Wait! Don't rush to bury your pot. Find out and use tips to clean it, even for the darkest stains. You'll still need to scrub, but most pans can still be used as long as the nonstick coating isn't damaged.
Method 1 of 2: Cleaning with Home Appliances
Step 1. Boil soapy water, then let it cool
Fill the pot half full with water, or more if needed to cover the scorched area. Add a few drops of dish soap. Turn on the heat until the water boils. Turn off the heat and let it cool enough that you can safely touch the pot and water.
- You can replace dish soap with a small spoonful of dishwashing detergent. This method may discolor the aluminum.
- Try a different method first when cleaning a cast-iron pan, as soap will remove most stubborn stains.
Step 2. Scrub the pan
If needed, add more hot soapy water whenever the water's previous temperature drops. Scrub with an utensil that won't damage your pan material:
- Porcelain, aluminum coated, or Teflon pans: Use a sponge, nylon brush, or Dobie mat (sponge with a plastic protective net).
- Unprotected stainless steel, copper, or aluminum pans: Start with the fine utensil options above, then work your way up to a scouring pad or copper wool. Use a gentle touch and rub under water to reduce scratches.
Step 3. Repeat with baking soda
If there are still scorch marks on the pan, cover the pan with a layer of baking soda. Add enough water to cover it and boil for 15-30 minutes. Let it cool and rub the stain.
The baking soda will react and damage the aluminum. Because it contains abrasive ingredients, the use of baking soda is not recommended for Teflon or pans with other nonstick coatings
Step 4. Try using vinegar
Boil distilled white vinegar in a saucepan. Let it cool and rub the stain. Vinegar won't dissolve oil like soap, but its acidity can remove stains that other methods can't.
Step 5. Make a paste of cream of tartar and vinegar
This method may scratch your pan, but you're running out of options. Purchase cream of tartar from the grocery store in the pastry aisle. Sprinkle over the pan and toss with a few drops of vinegar until it forms a thick paste. Leave it for ten minutes. Rub vigorously to remove stains, or add more vinegar and boil again.
Many people use baking soda and vinegar to clean, but even if they give off a hiss, the mixture can quickly turn into neutral water. Cream of tartar has the same abrasive properties as baking soda, but remains stable in vinegar, so this method also gives you an advantage
Step 6. Rub with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda
Make a thick paste as before, rub it in with a rag or sponge, and let it sit for at least ten minutes. This method has been circulating on the internet for quite a long time, but the actual results are not always promising. This method works best for removing burnt sugar, but this is only based on a few anecdotes.
Method 2 of 2: Cleaning with Commercial Products
Step 1. Scrub with kitchen cleaner
Most of these kitchen cleaners can be applied directly, let sit for a few minutes, then scrubbed. Just in case, check the instructions on the product before you use it. Here are two of the most popular choices:
- Barkeeper's Friend can be used on pots made of stainless steel, aluminum with a protective coating, copper, ceramic, and glass.
- Bon Ami powder cleaner can be applied to most pans, including porcelain. Due to its slightly abrasive nature, this product may damage non-stick surfaces.
Step 2. Try using a metal polish
Some food industry professionals use this to get rid of food stains. Be sure to choose a metal polish that matches the type of metal you are using. Check the label before buying to make sure this product is safe for use on surfaces that come into contact with food.
Once the stain is removed, wash the pan with hot, soapy water
Step 3. Clean stainless steel or copper pans with household ammonia
Wear rubber gloves and work outdoors or in a well-ventilated room, to avoid the excessive effects of ammonia fumes. Add a little ammonia and try scrubbing the stain. If this doesn't work, try leaving the pan in a garbage bag for 24 hours to give the stain time to disintegrate.