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Cleaning Burnt Pans

Does anyone know of an easy way to clean a burnt pan? I was boiling some potatoes and the water boiled off and my pan is stained black.

Janet from San Jose, CA


Burnt Pans


The other day, when I was cooking dinner, I burnt it so bad, I ended up burning the inside of the pan. It's a "Chefs All Clad" pan, so, it was fairly easy to get the food of, but the pan is still burnt. Anyone have any hints to cleaning it so it could look some what silver again?



Burnt Pans

The "best" and quickest way to remove burn-ons in stainless pans is to cover the burn-on with gel dishwasher detergent and let it set for a couple of hours or overnight. After that, a soft brush and hot soapy water is all you need to get the shine back. You may add a tablespoon of water to the detergent.

Powdered dishwasher detergent can be used by making a paste with water. As you know, dishwasher detergent is very strong, therefore, don't use your hand to clean the pan, even with a sponge or dishcloth. Use a dishbrush to clean all the residue off (and clean and sterilize the brush at the same time) and the pan will look almost like new.

Lee (Guest Post)

Burnt Pans

Put hot water in the pan along with some vinegar and let it sit overnight. The next day you should be able to wipe your pot clean. This also works well with cleaning your stove top burner pans. Good luck.

Trish (Guest Post)

Burnt Pans

Burnt pot or pan? Use a dryer sheet to scrub away that blackened soot off your best pans and pots

By Aisha from Norfolk, VA

Burnt Pans

The best I have ever used, and is very cheap, is BarKeepers Friend. Its a powder in a gold colored can, usually found in the cleaning supplies. Just get your pan wet all over, sprinkle quite a bit in there, and rub to make a paste, then scrub it all over. It will take sulfur and iron out of dishes, appliances, sinks and tubs, etc. also. It is great. You can get the big can for around $2 at Walmart.

Post by jenjoejace

Burnt Pans

For Stainless Steel: Easy-off oven cleaner will also take off burnt on foods, just spray and let sit awhile. If the handles are not stainless steel, then wrap them with heavy duty foil before spraying.

By burntofferings

Burnt Pans

My 85 yr. old mother-in-law told me she mixes baking soda with some regular dish soap in a paste and lets it set overnight. She swears it will take anything off.

Post by <userlink:thr619979>Angellface</userlink>

Cleaning Burnt Pans

Try soaking in hot water and dishwasher crystals. It should wipe clean in a couple of hours or so.

Pat K (02/28/2006)

By Pat K

Cleaning Burnt Pans

Mix a couple of tablespoons of Cream of Tartar in about 3 to 4 inches of water in the burned pan and boil hard for a while. Keep your eye on it, don't let it boil dry, add water if necessary and continue boiling. Dump the water and scrape firmly. Repeat if necessary until the all the black will come off. This really works. (02/28/2006)

By Vicka

Cleaning Burnt Pans

I usually can get all of a stain or burned on foods out by placing a little dishwashing liquid in the pan with two cups of water and simmering on low for about 30 minutes. If this doesn't work rub toothpaste all over the area and allow to sit overnight. In the morning just wash as usual. (03/01/2006)

By J Walker

Cleaning Burnt Pans

Tried several methods to remove black stain from bottom of stainless steel pan. The only thing that worked was a couple of applications of Orange Glo Power Paste foaming cleanser and a scouring pad. Try it. (08/08/2006)

By Lulu

Cleaning Burnt Pans

For stains on the bottoms of pans, I find that cooking something containing a lot of tomatoes (ie: tomato based soup, or simmering pasta sauce) will clean it up really nicely. It's the acidity of the tomatoes that does the work. (11/02/2006)

By Tam

Rainbow stains on stainless

C.L.R. (the cleaning liquid) removes them on contact. Sure beats scrubbing your fingers off with an SOS pad. (11/03/2006)

By Jeff

Cleaning Burnt Pans

I boiled water dry in my stainless steel pot for about 1/2 hour (was boiling water for my daughter's bottles). I have just used a fine sandpaper with a little bit of water and it has totally removed the stained burnt marks from both the inside and bottom of my stainless steel pot (was not a copper bottom ). It worked wonders. (04/06/2007)

By Mic

Cleaning Burnt Pans

Removing stains from Faberware pots try Zud it is recommended for Faberware pots. It works for me.
This pass weekend I burnt a pot, first I boiled with plain water, then vinegar and water and then I put Zud inside let it set for awhile. Try scrubbing the pan by having the Zud like a paste, not too much water. (04/30/2007)

By bb

Cleaning Burnt Pans

Wow. I tried making homemade caramel and left it too long. My whole pan was burnt from the caramel. I heated up some Coke and the burnt caramel is gone. Who knew Coke could do such an amazing thing. (08/08/2007)

By Bubbles

Cleaning Burnt Pans

I tried the hydrogen peroxide that someone mentioned, and even though it did take a little scrubbing, it did take off the black crust that I thought was permanently fused to the bottom of my pan. I was making applesauce and the water boiled away and left sugary charred apples on the bottom of my pan. The caramelized char looked glassy and I figured it was a loss.

I tried baking soda, vinegar, Comet, and had pretty much given up. I figured I'd try the H2O2 and see if it worked. It took off a lot the first time. I had to do several more soak and scrub runs, but got all of it out. If it hadn't worked, I'd have tried boiling vinegar next, then some of the other tricks. But the peroxide worked. Thanks. (10/08/2007)

By Mara

Cleaning Burnt Pans

My wife burned some potpourri in one of our nice stainless steel All-Clad pans. We tried everything and then used some Easy Off Oven Cleaner on it and it came right off. Another post asked if it was toxic, not really otherwise they wouldn't let you use it in your oven. Plus they suggest using it on barbecue grills (which works great also). Make sure you get the cold kind not the kind you need to use on a hot oven. I would make sure and wash the pan thoroughly after you clean it just to be sure.

Also, for the burnt oil marks on the bottom of your stainless steel pans use a product called BAM (also made by Easy Off, not an endorsement I swear). It takes the oil right off and the pan looks brand new.


By Brian

Cleaning Burnt Pans

A small piece of sandpaper worked great. It scrubbed everything off. I also boiled, and let the pot sit in a solution of hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and arrowroot. The pot was completely black in spots. Now it is nice and shiny. (12/13/2007)

By Ed

Cleaning Burnt Pans

Thanks for all the tips, I am about to try some, but would like to say please be careful when you're all boiling and inhaling such nasty chemicals. Please avoid it if possible, or at the very least allow for enough ventilation in your home before doing it. All commercial chemicals should have material safety data sheets on-line, I would check with those first before using the products in some of the ways suggested. Mixing certain cleaning products can be very harmful. At the end of the day, your health is much more valuable than a clean pot. (01/15/2008)

By safety first

Cleaning Burnt Pans

Use Pepsi. Put it on the stove, bring it to the boil, and scrub with a brush. Works in minutes. (04/20/2008)

By Macca

Cleaning Burnt Pans

Just read this thread. I had badly burnt pan (from boiling milk and burning it). I had no dishwasher stuff, had no Coke, so I used some water, some normal washing-up liquid (environmentally friendly one that I always use anyway) bit of white wine vinegar and about 1/3 of a can of sparkling apple juice I had in the fridge from a flight, which I had never fancied drinking, and a bit of baking powder. In less than 3 minutes on the stove and stirring a bit, hey presto, all clean. Right now I am following the next bit of advice and "reconditioning" the pan first with water and salt, then I will do the oil thing. Good as new. Thanks all. (04/25/2008)

By Bea

Cleaning Burnt Pans

So, I tried almost everything on this list and they seemed to help a little bit. I wasn't sure if it was the boiling of Coke, detergent, lemon, etc. working or me continually scrubbing. Also I did not want to scrape my All-clad pan, too expensive to do so. But with a little muscle I used a Magic Eraser and it got all the black burnt on pieces off with out damaging the pan. I love Magic Erasers, they are great for everything.(08/11/2008)

By Heidi

Cleaning Burnt Pans

I used the combination of peroxide, a drop of dishsoap, and baking soda to a boil and it lifted half of the burnt on tomato soup. I redid the process another time and lightly used a spoon to help lift off the rest. Finally with a scour pad, the pot looks brand new, thanks to the advice I found on this site. (11/20/2008)

By Randy

Cleaning Burnt Pans

I can't believe it, it works. Ham cooked in apple juice, burnt on the roasting pan that came with my vintage oven. I put about 1" of water in the pan, dissolved 1 scoop of Oxiclean and about 2 Tbs of baking soda, then baked the pan until the water simmered for about 30 minutes. Fifty-year old roasting pan looks new and is not scratched. (11/29/2008)

By plexmate

Cleaning Burnt Pans

Easy. Soak the bottom of the pan with freshly squeezed lemon juice overnight. (12/26/2008)

By Marie K.

Cleaning Burnt Pans

I burned brown rice onto my pressure cooker so badly that I feared it might be lost forever (that's $200 worth of pan). I'd already soaked, scraped and tried various household (nasty) cleaners. Not even oven cleaner helped. After reading advice on this page I carried out the following procedure:
(approximate measures)


  • a cup of wine white vinegar
  • a heaped tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • a dash of ordinary dish soap
  • a cup of ginger beer

Top up with boiling water from the kettle to cover all burned disaster bits and bring to boil. Simmer whilst scraping bottom of pan with a wooden spatula (ended up doing this with a scarf tied over my nose and mouth- the fumes are a bit nasty). Imagine my joy when I realized that all the black carbonated gunge of doom was floating off in chunks.

I emptied the pan and rinsed thoroughly after about 20 minutes and with a little extra rubbing with a sponge (really surprisingly little) all the gunge and all the black concreted-on-forever bits came right off.
Result, I will be recommending this noxious concoction to my friends. (01/10/2009)

By Sparkpixie

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