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This is a super simple tip for a quick and easy way to clean burnt pans. This cleaning method will save you time, effort and money, all without using harsh chemicals.


You can use this tip to clean burnt on food from all sorts of kitchen pots and pans, including saucepans, baking sheets and oven trays.

Let’s face it, there is nothing duller than spending a lot of time scrubbing and scraping away at burnt on food on the bottom of a saucepan after you’ve finished cooking with it.

It can be a dirty, messy job and it is made harder if you are trying to clean a non-stick pan that you don’t want to damage.

But cleaning burnt food from pans, baking sheets and kitchen saucepans doesn’t need to be a big chore, you just need to follow this simple pan-cleaning tip that I learned from my mum.

My mum shared this tip with me after standing and watching with incredulity as I scrubbed away at a pot.

This tip is a winner, so take note and start cleaning your pots and pans like this from today.

Not only will this tip save you lots of time and effort, it will also leave you with really clean pots to be proud of!!

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This tip is so SIMPLE, but it works so well!!! There are literally two main steps to it.

  1. Put some warm water into the pan or saucepan and add some washing up liquid
  2. Heat the pan/saucepan on the stovetop

The heating of the water and washing up liquid causes the layer of burnt-on food to float off the pan in flakes until it has all come away from the surface and floated up.

Even the thickest layers of burnt gunge at the bottom of a pan will eventually float away from the pan.

You might need to repeat the process twice, but it will work.

You can use the same method with oven dishes and baking sheets, by simply filling the dish or sheet with water and washing up liquid and putting it on a gentle heat in the oven.

Once all the burnt food has separated from the pan you can drain the water through a sieve to leave all the burnt food in the sieve, ready for you to throw away.

Now that you’ve removed all the burnt food from your pots and pans, you might find you are left with some unsightly stains.

Want to know how to remove the stains as well?

Here you go…


You can sometimes be left with a stain from the food that was burnt on.

There is a simple, chemical-free way to get rid of this stain, that works super well.

The best way to get rid of stains from pans is by using white wine vinegar.

White wine vinegar is one of my favourite natural cleaners to use in the kitchen.

Vinegar works especially well on stainless steel pans that have discolouration marks.

So here’s how you go about using the vinegar to have your pots and pans shining like new:


  1. Add around 50ml of vinegar to 250ml of boiling water
  2. Pour the vinegar and water into the pot or pan to soak for a couple of minutes
  3. Pour the vinegar and water away
  4. Repeat as necessary

You can also pour some white wine vinegar onto a cloth and wipe around the inside of the pan.

Just make sure to rinse the pan thoroughly afterwards to remove all traces of vinegar.

Please note that you shouldn’t use acidic cleaners on cast iron pots and pans, as this will damage them. 

I really hope these simple tips to remove burnt food and burn stains from pots and pans is a big help for you.

I have plenty more cleaning tips in the cleaning section and a great tip for an easy way to clean a kitchen kettle using white wine vinegar.

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how to clean burnt pans, how to clean baked on grease from pans, remove burnt food from bottom of saucepans


Monday 23rd of February 2015

This is a silly question, but what exactly is washing liquid? Would that be what we call dish soap here in America? Just wanted to be sure! I've heard you can use fabric softener as well...not sure if it works. I have two pots that have burnt oil (from popping corn) that, try like the dickens, I can't scrape it off! Trying some dish soap right now!!! Thanks for the tip!!! Cheers!!


Monday 23rd of February 2015

Hi Tori - yes it is dish soap :-) There are so many little words we use slightly differently aren't there? Does get confusing. Let me know how it works out.

Alice Emma Thompson

Thursday 10th of July 2014

Not sure about exact timing I tend to let it "bubble nicely for a while" :-)

Kari Hodge

Friday 4th of July 2014

Why didn't I read this yesterday? :)


Wednesday 23rd of October 2013

This is a great tip to have on hand for sure. Especially for a brand new bride who's never cooked a day in her life prior to marriage (not me, but someone else that comes to mind.)

Alice Emma Thompson

Thursday 24th of October 2013

So glad to have helped Mandi - do pass the tips on ;-)

Diane Balch

Wednesday 23rd of October 2013

I wish I read this earlier I threw out a pan because I couldn't get it clean. Thanks so much for the tip.

Alice Emma Thompson

Thursday 24th of October 2013

I just can't believe I've spent so much time scrubbing the blinking things over the years! Alice