3 Unexpected Hacks That’ll Clean a Burnt Pan

updated Sep 23, 2019
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

Pesky, burned pans can seem like a lost cause. Like you can scrub and scrub and they’ll never come clean. But don’t throw the pot out with the dishwater! Before you give up hope on your scorched cookware, hear us out: Some of the internet hacks claiming to remove burned residue really do work. And the good news is, they’re not only quick and simple — they involve items you probably already have in your kitchen!

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

Here are three good tricks to remove all evidence of burning on your crusty pots and pans.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

1. Use a dryer sheet.

The premise of this one is simple. First, put a few drops of your normal dish soap in the pan, followed by a few inches of hot (but not scalding) water. Then, add a dryer sheet to the hot water (make sure to push it down so it’s totally submerged), and set a timer for an hour and let the water sit. Boom! All the burned parts should lift away when you dump the water. If not, try rinsing the pan with cold water afterward. 

Read more: This Unexpected Way to Clean a Burned Pan Is Ridiculously Simple

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

2. Boil dish soap and hydrogen peroxide.

What do you get when you cross dish soap and hydrogen peroxide? Hopefully, a burn-free pan! After putting the pot or pan on the stovetop, add a 1/2 inch of hydrogen peroxide and a few squirts of your normal dish soap. Set the stove to high, and allow the mixture to come to a rolling boil. Once it looks foamy, turn off the stove, letting the pan sit for 10 to 15 minutes, so the burned bits loosen. For extra strength, you can add a little bit of baking soda to the mixture. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

3. Scrub with a sugar cube.

Another unconventional method that actually makes perfect sense — the gentle abrasion of a sugar cube (almost like a tiny and sweet scrubbing sponge!) is all that’s needed to de-scorch. Just wet the surface of a burned section and scrub until the bits disappear, then repeat with a new sugar cube until the pan is good as new. Just keep in mind that, if you add too much water, the sugar will simply dissolve.

There are lots of other tricks for dealing with a burnt pan. Do you have a favorite? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!