23 Ways to Clean a Burnt Pan

I am sure that you have already known how quickly you can ruin your new pan. It only takes a moment of carelessness for your dish to burn and make a dark crust that is very difficult to remove. Before deciding to throw it away, you should try to save it for future use.

There are many ways to clean a burnt pan, but the cleaning method will depend on the material it is made of. Take care to be gentle and careful to avoid any damage by using too strong cleanser or steel wool. Let’s discover the most effective solutions you have at your disposal.

how to clean burnt pan

1. Scrape and soak

Whether you are dealing with a burnt frying pan, roasting pan, or grill pan, scraping and soaking them is the first move you need to take. Scrape off whatever you can with a wooden spoon and take care not to scratch the surface.


In most cases, you won’t be able to remove all the clumps, so you should repeat the procedure. Sometimes, you will need to combine this method with others to get the desired result.


2. Hot water

Hot water is an excellent solution for deglazing the burnt pot. Put your pan on the stovetop and let it become hot. Then, pour a cup of water inside and wait to sizzle. In most cases, the water will be enough, but you can also add baking soda or dish soap when necessary. Once the contents soften, you should scrape it with a wooden spoon.

To clean your pot efficiently without damaging it, you should use:

  • Wooden spoon and scouring pad when you have a pan made of stainless steel,  copper, non-anodized aluminum, or non-anodized aluminum.
  • Dobie pad, sponge, or nylon brush for enamel, Teflon, anodized aluminum, and stainless-steel pan.


3. White vinegar


Heat the burnt pan on the stovetop, pour in a cup of white vinegar, and then wait for a while to cool. Thanks to the acetic acid it contains, vinegar will break any crust and burnt-on food. Use a wooden spoon to scrape off any possible residues.


4. Water, vinegar, and baking soda

This method includes pouring one cup of water and one cup of vinegar into the burnt pan. Let the liquid boil and add two tbsp of baking soda after turning off the heat. Don’t be surprised with fizz!

After about 10 minutes, you can spill liquid and clean the pot. If there are still any residues, apply a paste made of baking soda and water. Clean the pan after an additional 10 minutes with a scouring pad.



5. Baking soda

There are a few ways to use baking soda to clean a burnt pan. The first method includes making a mix of baking soda and hot water and soaking it for 30 minutes or even overnight if necessary. Another way is to create a paste of baking soda and dish soap and let it sit in your pan for a few hours.


In both cases, you should gently remove burnt bits and thoroughly rinse the pan before the next use. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t use baking soda if you have an aluminum, Teflon, or non-stick pan to avoid damaging the surface.


6. Vinegar and baking soda

For stubborn staining, you can use vinegar undiluted, but the procedure is the same. Pour white vinegar into your burnt pan and let it boil. After removing it from the stovetop, add two tbsp of baking soda and let it fizz. Spill the liquid after about 10 minutes, remove any residues with a scouring pad, and rinse the pan. That’s it!


7. Cream of tartar


Make a mix of cream of tartar and water, put it into your burnt pan, and let it soaks overnight. This paste will clean any residue from the surface thanks to tartaric acid and potassium hydroxide. In the end, scrub the area with a scouring pad and then rinse the pan.


8. Cream of tartar and vinegar

In severe cases, you should mix cream of tartar with a few drops of white vinegar instead of water. Make a paste, spread it over the burnt surface, and let it sit at least 10 minutes. Scrub the stains afterward and repeat the procedure if necessary.


9. Wine


Believe it or not, you can use wine, which is accidentally left open after the party or romantic dinner, to clean a burnt pan. You can use it instead of vinegar since they have the same effect.


10. Ketchup, tomato sauce, or crushed tomatoes


It may sound surprising, but the acetic acid that the ketchup, tomato sauce, and crushed tomatoes contain will quickly break down the copper oxide from the burnt food.

Smear any of them on the pan surface and simmer them for a few minutes. Let it sit about 30 minutes and then scrub away the leftovers. If you prefer avoiding cooking, another way is to leave the mix in the pan overnight and rinse it afterward.


11. Salt

Coarse salt will work excellently as an abrasive cleaner when your pan is slightly burnt. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt in it and start cleaning the affected area with a wet sponge.

To remove all the burnt, greasy masses without much effort, you should mix salt with dish detergent and hot water. Let it soak for 10 minutes or boil the solution for 10 to 15 minutes if necessary.


12. Lemon and salt

Cover the burnt area with coarse salt and squeeze a lemon directly over it. Use that paste to clean the burnt area with a soft dishcloth. If there are still stubborn stains, let the mixture sit for a few hours before cleaning and rinsing the pan.



13. Limes and salt

The lime juice will work the same way as lemon. Mix it with salt and spread over the burnt pan. Let it sit for a couple of minutes, scrub away all the residues with a scouring pad, and rinse the pan.


14. Raw potato and salt

One large potato will solve all your problems with burnt-on spill marks. Pour salt on the cut potato half and use it to rub the affected area. Add more salt when needed until removing all the dirt. Then rinse the pan thoroughly.


15. Boiled lemons


The acid from two to three lemons will be enough to loosen the burnt bits. Pour a cup of water into the burnt pan and add lemons cut on quarters.

Let it boil for approximately 10 minutes, throw them away, and rinse the surface. You can remove any leftover with a scouring pad afterward. Most users consider this method the most convenient and practical.


16. Coca Cola

You will need two cans of Coca Cola for this method. Add this super acidic liquid into the burnt pan and let it soak for several hours. Then, remove the stains with a scouring pad and rinse the pan with hot water.


17. Dryer sheets


Some people claim that putting a dryer sheet in a pan can help remove burnt food from the bottom. Add hot water and a few drops of dish soap to the pan. Then, place a dryer sheet over the affected area and let it sits for at least an hour. Clean the pan with a scouring pad and rinse it thoroughly.


18. Aluminum foil

First, you should make a ball of aluminum foil. Then, sprinkle baking soda over the burnt pan and add some water. Use aluminum foil to smear the paste on the surface. Keep scrubbing until all burnt bits are clean and rinse the pan with warm water.


19. Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda


Make a thick paste from hydrogen peroxide and baking soda and scrub the affected area with a sponge. Then, let the mix sit for about 10 minutes before rinsing the pan.


20. Oxygen-based bleach

Use this method to remove remaining burnt-in stains after the previous cleaning with green dish soap. Dissolve soap in hot water, clean as much as dirt possible, and then add the oxygen bleach liquid. Let it sit for a few minutes and clean the pan. Don’t forget to rinse it thoroughly.


21. Ammonia

Ammonia is an excellent solution for cleaning burnt stainless steel and copper pans. Take care to protect yourself adequately and clean your pan outside since this chemical smell terrible.

Add a few drops of ammonia to the affected area and scrub the stains. You can also let it sit overnight when necessary. Never use this method if you have an aluminum pan.


22. Dish soap


Dissolve green dish soap into hot water, pour the mix into the burnt pan, and bring it to a simmer. Once it cools, clean the surface with a scrubber. You can also let it soak overnight when needed.


23. Dishwasher tablets

Yes, you can successfully use dishwasher tablets to clean the burnt pan. Pour the water to cover the bottom of the pan and let it warm. After removing it from heat, you can use the dishwasher tablet to scrub the burnt areas. Then rinse the pan thoroughly. Keep in mind that the success of this method will depend on the tablets you use.

Clean a Burnt Pan

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