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6 ways to clean burnt pots and pans: From bi-carb soda to dryer sheets and more

6 ways to clean burnt pots and pans: From bi-carb soda to dryer sheets and more

Cleaning the kitchen can be tedious enough without realising the bottom of your pots and pans are covered in burnt muck.

Whether it's the inside or outside of your cookware that's black and sticky, often our attempts to clean burnt food and marks result in more damage to the pots and pans, and that's if it comes off at all.

Unless you have a few clever hacks up your sleeve that is.

READ MORE: How handwashing and the dishwasher compare for water, energy and hygiene

From boiling water to dishwasher tablets and dryer sheets, there are plenty of successful methods for restoring burnt pots and pans to their former glory.

Here are six different options to choose from:

Baking (Bi-carb) Soda

How could any cleaning list be complete without baking soda? It really is a wonder product with so many uses around the house, including helping to clean burnt pots and pans.

Plus bi-carb soda (the Aussie name for baking soda) is super cheap and can be found at Coles and Woolworths for as little as $1.80 for 500g. It might already be hiding in your pantry.

READ MORE: Clever ways to clean your home with baking soda

There are a couple of ways you can use baking soda to remove the burnt residue from your cookware including on the stove top.

TikToker Colleen, who posts cooking videos and goes by the handle @colleenscooking, uses this method:

"Put just enough water to cover the bottom of your pot or pan and then sprinkle baking soda over top, coating it pretty much completely just so the whole bottom of the pan is coated," she explained in her video tutorial.

"Put it on the stove and bring it to a simmer. Watch the pot, simmer it for 30 to 60 seconds just until most of the water is evaporated and then carefully (because your pot is going to be hot) scrub it clean — it'll come right off. If you have bits left over do it a second time."

READ MORE: I tried a 50 cent cleaning hack to bring my burnt pans back to life

If you'd prefer not to turn the stove on to clean your pan, there is another option. Caroline from the TikTok page @neat.caroline uses a combination of baking soda and lemon juice to clean her pan.

After running it under the tap with hot water to "release some of those burnt bits", she sprinkles baking soda liberally on the remaining residue before adding her "secret weapon".

"A lemon releases [carbon dioxide] and helps break down grease,' Caroline said while squeezing half a fresh lemon onto the baking soda.

After letting it sit for 10 minutes, Caroline uses a sponge to wipe away the mixture before rinsing.

6 ways to clean burnt pots and pans: From bi-carb soda to dryer sheets and more

"Crisis averted. That's how you rescue a burnt pan," she said.

Dishwasher tablets

It turns out dishwasher tablets can clean things other than what you put in the dishwasher. Many people have shared their success with using the product to clean pots and pans on social media, and there are a few ways they've gone about it.

Firstly you could try the overnight soak, which one mum tried and told the Mums Who Clean Facebook group about.

"Dropped a dishwashing tablet on overnight with about 2cm of water. This morning I just emptied and literally wiped away with absolutely no force and good as new," she said.

If you don't want to wait that long, you can try using the dishwashing tablet and boiling water method and you apparently won't even need to scrub.

Or you can wet the dishwashing tablet and scrub the pan, let it sit with the dishwasher tablet residue for 10 minutes and then wash as normal.

Dryer sheets

Another cleaning product used for a different purpose, dryer sheets are believed to have the same effect on burnt food as they do on fabric: they soften it making the pan easier to clean.

Since dryer sheets aren't actually that great for your clothes, you might as well find another way to use up the stash you have at home with this hack.

Armen Adamjan, who goes by the name creative_explained on TikTok, shared his dryer sheet method on the video sharing platform. It has since been viewed almost 300,000 times.

The best part about this hack is it involves no scrubbing. All you need to do is add some water to the pan and a squirt of dish soap before laying a couple of dryer sheets on top.

"An hour later check it out, boom, comes right off, crazy. No more scrubbing," Adamjan said.

Boil water

You might not even have to bother with cleaning products to clean the burnt food from the bottom of a pan, because boiling water will actually do the trick quite well.

TikTok user Stephanie Booth uses this method herself. She starts by wiping off excess grease with a paper towel, then adds some water to the pan and pops it on the stove to bring to the boil.

Once the water is boiling, Steph scrapes the burnt food off the bottom of the pan with a plastic spatula. Then she takes the pot off the stove, tips out the dirty water and rinses the pot. You could also wash it as normal with dish soap at this point.

Dish soap and paper towels

If you just want to use hot water and not the stove you could try Carolina McCauley's hack. In a TikTok video she adds hot water to the burnt pot, a squirt of dish detergent and two sheets of paper towel on top.

After letting it sit for an hour you just tip out the dirty water and use the paper towels that were soaking in it to wipe any burnt bits still in the pan. Then wash as normal.

Bar Keeper's Friend Cleanser and Polish Powder

For those who prefer to reach for a product to clean their burnt cookware, TikTok user Julie Sousa showed how well Bar Keeper's Friend Cleanser and Polish Powder worked on her dirty pot.

She shared the process and results on her channel @the_avantegardehome.

"This thing is literally magic. I've been using this for a while and it makes everything look brand spanking new," she said.

Julie sprinkled it on the burnt residue and then scrubbed the pot with a wet sponge. She also took the opportunity to use the powder and water mix in the sink to give the whole sink a polish.

Bar Keeper's Friend Cleanser and Polish Powder can be found at Coles and Woolworths for $8.

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