How To Clean Burnt-On Stains Off Cookware Sets


It’s always like this: you tell yourself that you will be focused, but you get distracted for 2 minutes, or you cook too many things at the same time, or you simply turn the heat up too high, and your favourite pot or pan gets burnt. Now you’re left with the layer of burnt crud and you have no idea how to get rid of it. You get frustrated and you’re afraid all is lost; you went through so much trouble and research to find yourself the best cookware sets. Luckily, all is not lost. There are various effective ways to clean burnt-on stains off your precious pots and pans, and here are some of them:

Baking soda

It’s not only highly effective but also environmentally-friendly and non-poisonous, as it doesn’t require any chemicals. There are two ways to use it. You may clean your pan with baking soda and water, simmer it, then let it cool – you can leave it overnight if you’re afraid the burnt is really bad, or you may leave your pan for some hours soaked in a paste of baking soda and dish soap. After that, wash it well, and if it’s not enough, sprinkle more soda or a cleanser to scrub the rest away.


The famous Bar Keeper’s Friend can be your truly helpful best friend in this situation as well. Apply it to the surface directly or use a sponge or a cloth, rub it in, not too hard – the cleanser is strong enough and you don’t want to scratch your pan. If the burnt is bad, make some paste out of the powder and leave for a minute. Then, clean it all with soap and warm water.


This is another green way to clean burnt-on stains. Thanks to acetic acid, vinegar can break down burnt crud really well. You can use white vinegar, apple cider or even lemon juice to pour it on the surface with water and then simmer it – if burnt food left a smell in your house, you can leave the lid off to let the vinegar be a deodorizer (it’s helpful like that).

Old wine

By using old wine, you will also do something good for the environment and you will avoid waste. If you left a half-filled bottle of wine uncorked after your last evening, don’t throw it away – save it for cleaning. It can replace vinegar in the above tip.

Tomato sauce

Home-made tomato sauce (or even simply crushed tomatoes, fresh or canned) would probably be greener, but you can use regular ketchup as well. Thanks to its acidic nature, tomatoes can eat off the burnt crud. Pour them on the surface and simmer for a couple of minutes; add some water if necessary. You may also let it soak for the night without cooking it at all.

Cream of Tartar

Two tablespoons of cream of Tartar combined with a cup of water will do the trick. Boil it first, then allow it to cool a bit before using it to wash a pan with hot water and soap. If the burnt is really bad, you may have to do it twice or let it soak overnight. Cream of Tartar’s potassium hydroxide and tartaric acid will eat everything off and allow you to clean a surface smoothly.


Yes, pour some coke on the surface, allow it to sit until you see the food loosens. Remove it with a scraper, then clean it to scrub away the rest. And, if you’re not horrified by what cola can do, drink the rest of the bottle! The secret is that it’s super acidic.

Dishwasher detergent 

If you have a dishwasher, you can use dishwasher tablets or powder to rescue your burnt pan or pot. Throw in a tablet or scatter some powder on the surface to cover it, add hot water and wait until it cools, then wash and scrub it clean. If it’s burnt badly, you might have to do it several times, but it will eventually work.


Add a large dose of salt to some water and boil it on the surface of a burnt pot or pan to loosen the crud. Then scrape it by using a wooden spoon to avoid scratching. If it’s not enough, let it soak for several hours, pour the water out and add more salt to scrub the remains away.

Lime and salt

This is even more effective than using only salt; apparently, burnt food doesn’t like margaritas. Let a pan or a pot soak for several minutes, then add some more salt and scrub everything away. You will see that it’s coming off surprisingly smoothly.

Now you don’t have to dread burnt-on stains on your cookware sets! You are well-prepared for emergencies, but it doesn’t mean you don’t have to be careful anymore. It’s unwise and not at all eco-friendly to waste food like that, plus, every burnt affects your pots and pans in some unwanted way so if you would like to enjoy them for a long time, you have to take proper care of them.


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