How to Remove Burnt Food From a Saucepan

Updated February 21, 2017

Cleaning burnt-on food from a saucepan sounds like a chore you may not look forward to doing, when actually, it only requires a little time and patience. A highly alkaline substance like baking soda neutralises the acidity of dirt and stains. This makes baking soda an effective cleaner as it easily lifts stains from surfaces. For your saucepan with burnt-on food, let the technique do all of the muscle work for you. Soon you will have a saucepan that looks shiny and clean once again.

Sprinkle baking soda in the saucepan, covering the surface of the burnt food. Fill the saucepan halfway with water and bring it to a boil.

Turn down the burner and let the water and baking soda simmer for 30 minutes.

Pour the hot water down the sink drain. Scrub your saucepan using a plastic scrub pad or scrub brush. The burnt-on food from the saucepan surface usually lifts up easily from the sides and bottom of the pan.

Repeat the steps above if the burn is stubborn and difficult to remove.

Sprinkle the burnt-on food with baking soda, covering the surface of the burnt food.

Fill the glass saucepan halfway with water. Add a tablespoon or two of lemon juice to the water and baking soda, to help cut any grease and leave your glass pan sparkling. Set your microwave for five minutes and cook.

Carefully pour the hot water down the sink drain. The burnt-on food in your glass saucepan should easily lift up. Wash the saucepan in soapy water with a dishwashing cloth and rinse.

Wipe out any spilt water in your microwave with a cloth or paper towel. Anything that happens to be stuck in your microwave should come right up.


Another way to remove burnt food is to fill the saucepan halfway with hot water, pour in a cup of white vinegar, and let it sit overnight. Pour out and clean the saucepan with a scrub brush or pad.


Never stick a metal saucepan in your microwave for cleaning--it will cause a fire. Throw out the burnt saucepan if it is made of Teflon. The Teflon coating is no longer effective after burning and will flake off into your food. Use baking soda to clean with, not baking powder.

Things You'll Need

  • Baking soda
  • Plastic scrub pad
  • Scrub brush (optional)
  • Lemon juice (optional)
  • Dishwashing cloth
  • Dish towels
  • Paper towels (optional)
  • Water
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About the Author

Chyrene Pendleton has been a business owner and newsletter editor for more than seven years. She is a freelance writer with over 25 years experience and teaches a variety of topics, including alternative health, hair care and metaphysics. Pendleton is a certified television show producer, radio talk-show host and producer, and a computer programmer with a bachelor's degree in computer science.