It can be tough to clean stubborn residue out of burned pots. If you prefer to avoid using abrasive chemical cleaning products, or if you just don't have any on hand, there are a number of natural home remedies you can use to get your pots clean and free from burned-on stains.
It's hard to get more natural than water, and it alone can help remove burned-on stains from your pots. Fill your pot with enough hot water to cover the burned areas and leave it to soak for at least one hour, or as long as overnight. The longer you soak the pot, the easier it will be to remove the burned residue. After soaking, leave the water in the pot, put it on the stove, bring it to a boil and keep it boiling for around 10 minutes. You should now be able to wipe off the burned areas with a sponge.
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White vinegar is another natural substance you can use as a household cleaning product. To remove burned substances from your pot, pour in enough to cover the burned-on food. Leave the pot and vinegar to soak for 30 minutes to one hour. Pour the vinegar down the sink and scrub the burned areas with a scouring pad. The vinegar will loosen the burned food, making the pot much easier to clean.
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate or bicarbonate of soda, is a mild alkaline, which is what gives it cleaning power. Don't confuse it with baking powder, which is similar but is mixed with an acid component and won't do the same job. To clean a burned pot, sprinkle a layer of baking soda over the burned-on food, then cover it with hot water. Soak overnight before using a sponge or scourer to remove the residue.
Salt is a naturally abrasive substance, so it can help to remove burned-on stains from your pots. Cover the burned area with salt, preferably a variety with coarse grains. Then take a damp sponge or cloth and rub the area vigorously. The movement of the grains against the burned food residue will act like a natural scouring substance and help you to remove the stains from your pot.