how to clean burnt pot?

jannieOctober 19, 2004

DH does this constantly- He starts to cook something in a pot, then forgets it and it burns. Sunday he was cooking chicken livers. I went out to the store, came home to a burning smell. THank G-d the place wasn't on fire! But now I have a stainless steel pot that's all black inside. I tried putting it in the dishwasher, but that didn't help. An SOS scouring pad and elbow grease disdn't work either. Any suggestions?

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alicesRestaurant

What about letting it soak with Cascade dishwashing powder and _then_ attack with steel wool? I recommend Cascade for anything that doesn't come clean with the standard tools, even laundry but if stainless steel can have its finish messed up, then this solution might be a bit tough and might do permanent damange.

Also, there is always oven cleaner. Or equivalent which would be to put ammonia on it and put it in a plastic bag and tie the top so no air circulation and let sit for a day or so. Then scrub.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2004 at 12:37PM
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joepyeweed

try some salt and ice in the pan - and swirl it around- as the ice melts, the salt reaction removes stuff from the bottom of the pan - we use this for burnt coffee in the pot all the time - not sure how it works for other stuff - but its not hard to try it...

    Bookmark   October 20, 2004 at 4:54PM
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CallahanDVM

Jannie-
No other suggestions as to how to clean your pot (maybe buy a new one :) ) but make sure DH does not do this with a non-stick pan. The non-stick coating (teflon I think) when allowed to burn will release harmful fumes that can be very toxic (even lethal to pet birds). I say this as a wife who has finally convinced my DH to only cook outside on the grill's gas burner with a cast iron pan.

Megan

    Bookmark   October 21, 2004 at 9:36AM
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jaybird

Put hot water in your pan and then load the burned spots with baking soda....don't stir, just let it sit for a day or two! If the first time doesn't work, rinse and redo the baking soda...it WILL work, it may just take time!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2004 at 1:19PM
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breenthumb

Ditto the ammonia and plastic bag. I use a paper towel or newspaper in contact with the inside, enough ammonia to wet it, then seal it well in a plastic bag and leave it out of the way in the laundry tub. It breaks down thick burned on grease like you wouldn't believe.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2004 at 6:44PM
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chinacat_sunflower

1) make husband clean it, by hand, the old fashioned way, with a brillo pad. when he comes to you a broken, penitent man ;) bandage up his blistered, aching hands and comfort him...

2) put an inch of water, and a 'small' load size worth of laundry derergent in the pan, and let simmer for half an hour or so. let cool naturally.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2004 at 11:09AM
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mollyjanea

i use vinegar and water, let it sit for several hours, usually wipes right out. the worse the burn, the more vinegar, the less water.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2004 at 11:07PM
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chinacat_sunflower

went home and consulted my MIL, who's still using the set of faberware pots she got as a wedding present...

she says a sheet of bounce left in the water overnight.

which actually makes a sick sort of sense, nu?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2004 at 11:20AM
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carol_in_california

The sheet of Bounce and a little water work....let it sit overnight.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2004 at 8:56PM
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jannie

Well I bought some store-brand lemon-scented ammonia for $1.29. Poured almost the entire bottle in the pan, wrapped it in a bag and set it outside for two days. When I brought it in, the black burnt stuff was really easy to scrub off, it turned into this sludge and a brillo pad got it off just fine. Except for normal wear and tear, it looks brand new!The ammonia smells awful, but it works. If there's a next time, I will try the dryer-sheet method. By the way, Dear Husband offered to buy me two new pots to replace the damage. As he is so contrite and my birthday is coming up, I hope he does buy me new ones. I know how to clean them if they get burned again!!!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2004 at 1:25PM
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Wings2W

Any sheet of fabric softener works every time. I add hot water first, toss the sheet in and let it sit for a few hours or overnight. No stinky smell either.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2004 at 6:08PM
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aphilla

So I tried the bounce and the baking soda to no effect. Does the bounce need to be in an airtight bag?

Another nice thing my wife destroyed....

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 12:26PM
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jannie

I always fill the pot with cheap sudsy ammonia,seal it in a plastc bag,set it aside for at least 24 hours. The burnt stuff crusts up and is easily scrubbed away. This has saved many pots for me. I never tried the bounce or baking soda methods.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 1:03PM
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aphilla

Is the bag air tight? Does it matter?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 5:03PM
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centralcacyclist

Oven cleaner works for me. Never use if it's aluminum, though. Don't ask...

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 5:12PM
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quiltglo

I've never found a seriously burned pan to work well again. DH burned food in our big stock pot and didn't tell me. I couldn't figure out why I continually scorched the food I tried to cook, no matter how low the heat. I think it changes the make-up of the metal and I've always had to pitch a badly burned pan, no matter that I got it looking clean.

Get the new pots and tell him to set a timer when he's cooking. My mom burned up a tea kettle every year. At least there was always something I could get her for a gift.

Gloria

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 2:34AM
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aphilla

DW did it. I've been slowly trying to get her out of the kitchen. Maybe it's time to accelerate that process.

Thanks everyone.
-a

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 3:43PM
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changeling

You never said what the pot was made of! So before you rush out and buy a new pot, crush up some tomatoes if you have them , rotten or not, store bought will work but this is expensive!
Ask the grocery store you deal at! You are not going to eat them but fill the pot with them "FULL", let it soak for a day or 2, place it outside! The acid in the tomatoes will clean the pot like new!
Lola

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 7:10PM
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bonelady

My favorite product is Dawn Power Dissolver. I use to clean my grill, my oven racks, burned pans...almost anything.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 2:23PM
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rachelzuck

I tried the ammonia with soaked newspapers sealed in a plastic bag. It worked on 2 cooked on grease pans and then one burnt pot. I must sound like a terrible cook! I just got a new range and the power burners are out of control.

I also bought a metal curly kate type scrubber as I had been using a plastic scrub brush. My pots now look great.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 10:27AM
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knot2worry

I've heard the stewed/crushed tomatoes in the pot works too. I'll let you know later, as I am using this method now! My mother-in-law has recently moved in and burnt several of our pots. She believes everything should be cooked on high then she forgets she has something on te stove. Anybody need a mother-in-law.

I'll let you know how it works later.

Jim

    Bookmark   August 25, 2007 at 12:13PM
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breenthumb

Jim, test your smoke alarms ASAP. Update them to the best ones you can find if there is any doubt about the ones you have. Been there, done that. Good luck. Sandy

    Bookmark   August 25, 2007 at 11:09PM
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wnlb

If you have a stainless steel pot, and the interior is really burned, only oven cleaner will work. I've tried every idea put forth, and none except oven cleaner came close.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 5:12PM
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susie100

After burning many a tea pot and several other stainless steel pots, I now set the oven timer for the approximate time I think it will take the item to be done. For tea water, 3/4 minutes, for longer things, I set it every 5/10 minutes so the noise will alert me to check.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 6:58PM
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cciaffone

These are wonderful suggestions!

Have you any ideas for adapting any of them to clean
the burned char off the underside, outside, bottom
of a stainless electric skillet?? There's no concave
surface in which contain ammonia. Does the ammonia
have to be in actual contact or is it just the fumes??

thanks

chuck

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 1:21PM
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dilly_dally

Fumes work. As already explained above, put the whole thing in a bag with a cup of ammonia, (Ammonia stays in the cup. Don't pour it out.) close it up and let it sit.

Personally, for a job like you describe, I would just spray it with oven cleaner and rinse carefully.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 6:55PM
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cciaffone

A bit afraid of what the oven cleaner will do to
the insulation where the contacts connect to the
heating element. There's rubber, and plastic, and
who knows what down there.

I will try the fumes though.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 7:35PM
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mc_hudd

If anyone tries the fabric softener sheet trick, wash at least twice throughly before using again! I tried this once, I let the sheet soak overnight in a pan. The next day I washed, dried & put away like normal. The next time I used the pan, my food tasted like fabric softener... Not very appetizing! I might even suggest to let regular dish washing liquid/water mixture sit in pan overnight, then wash like normal. Just an FYI.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 11:20PM
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sunnygirl-2008

Use white vinegar (no water) cover bottom of pot and boil 3-4 mins then take a scrub brush with vinegar still in the pot and scrub.It will come right up! My husband bought me a new set of pots just recently & today I was cooking green beans and forgot to turn them down,I was just sure I had ruined my pot but to my suprise this worked perfect!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 4:03PM
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homepro01

Fill the pan to cover the burnt on stuff with water. Put on stove, add a few tablespoons of an enzyme based dishwasher detergent. Bring to a quick boil, turn off and wash the pan as normal.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 10:53PM
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ksandbek

I used the boiling vinegar on a stainless steel pot that we'd burned apple butter to the bottom and had burnt solidly. As soon as the vinegar boiled I was able to scoot the majority off the bottom with just a flat-tipped wooden spoon! The rest of the little bits were just a little elbow grease and the pot is like new.

On another pot that had scorched from being completely dry on a high burner with some oil, it didn't work too well.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2008 at 4:34PM
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debetx

I've had good luck with hint saw on BBC network program "How Clean Is Your House" where the UK "Queen's of Clean" poured just enough cola to cover the bottom of pan, heat to boiling & use dish brush to scrub it out...may need to repeat several times.
Had really good luck with all cleaning tips/hints from that show!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2008 at 12:31PM
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mike_kaiser_gw

I'm not really sure why you're cleaning up your husband's mess. If he burns the pan, he should be cleaning it.

Barkeepers Friend and blue Scotch-Brite works wonders on all kind of burned on stuff. Takes a bit of elbow grease though.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 8:59AM
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domesticah

This really works: Sprinkle Comet liberally on pot and fill 1/4 of pot with water. Bring mixture to a boil and simmer for about 10-20 minutes (keep an eye on it). Blackened burnt on stuff will come off much easier. My mom gave me this little secret.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 11:13AM
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mikie_gw

I cleaned up some garage sale old stainless pots by wet sanding them. Bottoms on both inside and out were heat discolored - blues and blacks. Pretty quick and easy.

I now keep a sheet of fine wed/dry sandpaper in the kitchen,, its easy to clean my burns.

I probably shouldn't tell you my wd-40 range top non stick trick.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 6:45PM
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newkidd13

wet area
sprinkle on barkeepers friend
wipe with newspaper
wipe with paper towels
some areas really require muscles but has worked everytime for my stainless steel pans

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 9:32PM
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linnea56

OK, now I have to know:

What is it? "I probably shouldn't tell you my wd-40 range top non stick trick."

You can't provoke me like that, I can't take it.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 6:24PM
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tonypec

I did it again. Heating up my tea. I use a large stainless steel pot. Drink the tea all day long. I was a big coffee drinker. Had to switch to black and green tea. Feel great now. You should try it, if you drink coffee. The first time wasn't too bad. Removed it with emery cloth. I'll try the ice and salt since their's was coffee. Anyone have else have an idea to remove the burnt tea stains? I don't think the ammonia will work this one. It's really bad.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 12:36PM
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amcfarquhar_yahoo_co_uk

My problem is black carbon on pot base

some acid must dissolve this?

but not vinegar

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 7:16PM
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albert_135

I put a broiler tray in the oven when I did the automatic oven cleaning cycle and it cleaned the pan too.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 2:14PM
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malexander009_comcast_net

I usually burn a pot of rice atleast once a month. I always boil a pot of water with bleach added to the water and it cleans the pot like new. Also kills the burnt smell in the kitchen but not too much bleach.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 12:11PM
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barbara1taylor

If I have to be honest .. you have to by a new one.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 2:10PM
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howes_nethere_com

For a burned-black stainless steel pot, fill with water to cover the black stuff, add a glub-glub of fabric softener. Let it set for 1/2 hour. Washes the black out like magic!
Softener sheets didn't work for me.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 8:04AM
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peanut32_ct_metrocast_net

the answer is simple stop lettin g your mom cook forever

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 4:29PM
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robnicolson1958_yahoo_com

I bury the pot in a well "alive" compost heap(handles out) for about a week. Micro -organisms do the rest. No chemicals, no domestic trouble, as it works just as well for both male and female offenders ! An old friend of mine, who is over 90 got this tip from her grandmother.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 7:32PM
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sharonlf

After trying several of the methods listed above to clean a burned pot with no success, I remembered that I had some Dawn Power Disolver under my kitchen sink. I sprayed the pot liberally and let it set for about an hour. To my amazement everything then came off with very little elbow grease.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 11:44PM
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christianagems_gmail_com

I poured some liquid fabric softener in a burned stainless steel pot and let it soak a couple days and then scrubbed it out..worked like a charm. No elbow grease needed.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 2:56PM
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redstar123

I'm forever getting stuff stuck in my crock pot. Any ideas for a glass pot? I also don't have a dishwasher, so that's not an option.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 3:29PM
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dkjkdgh_hotmail_com

clean burnt pot by dumping in ashtray.
also pull through if you have an ashcatcher. this method works as well.

Cheers! :)

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 8:59PM
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aliceadd_hotmail_com

I was cooking rice in my Cuisinart SS pan. The recipe said to put in equal amounts of rice and water. When the water started to boil I was supposed to turn the heat down until all the liquid was absorbed into the rice...(I forgot)!! Needless to say I had a real mess on my hands. I searched the internet for help and found this site...what a lifesaver! First I tried the water and dryer sheet which didn't work at all. Then I tried the ammonia, put the pan in a plastic bag and set it outside for about 1 day. When I brought it inside I could tell it was working. I used a nonscratch scrubber on the end of a wooden spatula and got all but just a little bit. I used a SOS pad to get the rest off.
I am ever so grateful to have found this site.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 6:53PM
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aliceadd_hotmail_com

I was cooking rice in my Cuisinart SS pan. The recipe said to put in equal amounts of rice and water. When the water started to boil I was supposed to turn the heat down until all the liquid was absorbed into the rice...(I forgot)!! Needless to say I had a real mess on my hands. I searched the internet for help and found this site...what a lifesaver! First I tried the water and dryer sheet which didn't work at all. Then I tried the ammonia, put the pan in a plastic bag and set it outside for about 1 day. When I brought it inside I could tell it was working. I used a nonscratch scrubber on the end of a wooden spatula and got all but just a little bit. I used a SOS pad to get the rest off.
I am ever so grateful to have found this site.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 7:19PM
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katemc63_gmail_com

I tried the salt, and it worked okay. Then my husband added drain cleaner to the pot and it worked a miracle. It used it twice, and the pot is good as new.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 11:51PM
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Bill8332

Here's my method; I give it to my live-in Polish MIL, who's 93. An hour of clanking, scraping, scrubbing and swearing (in Polish), and the pot is like new. And now she's upstairs vacuuming. Again.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 11:20AM
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newhomeowner-2009

To follow up on this ancient message thread, which I found through google: I used the Comet method suggested by domesticah, and burned-in rice came right out!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 11:52AM
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LandWarrior

You people are working way too hard at this!
My wife was canning and making jellies this past weekend and she forgot about the small pot that was cooking behind a large kettle that was boiling quart jars. The pot turned mint jelly into hard black coal. A scrubby got out a tiny bit and the rest was solid.
Solution: I put some dishwasher detergent in the pot. A few tablespoons should work. Boil water in another pot and pour it in.
After about a minute, I used a wood spoon - so I would not scratch the pot - and lightly scraped up what the solution loosened which was about 90%. The rest was in the corners so I waited until it cooled and scraped again getting off all but about 1/2 inch. A scrubby took that off in 10 seconds.
I spent about 1 minute scrubbing lightly, 50 seconds with a wood spoon and 10 seconds with a scrubby.
The only way to make it any easier is to get the wife to do it, but, she likes to see me work.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 5:30PM
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albert_135

I wonder if mint jelly could be used to clean a up the results of burned pot roast?

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 1:34PM
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LandWarrior

I think mint jelly is better used on bread but, I bet the detergent and boiling water would take care of the burnt pot roast.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 11:11AM
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gr8daygw

My mom told me to boil just water in it on the stove. So I put some water in the pan and let it rip for awhile, comes right off!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 8:35AM
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ming001

Certainly enough responses but I always put some powdered dish washing detergent (the old school kind, not the little pods), add the hottest water from my sink and let sit over night. All the burned on junk will lift right off in the AM

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 2:54PM
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gr8daygw

@LandWarrior, lol I love it when men call their wife "the wife". Sort of like "the Donald". : )

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 7:55PM
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LandWarrior

The term "the wife" should have been in caps, "The Wife." She is a weapon of choice to solve all problems. I like to think that I am in control of my kingdom, but, in reality, when a problem gets out of control I need the best weapon I can find, "The Wife!" If she can't fix it, it can't be fixed.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 11:21PM
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Dlanor

Hi Everyone. Tonight I burnt a pot so black I thought I would have to toss it. "I didn't"

Here is what I did the pot gleams like new with shine.
Some people say if you scratch stanless steel pots things will stick. That isn't really the reason. Your cooking on higer heat than medium. If you cook on medium things won't stick. Even if new or scratched with an implement. You always have scratches from stirring with metal objects.

Back to cleaning my pot. First I poured boiling water in it and a teaspoon of dish soap and 1/2 cup of vinegar. "Because soda didn't do much earlier for that darn pot." After it soaked a while I then emptied it out and put pure vinegar to coat the bottom that was black. After letting that sit for an hour, I emptied the pot and I took that little plastic square clip off of a loaf of bread. You see them stamped all the time with expirey dates. Take that between thum and index finger and begin to put the flat edge down on the black and begin stroking the pot back and forth with a bit of pressure small strokes are fine. Any little specks of black that didn't come off go over it once again with more pressure a bit more don't break your fingers ok. Once that is done you do the final clean up because your pot is still slightly stained. Oh don't worry you can still do the bottom sides of the pan because they are round and that bread clip will bend into that surface and make cleaning a sinch.

Take SOS pad and wet slightly put it under your sponge because we don't need any steel pieces going into our fingers or hands. Then just begin to lightly rub the remaining stains off. Yeah you have to stand the pot on it's edges to get the inside walls of the pot. Keep rubbing with SOS pads until the pot has a nice sheen again.

10 minutes was the time necessary for me to clean that pot after it had soaked in white vinegar.

There you have it. I couldn't post a picture but I am keeping my pot. It was very simple.. I kid you not. I hope you keep your pots too. This is a trick all people should know if you burned your stainless steel pot. Gee I'm good I should have a mini ifomertial on how to do this. :-0)

Ciao for now.

Dlanor.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 3:39AM
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Dlanor

Here is the pot and in a second I will show you the clip I used so you guys will know what I am talking about see below this message.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 3:50AM
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Dlanor

Here is the clip I was talking about that cleaned the hard black stuff off the burnt pot. It comes off like powder. Really a cool fix and as you can see above I don't need to throw away my pot.

Ha ha ha ha.

Happy Belated Halloween.

Dlanor

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 3:53AM
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albert_135

I've mentioned in a thread elsewhere: some pots like enameled pots without handles made of synthetics and cast iron pots will clean well in an electric oven with an oven clean cycle.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 1:41PM
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dilettante_gw

Dlanor, thanks for the tip about using a plastic bread bag clip as a safe scraper. Brilliant!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 10:27PM
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CinBin

I had some vegtables that burnt to the bottom of a pot a few days ago. I had already tried pouring in boiling water from a kettle and lots of scrubbing and scraping, and bringing water and dish soap to a boil on the stove for 15 minutes, with more scrubbing and scraping, before searching online and finding this site.

I decided to try the bleach method since many of the suggestions i read worked for some and didn't work for others.

I poured enough undiluted bleach into the pot to cover the burnt bottom. About 10 minutes later the bleach was starting to turn brown. I thought this might be working!

An hour later, I checked on the pot and about 90% of the pot's bottom was completely clean!

Within a few hours the entire bottom was clean and even the bleach had gone from a brown tinge back to clear and clean looking.

Undiluted bleach for a few hours and the pot looks better than it has since we got it. I did absolutely no scrubbing.

I've also heard this works in stainless steel sinks that have that ugly black stain all around the drain. Put the stopper in the drain, pour in some hot water and bleach and let it sit for a few hours ... good as new!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 7:45AM
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sleevendog

DH let pasta go all the way to dust...(he had also taken out the battery to the smoke detector as it was chirping, grrr i get so mad) This was years ago and memorable.
Now we both set our iphone alarms as our phones are on us if we, especially he, gets so fixated on another project or even heads out the door to run an errand! But wouldn't ya know it, he can't figure out why his alarm went off, lol.

So dangerous. Set alarms, put a smoke detector in you kitchen...

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 1:01PM
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haydonidseew

I give it to my live-in Polish MIL, who's 93. An hour of clanking, scraping, scrubbing and swearing (in Polish), and the pot is like new. And now she's upstairs vacuuming. Again.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 9:41PM
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provmobile

I burned my wife's new 12" stainless steel fry pan. It was for a new recipe that said to get the pan extremely hot and then pour in 2 TB of oil before adding the strips of beef. I got it too hot so when I added the oil it almost immediately ignited and I did not have the lid. I was holding the flaming pan and yelled for my wife who came and grabbed the lid from the cabinet to cover and snuff the flaming pan. Needless to say, the entire inside of the shiny new Kenmore pan is now black as a chunk of coal. Any help is appreciated. It seems most of the previous problems were from burned food and did not entail the complete inferno of the inside of the pan.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 11:24PM
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krissie55

Try suggestions in the original post. Surely something should work and get you out of the dog house!!

Usually it does take some work (elbow grease) to clean burned pans. Success will always be better when the person burning the pan cleans it back to shiny new!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 3:09PM
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yavoyavo

Just another tip, tooth paste is a good cheap abrasive to use with a scouring pad to remove the burn stain, and just generally polish up a steel pot to a brushed finish.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2014 at 6:24PM
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