How To Clean Burnt Pans

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You probably cooked something amazing just now like veggie lasagna and cheesy garlic bread. With extra cheese of course (great, now I’m craving lasagna and garlic bread).

But your cooking experiment probably didn’t go the way you wanted it to, like ahem, setting off the fire alarm a few times (only twice).

And of course who can forget about the pile of pots currently sitting in your sink? Some of which may be totally burnt, which of course you swear is not your fault.

You’re probably dreading the cleanup, but trust me, it’s nothing to worry about! Scroll down and check out 6 easy ways to clean burnt pans with an ease you never knew.

6 Ways to Clean Burnt Pans

1. Salt

As an abrasive substance, salt acts as an extremely good agent. When paired with an acidic substance like lemon, it becomes an effective cleaner.

So if your burnt pan is crusting up to the point where you’re worried a monster might manifest, try the following. Create a mixture with salt, a dish detergent of your choice, and hot water, all in a 1:1:1 ratio.

Let the dish soak in this mixture for about an hour or two, and then rinse the pan under running water.

Another method you can try with salt is by dipping a cut lemon in salt and scrubbing it onto the pan. This type of method is more effective if the burnt layer is thinner. If not, let’s just say you’ve done your arm workout for the day!

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2. Soak It in Soap

I’m pretty sure that soap is the superhero of the kitchen. Whether it’s a messy pan, grease stains on the side of the fridge, or dirt stuck to the exhaust fan….soap is there to save the day.

Also known as The Lazy Method, add a few drops of dishwashing soap to the pan along with enough hot water to thinly cover the bottom of the pan. Leave this to soak overnight and rinse the pan under running water in the morning.

Make sure to use the steel wool scrubber to really get the greasy and grimy bits out from the bottom of the pan. Trust me, they’re super annoying and a little hard to get rid of. Kinda like your ex. Eventually, though, you get it out.

3. Dishwashing Detergent and Washing Powder

As I’ve mentioned before, soap is the superhero of the kitchen. So is it really a surprise that this method also involves soap?

Add a dishwashing detergent tablet to a cooled pan, after filling it with water.  Then, add about a tablespoon of washing powder. Put a little boogie in it, who said cleaning has to be boring? Personally, when I’m cleaning, I put a little Janelle Monae on. Because why not?

Put the pan back on the stove and bring the water to a boil. Let it simmer for approximately 10 minutes after it has finished boiling, and the burnt parts will lift off the bottom of the pan.

4. Vinegar and Baking Soda

Fill the with a cup of water and a cup of vinegar. Let the mixture boil, then drain it but don’t dry it. Sprinkle a bit of baking soda, just enough to cover the pan, and let the pan sit for an hour or so.

Form a bit of slurry in the pan by adding a bit of water, and spreading it all over the pan. However, if you’re short on time you can always skip this step.

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You can substitute this step by scrubbing the pan for eternity with a steel wool scrub. Give it a good rinse under warm water, because cold water isn’t going to do the job.

Related: 24 Brilliant Uses of Vinegar

5. Dryer Sheets

This method really surprised me. I’m not talking like Darth Vader saying “I’m your father” to Luke, or Harry dying (kinda?) at the end of Deathly Hallows…but I’m still surprised by what dryer sheets can do in this case.

Add a few drops of the dishwashing liquid to the pan, and coat the pan with hot water (not boiling hot). Submerge a dryer sheet in the water and let it stay this way for about an hour. Then, rinse the pan normally under running water as you would on any day.

6. Cola

I’m pretty sure you’ve got at least a pack of Colas in your fridge. Fill the pan up with coke until the bottom of the pan is completely coated. Let it soak for about four to five hours and use a scraper to get rid of any remaining residue.

Keep in mind, if it’s been lying around for a few days, and it’s lost all its carbonation, it probably won’t be as effective.

How can I maintain my stainless steel pan?

Here are some simple tips if you own stainless steel pans:

  • Don’t overheat your pan. It’s as simple as that!
  • Clean the pan only after it’s properly cooled down.
  • Don’t scrub it with abrasive cleaners—this will cause scratches.
  • If you have hard water in your region, dry the pan properly after washing it. Else there will be dried calcium spots on your pan.

Can I use a burnt Teflon pan after cleaning it?

If you’ve burnt your Teflon pan, then that means that the Teflon coating is damaged. Using a pan with a scratched coating is toxic, it’s time to throw it out.

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Written by Pulkit D

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