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Most Effective Method For Cleaning Burnt Stainless Steel Cookware

17 July 2009 63,643 views 25 Comments

Today, I burned one of my older Kitchen-Aid stainless steel pots. I went off to eat and left my soup still cooking. I came back to find burnt soup stuck to the bottom of my pot, I wasn’t very happy. I went through my pantry trying to think of the best cleaning agent. I was searching for something that most people would have in the house. What I came up with is truly the best and most effective way to quickly clean burnt stainless steel. My method for cleanup is detailed below.

The Solution:


First you have to make a huge mistake like I did and burn your stainless steel pot. Caution: I don’t recommend doing this for fun!

So this is what you end up with.



Grab a box of baking soda and a container of salt. That’s it folks!



Run some water in the pot just enough to cover the burned area about a 1/4 inch.


Dump generous amount of salt into pan making it cloudy and then dump about the same amount of baking soda. Water should be pretty cloudy.



Stir the solution with wooden spoon and bring to a boil.



As it is boiling and fizzing keep stirring with wooden spoon while scrapping the bottom.


Strain mixture in a strainer so you don’t get a lot of burned material in your drain.


You will then end up with a pan that looks like this depending on how badly burned it is and how much scrapping you performed.



Take green scour pad and hot water and scrub remaining burned material out. This comes out easily once you have used salt and baking soda.


The finished product.



Total cleaning time: 5 min tops.

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  • matt said:

    I wish i’d known this when I ruined my dads saucepan!

  • mark said:

    I remember when I burnt noodles in my stainless steel pan back in my college days. I spent around 30 minutes scrapping and rinsing the pot. All that work and still the pot had a burnt coating in it. I finally gave up and threw the pan out. Guess I should have done a Google search and it would have saved me time and a pot.

  • Tammy said:

    My daughter burnt my ss Pans by tring to cook noodles. I tried to clean it and gave up. I tried to throw it away put my all knowing husband told me to keep it. I am going to try this method and see what results I get and report back.

  • Rita said:

    This really works! Thanks so much! I was about to throw my pan out.

  • Melissa said:

    This really works!! I burned a very tiny amount of olive oil (didn’t realize the pan was so hot when I added it, my fault) and this 1/2 tsp. blackened, and I mean blackened, almost the entire 10 inch skillet. I tried Dawn Power Dissolver, OxiClean, vinegar, plain baking soda and water, Bar Keeper’s Friend and probably a couple others before finding this trick. Something about the salt and soda together (and the boiling water, of course) does the trick. It took 3 boil and scrub attempts but after each one a little more burned stuff came off so I kept working at it. By the last time there were just some black specks, which a Scotch Brite pad and some Bar Keeper’s Friend (and brute strength) finally scrubbed off. I will be more careful in the future but glad to have this trick up my sleeve just in case.

    THANK YOU!! :)

  • Dawn said:

    Thanks SO much!! I burned yams that I was cooking for the must-have Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole. The syrup was like a second skin on my stainless steel Revere Ware pan. My favorite one, I might add. This worked like a charm and it’s as good as new! Yay!!!

  • Maria said:

    Thanks for the great advice. So easy and simple and it took the black mess off the kitchen aid pot I borrowed from a friend. Whew, now I don’t have to replace this very expensive pot.

  • Ric said:

    Wow this worked great for me..Thanks for this post.

  • Denise said:

    Thanks so much – It really worked!
    I was able to save my favorite pot.
    I will share your wonderful tip with others.

    I found that the salt also made my pot shiny as well.

  • Lulu said:

    What a fabulous tip! It really ‘does what it says on the tin’, so to speak. It saved my mother’s saucepan which I accidentally burnt to a crisp. Thank you!

  • Ark said:

    This worked excellently. I had the pot looking like it was before in less than five minutes!

    Thank you very much for posting this.

  • Catherine said:

    My husband was heating up chili and fell asleep. When he woke up the pot was smoking and the food unrecognizeable. Thankfully I googled what to do and came across this. It cleaned up great. Thanks.

  • James Little said:

    Hi: I was about to throw out that burned stainless steel pot when I thought…google it. Wow…within 5 minutes it was shiny like new.
    Thank you very much!

  • Howard said:

    I was ready to throw out my 10″ sauce pan which I had burned cooking hamburgers on too high of heat and for too long. I had tried scrubbing and scrubbing nothing came off. Then I tried your method. Brilliant! I can’t believe how good the pan looks now!

    Thanks so much!!!

  • John said:

    Quickleen S is the most amazing stainless steel cleaner in the world. Do not use steel wool on your pot or pan you will ruin it! It is non toxic, contains no acids, and will remove burns, stains, even blue burn marks from stainless steel, aluminum, copper even ceramics… http://Www.Quickleen.com.au Have a look at the website, it’s incredible!

  • Helen said:

    My poor 3-quart stainless steel pot ended up crusted with nearly a half-inch of charred noodle soup after I decided to take a catnap while heating up my lunch. Searching online brought up quite a few solutions but yours grabbed me because, I recalled hearing the same thing from an old friend. With the damage done, I followed your directions and after three attacks, followed by a good scrubbing with Barkeepers Friend, my pot looks nearly new, again.

    Thank you so much for sharing and for the photos.

    Your grateful fan,

  • Dream said:

    Thanks a lot for this tip. Its Amazing.. my burnt steel pot is back to original steel pot..

  • Lynn said:

    Thank you so much!!! I was ready to give up restoring my pan damage from olive oil, after trying other tips that did not work. So glad I decided to search one more time and found this.

    At first I didn’t think it was working. Then I added more salt and baking soda while boiling, still didn’t work. Then I added more of each until water was very cloudy, as you suggested. Within seconds, my pan looked brand new.

    Thanks again for posting!

  • Kathryn said:

    Thanks so much for this information. I burnt a sauce, turning on the wrong burner) and my husband wanted to throw the pot away. I had to do the process twice and then I finished with my stove top cleaner and steel wool pad. It saved my $100 pot….thanks again. So happy you posted this.

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  • Brenda-Lee said:

    Wow what a great tip and so easy. My pot sparkled. Thank-yyou so much.

  • Brenda-Lee said:

    Wow what a great tip and so easy. My pot sparkled. Thank-you so much.

  • Karen Kelley said:

    this is a great method, I’ve used it before. I usually have to reeat the method several times, depending on how badly the pot was burned.


  • Diane said:

    I guess I’m the only person this didn’t work for. I followed the directions exactly, not once, not twice, but 3 times. Some of the burnt stuff came off with the first treatment, but there’s still a very thin black layer after the third. i have it soaking in coke now but that doesn’t appear to be working either.

  • Craig said:

    burnt my son’s stainless steel pot (rice). Thought it was a goner. This worked great but it did require a good bit of elbow grease.my baking soda was probably a thousand years old to boot!! thanks

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