How to Clean Pots and Pans with Baking Soda

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Pots, pans, and other cookware are great for creating masterpiece dishes perfect for any culinary enthusiast. However, when your cookware is grimey, it may not be safe to cook food in burnt, greasy, or crusty pans. Stubborn stains can break pans, which can be devastating for your expensive designer cookware.

Fortunately, baking soda provides an inexpensive, accessible, and food-safe option to clean out stuck on food bits on a burnt pan. It will take some elbow grease to completely clean pans, but the end result is worth it and can save you the costs of buying new cookware.

What You'll Need - Besides Baking Soda!

Vinegar and baking soda, when mixed together, creates a powerful yet gentle cleaner that gets rid of dirt and grime on cookware without damaging the surface. This mixture is safe to use on any non-stick surface, and can be used to clean cast iron pans too!

Your choice of scrubbing tool will depend on the material of your pots and pans. Non-stick pans often have a coating of teflon or similar material on it, so you will need a non-abrasive scrubber to remove the grime. Aluminum and stainless steel can be cleaned with steel wool, while cast iron pans have chainmail cleaners specially made for the material. Here's what you need:

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar - not apple cider vinegar, which may stain cookware
  • Dish soap
  • Hot or boiling water
  • Choice of scrubber:
  • Kitchen sponge - for all types of pans
  • Steel wool - for aluminum pans
  • Cast iron cleaner - for iron pans

Cleaning Pans with Baking Soda: A Step-by-Step Guide

Important Tip: Cool down your hot pan before cleaning as sudden changes in temperature can warp the material.

Step 1: Create a Cleaning Paste

Create your cleaning paste with baking soda and vinegar. The solution should fizz as a chemical reaction occurs, and you should notice the baking soda and vinegar begin to form a thick paste. The cleaning paste should be thick enough to stick on burnt areas in pots and pans. If the paste is too thin, add more baking soda to the mix.

Alternatively, you may use hot water or warm water in place of vinegar, especially if you are concerned about the material of your pans. Create a cleaning paste with hot water and baking soda, and use this to lift the stains from your cookware.

Step 2: Soak the Pans in Cleaning Paste

Apply the baking soda cleaning paste directly on pans. You can opt to spot clean stains and burnt marks, or apply the paste all over the pan. Baking soda will lift even deep-seated stains from your cookware, allowing you to clean your pots and pans with ease.

Using vinegar will provide a stronger cleaning power, and is suitable for pans like aluminum and stainless steel. However, cast iron pans are porous, which may take in the flavor of vinegar when improperly cleaned.

Step 3: Let it Sit

Let the solution sit for at least 15 minutes up to an hour for heavier stains. This will let the pan soak in the solution, slowly lifting and softening the grime from the surface. The same solution can be used to clean other types of cookware such as baking trays, cookie sheets, griddle pans, grills, and oven racks.

Step 4: Scrub the Pan Clean

Take a brush or scrubber, and start scrubbing your cookware clean in a gentle, circular motion. The baking soda provides an abrasive cleaning power, so take caution when cleaning cookware with a non-stick surface. Keep scrubbing pans clean until you no longer notice any grime. For iron pans, be sure to scrub the cast iron properly to create an even layer on your pan.

Step 5: Wash the Pan as Normal

Wash your pans as you normally would. Place the pan in the dishwasher with a dishwasher tablet added into the machine. Wash the pan, and let it dry completely. You can opt to dry your iron pans on the stove to quickly evaporate excess moisture, and prevent rust. You can now season your aluminum and iron pans to create a glassy non-stick surface, or store your pans.

Keeping Your Pots and Pans Stain-Free

Luce Home is your trusted partner in keeping your kitchen clean and sanitized! Trust in our cleaning crew to provide you top-notch services that will maintain and upkeep your home — guaranteed. Our cleaning services are tailored to your home, so you can rest assured we'll leave you with a pristine, clean house.

Check out our other blog articles for more cleaning tips and tricks!

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