Here’s How To Clean A Burnt Pot or Pan with Two Ingredients

Updated: Feb. 25, 2022

Say goodbye to burnt pans for good!

scrubbing burnt panPurino/Shutterstock

Recently scorch a pan while cooking? By the looks of your burnt pan or pot, it may seem like a complete lost cause. However, there’s a nifty trick that can help you fix that pan as soon as possible. All it takes is a little vinegar, a little baking soda, and a little bit of elbow grease.

Coming from personal experience, I found this process incredibly easy. My husband bought me a beautiful set of stainless steel pots and pans for Christmas. So when I ended up scorching one of my pans, I knew I needed an easy (and relatively cheap) solution.

Here’s what I did:

  1. Fill the pot or pan with water to cover the bottom. Once covered, pour in some vinegar (about 1 cup worth).
  2. Bring the liquid to a boil. Once boiling, remove the pot or pan from heat and drain the liquid. But do not dry the pan.
  3. Sprinkle baking soda on the pot or pan (a few tablespoons should be good). If there’s any vinegar left on the pan, there may be a slight fizz when the liquid comes in contact with baking soda. This step may be best done in the sink.
  4. Some people have found success by adding a small bit of water to turn the baking soda into a small slurry. Spread the slurry on the scorched part of your pan and let it sit for a few hours. This may make scrubbing easier later.
  5. If you would like to just get it done now, skip step four. Instead, grab a scouring pad and scrub away at the burnt parts of the pan. It will take a bit of elbow grease, but the burned food will eventually flick off the pan.
  6. Make sure to give it a good rinse before reusing.

That’s it! There are other ways people have fixed scorched pans, like using salt (since it’s abrasive), cream of tartar, or even dryer sheets. I’ll have to wait for the next time I scorch my pan to try those out. But in all honesty, I hope I won’t scorch it that bad ever again.

When it comes to washing dishes, be careful! Here’s what you shouldn’t do when washing your dishes.