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How does grease get built up on bottom of pots and pans?
Not sure that I can answer the how, but this is a normal occurrence with well used cookware and baking pans. "Bar Keepers Friend" is an excellent cleaner you can use to prevent this build up. It is a scouring powder made for cookware and bake-ware that you can use with every washing and it will keep your pots and pans and baking pans shiny and new looking without a lot of effort. It can be found at Wal-mart, Target and most other stores that carry groceries and household supplies.
All the above answers are good. I also believe grease on the burner has a lot to do with it.
Do you mean on the underside of the pots and pans and not inside on the bottom? That happens when the oils start coming out from the side a bit and rolling down and under. Also from when you're washing them in the sink and it tips over and makes its way under.
I do not have any scientific way to explain this but I would bet that splattered oil/grease/butter mixed with the heat would cause some of this as it sure seems/smells like baked on grease when attempting to remove it.