Use this clean burnt pot guide to help get your pots and pans looking like new again! Here are some general tips on what to do, followed by some specific approaches you can use to clean different types of burnt pots and pans. These instructions should work in most situations, but always test out your methods in an inconspicuous area first! You don’t want to make your pots look worse before you make them look better!

Move the Pot Away From the Heat

The best way to avoid a burnt pot is to never put your pots and pans over direct heat. If your pan’s heat setting doesn’t come with temperature control, you may want to invest in an adjustable stove-top element or electric plate (some even offer thermostatic temperature control). The more distance between your pan and its heat source, the less likely it is that your food will burn.

Use Lemon Juice

Burnt Pot

Use a little lemon juice to clean burnt pots and pans. Rub lemon juice on your pot or pan and let it set for about 10 minutes. Then, rinse with water and wash as usual. Repeat until all of the burnt food is gone from your pot or pan!

Alkaline Solution

For light-colored pots, fill a pot halfway with water and add 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 3 minutes. For dark-colored pots, fill a pot halfway with water and add 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 5 minutes. Discard leftover solution or use it as fertilizer in your garden or lawn (not on acid-loving plants). Wash your pot with warm soapy water. This method can remove burnt-on stains.

Barkeeper’s Friend

Burnt Pot

If you have a pot or pan that’s burned on, use Barkeeper’s Friend. This heavy-duty cleaner is made of fine aluminum oxide crystals, and it can gently remove any burnt-on food. Simply sprinkle some over your pan, let it sit for about 10 minutes, and then scrub off with a sponge or other soft-bristled brush.

 Baking Soda and Water

Burnt Pot

If you burn or scorch the pot accidentally then you can clean it with a simple combination of baking soda and water. Mix a teaspoonful of baking soda into one cup of warm water, then pour it over your dirty, burnt pot. Let it soak for about an hour and scrub as needed.

Vinegar and Salt

To clean off any caked-on food on your pot, fill it with a few inches of water and drop in two or three tablespoons of vinegar. Bring that mixture to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt, and let it simmer for five minutes. The vinegar will take away any funky smells that might be stuck in your pot and leave it smelling nice and fresh. Rinse it out with some warm water once you’re done.

Boiling Water Method

Turn off your stove, and bring a small pot of water (enough for a layer about half an inch deep) to a boil on high heat. After it comes to a boil, let it sit for 10 minutes. Turn off your burner, and take out whatever pot you’re cleaning. The water should be hot enough to sanitize. If not, run hot water over it until all the old food is gone. Then, fill with clean cold water and soak overnight before washing with soap in the morning.

Gently Scrap with a Spoon, Don’t Rub!

Using a spoon and never any abrasive kitchen cleaners, gently scrape off excess food. You can also try putting your pot in a sink of warm, soapy water and letting it soak for an hour or two before cleaning, but some soaps can leave behind an unpleasant odor and taste if they come into contact with heat.


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