Shawna Bailey
Shawna Bailey
  • Hometalker
  • West Orange, NJ

The Easiest Way to Clean a Burnt Pot or Pan

3 Materials
$1
10 Minutes
Easy

I hate doing the dishes...like, REALLY hate it. But there's one thing that makes doing the dishes truly unbearable and that's when food gets burnt to the bottom of a pan. Instead of fighting and scraping the pan til it's spotless, here's my favorite method for cleaning stainless steel pots and pans. All it takes is a few cut up lemons and water. The acid in the lemon and the boiling water get off all the really tough gunk, plus the lemons get rid of any burnt smell and replace it with a sweet citrus scent.

Here's a pot that has been burnt to heck. You don't even want to know what I was trying to cook! Let's just say that I needed a super powered cleaner, and a fresh scent would definitely help.

Step 1: Chop Up Two Lemons

I cut my lemons into eights, but you can cut them into quarters or slices, as long as you end up with enough pieces to cover the bottom of the pan.

Step 2: Add Water

I added enough water to cover the whole burnt bottom of the pan. It's no use trying to cover the lemons - they float! As long as the burnt area is covered, the lemons will do their job.

Step 3: Bring to a Boil

I brought the water to a rolling boil. You can even see the burnt specks coming off the bottom of the pot as the lemons swam around.

Step 4: Let Water Cool & Dump It Out

After I dumped out the lemons and dirty water, I was left with a thin brown layer on the bottom of the pot. All I had to do was scrub it lightly with a brush, and all the leftover grime fell away.

Step 5: Rinse out Your Pot

A few rinses later, and my crud-caked pot was good as new! Now, wasn't that easier than scrubbing with steel wool til your fingers are raw?

It's hard to believe, but that really is the same pot! This is one magic trick I will definitely be doing again.

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 28 questions
  • Evelyn Milne
    on Feb 9, 2019

    Wouldn't boiling cleaning vinegar do the same thing but cheaper?

    • Jackie Anderson
      on Nov 24, 2019

      I use a fabric softerner sheet for any tough baked on food to get off, even left pan with stuck on food. Just hot water, softerner sheet, let set for abit. Fresh hit water, soap and whew easy.

      Another easy task, wet cloth, little soap in microwave for 15+- seconds, dirty splatter softens and wipes right off.

  • Wilda
    on Feb 13, 2019

    Pan cleaned after burnt. Still discolored. Will this make the pot shine again? How do you get the sides to shine?

  • Sarah Lopez
    on Oct 18, 2019

    Can you use limes as a replacement for lemons?

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