Today I am sharing a cleaning trick with you that I had to learn out of pure desperation. I'm going to share how to clean burnt pots and pans the natural way so maybe you won't have to throw your pans away. I have thrown a few old pots out in the past, but this has been my favorite one for years, so I had to try and save it!
Here is how it happened...the burning of the pot that is. Sunday there was a chili cookoff. Matt and I were both putting our own chili entries in the contest. He was making his yummy chili, and I was making my Crock Pot White Chicken Chili. Mine was doing its thing in the crock pot, but his needed to be heated up. He was going over early to get us a seat, so I said I would warm it up and bring it with me. Well, I turned the burner on low and went to start getting my hair ready. I was gone less than two minutes, but walked back into the kitchen and could immediately tell something burning...it was Matt's chili. My heart sunk. Burning my own chili would have been disappointing, but burning his was just awful. I tried to pour it out of the pot into a bowl without getting any of the burnt bits, but his chili still had a faint burnt smell...I started to cry. I called him to give him the news, and he said it wasn't a big deal, just come on over and enjoy the game. So, I walked away from it. I literally left it sitting there and walked away. I had ruined Matt's chili and my favorite pot...nothing could be done. I took my chili and went to watch the game with our friends and endured the little bit of teasing about sabotaging Matt's chili and had a great time. I even ended up winning the Chili Cookoff! I pinkie promise I did not intentionally sabotage Matt's chili. Next year, he gets to go it alone and I'll keep mine out ;)
The next morning, I was going to just throw the entire thing in the trash, but decided to try a tip that I had read about years ago. I love cleaning with baking soda and vinegar, so I decided to give it a try.
I started by adding one cup of hot water and one cup of white distilled vinegar to the pot. For smaller pots, add enough of each to cover the bottom of the pot.
Next, I added 3 tablespoons of baking soda. It started fizzing a ton, which from past experience has meant it was doing it's job and loosening up all of the burnt on bits of chili. Let the mixture rest until it cools.
Once the fizzing stopped, and the water has cooled, I poured the icky leftovers out and added a little bit of water and dish liquid to my pot and gave it a gentle scrub. Then I rinsed it and dried it with a clean towel.
And now my favorite pot is all clean! I can't believe how clean it is..I actually don't think it has been this clean since it was brand new!
And all thanks to my two favorite cleaners, vinegar and baking soda!
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Have a tip or trick you would like to share? Email me at [email protected] !
Audra @ Renewed Projects says
'll have to try this next time I really burn dinner (yep, different from the times I only kinda burn dinner). I tried the tip where you place the burned food pan in the freezer...but that didn't work at all. Thanks for the tip!
Edita Samson says
It didn't work on my burned non-stick pan.
Try Barkeeper's friend and a brush. It's perfect for stainless steel.
I love your ideas
Thank you ... It worked! I can now use my favorite 6 qt pot again.
[email protected] says
Thanks! I tried this and it worked. It sucks coz I forgot the food I'm reheating.
Unbelievable ! Thought I had ruined my late Grandmothers stainless steel pot with burnt on broccoli and okra ! Started with water and vinegar and the burnt on veggies started lifting and with a light scrub.....it was gone before the baking soda !! I'm beyond impressed. Thank you ,thank you, thank you
Sarah Breitbarth says
This really works!! I was steaming carrots for baby food and I let the pan go dry. I had about a fourth inch of carbon soot in the pan and the steamer basket. The carrots went in the trash and I used your hint on the pan and basket. Both came out perfectly clean! I was so amazed! Thanks for saving my cookware! Now if I could get the smell out of the house!
In the future, to rid your house of the stitch, pour white vinegar in several bowls and place throughout. Also works on any Odets including paint fumes.
Patsy Hug says
My problem is the outside of my pans.....will this work on them? Is there a better trick for outside burnt pans?
This works great on the insides and outsides of pots and pans! Good luck, Patsy!
Jackie T says
I am looking for the answer to the way to restore the original color of the outside of the pot
Hi, Jackie! Take a look at this post and let me know what you think...it may help restore the outside of your pots
Marge Schmidt says
buy the stainless steel cleaner. It works amazing & also bar keepers friend Best cleaner on the market. Works great on all pits & doesn't hurt the stainless steel & also great for barbecue.
Ginny burpos says
How do I clean the bottom of my pots and pans
I just used baking soda and water. Made paste and scrubbed with a paper towel for 3 or 4 minutes.
Beverly Marker says
This did not work for me. I tried it twice but there is still burned on food remnants. It helped but not enough to use the pot. It's an expensive pot so I'm disappointed.
Hi, Jessica. Thanks for this post. I'm interested in trying it out. However, I'm a little unclear about something. You article says, "Let the mixture rest until it cools." This implies that somehow it had to be heated up first; yet, doesn't seem to be any prior instruction in your text about turning the heat on. How high and for how long? I would appreciate clarification, thanks!
One cup hot water. It is right in aticle.
Evelyn Todd says
Yes I have question. How can I clean the bottom of burnt pans. The part that goes on the burner. Pls help.
Steve F. says
Well . . . I'll be a blue-nosed-gopher! The vinegar, baking soda with Dawn really worked. The missus burnt baked beans for Christmas. This is how she gets new pots. Burn it . . . toss it. Now she's annoyed at me for cleaning it. Can't win.
I started by adding one cup of HOT water.
Matt Capitano says
I will try this. I burned my boyfriend's pot with BBQ sauce (was making bbq meatballs). I was sitting at the kitchen table and over-cooked I guess. Oops. I'm in Tennessee, my boyfriend is in Vegas right now. I've seen the baking soda/vinegar thing on other sites. I will give it a try.
Beverly Whitacre says
Worked easily for me before it cooled. I scraped with a wooden spoon while still bubbling and not cooled. Bottom is already clean. Thanks.
Will your All Purpose Cleaner work on my aluminum canner. Every time I can in it I have to scrub & scrub with a brillo to get the black off from the water.
I would use this cleaning paste for that if it's hard to remove...it won't damage it, but will lift the stain easily! https://www.mom4real.com/homemade-pot-and-pan-cleaner-paste/
I just tried this on a stainless sauce pan I thought I was going to have to toss out-AMAZING! My vinegar and baking soda were several years old and probably lost some of their punch but the results were so good that I can keep the sauce pan and return it to duty. Thanks!
I'm so glad it could help you!
Celeste Sharp says
Will This work on a 9X13 metal pan or cookie sheets?
Absolutely...it's a miracle paste!