Household Tip: How to Get Rid of Burnt Marks in Stainless Steel Pots and Pans

I’ve always had a problem with stainless steel pots and pans, and for some reason I’ve always had to deal with them when I am in the States.  In Malaysia, I’ve never ever gotten burnt marks and stains on my pots and pans, mainly because they aren’t stainless steel, but now in the US, since the hotel only provides us with stainless steel cookware, I’ve had to cook with them.

Just a few days ago, disaster struck (again) when I somehow left the pot too long over the burner and it resulted in a blackish-brownish burnt stain at the base of the pot.  I scrubbed and scrubbed but the burnt mark remained there, stubbornly refusing to budge.

A quick google search yielded an easy and fuss-free method to clean the stains, and since the “ingredients” used were available and cheap enough, I had to give it a shot.

You will need:

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Mesh dish scrubber
  • …and of course, your dirty and stained stainless steel pot/pan

How to do it:

  • Pour enough vinegar into the pot/pan to just cover the burnt stains.
  • Add about twice the amount of water, enough for the solution to boil for about 20 minutes without drying up.
  • Sprinkle some baking soda into this solution.  At this point the mixture will effervesce, due to the vinegar + baking soda reaction.
  • Put the pot/pan on the stove top and bring the solution to a boil.
  • Continue boiling for about 15-20 minutes, constantly checking that the liquid does not dry up.
  • Remove from the stove and pour away the solution.  If exceptionally dirty, the solution will be brownish.
  • While keeping the pot/pan still hot, pour a liberal amount of baking soda onto the stains to cover them.
  • Carefully, without burning yourself, use the mesh dish scrubber and scrub the remainder of the stains away.
  • Rinse off with water.

My first attempt can be considered a huge success!  Look at the same stained pot I just cleaned!

There are still some minor stains which I am confident I can remove in the next few rounds of cleaning, but I am really satisfied with the results.


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1 Response to Household Tip: How to Get Rid of Burnt Marks in Stainless Steel Pots and Pans

  1. beetrice says:

    Actually, you can get the same result by boiling carbonated soft drink – Sprite (or the cheapest equivalent you can find at your local supermarket) is easy enough, just pour it into the pot, boil and pour away. 🙂 It worked wonders on the grotty kettle and pots I had to work with at my student village in university!

    The Giddy Tigress says: Yay! Thank you for another excellent suggestion!

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