How to Remove Burnt on Residue From a Stainless Steel Pan

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Things You'll Need

  • Detergent

  • Warm water

  • Nylon scouring pad

  • Baking soda

  • Vinegar

Cooking with and cleaning stainless steel cookware is usually easy, until you accidentally burn a sauce or let something cook for too long. Scrubbing a thick layer of burned food off the pot may seem impossible, especially if the residue is greasy or sticky. However, it's not necessary to throw away burned cookware; with a little patience and some basic household cleaning supplies, you can make your pot pristine again.


Image Credit: nd3000/iStock/GettyImages

Step 1

Squeeze 1 tsp. of detergent in the pot and fill it with warm water. Allow the pot to soak for one hour.


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Step 2

Place the pot on the stove and bring the soapy water to a boil. Boil the water for 10 to 15 minutes. Allow the water to cool.

Step 3

Scrub the residue with a nylon scouring pad. If the residue does not scrub off, repeat steps 1 through 3; if the residue comes off continue to step 4.


Step 4

Pour 2 tbsp. of baking soda on the bottom of the pot.

Step 5

Pour 1/2 cup of vinegar over the baking soda. This will cause the baking soda to foam. Wait five to 10 minutes.

Step 6

Add 4 to 6 cups of water and bring the mixture to a simmer. After five minutes, turn off the heat and let the water cool.

Step 7

Scour the remaining residue with a nylon scouring pad.


Never use metal scouring pads on stainless steel, since they will scratch the metal. Never use cleaners that contain bleach or ammonia on stainless steel cookware. Burned Teflon pans should be thrown away, since burning may cause the coating to leak chemicals.



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