10 incredible ways to clean a burnt frying pan

Have you cooked a dish and, unfortunately, you burned some food in your frying pan? Here is how to quickly and effectively clean this kind of mess!


We have all done this: the recipe said to constantly stir and bring to a boil but you decide to take a chance and run to the bathroom while your meal is cooking. You only leave for a minute, obviously! But, of course, your food burned and your frying pan is now completely burned. When it’s time to clean it, store-bought cleaning products are not always effective in getting rid of all the burnt food sticking to your pan. Thankfully, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you remove all the burnt food on your frying pan or skillet. Here are a few cleaning tips to try!

1. Vinegar and baking soda

Emily Fazio, 2016

Vinegar is an excellent multi-use cleaner. Use it as a disinfectant, a non-toxic window cleaner and to clean dirty frying pans.

  • Pour a small layer of equal parts water and white vinegar at the bottom of your pan;
  • Heat the diluted vinegar on the stove top and bring to a boil;
  • After boiling the vinegar for a minute, remove from the heat and drain the liquid in the sink;
  • Add 1 tablespoon baking soda in the empty pan. Baking soda is abrasive and will help remove stains;
  • Use a scrubber to scrub the baking soda and tackle tough stains;
  • Rinse your pan.

2. Salt

Emily Fazio, 2016

Another abrasive cleaner to try is salt! Salt, especially coarse Kosher salt, is ideal to remove all burnt food stuck in frying pans and skillets and is especially good for greasy stains. Try to combine it with dish liquid soap and hot water or to scrub the burnt food with a piece of lemon.

3. Cream of tartar


Cream of tartar is an abrasive substitute to baking soda.

  • Mix one tablespoon of cream of tartar in a cup of water and bring to a boil in your burnt pan;
  • Let the water cool;
  • Scrub the pan so it becomes clean again.

4. Fabric softener sheet


To clean your pan, soak it in water with some soap and add a fabric softener sheet. Leave it like this for one hour. The fabric softener sheet (which can be substituted by a tablespoon of liquid detergent) will detach the burnt food and will leave your pan sparkly clean.

5. Soda

Emily Fazio, 2016

While your pan is still hot, pour some soda into it. Let the soda work its magic to remove the burned grime and then wash it.

6. Alka Seltzer

Utter Buzz!

This common bubbly household item is as good as club soda for this kind of job. Add 1-2 tablets to the hot water in your pan and let it do its job until all the burnt food is gone.

7. Ketchup

Kath & Ko

Although it is not acidic enough to remove large stains from the pan, ketchup is popular for reviving dull pans. Pour a thin layer of your favourite condiment over the area you want to clean and wipe it off after 15 minutes.

8. Salt and vinegar

You can clean your pan with salt and vinegar. Here’s how to do it:

  • Heat up a liter of white vinegar;
  • Add a handful of coarse salt to the vinegar;
  • Wait until the salt dissolves;
  • Pour this mixture into a very large bowl;
  • Put the dirty pan you want to soak into the bowl;
  • Scrub stains with a hard brush;
  • Rinse the pan and dry with a soft cloth.

Caution: Put on rubber gloves to clean your copper pots, since cleaning residues are toxic.

9. Scrubber

Flickr – Joe Crawford

You don’t have a scrubber? All you have to do is make a ball with aluminum paper to create your very own homemade scrubber!

10. Patato and salt

Crédit: Contrepoints

Salt is a perfect spice to fight moisture and dirt. As for the potato, it is ideal for degreasing the elements of our kitchen.


  • Cut a potato in half widthwise. Take one half and rub it into the bottom of the pan to remove the first layer of residue;
  • Add a spoonful of coarse salt;
  • Scrub with the potato in circular movements to scrub the salt;
  • Rinse with water;
  • Dry it well;
  • To protect it, you can put a thin layer of olive oil on the bottom.


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