How To Clean A Burnt Pan And Make It Look Like New

Burnt a pan real bad and don’t have the heart to throw it away? Don’t want to spend an eternity trying to scrub it clean again? With a few useful kitchen hacks, your pan will be as good as new in mere minutes!

Someone cleaning a burnt pan with a sponge

We all have done it at one time or the other. You step away from the stove for just a minute and inevitably, the food gets burned. While we can’t save you from the nightmare of a scorched, burnt cooking piece, we can certainly tell you how to clean it and make it look like new. Let’s take a look at a few homemade cleaning solutions that will clean pans quickly and efficiently!

How to clean your burnt cooking tools with vinegar & baking Soda

Who doesn’t enjoy the sour and tangy taste of vinegar in their food? Well, vinegar not only tastes good, but it is also a great multi-purpose cleaner as well. From use as a disinfectant to a cleaner for your pans, good ol’vinegar is there to save the day.

As we all know, baking soda is literally the jack of all trades and no pantry is complete without it. Let’s see how you can use baking soda and vinegar to clean your pans.


  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Scouring pad
  • Dish soap or dishwasher tablet

Cleaning time

  • 10 minutes

a bottle of vinegar next to a jar of baking soda


  1. Take 1-cup vinegar and 1-cup water and pour it into the pan.
  2. Heat this mixture and allow it to come to a slow boil.
  3. Once it comes to a boil, let it simmer on low heat for a minute.
  4. Remove it from the heat and add 2 tablespoons of soda.
  5. It will work itself into the mixture. Let it fizz for a while.
  6. Discard the liquid and wash the pan with the help of a pad.
  7. If there are still a few burnt scraps left, make a paste of water and soda and let it sit for a couple of minutes.
  8. Wash the pan again with soap and a scouring pad.

You will be astonished by the shine that you can achieve with the help of this tip. If all goes to plan, with just a little bit of elbow grease, you will be able to see your own reflection in your shiny, clean pan!

How to clean your burnt cookware with salt

Surprised? Don’t be. Apart from using salt as a seasoning to your favourite meal, this amazing product is an important part of the pan-cleaning repertoire. If your pan has light burn marks on the bottom or edges, a little salt will go a long way. Salt is a great ingredient when it comes to alleviating scorch marks from burns and is really great when it comes to greasy messes. Pair it with hot water and soap, and you will be good to go!


  • Salt
  • Sponge

Cleaning Time

  • 10-15 minutes

some salt next to some pieces of lemon


  1. Sprinkle a large amount of salt in the centre of the pan.
  2. Work the salt into the burnt portions of the pan with the help of a wet sponge.
  3. Once the salt absorbs the stains, rinse the pan.
  4. Repeat as many times as needed.

You can use salt and lemon slices together as well to clean the stains on your pan. Simply substitute the wet sponge with a lemon slice and your pan will be gleaming in no time!

How to clean your burnt pan with aluminium foil & baking soda

Apart from wrapping your sandwiches and storing your food, aluminium foil can be used to clean your greasy pans as well. It is very easy and doesn’t even take a lot of time to get your pans all shiny and gleaming.


  • Piece of aluminium foil
  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap

Cleaning time

  • 3-4 minutes

an aluminium foil on a brown surface


  1. Take 2 to 3 tablespoons of baking soda and cover the burnt area with it.
  2. Add a little bit of water and make a paste.
  3. Take a piece of aluminium foil and crumple it together.
  4. Use the foil to scrub the tarnished area.
  5. In a couple of minutes, the burnt pieces will start to break away.
  6. Rinse the pan with soap when all the burnt residue is removed effectively.

You have to scrub for a while in this method. However, make sure that you don’t apply a lot of pressure – just enough to dislodge the burnt bits. Simply work the foil back & forth or in circles – whatever works for you! 

The soda-part will get dirty after a while and you may have to repeat the process if the pan has been scorched real badly. However, this is by far the easiest and quickest method for cleaning a burnt or scorched pan. 

How to clean your burnt cooking pieces with cream of tartar & vinegar

Cream of tartar is a common baking ingredient. It is mildly abrasive which makes it great for cleaning scorched pans without damaging them. Moreover, it is acidic which helps to break down the burnt food bits easily.


  • Cream of tartar
  • White vinegar
  • Scrubbing pad
  • Liquid Soap

Cleaning time

  • 7 to 10 minutes

some tartar spilled from a spoon on a table


  1. Put 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar and cover the scorched areas.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to create a paste.
  3. Rub this paste all over the pan and let it sit for a few minutes.
  4. With the help of a scrubbing pad, scrub the troubled areas until your pan is clean.
  5. Rinse and wash the soap.

This is an effective and easy way of cleaning your burnt pots and pans. If you don’t have vinegar, you can use cream of tartar alone as well. Simply mix it with water and boil the mixture in the pan for a couple of minutes. Once the water is cool, scrub your pan until it is bright and shiny again!

How to clean your burnt cookware with a dryer sheet

We all use them to add softness and a pleasing scent to our laundry. However, they can do a lot more than that. They are just the thing you need to freshen up your burnt pots and pans!


  • Dryer sheets
  • Liquid Soap

Cleaning time

  • Almost an hour

Some dryer sheets on a table


  1. Soak the pan with boiling water and soap.
  2. Add a dryer sheet as well.
  3. Allow the mixture to sit for almost an hour.
  4. The sheet will loosen all the burnt food bits on the bottom of the pan.
  5. Scrub the pan and rinse with a dish cleanser.

You can also replace the sheets with fabric softeners if you want to. This method takes a long time but is very effective and will give you shiny and gleaming pans!

How to clean your burnt cookware with cola

Who doesn’t like having a coca-cola every now and then? Well, why not use it for cleaning your pans? Sodas are very effective when it comes to cleaning stainless steel pans. Take that soda can out of the fridge and start DIY cleaning!


  • A soda can
  • Wooden spoon or scraper
  • Dish soap

Cleaning time

  • Almost an hour

A glass of cola on a dark surface


  1. Get a soda can and pour it into the burnt pan.
  2. Let it soak for an hour.
  3. With the help of a scraper, remove the burnt particles.
  4. Rinse and wash with soap.

The carbonation in the cola will loosen up the burnt grime in a few minutes. All you have to do after that is wash the bottom of your pan and it will be as good as new! This is an easy cleanup method and hardly requires any scrubbing.

Smart tips to help maintain your pans like new 

We all work hard to earn the money that we spend buying pots and pans. Since kitchenware is used regularly, durability is an important criterion when we buy new utensils. Apart from material quality, how we use the pans and how we take care of them play an important role in their longevity.

Let’s take a look at a few tips and tricks that can make your pans remain as good as new!

  1. Avoid putting hot pans into cold water. Plus, don’t pour cold water into hot pans as well. This causes the pan’s base to warp. It is better to let a pan cool down for a bit before washing it with soapy, warm water.
  2. It is a bad idea to leave an empty pan in a heated oven or on a hot burner. As soon as you are done cooking, take the pan off the stovetop to prevent any damage to the pan.
  3. If you have anodized aluminium pans, you shouldn’t wash them in a dishwasher. Hand-wash them with water & soap. If the pan starts to develop black tarnish, simply add some water and lemon slices and boil the water to remove the tarnish.
  4. Usually, copper pans are lined with stainless steel or tin to stop the copper from reacting with certain foods. Clean the copper pans periodically with the help of copper polish to keep them good as new!
  5. If you are using non-stick pans, season the coating by applying a layer of vegetable oil. Don’t add a lot of oil or butter as it will add unwanted calories to your food! Simply soak a paper towel in oil and then wipe it around the pan.
  6. Remember, never use metal scourers to remove burnt bits off the non-stick frying pans.

Someone cleaning a pan with a sponge while wearing gloves

We all have burning incidents in our kitchen and while we can’t prevent them we can definitely come up with amazing cleaning hacks that can make our lives a lot easier. Use the above-mentioned tips and techniques to keep your pans and pots gleaming!

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