How Do I Clean Burnt Food from Pot

Updated on June 08, 2009
J.W. asks from Naperville, IL
36 answers

HELP! ! ! Last night my daughter burned the meatsauce in the pot. It burned around 1/2" up the sides of the pan as well as thickly coating the bottom. My daughter, her friend and I scrubbed till our arms just about fell off. It is a Calphalon non-stick pot. I have read some online tips involving amonia, oven cleaner and like items. Since this was part of an expensive set, I do not want to risk ruining the non-stick surface. Also hose type of cleaners give off terrible, toxic fumes and cannot be good to have wafting through the house. Any tried and true remedies, moms? Thanks, J.

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Whew! I never thought that I'd get so great many responses, thank you moms! ! ! I tried simmering just water; water with dishwashing liquid, with vinegar, with baking soda, dryer sheet, each seperately. But the pot was really bad and these hints just didn't seem to pack enough wallop to get all the stuff off, although they each helped a bit. It's not as horrendous as it was thank goodness but, it still needs some work. Tomorrow, I will pick up some ammonia and do that hint when it's not raining this week. I think that should finally take care of the pot. Thank all of you again! J.

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.B.

answers from Chicago on

I've gotten rid of some bad burnt food issues by filling the burnt area with water and adding Bar Keeper's Friend to it. I let it sit for a few hours, and then I come back and scrub it out.

Bar Keeper's Friend is a soft scrub cleaner (sort of like Comet), and it works really well for this.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.M.

answers from Chicago on

I too was going to say baking soda. I also found putting the pot on the stove with water and baking soda mix and bring to a boil, then let sit overnight. Tried adn true, it works!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.D.

answers from Chicago on

i have heard about putting a drier sheet in pots n pans with cool water and soaking over night. My friend swears by this she saves all her drier sheets specifically for this reason. Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.A.

answers from Chicago on

I am great at burning things to pots! Try an Effordent tablet or some kind of denture cleaner. Fill the pot up with water, drop it in and wait an hour. It usually disolves whatever grime is in the pot. I love to use this for baking dishes and crock pots. Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.M.

answers from Chicago on

look it up on line or call the company. xo

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

G.H.

answers from Chicago on

Go online to calphalon. I usually bring water with a little Dawn dish soap and a couple tablespoons of baking sode to boil in the pot and let it simmer slowly for a couple of hours. Sometimes I have to repeat the process. As far as the outside of the pan, maybe you could set the burned pot into a larger pot and do the same thing. Calphalon is tricky so I'de go online first.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.R.

answers from Chicago on

Bar Keeper's Friend - it's awesome.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.K.

answers from Chicago on

Shaklee scour off is the best! I've used it on all sorts of things. It works like soft scrub, only better and without the nasty bleach. And it's really safe. I've used it on my car! It definitely won't hurt your pot, and I've seen it clean some really nasty messes.

www.shaklee.net/rkklemm

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.D.

answers from Chicago on

Fill the pot with water up to the point the point with the burnt sauce, then sprinkle some baking soda in and just let it sit awhile. It should come off no problem.
A.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.M.

answers from Chicago on

I love Bar Keeper's Friend but have never used it on nonstick surfaces. It works great on everything else so I would give it a cautious try.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.S.

answers from Chicago on

Hi J.,

As stated many times, boiling water with a little soap in the pot will work, however, while it is boiling use a spatula to remove some of the burnt on stuff by scraping the bottom with it....my kids & husband love to "cook" and this has worked for me several times :). Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.T.

answers from Chicago on

boiling plain water often is enough to clean up burnt on food....but if this fails check with the manufacturer of your pans.... I have REVERE ware and they told me to use EASYOFF and it worked great but did take several applications. I don't blame you for wanting to go toxin free....but the weather is warming and you may be able to handle the products outside.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.O.

answers from Champaign on

Have you tried filling the pot with water, a little soap, warming it up a bit (on the stove) and letting it soak? I would probably soak overnight.

Good luck.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.P.

answers from Chicago on

BAR KEEPERS FRIEND!!
It is a powder that is like comet but works GREAT on many other things! You can buy it at Jewel by the cleaning stuff. There is also a liquid for but I like the powder much better. I kind of make a watered down paste and use a brush or scrubber sponge and it will come right off!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.F.

answers from Chicago on

Okay, it is not all natural, but it works. Dawn makes a spray cleaner. I have not used it on no stick but my mother in law has. Check the label before using it. No fumes at all.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.P.

answers from Chicago on

i have really nice nonstick pans too - the manufacturer recommends baking soda. we use it and never have problems with scratching. i also think it helps to make the pans less sticky each time you use them

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.K.

answers from Chicago on

This may sound crazy, but I'd put some dish soap in there and fill it to the brim with water then set it on the stove to boil - it loosens the burnt-on stuff. Then you can take your scrubby to it - they have ones safe for nonstick items and have a go at it - FlyLady (www.flylady.net) has a great tool she calls the rubba scrubba that is fantastic for lost causes. If all that fails, Barkeeper's friend is a great tool to keep around, they have a liquid form that would be great for this kind of thing. If you're worried about having chemicals in it, just wash it again when you're done or run it through the dishwasher to get the residue out. I've had to use it for my copper pot and it came out just fine.

Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.M.

answers from Chicago on

Fill the pot with water and add some dish soap. Then put the pot on the stove and bring to a boil. Once boiling remove from the heat and let it soak and then clean.

M.F.

answers from Springfield on

All Natural Solution!

Try pouring some baking soda into the bottom of the pan (its cheap...use at least half a box) Then pour in vinegar until it reaches the burn line. Let it sit overnight. Check the burn stuff in the morning, if it is still hangin on, let it sit all day. It should just come right off after overnight, but I have had them before where it took about a day and a half.
Mixing baking soda with dish soap makes a good scouring powder, but I don't think you want that here, just let it sit and do the work!

Good Luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.S.

answers from Springfield on

You mention it's expensive pan. Well the ammonia is amazing fix. Put the pan in a garbage bag on top of another bag so ammonia won't touch your pan. Put the bag outside and pour some ammonia at the bottom of the bag and tie the bag shut. Leave it there in the sun while you are busy for the day. Retrieve the pan from the bag later and the burnt mess will wipe right off. The fumes actually do the work for you. I have done this with my non-stick broiler pan and it is as if I bought a new pan. Learned this from a cleaning lady.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.D.

answers from Chicago on

i had this happen once, and all i did was fill it up about half way or so and boiled water in it, occasionally using a wood spoon to help it come up off of the bottom of the pot. It actually worked. Good Luck

K.L.

answers from Chicago on

Try boiling some water in the pot to loosen the burnt on stuff! That is what I do and it works great!
Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.J.

answers from Chicago on

What I usually do is to fill the pot with very soapy water and bring it to a boil. Then I let it simmer on very, very low heat for one or more hours. Then I dump out the soapy water and scrub the burned part with a plastic scrubber. Most or all of it should come off, but if not, I fill it with very soapy water again, bring it to a boil, and then let it simmer on very, very low heat for one or more hours again. After a couple of treatments like this, the entire burn usually comes off. The trick is to NOT forget it and let it boil dry again during this process. :-)
Best wishes,
J.

N.C.

answers from Rockford on

Everyone has the same idea!! Boiling water in the pan...I have also read to add a little dish detergent as it boils and boil for about 20 minutes...loosens that stuf up ( have done this my self and works well.) I would be careful using anything too abrasive or w/ too much chemical unless the set specifies it can be used (especially if it is so expensive) Some kitchen ware is not made for harsh chemicals...check your paperwork on it first, if the dish soap does not work, and you need to resort to something stronger.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.A.

answers from Chicago on

Did you try adding water to the pot and then letting it simmer slowly for a bit?

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.K.

answers from Chicago on

Try putting water in the pot & putting it on a burner to simmer. It should soften the burnt on stuff. Keep an eye on it so the water doesn't cook off.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.M.

answers from Chicago on

Put about an inch of water in pot, bring to a boil, then scrape the bits off.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.J.

answers from Chicago on

Try filling your pan with water and add a fabric softener sheet and let it sit overnight. I was amazed how well this worked for me! :) I love BarKeepers Friend, but I don't use it on the non-stick surfaces. Good luck!

D.V.

answers from Chicago on

go to: www.eco-logicalnews.com Read her give away, and then fill in the comment area, she will "give" you an amazing product. She'll send you an email and then you reply and send her your name and address. It is FREE and it is organic, safe, non-toxic and you won't believe how it works.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.S.

answers from Chicago on

I usually Soak powdered dishwasher soap overnite. If you usually wash it in a dishwasher this should be safe.

A.H.

answers from Chicago on

I didn't read the rest, but boil water and add baking soda then let it sit for a while, and the best one I know is to boil water, turn it off and add a fabric softener sheet to it and let it sit over night. Always works for me, and my daughter is a "food burner".

R.H.

answers from Chicago on

Old fashioned and easy...
Put water in the pot covering all the stuck on food, add a squirt of dish soap (I use Palmolive, Use what you have) Put heat on low till starts to boil, turn off, let cool til the point that you are comfortable to put your hand in the water, should come off with minimal scrubbing, if not repeat with clean water and more dish soap.
Good Luck...

S.B.

answers from Chicago on

One year we made toffee in my sister's calphalon pan. It was non stick so we thought 'no problem!'. Well, it stuck and was burnt on. We tried the traditional 'put water on it and heat it until it bubbles and try to get the stuck on food off' and it didn't work.

We gave it to my future hubby to work on - figured it was a goner anyways....and a week later the pan was looking great! We thanked FH and forgot about it until my sister burnt another something into her calphalon pans. We asked (now the actual hubby) how he got it clean and here was his answer.

he took a razor - the kind that is about 2 inches long and used to go into the old fashioned re-useable razors and painstakingly used the sharp razor to lift off the burnt on part. It works - when things are really stuck that is what we use on all manner of pots.

hth

Susan

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.M.

answers from Peoria on

I would try to use a mixer of bakeing soda and vinger

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.W.

answers from Chicago on

I fill mostly up with water then put it on the stove to boil for a little, you will start to see parts coming off and thats when you let it go for a little bit longer then empty it and clean it right away...use a mr clean magic earser and it helps with out scratching,,,i cook alot and bake alot and with kids in and out of my house all the time i burn things here and there.....good luck hope this works for you it is all i have ever done....I have had the same pots and pans for many years now and they still look like new....

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.W.

answers from Chicago on

This always worked for me, fill the pot up with water and soap and bring to a boil. Start washing out the pot as soon as it is cool enough to touch. the mess should come right out. If this doesn't work, I'd throw it away. Good Luck!!!

Next question: Burnt Bottom of a Pan/pot