Cooking can be fun and rewarding. However, there are times we end up messing up our pan or pot, leaving dreaded scorch marks at the bottom. All those burnt-on grime, gunk and residue are undoubtedly an ugly sight. You try to scrub them off with dish soap and running tap water as usual but they somehow refuse to come off. So, before you consider throwing your pan or pot away, here are the 6 Effective Ways To Clean A Burnt Pan Or Pot.
1) Baking Soda & Vinegar
Here’s a classic cleaning combo that needs no introduction: baking soda and vinegar. Baking soda is a gentle abrasive that helps to clean tough stains while vinegar works as both a non-toxic stain and rust remover.
To clean the burnt pots or pans, you’ll need 2 tablespoons of baking soda (you can get the likes of Arm & Hammer brand both online or offline at selected supermarkets and hardware stores) and 1 cup of distilled white vinegar. You also need 1 or 2 cups of water and a scouring pad/brush.
First, pour the water and vinegar into your burnt pot/pan and bring it to a boil. Turn off the stove and remove the pan from the heat. You can pour out the vinegar since adding baking soda into it will cause a lot of fizz. Otherwise, leave it as it is if you don’t mind and continue by placing the pot/pan in the sink. Add in the baking soda and let it fizz for a few minutes until it subsides. The fizz actually happens due to the chemical reaction between the baking soda and vinegar mixing together. Then, discard the mixture and it’s time to put your elbow grease to work. Grab a scouring pad or brush and start scraping the burnt residue beneath the pot/pan. Once done, wash the pan/pot as usual.
Tip: In case the stubborn residue refuses to come off, try combining a baking soda paste and a few drops of water. Let it sit for a while before resume cleaning.
No doubt that lemons have earned its distinction as a kitchen staple. You can use them for juicing, cooking and even baking. But that’s not all, as these popular yellow oval fruits are also capable of removing the burnt-on grime and gunk at the bottom of the pan or pot, thanks to its citrus acid.
Simply cut 2 or 3 lemons in quarters and place them in the burnt pot/pan filled with water. Bring it to a boil for around 3-5 minutes or up to 10 minutes if necessary. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool down before dumping it. Next, start scraping the burnt residue with a scouring pad or brush. Once done, wash it as you normally would.
3) Aluminium Foil & Baking Soda
Here’s another cleaning tip that involves baking soda and this time, it combines with aluminium foil. More specifically, a crumpled-up ball of aluminium foil.
And here’s how to do it: Fill the bottom of your pan/pot with 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda. Add a few drops of water to make a paste. Then, get some aluminium foil and crumple it into a ball. Begin scrubbing the pan/pot until the burnt-on bits come off. Once done, rinse it with warm soapy water and that’s it!
4) Dishwasher Tablets
Ever try using dishwasher tablets? Well, apparently this happens to be one of the most popular methods to clean your burnt pan or pot. The brands commonly available in Malaysia include Finish and Astonish. You can easily buy them online right here, here and here.
When it comes to cleaning them, all you have to do is fill your pan or pot half full. Drop one dishwasher tablet into it and bring it to a boil. Then, simmer for 10 minutes before gently pouring the water away in the sink. Let the pan cool down before you start scrubbing off the burnt-on bits and residue with a scouring pad. Rinse as usual.
5) Dryer Sheet
Okay, the idea of using a dryer sheet meant for the laundry doesn’t sound right. Besides, dryer sheets are commonly used for keeping your clothes soft and static-free. However, it turns out to be one of the recommended options to clean your burnt pan or pot.
Here’s how: Start by filling the pan or pot with warm soapy water. Add a dryer sheet and make sure you push it way down onto the bottom of the pan or pot. Let it sit for an hour or so before pouring the mixture away. You will see those grimes and gunks start to loosen off, making it easier for you to scrub them away with a scouring pad, brush or sponge.
6) Kosher Salt
Kosher salt isn’t just great for cooking and seasoning purposes. As it turns out, this popular coarse salt flakes can help to remove the burnt marks found at the bottom of the pan or pot.
Simply fill your pan or pot with warm water. Add 3 tablespoons of Kosher salt and allow it to soak for 10 minutes. Next, bring it to a boil before lowering to a simmer for 15 minutes. If you find there is still burnt residue left in your pan or pot, carefully discard the salty hot water but remember to leave at least 1/2 inch of the liquid. Let it cool to avoid scalding your hand before adding another 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt and scrub the remaining residue with a scouring pad or sponge. Rinse with hot soap and water and allow it to dry.