How To Clean Burnt Pans

Clean burnt pans, How to clean burnt pans, How to remove burnt on food from saucepans, Hard to remove burnt food, How to clean saucepans you thought were ruined


This is my super simple tip for a quick and easy way to clean burnt-on food from pans. It will save you time, effort and money, all without using harsh chemicals.

How to remove burnt-on food from pans

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 tip that I learned from my mum.

She shared this tip with me after standing and watching with incredulity as I scrubbed away at a pot. Take note and start cleaning your pots like this from today, it will save you a lot of time and effort and leave you with really clean pots to be proud of!

No-scrub pan cleaning tip

This tip is so simple, but it works so well.

You put some warm water into the pan or saucepan and add some washing up liquid. Then you 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.


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.

Add around 50ml of vinegar to 250ml of boiling water, then pour it into the pan to soak for a couple of minutes. Then pour the vinegar and water away. 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
how to clean burnt pans, how to clean baked on grease from pans, remove burnt food from bottom of saucepans

23 thoughts on “How To Clean Burnt Pans”

  1. I just learned that trick a couple of years ago myself. My own mom microwaved just about everything, so it didn’t come up at our house when I was growing up. 🙂

  2. Thanks so much for linking this up to Thriving on Thursdays Alice. This only happened to me recently. A really great tip. I’m featuring this one at tomorrow’s party.

    Anne xx

  3. 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.)

  4. 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!!

    1. 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.

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