You’re cooking and you just want to check social media for a second while your meal is preparing. You look up to find that- oh no- the food has burnt! It is absolutely annoying when you are cooking and accidentally burn something, but it’s even worse when you go to clean the burnt pan that you were cooking with, only to find that it is nearly impossible!

You aren’t going to be able to wash the pan as per usual, because the burnt residue will still remain, so you are going to have to try another method. There is nothing to fear, however; you do not need to throw your pan away and get a new one.

There are plenty of ways for you to clean that burnt pan without anyone knowing that it was you who burnt it- or, at least, for the pan to be clean again.

There are some stainless steel cleaner methods that you can purchase at the store- DIY Network suggests Carbon Off, Bon Ami, and Barkeeper’s Friend.

However, if you are in more of a rush, you can also gather a few items that you are bound to have lying around the house to clean the pan too. And it won’t require much of an effort on your part! Here are several ways for you to clean a burnt pan.

Video Guide: DIY How to Clean Burnt Pan Easily

The Kabita’s Kitchen channel posted a video highlighting some easy ways to scour your pan to a bright shine:

Cleaning Solutions

Vinegar and Baking Soda

Ah, yes. These two ingredients come in handy in many different incidents around the house, so it’s always good to have some vinegar and baking soda lying around. Vinegar and soda can help to unclog the sink, cleaning solution, and more, and most importantly, you can use vinegar in your salads, too. But here is how to clean a burnt pan (sta with vinegar and soda.

How To Make


In order to clean out a burned pan or pot, you are first going to want to dilute the vinegar with some water. Make sure that you use equal amounts of water and vinegar, as DIY Network instructs. Then, pour the mixture into the burnt pan and heat it up so that the vinegar and water will boil. After it has boiled for about a minute or so, take it off the stove and pour the vinegar in the sink.

Then, take a spoon of baking soda and dump it into the pan. You don’t want to add vinegar and soda together because then you will end up with a fizzy mess, but using them separately will ensure the results you want. Use a sponge or scouring pad to then scrub the baking soda in the pan. Baking soda will lift the burn stains.

Once you are finished cleaning, rinse out the pan and wash as per usual, and it should look good as new. This is one of the best ways to get rid of burn residue.


While it is a favored drink of many people, soda actually also helps to clean some tough stain marks. For those of you who refer to the drink by other names, this is in reference to the carbonated beverage, Coca-Cola, Sprite, or whatever other carbonated drink you have laying around.

Making A Toothpaste & Soda Cleaning Solution

Make sure that the stainless steel pan is still hot if you choose to use soda to clean it. Pour enough so the bottom is completely covered. Let it sit for a little while- about a half an hour or so- so that the soda can loosen up and you can easily clean it up. If all the burnt residue doesn’t come off after one try, keep trying until it does. You can even let the soda sit in a pan overnight to ensure that the pan gets clean.

Dish Soap

You may already have tried to clean the pan with dish soap but to no avail. Pour very hot water into the pan and add a little bit of dish soap (the brand and type doesn’t really matter here).

Then, take the pot, put it on the stove, and heat it up until the soapy water starts to simmer. Leave it like this for about 15 minutes, as Good Housekeeping suggests, and then take a spatula, spoon, or other utensil and start to scrape the bottom of the pan as the burnt residue starts to soften and loosen up.

Once you have completely cleared everything from the pan, empty it out and start to wash it as normal. This may cause some discoloration, but it is a method that is bound to work.


Admittedly, if you did a lot of damage to your pan, this might not cut it, but ketchup can be used to clean up pans and especially for making them shiny again.

Take some ketchup and spread it around the places in your pan that have been burnt. Let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe the ketchup off. Rinse your pan as usual.


You may not think that you can clean the burnt residue from a stainless steel or teflon pan using something as simple as table salt, but it can definitely work! If you have coarser salt, this method will work better- but table salt works just fine too.

There are a few ways you can use salt to clean your pan. You can take dishwashing soap and massage it into the bottom of the pan, or you can pair it with hot water. For the latter, fill the pan with warm or hot water, adding a few spoons of salt. Stir this together and allow it to soak, then boil the water. You can leave the water to boil for around 10 or 15 minutes. This should be successful; the boiling water and salt combined should loosen up all the burnt residue in the pan.

But, if your pan still has some burnt spots left, leave some of the water in the pan. Then, once it has cooled down a little bit, add some more salt and use something strong like a scrubber to remove all the residue that remained.