How to Clean a Burned Pot

03/20/2013. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.


So the other night I was cooking a very late dinner of eggs and toast and I got distracted with the doorbell, the kids, the phone, the dog… really it was like a comedy sketch for about 20 minutes at Casa de My Frugal Adventures.

Needless to say the eggs paid the price for my distraction and I really did a number on my pan. Whenever I burn things or I have a super dirty situation to deal with, my solution is to dump baking soda on it.

So I did that and after much scrubbing it was clear I needed to step up my game if I wanted to save the pot.  So it dawned on me to add a little vinegar and see what happens.  After all that is basically how I clean the rest of the house- vinegar + baking soda is magic.

Did that and after a tiny bit of fizzing I started back with my scrubby sponge and I couldn’t believe how quickly and easily the pot cleaned up!!

Like magic.

So today just because I love you all so much, I decided to burn another egg to show you how awesome this is.

Now that you made a mess of that, just dump on some baking soda.  I don’t think exact measurements are needed- just coat the surface of the pot with your baking soda.

Next add your vinegar- just a bit maybe 3 tablespoons per cup of baking soda.  I drizzled it right from the container and note it will fizz up so be ready for that.

And then I took my Scotch Brite sponge and gave it a good scrub (you might let it sit a bit- I did not let it sit at all).  I didn’t need to put too much elbow grease in and you can see at the very top the immediate difference with just a few swipes.

And shut the front door!  Here it is after a tiny bit of scrubbing!  Almost perfect really.  There are a few tiny stubborn spots on the side but overall this looks about 100% better now.

Now- who wants an Omelette?

If you give this a shot let me know how it works for you!

And just to prove vinegar is magic, check out these other DIY recipes:


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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica March 20, 2013 at 4:09 PM

I think it’s hilarious that you burned the pot again just to show us……that’s dedication! Lol

Charlene March 20, 2013 at 7:09 PM

Lol Jessica my kids knew Mommy is a little batty but now they are convinced I have lost it ;).

Tatyana March 20, 2013 at 9:36 PM

Do you let the pot to cool down before adding soda?

Charlene March 20, 2013 at 9:59 PM

Um.. Tatyana I would let it cool a bit. You don’t want to make a bad situation worse by burning your hand to match your pot ;).

Julie Schmidt March 21, 2013 at 4:37 AM

Wow Charlene! What great timing, after dinner last night my husband did the dishes & scrubbed at my burnt-on grease pan. I was impressed by how much he got off but it’s definitely not all gone. I’m going to try that today! Thanks:)

Michelle March 21, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Thanks! Will try this. Same situation happens to me sometimes too. :-)

Katie March 21, 2013 at 1:51 PM

“So today just because I love you all so much”…LOL!!! You’re so sweet. We feel the love! I really like the bling by the “All Clean”. I am SO trying this. Thank you!

jessica March 21, 2013 at 9:28 PM

Thank you so much for this post!!! My husband bought me a brand new set of really nice pots and pans two years ago for Christmas and within a month I scorched white sauce in one of the larger parts so badly that nothing I tried would clean it. I got so frustrated that I am ashamed to say I stuck the thing in the back of a cabinet until I could figure something else to try. After reading your post I drug the pot out, and after two batches of the mixture and 30 minutes of scrubbing I am amazed to say it is impossible to tell that it was ever scorched!

Charlene March 21, 2013 at 9:53 PM

Jessica I am so glad! I am sorry you had to scrub for 30 minutes but hey- you worked the calories off from that white sauce right :D

Endcapps March 22, 2013 at 7:04 AM

Worked Great! I dug out my scorched pot from the trash pile … now it looks better-than-brand new! Charlene saves me more money in so many ways! :)

Note: I noticed my pot required longer scrubbing & I believe that was caused by my repeatedly running the pot thru’ hot dishwasher cycle in a (hopeless) effort to remove the scorch …

Lesson Learned: The heat of the dishwasher actually seals-in the scorch mark, so do NOT put in dishwasher — use the vinegar + baking soda only.

Alyssa April 5, 2013 at 5:19 PM

SO TIMELY!!! I was trying to make popcorn last night “the old fashioned way” with oil in the bottom of the pot and got distracted by email. Unfortunately, I used most of my baking soda putting out the smoking grease blaze, but I have been steadily working on the pot today. Will keep at it!
Thanks for your site. I read it every day!

PS – Have any tips about making popcorn WITHOUT an air popper? :)

Charlene April 5, 2013 at 10:40 PM

Alyssa, yes open the microwave and put the bag inside :D. Just kidding. I have actually read that you can do real popcorn in coconut oil in a pan and I have been meaning to try it. I’ll post what I find.

Toni September 7, 2013 at 8:40 AM

First, Let me tell you how much I am intrigued by your site! Good Work!
I found this ‘recipe’ and decided to try it, on a mess I created… I let the water boil out of a Stock Pot…

Using the method described above did little to nothing to help ‘restore’ my pot to its former condition. Can you think of anything else I might try?

PS.. I also just tried your car cleaner and LOVE it!! :)

Melissa February 27, 2014 at 8:30 PM

I too have a popcorn scorched pot and as soon as I buy some baking soda (tomorrow, of course) I am going to try this!! Thanks for the tip!!

Charlene February 28, 2014 at 9:13 AM

melissa be sure to come back and let me know how it works for you :)

Bandy June 22, 2014 at 7:27 PM

Thank you for for this! Burnt potatoes – But Good!

I let the pot cool completely, removed the potatoes and rinsed the pot first. Then coated it with the Baking Soda and added the vinegar.

Then I went to work. Most came off, but something like a scar remained in a few spots. Washed, dried and cooked spaghetti sauce in it! This helped too!
Thanks again!!

Maxine Duthie August 23, 2014 at 1:42 AM

Yes, but what if you have non-stick pans & cannot scrub them?

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