Scorched Pans Cleaning Tips

How often does it happen to get the pan burnt? Yes, it might be an accident, but cleaning the pan afterwards is a must, if you want to use it again. Whether you fell asleep while boiling water for tea, lit the wrong burner, or just really, really burned a sauce, a scorched pan not only looks bad and smells awful, but becomes virtually useless. Many people, thinking the pan is ruined, simply throw it away. This is not necessary – with some simple household ingredients, you can clean a scorched pot or pan in no time, and be cooking with it the next day. Do not attempt to scrub the pot or pan if it has scorched, as you will most likely only make matters worse and ruin your scouring pad. There are a few different ways, though, to clean a scorched pan. The most popular is to use baking soda. First, make sure the pan has cooled before you begin attempting to clean it. Cold water on a scorching hot pan can be even more damaging, if not dangerous. Once the pan is cool, fill it with water just past the line of where it was damaged.

Put anywhere from three teaspoons to a half-cup of baking soda into the water, depending on the severity of the burn and how large the pan is. Boil the water – the burned part of the pan should come right off. Another option with baking soda is to simply dust the bottom of the pan with it and then put a little bit of water in the bottom, letting it soak for several hours. This works particularly well for pans which have food scorched onto the sides and bottom. If, after several hours, the scorching does not come completely off, you can repeat the process, letting the pan sit even longer this time.


If baking soda doesn’t work, you may find that vinegar does the trick. Sometimes the addition of a little bit of salt is helpful to the action of the vinegar, though it is probably not necessary. This technique is similar to what is done with baking soda – fill the burned pot up to the scorch line with half water and half vinegar, and boil away. It might not smell particularly good as the vinegar heats up, but you’ll be surprised at how clean your pots look afterward.

Once you’ve done this, there will probably be some residue or soot remaining on the pan. If this is the case you can use a kitchen scrubber to try and remove it, or buy one of the special polishes or stain removers for pans and pots available from any good kitchen supply store.


Scorching pans is nothing to be ashamed of. It happens to even the finest chefs in the best restaurants. Throwing out a pan, though, is not necessary if you know how to clean them properly. This will save you a great deal of money in the long run, because with the hectic schedules of the average person, forgetting the food on the stove is bound to happen eventually.

Tags: cleaning tips, home cleaning

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