If You Want to (Safely) Clean Your Pan, but the Grease Is Still Hot, Try This

published Mar 27, 2023
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Cooking Pan with Hot Frying Oil
Credit: GMVozd / Getty Images

You just fried up some bacon for breakfast and need to run out the door to drop the kids off at school. Or maybe it’s a lazy Sunday morning and you don’t want the smell of hot grease competing with your favorite candle and ruining the ambience. Perhaps it’s just the end of a particularly long day and you just can’t let that oil sit in the pan for a second longer because it’s time to shut that kitchen down. Good news: I just discovered a useful and easy solution to cleaning a pan that still has hot grease in it. (Of course, all thanks to TikTok.)

A homemaker mom on TikTok recently shared an ingenious trick she uses to safely remove hot grease out of a pan or pot that she needs to clean. The best part? You probably already have everything you’ll need to try it. Take a look.

Yes, it appears that it’s really as simple as that. Just sprinkle a generous portion of baking soda (about 1/2 cup to 1 cup) onto the grease, let it sit for a few minutes, mix it a bit, and then you’ll be able to scoop the gravy-like grease mixture right out of the pan and into a bowl. Scientifically speaking, the reason this hack works is because baking soda releases carbon dioxide when heated, which is why it can even be used to put out small grease fires. The carbon dioxide displaces oxygen (which fire relies on) and therefore is able to extinguish a fire. Let your freshly scooped grease sit until you’re ready to properly dispose of it. Remember, don’t let the grease — hot or not — go down your drain, or you’ll risk major damage to your drain pipes and garbage disposal. Instead you can throw it away once it’s cooled, recycle it locally, or even save it for any future cooking needs.

As always, remember to be extremely careful when working with hot grease. Once your pan has cooled and is free of the grease and baking soda, it’s ready to be wiped down or washed in the sink just as you normally would. Who knew it could be so easy?