We’ve all done it -- left a pot on the stove too long or let a sauce boil over. The result is a badly burned pot that seems impossible to clean. You don’t have to give it a single worry as long as you follow these quick steps to clean a burned pot or pan.
Step 1: Gather up the goods
It doesn't take much to clean a burned pot. Grab a cup of white vinegar, a couple tablespoons of baking soda and make sure you have access to water. The only other thing you'll need is a double-sided sponge to help you wipe down the surface. Also, in an ironic twist, you'll need to use the same culprit that helped create the stain to remove the burn from the pot's surface -- make sure your stove is ready to go.
Fill the pot or pan with a layer of water. The amount of water you use will vary based on the deepness 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.
Add the cup of vinegar to the pot, again adjusting the amount of vinegar based on the deepness of the pot and the area of the stain. For very large burns, add more vinegar. For smaller burns or shallower pans, add less.
Place the pot or pan on the stove and bring the mixture to a boil. It shouldn't take long before you start noticing a difference in the stain's appearance.
Take the pot or pan off the burner and turn off the stove. Add two to three tablespoons of baking soda to the mix and watch the bubbles form! Allow the fizz to do its work for a few minutes before emptying the mixture from the pot.
Step 4: Rub it down
Scrub the pot with the abrasive side of your sponge. You may need to scrub for 30 to 45 seconds, but the burned spots should come up fairly easily. If the spots are especially stubborn, sprinkle a little dry baking soda on top of them to help abrade the burn marks away. When you're satisfied that the pot is clean, rinse it thoroughly - it should look as good as new!