How to Clean a Burnt Pot

Ever leave the macaroni and cheese on the stove too long? Forget about the marinara sauce while tending to the pasta? Needless to say, in the end you are left with a burnt mess at the bottom of your pot. While rolling up your sleeves and tackling the problem head on may seem like a job fit for Hercules, sometimes its easier to find simpler alternatives. Below are a few tips to make cleaning up a bit easier. If you are sensitive to certain cleaning agents, be sure to wear rubber gloves. Do not have young children handle any cleaning products and do not leave them unattended near the sink.

Scrape Before Soaking

Before you dump the burnt pot into the sink, scrape away the excess food with a knife or fork. Use a wooden spoon for Teflon pots. Be careful not to scratch the inside surface of the pot.

Soak overnight with baking soda and vinegar

Fill the burnt pot or pan with hot water, one tablespoon of baking soda and half a cup of vinegar and let it sit overnight. This should soften the burned remains and make scrubbing easier. In the morning, use the cleaning mixture in the pot to scrub.

Scrub Using Long Strokes

We all hate doing the dishes, there’s too much scrubbing involved. In order to cut your sink time short, try scrubbing with long strokes as opposed to short ones. You won’t tire out easily.

Bleach It

If after soaking the burnt residue remains, sprinkle household bleach, add a bit some water and boil the pot. Scrub with steel wool after the water has cooled sufficiently.

Use Coke

Notorious for its refreshing taste and witty commercials, Coke is also a very effective cleaning agent. Pour it inside the pot, let it soak and then try cleaning. This also works great on barbecue grills and caked on grease.

If all else fails, you may have to throw out the pot. You can always reuse the burnt pot as a flower or plant container. However, if it happens to be your favorite pot, you may have to repeat the above steps a few times before the pot is sufficiently clean. Needless to say, it won’t look brand new after the charred mess is removed, but at least it will be usable. Hopefully, the next time you’ll pay closer attention to the pot on the stove!

Betsy Cline

Betsy Cline has been a professional house cleaner for 15 years and also a mother of 4 amazing kids (who make lots of messes). She is the founder of How to Clean It and loves to share tips and advice for cleaning up anything life throws at you.

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