How to Clean a Burned Pot With Supplies You Already Have

We’ve all been guilty of paying too little attention when cooking, and if you’re unlucky, it may have landed you with a seriously scorched pot or pan. And there’s nothing that puts a downer on dinner quite like knowing you’ve got a seared pan waiting for your attention during dishes.

Scrubbing a burned pot is pretty much the last thing you want to do at the end of the day, and it 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.


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


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: Step 2

A version of this article was originally published in December 2011.


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