Help! How Do I Get This Pot Clean?

I had a cold a few weeks ago and my nose was completely stuffed up one of the days. I was cooking up a big pot of something that day and got busy working on something else in the kitchen while it was simmering.

About 30 minutes later, Jesse arrived home from work and about choked when he walked in the door. He gave me a funny look and then looked at the stove and gasped, “How can you not smell that awful burning smell?!”

Then we both started laughing because we realized that I couldn’t smell a thing. Which was good — since the kitchen now reeked of burnt smell. But it would have never smelled like that had I been able to smell since my nose would have alerted me quite awhile before to turn the burner off. :)

At any rate, we aired the house out and have been working on trying to redeem the burned pot ever since. We’ve soaked it, scrubbed it, scraped it, run it through the dishwasher, and soaked it some more.

And it’s still a mess.

Anyone have some amazing tricks and tips for getting stubborn burned-on gunk off a pot? Let me in on your secrets in the comments and you’ll be my hero. :) Thanks so much!

Share This:

Subscribe for free email updates from Money Saving Mom® and get my Guide to Freezer Cooking for free!

Read Newer Post
Read Older Post


  1. Marlene says

    I found this a long time ago….no harsh chemicals. Sprinkle some cream of tartar add white vinegar to make a paste. Cover completely with the paste and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Wash with soap and water. Works great for the grill on the BBQ. If its really burnt on you may still need to use an SOS pad .

  2. Rain says

    White vinegar, works every time. I have had thick scalded cream soup on a stainless steel pan, put vinegar in and let soak overnight and the scald came off in one piece.

  3. J says

    You might be able to scrape it off with a razor blade (the one sided kind.) The blade gets under the crud and takes it off easily. I do this all the time and it works like a charm. Any residual gunk will come off with a scrubbie or steel wool.

  4. jessica says

    i had this happen… soaked a few times in vinegar (heated it to loosen but don’nt know if that helps) and then scraped. I had to do a few rounds of it but i think it worked better than water. :)

  5. Vicky C. says

    Crystal – This happened to me. I found on the Internet…you warm Dawn (I like the blue for cleaning) in water on the stove and let it sit for an hour. I didn’t actually wait this long. Then I took an SOS pad and gently scrubbed. Came right off. Good luck!

  6. says

    I use baking soda. I DO NOT scrub it. I boil HOT water and pour over the baking soda and let it sit. Then, I rinse it out and wash with a wash cloth.

  7. maxine brooks says

    try sprinklin salt in the bottom and cut a potatoe in half and start scrubbing, add more salt as needed…..hope it works

  8. Cheryl S. of Oregon says

    Add a couple of inches of hot water then drop in a fabric softener sheet and let soak over night. I’ve never had a burned-on mess that I haven’t been able to clean up using this method. My sister-in-law shared this with me years ago when she saw me struggling to clean a pan. I think of her every time I do this!

  9. KC says

    I actually use those hotel soaps that you get. I cut them up into little tiny pieces and melt them down in the pot, along with a bunch of water. After the soap is melted, let it simmer in the pot for a few minutes and then use a scrubby to wipe it completely clean. Gets it clean and shiny every time. And it’s FREE!

    • says

      I had this happen recently and nothing worked! I tried baking soda, vinegar, boiling water, etc. I finally just pulled out a razor blade and gently scraped and it came off. The pan isn’t scratched up either.

  10. gina says

    Vinegar! It works best if you let it sit on the burned stuff for a while, then with minimal elbow grease it will come off. I just love vinegar–I am currently using it to battle the dandelions in my lawn instead of using some super toxic weed killer!!!

  11. Melissa says

    Bar Keepers friend is great! It was recommended to us to clean our pots, and I’ve had worse burnt of gunk than that come off. Sometimes it does take 2 overnight soaks, but it works!

  12. Tyla says

    Put half a cup of baking soda in the pot and fill it half full with water. Bring it to boil and let it boil for awhile, adding extra water as needed. It’s worked for me several times.

Money Saving Mom® Comment Policy

We love comments from readers, so chime in with your thoughts below! We do our best to keep this blog upbeat and encouraging, so please keep your comments cordial and kind. Read more information on our comment policy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>