How do I clean a burnt-on pot?

How do I clean a burnt-on pot?
It takes approx. 4 minutes to read this article

A little kitchen disaster can happen to any of us. The pot is on the burner, a child’s conflict needs to be resolved, the laundry has just run out..

Sometimes it only takes a moment for a black layer to appear on the bottom of the pot, and the cooked food can only be thrown away. But do we have to say goodbye to the pot too?

Store-bought detergents

Chances are, while shopping in the home detergent section, you’ve come across a product for cleaning burnt pots and pans. There are more and more of them on the market, but is it really necessary to use them? Of course, it may turn out to be a bit faster, but certainly not more effective than home remedies

Why? Carefully reading the composition of such specifics, you will find that most of them are based on what you can find in your kitchen. On baking soda.

Baking soda

Use baking soda to clean pots made of stainless steel, ceramic, cast iron and enamel. If you have damaged an aluminum pot, definitely do not use baking soda to clean it! You may end up destroying the cookware

Cleaning pots with baking soda is really easy. Just put a couple of tablespoons of baking soda (two to four tablespoons, depending on how big the pot is and how bad the surface is) on the burnt-on bottom, and then carefully add water.

The consistency should not be too watery, but rather solid enough to hold onto the burnt sides as well. After a few hours, you can wash out the pot with a sponge or brush. In case of particularly severe stains, you may boil the solution thus prepared.

Citric acid

Did you know that citric acid, in addition to its cleaning properties (e.g. it works perfectly on limescale in the kettle), also has shining properties? For example, it is perfect for use in a dishwasher instead of a rinse aid

You can also use citric acid to remove burn marks in a very simple way. Simply fill a packet of citric acid with hot water, then boil it and let it cool down. The burnt bits should stand on their own, and to clean the pot completely, wash it in the standard way.

Rock salt

Rock salt will come to your rescue if you have a burnt aluminum pot. It is also great for cast iron or stainless steel pots, but it is used most often to clean aluminum

To clean such a pot, pour three cups of water over a glass of salt and let it stand for a few hours (ideally six or more). Later, simply rinse the pot of salt and wash it with an ordinary sponge

In situations where you want to get rid of the burn quickly, you can use the dry cooking salt cleaning method. Put a cup of salt in the bottom of the burnt pot and then scrub it with a sponge or brush until the burn is gone. This method is only recommended for cast iron cookware!

Spirit vinegar

Another homemade method that works great especially for stainless steel pots is to use spirit or wine vinegar. The latter is, of course, more expensive, so it is less cost-effective to use it to clean the burn. However, their properties are no different.

Boil a solution of vinegar and water in the burnt pot, then set it aside for about eight hours. The burnt-on layer should be able to stand up from the bottom, or peel it off with a wooden spatula (it can be the handle of a wooden spoon!). After getting rid of the dirt, wash the pot thoroughly with a sponge or brush.


Have you ever heard of this method? Coca-cola is not only great for a stomach ache, but it also has brilliant cleaning properties! However, don’t use it if you have burned an enamel or aluminum pot.

The method for cleaning a burnt pot is really simple. Just pour enough baking soda to completely cover the burned stains, and then cook for fifteen minutes on low heat. During this time, check to see if the layer of burn begins to fall off, all the while gently prying it up.

Main photo: Michal Balog/

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