How To Clean Burnt Pots And Pans Using Baking Soda and Vinegar

How to clean burnt pots and pans

We have all been there, just nipped out of the kitchen for a min and come back to a burnt pan.

You might be wondering, how do you clean a burnt pan?

Well, we are going to give you a full breakdown of how to do this using product that you can find in your home.

This method is both safe and easy and will work on pretty much any pan or pot that you have had the misfortune of burning.

What materials you will need to clean the burnt pot or pan

baking soda and vinegar

This is the fun bit, getting all of the bits together to clean the burnt pan

Bits and pieces from your kitchen

  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 1 cup of water (this will vary according to the size of the pan)
  • Double-sided sponge

Pro Tips:

The vinegar should be white vinegar, that nasty cheap vinegar you accidentally bought is actually the best for this. Any brand of baking soda will do for this

Make sure the mixture of vinegar and water has been boiling for a bit before adding the baking soda as this will help loosen some of the scorched food.

Instructions for cleaning

You are about to set off a small chemical reaction so you will want to pay attention to this – just saying . not paying attention has got you into this mess in the first place 

Mix the water and the vinegar and bring this to the boil in the burnt pan or pot. once it is boiling give it a few mins to boil, this will help loosen some of the burnt food

This is this is the important bit!

  • Take the pan off the heat and add the baking powder. Now, this is going to fizz up so don’t be alarmed. It is a good idea to do this on the counter as some of the water may spill over. just make sure your hands are not there.
  • Just leave this to fizz away until it is done, this should go on for a few mins. You can then pour it out and clean the pan with the sponge.
  • This should get rid of most if not all of the burnt food, if there are still some bit remaining you can add on some more baking powder to that area and scrub it with the sponge.
  • you pan or pot should be as good as new!

Tips and pointers to remember

While the process is relatively easy to carry out there are number of things that you should be taking into consideration

What type of pan have you burnt? if it is one with Teflon coating then you should be aware that you may have damaged the coating and the pan will actually not be fit for further use. check out our article on the dangers of Teflon.

There are other non-stick pans out there that will happily deal with the rigors of this process please make sure you gently with pans that have a coating as you can damage them. ones like titanium ceramic ones are some of the most robust

This method will work best on stainless steel pans and skillets as they are the most robust. You can also use this on cast iron cookware but bear in mind that you might have to redo the seasoning again after this.

Pro tip:

if you are unsure how tough the coating is just let the water and vinegar boil a little longer as this will further soften the burnt-on food. You if you have a soft sponge this will help protect the coating. If the burnt food has not come off the first time you can always just repeat the process until it does

To sum it all up

There is a very good chance that you will be able to recover your pan should you burn food on it. I would say this, however, nonstick coatings will often not survive the ordeal of the heat and the removal process. Of course the better the quality pans you have the less likely that this will be the issue.

If you have any questions or would like to share one or more of your experiences them we would love to hear from you in the comments below.

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