How to Clean Burnt Oil from Pots and Pans

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The joys of cooking do not often include the clean up, as cleaning up greasy, oily food bits is not everyone's cup of tea. However, getting rid of burnt grease on pots and pans can be challenging. Olive oil, butter, and other greasy residue stick on a hot pan, burning up and causing stains.

Baked-on oil and food particles can damage your pans, and burnt food bits can get into your meals as you cook them, which can be dangerous to your health. In this article, we'll show you how to clean a burnt pan without using elbow grease or harsh chemical cleaners.

What You'll Need

There are a couple of commercial cleaning pastes and solutions you can use to clean a burnt pan. However, some of these commercial solutions contain harsh chemicals that may be toxic, which is concerning to use on your frying pans. Instead, using homemade solutions allows you to control the ingredients, and these are accessible and inexpensive as well.

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap
  • Scouring pad OR Soft brush

How to Remove Burnt Oil from Pan: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Rinse the Pan

First, rinse the pan with hot water. This will remove any loose gunk or grime on the pan, and expose the burnt layer underneath. If there's a thin layer of food residue, hot water may be able to dissolve the oils as well.

Step 2: Apply Baking Soda and Vinegar

Next, apply a baking soda paste, or use the vinegar method to clean the pan, depending on the amount of staining on your cookware. Create a cleaning paste using baking soda mixed with vinegar or warm water, and apply the paste directly on the burnt food bits. This method is best used for small stain spots.

For heavily-stained pots and pans, fill a large container with vinegar and water, and dissolve some baking soda in the solution. Submerge your pan in the mixture, making sure every part of the pan is submerged in the mixture.

Step 3: Let it Sit

Let the mixture sit. As the baking soda slurry sits, it dissolves and lifts away any traces of burnt olive oil, baked-on food, and other stains on your pan. The vinegar mixture should degrease the pans as well, and soften the hardened food bits.

Step 4: Scrub the Stains Away

Use a soft brush to clean non-stick pans and sensitive cookware. If cleaning a stainless steel pan or other stainless steel cookware, use a scouring pad or scrubbing pad to clear away the softened stains. For the vinegar method, adding more baking soda to the pan helps remove the gunk as baking soda is a gentle yet abrasive scrubber.

Step 5: Wash with Dish Soap

Once all the stains have been removed, wash the pan as you normally would with dish soap. Dish soap will clear away any remaining oil and baking soda residue. Let the pan dry, or place it on the open stove to evaporate the moisture quickly. Let the pan settle and cool before storing it.

Tips to Prevent Burnt Pans

  • Avoid leaving the pan on the stove, even when the stove is turned off. Residual heat can burn oil and grease, which causes staining on your pots and pans.
  • Easily remove stains by boiling the oil away. Add water and baking soda to your cookware, and bring the water to a boil. This should remove fresh stains before they set.
  • Properly season and oil a stainless steel pan with a high-heat oil. Stainless steel is used for cooking with high temperatures, and using cooking oil that can withstand high heat will help prevent the oil from burning.
  • Clean the bottom of the pan as well as the inside to make sure the pan is fully cleaned all around.
  • Avoid using steel wool scrubbers on pans as they may scratch the surface, leaving notches where stains can stick into.

Heat Up a Cleaning Spree

Spring cleaning helps upkeep your home, and get rid of those dust and grime that's causing your allergies. Don't fret the spring cleaning, and let us at Luce Home handle those chores for you! Our cleaning professionals can relieve the hassles of spring cleaning, and leave you with a squeaky clean home.

Contact us to schedule your next cleaning session, and feel the difference with a clean and sanitized home! 

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