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How to Clean a Burnt Pan: 4 Best Methods

How to Clean a Burnt Pan: 4 Best Methods

Cooking is great, screwing up a dish is not!! so burning food at the bottom of your pan disaster sticks around. Well, people normally burn the pan, when they have overcooked something or cooked something without protecting the bottom of their casserole.

You will notice oil splatters and thick soup from burnt food that’s not coming off anytime soon. So when you’re faced with a pan like this, scrubbing it for hours won’t help. As soon as you’re done cooking, it may seem logical to throw a hot frying pan into the sink.

Because adding water when the pot is still hot can remove the sticky lumps on the surface of the pan but you have to be careful about how the water affects the structure of the pan itself.

It is better to apply some grease (oil or butter) to avoid the food sticking or getting burnt on the utensil in the first place.

However, if you forgot to grease the bottom surface of the pan and successfully ended up with a burnt pan, fear not! We have come up with this article only for you.

4 Different Methods to clean a burnt pan

Method 1 (How to Clean a Burnt Pan)

You will need

  • One or two drops of dishwashing liquid
  • Baking soda
  • Gloves to protect your lovely hands 
  • Toothbrush for cleaning
  • Sponge (One side abrasive, Other side sponge)


  1. First, put two tablespoons of dishwashing liquid in the pan.  The reason is that it cuts grease and that’s what we need for a Heavy-duty cleaning job.
  2. Spread a tablespoon of baking soda on the affected area.
  3. Add water to the pan, put it on the stove, and let it simmer at a high temperature for a while. The baking soda, water, and dishwashing liquid will soften the surface. The heat will speed up the process of breaking down the grout at the bottom. Once the pan is starting to simmer, it’s done. Take out the pan and let it cool down a bit.
  4. Dump the foamy concoction down the sink. Add a little bit more baking soda and be careful because the pot is still warm. It’s easy now so you can use a brush or scrub. 
  5. Scrub the pan with a dual side sponge, use the abrasive side first. Scrub the surface rigorously then use the spongy side and wipe away any debris and baking soda. In a few quick swipes, you will see how easy it was to clean.

Method 2 (How to Clean a Burnt Pan)

You will need

  • Dishwasher tablet 
  • scrub


For this method, we’re going to boil a pan, which sounds sort of crazy.

Take a big pot, add a Dishwasher tablet, put the pan in, and boil the pan. You’ll see the dirt coming off as the pan boils. A layer of scum collects at the top and it will smell like oil but it’s fine.

Take it off the stove. Let it cool down a bit and start scrubbing it from the inside of the pan as well as outside while it’s still warm and the scum will just come off.

All those years of built-up grime on the exterior of the pan will come off within a few swipes. With the help of a toothpick, you can get the build-up out of all the little nooks and crannies, and then it will be like a brand new pan.

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Method 3 (How to Clean a Burnt Pan)

You will need

  • Four to five lemon slices
  • Water
  • Scouring pad
  • Dishwashing Liquid


  1. Take four to five lemons slices and place in the pan, 
  2. Fill the surface with a few inches of water and bring to a boil. 
  3. Boil for 5-10 minutes or until you start to see food particles float to the surface.
  4. Throw the water and lemons, rinse out the pan, and use a scouring pad to remove any leftover bits.
  5. Give a final wash with dishwashing liquid

Method 4 (How to Clean a Burnt Pan)

You’ll Need

  • Bar Keepers Friend
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Sponge


  1. Wash out all the debris by washing the pan well using a dishwashing liquid.
  2. Then add enough Bar Keepers Friend to the pan to cover the burnt area. 
  3. Use a slightly damp sponge to scrub the surface until the pan is clean. 
  4. For difficult areas, add the bar keepers friend on the surface and let it rest for about 30 mins before rinsing it.
  5. Rinse with warm soapy water and that’s how you fix a burnt pan with ease.

Cleaning tips using simple kitchen ingredients


No, this is not a typing mistake! Almost all red sauce recipes contain vinegar, and the acetic acid in vinegar acts as a mild cleanser and removes many types of contaminants.

The ketchup’s acetic acidic property on the burnt pan breaks down the copper oxide which is found on the bottom burnt layer.

Tomatoes also contain some citric acid which helps in cleaning. Apply ketchup on the affected area, leave for half an hour, then rinse and dry.


For stubborn residues, try the salt trick. Spread coarse salt in a frying pan, then rub it with an abrasive brush. Salt removes grimes and grout from the bottom surface. Then dump the salt and wash the pan as usual.

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1. Is Scrubbing Important?
If it’s not that bad, it’s only going to need regular dish soap and a sponge.
2. Can Scrubbing Damage my Pan?
Scrubbing leaves a little bit of a scratch on the surface but it’s not going to do any damage to your pans and it won’t have any effect on the longevity of the pan.
3. How to avoid hard stains from the pan?
Always clean your pan while it’s still warm.
4. How to Remove build-up from pot and pan?
We would advise using some sort of abrasive cleaner.
5. What is the baking soda alternative?
Bar Keepers Friend and Bon Ami can also help but baking soda is cheap and you can easily find it in your kitchen
6. Why is cold water shock not good for your Pan and Pot?
If a hot pan is placed under cold water, thermal shock ruins the pan. Thermal Shock rapidly lowers the temperature of a pan and leads to warping or cracking.

That’s why the bottom of the pan becomes uneven and the pan will not sit evenly on the stovetop. This also results in uneven cooking. Always let your pans cool down naturally before cleaning with cold water

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