3, 20080 found this helpful

      I just posted about the sandpaper too,when people think of sandpaper they think of the rough stuff.There is a sandpaper out there that is 1000 grit and 1,500 grit,you have to get the right type.It's called wet/dry 1000 grit sandpaper,it's the type used to wet sand and buff out imperfection in the paint after a car is painted.I use this method and I promise you it does not scratch your pans.You have to REMEMBER to run a trickle flow of water over the pan as your wet sanding it.It's more like a rubbing method but it WILL NOT SCRATCH YOUR PANS.If it does than you have used the wrong grit,it has to be 1000 grit or 1,500 wet/dry sandpaper,it is a very very fine sandpaper grit.Once you use this method you will never bother with others again,it works on the inside and the outside of the pan.

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      July 29, 20080 found this helpful

      I just picked up a set of Revere Ware copper bottom pots at a yard sale...for $1.00! I cleaned them all up bright and shiny with the same stuff I use on my brass bathroom sink, Cameo copper, brass and porcelain cleaner which costs about $1.25 at my local grocery store.

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      January 22, 2005 Flag
      0 found this helpful

      Sprinkle powdered cleanser or baking soda liberally over the burned portion of the pot, then add only enough water to moisten the powder or soda well.

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      May 5, 2013 Flag
      0 found this helpful

      We have no baking soda or bicarb either. How else can we remove burned caramel from a pan?

      By Becca

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      June 24, 20141 found this helpful

      I left a pan of sugar water boiling to make hummingbird food - It boiled dry - what a mess and the smoke was horrible. My husband found the answer - boil peroxide in the pan! Just bring it to a boil, cover and turn off the heat. Let it set until cool and just use a paper towel to wipe away the black crust! I was amazed!

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      June 11, 20160 found this helpful

      I also left a pan of sugar boiling. I thought the pan was a goner, but I used this suggestion. It worked!!

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      June 24, 2014 Flag
      0 found this helpful

      How can I clean copper bottom pans that have years of stuff on them?

      By RB

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      June 26, 20140 found this helpful

      I've had good results on my older copper bottom pots using Revere Copper and Stainless Cleaner paste. If you can't find it in your local stores it is available online. It may take more than one application but it will do the job.

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      November 3, 2009 Flag
      0 found this helpful

      My pans are greasy and spotted on the bottom. Can I put them in my self cleaning oven? Thank you.

      By Dan from Las Vegas, NV

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      November 4, 20090 found this helpful

      Spray the bottoms with Oven Cleaner and let them sit overnight in the sink. The grease should be dissolved by the morning and remaining remnants can be removed by scrubbing with liquid Metal Cleanser; first with 2/0 steel wool, followed by 4/0 steel wool. Develop a habit of cleaning the pots after use.

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      November 4, 20090 found this helpful

      Lower both your oven racks to the two bottom positions in the oven.

      Line the lowest rack with aluminum foil (to catch any drippings from the pan).

      Place the cookware upside down the the top rack in the oven.

      Bake for 1 hour, turn off oven, and leave the cookware in the oven until it is cooled. Keep an eye on it, if you see a fire in oven turn it off, keep it closed till fire goes out, good luck.

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      July 25, 2013 Flag
      0 found this helpful

      I cannot clean my fry pans that are burnt from using the gas too high. I tried all types of cleaners, but nothing works.

      By Helen

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      July 27, 20130 found this helpful

      Hi - just type - burnt pans - in your Thrifty search area and you will find many suggestions.

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      March 11, 2013 Flag
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      How can I clean it? It is very burnt from the custard boiling over in the pan.

      By wd

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      April 18, 20140 found this helpful

      Put some baking soda in pan, add water. Bring to rolling boil uncovered for a while. Sorry I don't remember quantities or time, but this worked for me to remove burned on simple syrup. Repeat if needed, but it should get it all out.

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      July 28, 2010 Flag
      0 found this helpful

      I burned my copper whistling tea kettle. I can get the outside reasonably clean, but worry about the inside. How do I make sure it's free of nasty stuff inside?

      Pat R

      By Pat R from WI

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      Anonymous Flag
      July 30, 20100 found this helpful

      You can smear ketchup or tomato sauce over the inside of the kettle, let it stand 10 minutes, then wash the kettle.

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      August 4, 20100 found this helpful

      The acid in the ketchup or tomato sauce would probably work if you can get inside the whistler pot to smear it on. If not, try filling the pot with water, add about 1 tablespoon of baking soda, and let it boil for several minutes. Wash it out and rinse. I know this works on pot that have food burned onto the bottom.

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      December 31, 2009 Flag
      0 found this helpful

      How do I get burned on milk off a T-fal pan?

      By grannyearth from PA

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      January 2, 20100 found this helpful

      Try "Dawn Power Dissolver". It's with the Dawn detergents at WalMart. Also WalMart is the cheapest.

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      January 5, 20100 found this helpful

      Boiling water with baking soda for a few minutes works for me.

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