How to clean burns on stainless steel pans?

by Lav34479187

Help! I burned my pan. How do I clean stainless steel cookware that's been burned?

  86 answers
  • Cindy Cindy on Dec 07, 2018

    Hello. Cindy here. The best product to clean your stainless steel pots and pans with is called Bar Keepers Friend. It will clean those burn marks right off. Just sprinkle some on a wet cloth and scrub away. Good luck and Happy Holidays.

  • Ladydi Ladydi on Dec 07, 2018

    Try coarse salt and a stainless steel scrubie;

    be careful not to put deep scratches on your pot by rubbing too hard

  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Dec 08, 2018

    Soak your cookware in warm, soapy water for a few hours to "soften up" the burn marks and then sprinkle baking soda over them and then rub it in with a sponge. Allow it to set until dry and the scrub it off

  • Marilyn Marilyn on Dec 08, 2018

    Last month I forgot I had potatoes on the hob and - WoW did they burn down to very hard horrible lumps! A friend told me to empty out anything that would come out of the pot then fill to above the burned on 'stuff' with cheap cola and leave overnight --- it worked for me - hope it works for you. Seasons Greetings.

  • Catef Catef on Dec 08, 2018

    I checked with the manufacturer of my stainless and the instructions said to use baking soda, a lot, and boil with a good amount of water until all burnt items are loosened.

    I read about the Coca Cola one but have not tried it.

  • Lisa Lisa on Dec 08, 2018

    If I have burned stuff in the bottom of my stainless steel pot, I take out everything that will come out. Then I put about 2" of water in the bottom and dribble some Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day dish soap into it. The next morning, I take my walnut scrubbie (green scrubbie will work just as well) and it comes off easy peasy. I hope one of our answers will help you out!

  • Bbunny42 Bbunny42 on Dec 10, 2018

    I fill my pan with a good amount of warm water, add a dryer softener sheet and soak overnight, then scrub a little. Repeat if necessary.

  • Mr ATC Mr ATC on Mar 30, 2019

    leave some warm water and soap in it for a one day then brush

  • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Mar 30, 2019

    fill with ammonia to cover burnt part and place in garbage bag tie it shut let sit over night rinse with hot hot hot water & scrub with dawn dish & steel wool

  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Mar 30, 2019

    Cover the burnt area with water, add some powder dishwasher soap. Bring to a boil for a few minutes. Turn off, cover, let sit for about 1,hour, should come off. Good luck. If Teflon coated and it gets scratched, throw it out.

  • Margaret Main Margaret Main on Mar 31, 2019

    Putting Bleach in sufficient to cover the stains leave a couple of hours I have used this method myself after telling someone I had ruined a pot that was only a few weeks old. Good Luck from Scotland

  • magic erasers work wonders for this! lol

  • Countrycharm Countrycharm on Mar 31, 2019

    add some dishwasher soap and a little water, bring to a boil and then turn off and let set till warm then scrub it out.

    • See 1 previous
    • Jill Jill on May 13, 2023

      This is what my past generations of relatives have done I was raised watching them do this, and so therefore this is what I do. It works.

  • Charlotte Charlotte on Mar 31, 2019

    Scrape out what you can with a spoon. Repeatedly boil, water, little soap. Use baking soda to polish the pan, it is the most mild abrasive, cuts grease, disinfects.......Also great on glass or corningware. Stains in coffee cups, almost anything.

  • Joseph Rogers Joseph Rogers on Dec 31, 2017

    I have heard that softener sheets and a little water left overnight in pans will break up burnt on messes.

  • Noni Noni on Feb 06, 2021

    Here goes guys... The worst burned pan can be effortlessly cleaned to a like-new surface by this method shared with me by an old NH naturalist: Dig a hold in the dirt outside and bury the pan for six weeks. The soil bacteria will 'eat' the residue on the pan, leaving the surface sparkling.

  • Sherry Carson Sherry Carson on Dec 31, 2017

    I fill with hot water and add baking soda and let it come to boil for 5-10 mins. Amt depends on how big pot is. Let sit until warm and then clean with Brillo pad. May have to repeat if really burnt on material. Works for me.

  • Patti Patti on Dec 31, 2017

    i use copper or mesh scrubber with salt & baking soda Or Ajax.

  • Tina worley Tina worley on Jan 02, 2018

    This can be costly.. Cream of tartar dab of dish soap and water and fill the pot then boil for 15 minutes. Cream of tarter is a spice.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Oct 19, 2019
    I make a paste of baking soda and water, spread it on and let set overnight. The next day use the rough side of a scrubbie and clean it off. Repeat if needed.
  • Liz Toone Liz Toone on Jan 01, 2018

    fill the pan with hot water and then place a dryer sheet in the water. Let stand in the water overnight. In the morning wash with hot water and dish detergent. Should come out sparkling clean.

  • Lyndadunnett Lyndadunnett on Jan 01, 2018

    Put a dishwasher tab in pot filled with water, bring to boil & lower heat & simmer until about there's only 1 inch of water left. You could also try boiling rhubarb in the pan. Hopefully one of these works.

  • Ken Ken on Jan 09, 2018

    I've had some that were truly carbonized remain in pans for years. No harm, no foul. Best I have tried if they are not so bad is bring water and dish washing liquid to a boil in the pan. Turn off the heat and allow to soak overnight. Next morning clean using Scotch Brite. If it does not come out refer back to my first two sentences.

  • Ladybug* Ladybug* on Jan 09, 2018

    soak pots with hot water and dish washing liquid and let stand for an hour. Clean with an SOS pad or the bag that your clementines comes in.

  • Amanda Bishop Amanda Bishop on Jan 09, 2018

    put a little bit of water in the pan and put on stove bring to a boil get a metal/sturdy plastic spatula and scrape it while it is hot. Can be done multiple times if needed you can also use steel wool and scrub it.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Nov 20, 2019

    I soak the inside of the pot with a baking soda water solution overnight, the next day scrub it out. If the burnt food is still there, make a paste of baking soda and water and apply to the burnt areas, let that set a few hours to overnight and scrub.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Nov 21, 2019

    Outside: barkeeper's friend with steel wool or SOS pad

    Inside: boil 1 Tbsp dish water detergent (powder)

  • Dee Dee on Jun 25, 2018

    Put water in pan and use cream of tarter. Boil water, let sit till cool, then clean the inside of the pan. On the bottom use Bar Keepers Friend.

  • Jan Clark Jan Clark on Jun 25, 2018

    This was a problem I dealt with and the answer is so easy! Get a bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide (supermarket or drug store) and pour about 3/4 of an inch in the pan. Add about 1/2 cup baking soda. Pop it on the stove and let it boil for about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it cool. Wash the pan and it should sparkle. If the burn was bad, you can repeat.

    For the bottom of the pan, cover it with several layers of paper towels and pour on the peroxide. Let that soak 15 minutes and then scrub it with a baking soda paste.

  • Linda Davis Linda Davis on Jun 25, 2018

    Cover burnt surface with 1-2" of warm water. Pat unused fabric softener sheets onto burnt surface and let it sit overnight. Burnt food should just wipe away in the morning with very light scrubbing/ washing

  • Oliva Oliva on Jun 26, 2018

    Add granular electric dishwasher detergent to bottom of pan. Add hot water and leave overnight. Easy clean up, next day.

  • Ireland Dowling Ireland Dowling on Apr 30, 2018

    Aluminum foil works great. bunch it up in a ball, and scrub. I also use those SOS pads with soap, and they work great. However with the SOS pads, make sure to rinse twice so there is no left over residue. =D

  • Shirah Shirah on Oct 04, 2017

    To clean the grill at the place where I work we use lemon juice on the hot grill. Works great. I'd put lemon juice in the pot and heat it on the stove and then use a scubby to clean it. You want to wear gloves because it is hot.

  • M.rivera M.rivera on Oct 04, 2017

    i use Comet with bleach and a scotch brite pad.

  • Ginny Ginny on Oct 04, 2017

    Brillo or baking soda and Brillo might do the trick.

  • Shirah Shirah on Oct 04, 2017

    We use steel scrubbers on the grill, but you could use those green fiber scrubbies from the Dollar store. It might take a little more elbow grease but it would come clean.

  • Swan Road Designs Swan Road Designs on Oct 07, 2017

    Based on the shape, slope of the sides and what little I see of the handle, your pan looks like it might be a Revere skillet. If that's the case, you can't harm it by spraying the inside burned-on areas with a thick coating of oven cleaner, Easy Off, for example. Then, as has already been mentioned, seal it up tightly (leaving the handle out) and let it sit overnight. You should be able to remove the stained areas easily.

    I have purchased many totally disgusting vintage pieces of Revere cookware and have been able to bring them back to nearly new using this method.

    Stainless steel is very durable, so don't worry about being a bit aggressive trying to clean it.

  • Barbaradavis Barbaradavis on Feb 04, 2019

    try using pure bleach,with a little water, soak over night. I have used this on burns, it works.

  • Dixie Mae Dixie Mae on Feb 04, 2019


  • Jan Jan on Feb 04, 2019

    fabric softener does save some pans. Just cover burned area and let it set overnight. Wipe out in the morning.

  • Isabel Spence Isabel Spence on Feb 04, 2019

    Try laundry powder add boiling water from kettle. Leave for 30minutes and wash as normal.

    Hope this works

  • Susan Harris Seeley Susan Harris Seeley on Feb 04, 2019

    Since it’s stainless, spray it with oven cleaner and place in a plastic bag for a few hours or over night

  • Jan Clark Jan Clark on Feb 04, 2019

    If you don't want to scrub, much, then try this. Clean the bottom first. Soak it in a pan of vinegar to cut the oil. Then use a mild abrasive - like baking soda - to scrub off the residue. For the inside, put the pan on the burner and pour about an inch of hydrogen peroxide in it. Simmer that for about 5 minutes. The burned stuff should come up. If it doesn't, you can repeat and then, if all else fails, dump a little baking soda into the peroxide and scrub the bottom. It should shine!

  • Mcc Mcc on Feb 04, 2019

    Pour a layer of amonia n pot and seal with a plastic bag and let sit for a day. Will loosen gunk on inside and outside of the pan.

  • Mrs.B Mrs.B on Feb 04, 2019

    Go to the $1 store and purchase a box of denture cleaner tablets. Put hot water to cover stains and drop in 3 or 4 tablets. Cover and let sit overnight. This also works to clean stainless steel dinnerware and the stains (coffee & tea) inside your travel mugs.

  • Joan Joan on Feb 04, 2019

    Try a dishwasher pod. I cook dry beans and forgot them let them boil dry and burn. Out of desperation I put a pod and water in pot and boiled it out. Looked brand new. Try it will work. Sometimes if it is burnt bad you may have to try it more than once.

  • Judy S Judy S on Feb 05, 2019

    I use oxiclean. Put a little in water and soak the pan for and hour or so. It's usually comes out great!

  • Linda Cabler Linda Cabler on Oct 21, 2016
    If you cant wait to get it off here's a quick sure fire way but the pan MUST be stainless. Pour in a little drano or lye water on the food. DO not inhale it.Leave it about 15 min. Wash it out. I would do this outside tho and don't smell the drano. It wont go down into the stainless and it will leave you will a shinyt new pan.
  • LeAnne Thornton LeAnne Thornton on Aug 01, 2018

    Dawn, hot water and elbow grease. Spread the Dawn in a semi-thick layer over the pan and let it sit for 20-30 minutes then scrub the pan.

  • Millie Millie on Aug 02, 2018

    I always just make a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peoxide, let it sit for a few minutes and burned on grease comes right off, even works on oven glass.

  • Teresa Pearson Teresa Pearson on Aug 05, 2018

    Simpler way astonish pro fantastic on everthing

  • Mary Hilbrand Mary Hilbrand on Jun 17, 2018

    Make a paste of baking soda and water and let sit for a while. Then scrub, being stainless steel you can use steel wool if necessary. I wouldn’t use a harsh oven cleaner as it can damage the finish

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Nov 26, 2017


  • Tina worley Tina worley on Nov 26, 2017

    To use the baking soda and cream of tartar\which is found in the spice aisle. Fill pan with water ,add 2tbls. Soda a 1tbls.tartar. boil water and let sit for over 2 hours and reheat if necessary. Then wash with dish soap. It works on tea pot for buildup too.

  • Susan Young Susan Young on Nov 27, 2017

    Soak it with a mix of lemon juice and baking soda. Then scrub it with a wad of aluminum foil.

  • 17335038 17335038 on Dec 05, 2021

    I have always found Bar Keepers Friend to be a very reliable quality product.

  • Anna Anna on Dec 07, 2021

    If none of the above scrubbing works, my last go too is "drain cleaner"... Yes, I said it! We've all seen how perfectly sparkling clean EVERYTHING is after using that stuff! I don't know, call me crazy;)

  • Dee Dee on Dec 07, 2021

    I used a very old remedy that still works. Cream of Tartar powder, which you can find in the spice section. Put about an 1 or so of water in the bottom of the pot, add a tbls of cream of tartar, let boil, add another 2 inches of water. let cool then clean with a green scrubbie

  • Zoe Emiko Zoe Emiko on Dec 14, 2021

    Easiest way ever to remove burned on anything from anything. Fill the pot, pan, baking dish, sheet pan - whatever- with very hot water. Drop in a super cheap - the cheaper the better - dishwasher pod. Let soak for at least an hour. Most of the burned on whatever it is will lift & slide out of the whatever you burned. For the last stubborn bits use one of the blue Scotch kitchen scrubber sponges - scrubber side down - a little Dawn dish soap or baking soda if it's REALLY stubborn and very little elbow grease to get the last flecks out. I bought a full set of Queen cookware at a yard sale for $20 bucks.. I'll say that again - $20 bucks!!! So much had been burned in it the layers were thick with black hard crud but the cookware itself (burned on stuff aside) wasn't warped at all. One of the things I love about Queen. The last step for me to bring back the gorgeous shine of the stainless steel was to give it a bath in Dawn dish soap & vinegar which removes any staining.

  • Wil33903628 Wil33903628 on Dec 21, 2021

    burned boiled eggs. It caused my pan to turn dark on the botton. I cannot get it back ti the shiny stainless steal?

  • Dmholt4391 Dmholt4391 on Dec 30, 2021

    That skillet looks like it has burned on grease. You can get it very hot and a paper towel will wipe it off.

  • Dee Dee on Jan 05, 2022

    Boil some water with Cream of Tartar powder, let sit till cool and clean with a non scratch SoS pad.

  • Joa17933005 Joa17933005 on Jan 05, 2022

    When I bought our stainless steal pots & pans, 25+ yrs ago, the sales person told me to always clean them with Barkeepers Friend and a paper towel, after each use, I am very pleased to say my pots & pans look like new to this day. One day I forgot the small skillet on the stove, it was completely black no steal showing through at all, sprinkled it with BKF put paper towel over it and wet it with water, let it set until it started to bubble and went to work with the paper towel, it took some doing (lots of scrubbing) but it looks like new again. BKF is a wonderful stainless cleaner.

  • Deb K Deb K on Jan 09, 2022

    Hello, hope this helps you out, a mixture of baking soda and vinegar will remove a buildup of carbon off of pans. Cover the bottom of the pan with baking soda and slowly pour vinegar over the powder until it is bubbling over the carbon stains. You can also try scrubbing with powdered Barkeepers friend.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Feb 01, 2022

    Soak in Coca Cola overnight, then If all else fails go to Supermarket and buy some /stainless steel cleaner spray!

  • Jay C Jay C on Mar 01, 2022

    Ok first take your pan and fill it with cold water, let stand for 15 min

    dump out cold and fill with warm water with 1/4 teas baking soda, stir and let stand 30 min

    dump out warm water & fill with boiling water & 1tbsp of bleach

    let stand one hour dump out the. water & run thru the dishwasher

    once finished dry off and rub with lemons and salt

    rinse and fill with luke warm water and let sit over night

    next day repeat

    I hope this helps

    this is just a joke 😁

  • Jay C Jay C on Mar 01, 2022

    barkeepers friend works best

  • Agamir Agamir on Mar 07, 2022

    In the saucepan, mix two centimeters of water and a cup of vinegar. Bring the solution to a boil to dislodge the residue. Set it aside before adding two tablespoons of baking soda. Leave to stand for fifteen minutes before rubbing with a cloth or sponge. here you found more details about pan clean:

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Mar 13, 2022

    If you have any Shaving foam - Spray it over with that and leave for 15 mins. then wipe off!

  • You could try Cerama Bryte, It's made to clean stainless and it won't scratch.

  • Annie McDonald Annie McDonald on Apr 12, 2022

    The greatest secret to the WORST burned pots is baking soda; brings your pot back to looking like a new dime.

    Scrape off as much burned food as possible. Rinse all burned surface with water & throw off excess. Sprinkle with good covering of baking SODA & set pot aside. In couple of days, scrape with spatula under running water. If the pot/food was severely burned, you may need to do twice. Finish off with Brillo pad. This never fails, and is harmless to pots. I watched my mother do this when I was a young child. It NEVER fails!

  • Kim Kim on Apr 13, 2022

    After cleaning the pan dry it thoroughly. Spray with Dawn Power dissolver. Let sit for 1 hour, scrub with brillo. Rinse then wash with hot soapy water. (Bottle instructions say 30 minutes, but I use an hour +)

    I periodically do the inside and bottom of both my pots and baking pans from baked on oils and grease when needed. Works great.

  • Try simmering some vinegar in it.

  • Janice Janice on Jun 01, 2022

    I've had great results using the dryer sheet and water solution. Just let the dryer sheet soak in the filled pan and it seems to result in softening the burned areas. Then use a scrubby and a dab of baking soda to remove the final traces of burn marks.

  • Mic69122694 Mic69122694 on Aug 13, 2022

    Bar- keepers friend soft cleanser removes Rust, lime & tarnish or the regular cleanser, but I would advise soft cleanser for steel pans it's amazing and won't scratch them.

  • Fill it with hot water and add a dryer sheet. Let it soak.

  • Eden L. Golden Eden L. Golden on Jan 18, 2023

    I use glass top stove cleaner. Apply generous amount and and rub into metal. Let stand for an hour. Wipes off clean.

  • Ej Belmonte Ej Belmonte on Feb 08, 2023

    You can heat your pan up hot. Add vinegar/wine to it and it should come right off. The technique is called deglazing. If it's good stainless will come right up and it's not abrasive.

  • Connie Kurple Connie Kurple on Jun 12, 2023

    Dishwasher soap works best. Don’t forget to Keep the outside bottom free of dark spots. Dark spots cause the food to scorch .

  • Karl Karl on Sep 16, 2023

    Bar keepers friend is great, but if you have oven cleaner it works exactly for that purpose.

  • Dee Dee on Oct 04, 2023

    First soak the pan in HOT water. Then use Bar-Keepers-Friend with a Brillo pad. It will come clean.

  • Mogie Mogie on Feb 06, 2024

    Add 1 cup water and 1 cup vinegar to the pan and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, add 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Discard liquid and wash pot with a scouring pad. If you’re left with stuck on pieces, add more baking soda and water (make a paste) and let sit for a few minutes, then wash again with a scouring pad and dish soap.

  • Dee Dee on Feb 24, 2024

    I boil cream of tarter powder and water for about 15 minutes. Then use a Brillo pad and the pans come clean. I have heard the the New Dawn spray will clean a pot after soaking for about 20 minutes.