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How to Clean a Burned Pot, No Chemicals (or Stress) Needed

Laura Williams, M.S.Ed. is a personal trainer, freelance writer and entrepreneur who works with a wide variety of fitness clients. She's the founder of the popular website, - Girls Gone Sporty, and she's the host of the High Impact Blogg...

So you burned the hell out of one of your pots — now what?

Sometimes you know when you've scorched a pot while you're in the middle of cooking, and other times you aren't graced with the realization until you've served up dinner and it's time to do the dishes. Is there anything that can ruin a great meal quicker than the sight of a pot or pan that's burned beyond recognition?

Scrubbing a burned pot is pretty much the last thing you want to do at the end of the day, and it's seems like it's always a futile effort, anyway — but we promise you it's not. Even the most scorched pot is usually salvageable. We've got a few tried-and-true methods you can use to make a burned or boiled-over pot look as good as new again.

Supplies:

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Double-sided sponge

Directions:

Step 1

Fill the pot or pan with a layer of water. The amount of water you use will vary based on the depth of the pot and the area of the stain. You want the water level to be at or near the height of the stain while still providing enough room for the addition of vinegar and baking soda.

More: How to Save Overcooked Meat So Your Dinner Isn't Ruined

Add about a cup of vinegar to the pot, again adjusting the amount of vinegar based on the depth of the pot and the area of the stain. For very large burns, add more vinegar. For smaller burns or shallower pans, add less.

Next up: Step 2

Originally published December 2011. Updated June 2017.

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