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Cleaning Burnt Pots and Pans

Category Kitchen
Burnt 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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By 14 found this helpful
May 24, 2011

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!



Source: My mother

By attosa from Los Angeles, CA

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By 6 found this helpful
January 25, 2013

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.

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

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!

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August 18, 2014

Using my favorite and best cooking pot, I put some green beans on to cook and went to the computer to check the weather while the strings beans were coming to a boil. Next thing I knew, the smoke alarm was blaring...

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January 22, 20050 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. Cover the pot with plastic wrap so that the moisture won't evaporate and let stand several hours or overnight.

You can sometimes lift the burned portion out of the pot with only a little scraping. If the pot is very badly burned, it may need 2 such treatments.

By joesgirl

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By 1 found this helpful
January 30, 2013

To clean the worst burnt pots and pans in just a few minutes, put about 1/2 to 1 inch of water in the pan then shake a generous amount of Comet and boil.

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July 11, 2008

Who hasn't burned a pot really badly on the stove! To clean it, get some rhubarb, several handfuls. Cut it up into about half a pot of water and boil gently for about 10 minutes. Don't let it go dry. Your pot will sparkle!

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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.

By 0 found this helpful
March 26, 2008

How do I get burnt tomato soup out of a metal pan? I was making grilled cheese and tomato soup the other day and seemed to let it sit to long. I now can't seem to get the burnt soup off the bottom of my pan. Can anyone help?

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March 26, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

Barkeepers Friend....looks like white comet. It cleans everything. Sprinkle it on a wet pan and let sit a few minutes. Shines everything like new.

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March 26, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

Fill the pot with hot water and place a new fabric softener dryer sheet in it. Let it set overnight. This has worked before for me on baked/burned on food.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 4, 2007

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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By guest (Guest Post)
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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November 24, 20140 found this helpful

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

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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By 0 found this helpful
November 3, 2009

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

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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By 0 found this helpful
July 28, 2010

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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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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By 0 found this helpful
December 31, 2009

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

By grannyearth from PA

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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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By 0 found this helpful
June 24, 2014

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


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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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July 25, 20130 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, 20130 found this helpful

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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January 5, 20150 found this helpful

I've got scorched milk on my pan. Can you use Clorox? Or what is the best way to take it off?


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By 0 found this helpful
March 4, 2009

If you have any burnt pans: instead of scrubbing them, simply fill pans that are burnt on the stove with boiling hot water and simply put a little soap powder in the pan. Boil gently for about 10 minutes then rinse out thoroughly before use.

Source: This is my own tip as I have had lots of burnt pans in the past and, believe me, this works!

By Joanne1012 from United Kingdom

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