Useful Tips for Cleaning Pots and Pans

Check out these 15 great tactics that will have your cooking tools sparkling and clean again in no time.

1. Vinegar and baking soda rinse

Would you prefer to clean your pots and pans right away, hopefully using things that you probably already have in your kitchen already? In that case, we’d suggest reaching for the baking soda you put in the door of your fridge to keep odours out and for the vinegar you bought last time you made fish and chips for your family! Apartment Therapy suggests using a combination of the two to clean scorch marks off the bottom of burnt pans by soaking the inside in a mix and then scrubbing.

2. Scrub grease off with half a potato

Have you always wondered whether or not there’s any truth to old wives tales like all the natural cleaning myths you’ve heard but you’ve never actually tried them out? Well, here’s one that we an actually confirm for you thanks to this tutorial from Healthy Food House! They suggest cleaning grease off the bottom and inside of a pan using a potato cut in half! The starch of the potato when it’s wet will help break down the grease so you can rinse it right off.

3. Steel wool, baking soda, and dish soap for burned food

Do you have a burned pan or pot so you were quite excited by the first option we showed you, only to be disappointed because you don’t have vinegar? Well, as long as you’ve got hot water, steel wool, dish soap, and the baking soda we mentioned, you’ve got basically everything you need! A hot soak with the baking soda and dish soap should work to lift the burned piece and the steel wool will help you scrub off whatever that doesn’t get. Check out the whole process in more detail on Preety’s Kitchen.

4. Boiling water and detergent for burnt pans

Are you still looking for different household items because you don’t have any of what we’ve mentioned so far and you’re okay with using non-food things so long as they’re effective and not harmful once you’ve washed the pan thoroughly? Then here’s one that’s just about invincible and made with laundry detergent! Find out why and how well the mixture of that and boiling water will cure the pan’s burn on DIY Cozy World.

5. Tips for natural scrubbing without scratching

Are you wary of all these idea that involve soaking and then scrubbing because you’re worried that scrubbing your expensive pants with something like steel wool will scratch them? Well, we can’t say we blame you; we’ve invested in rather expensive, good quality cookware as well and we’d hate to see if damaged just because didn’t explore all our cleaning options and take proper care of it! We’re also wary of using chemicals on anything that comes near our food, so this tips and tricks resource from Natural Green Mom was like a gift when we realized our pots and pans really needed some TLC.

6. Boil lemons in a pot

Perhaps your pots have just gotten some regular marks and stains from natural wear and tear and, even though they’re not overly damaged or burnt, you’d still like to give them a good, thorough cleaning so you can begin your spring cooking with refreshed, renewed tools? Then we think you’re going to love this simple, natural antibacterial idea from Home Talk! Simply cut some lemons into section and boil them in the pot before you rinse and clean it. The whole house will smell good while you’re at it, which is always a perk!

7. Clean copper pots with salt and wine vinegar

When we first moved out on our own, we inherited a beautiful set of copper pots from our grandparents. They were already quite well loved when we got them and they’ve only been used more since then, so you can imagine that, even though they still work just find and are cleaned regularly, they weren’t necessarily looking their best. That’s why we were grateful to come across this idea from Get Cleaning Tips that literally made them look brand new! Salt and wine vinegar fixed them right up for us and now the copper sparkles like new.

8. Simple scrubbing tips without cleaners

We’ve already told you about the baking soda and vinegar tick, but we’re here to reiterate it because it’s worked so well for us so many times in the past! Besides telling you more about how and why that combination is effective, this post featured on Mom 4 Real gives you some extra scrubbing tips for how to effectively clean different types of pots and pans without damaging them and we think that’s worth bookmarking so you can refer back to it.

9. Clean stained enamel cookware with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide

When it comes to traditional, down home cooking, there’s nothing like enamel cookware to make your family the best meals possible. We know very well, however, just how stained, burned, and scratched those cooking pieces can get, especially if you’re using them all the time. Ours were very old and well used, so they were basically in a state that we were nearly ashamed of and we needed a fool proof way of bringing them back to life. Normally we wouldn’t like using things that aren’t natural or food based to clean our cookware but at this point, we were practically desperate! That’s why we were so happy to come across this enamel pan cleaning tutorial from In Bob I Trust. They show you how to mix that same old trusty baking soda with hydrogen peroxide to really get down to the nitty-gritty of stain lifting. We kid you not, by the end of it our cookware was sparkling like new, just like this photo!

10. Remove badly burned patches from enamel cookware with Bar Keeper’s Friend

Perhaps your enamel cookware isn’t actually that bad overall but you’ve just had small cooking mishap that lead to a badly burnt patch in the middle and you’re hesitant to simply go at it with the scrubbing brush because you really don’t want to scratch the enamel around it? In that case, we think you’d be better off giving this tutorial from Mommy Like Woah a try instead! They suggest a product call Barkeeper’s Friend (and give you some alternatives) and they also give you some useful tips and tricks for scratch-free scrubbing!

11. Clean burned bakeware with essential oils

Regular cooking at dinner time isn’t the only thing that marks up our kitchen tools to the point that they need a little refresher! We actually do a lot of baking as well and, even though we carefully clean our muffin tins after each batch of cupcakes, they’re certainly falling victim to wear and tear because we use them so much. Have we mentioned we really like cupcakes? That’s why we were so happy to find this lovely cleaning tutorial from Recipes With Essential Oils. They show you how to use a bit of fresh smelling essence of orange to clean sticky patches and burn marks off the muffin tin you love so much so its metal is clear and shining like new.

13. Remove tough burning on pots and pans with crumpled tinfoil

Perhaps you actually work in a restaurant or a kitchen making massive amounts of food for countless people each night, and you can’t help but notice that the dishwashers, despite their best efforts, are having trouble removing some of the worst of the burn marks from the cookware pieces that get the most use of everything in the kitchen? Then we think you’ll be intrigued by this tutorial from Home for 4 Sweet Home! They suggest using a piece of crumpled tinfoil to remove the really tough spots because it’s a little more hardy than brush bristles or sponge, but not so tough that it’ll scratch up the pan.

14. Clean cast iron pots and pans with shortening

Have you ever cooked with a brand new cast iron pan and felt that it has a sort of slippery, smooth surface that food just doesn’t stick to very badly? We actually adore using cast iron cookware, which is why we own a whole set. Over time, however, we find even these pans end up needing a little TLC because food will eventually start to stick or make marks and rough spots. Because the texture is different, however, some of the more classic cleaning techniques we’ve shown you aren’t necessarily the most effective, so we went on a hunt for other methods! That’s how we found this suggestion from Premeditated Leftovers for cleaning cast iron cookware with shortening and we’ve never looked back.

15. Remove burnt food marks with boiled fabric softener

Have you actually already tried a few things on our list when it comes to boiling and soaking different combinations of things in an attempt to remove burnt food, marks, and sticky spots from a pot but nothing has worked yet? Well, here’s another alternative for your consideration, and it’s one we’d definitely suggest trying before you give up and just keep cooking on top of the stains, cementing them into place! One Good Thing suggests filling the pot with water, submerging a fabric softener sheet in the water completely, and boiling it. The detergents in the softener sheet will loosen the burnt food and make it a total cinch to clean once you’ve emptied the pot after boiling!


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