How to Get Burnt Stuff Off Pots & Pans


Cooking often produces delicious food, but it can also produce a huge mess. If food or residue is spilled onto cooking surfaces, this debris can get on the bottom of cookware and create a burned-on residue. While some burnt-on food is relatively simple to remove, some residue can be more stubborn, depending upon the amount and type of food, the type of cookware, and if it is thoroughly burned onto the cookware. Some standard supplies, available for purchase at most hardware or home repair stores, can help clean up the cookware.

Things You'll Need

  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Powdered dishwashing detergent
  • Cleaning sponge(s)
  • Towel
  • Plug the sink so that water does not drain and fill the sink with warm water and a few drops of degreasing dishwashing liquid. Set the cookware in the sink and allow to soak for several hours to loosen the burnt-on residue.

  • Use the abrasive side of a cleaning sponge to gently scrub away as much of the food residue as possible.

  • Rinse and dry the cookware.

  • Apply a thick coating of powdered dishwashing detergent to the remaining residue.

  • Leave the detergent on the cookware overnight, then scrub away with warm water and a cleaning sponge. Repeat until the burnt-on debris is completely gone.

Tips & Warnings

  • A ball of aluminum foil can make an effective scrubbing tool and recycles used foil.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
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