How to Clean Burnt Oil From a Stainless Steel Pan

Written by corey m. mackenzie
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You can burn oil in your stainless steel pan, even if you try to be careful. Burnt oil leaves a dark stain on the pan that may seem impossible to get out. Before you consider tossing the pan in the garbage, realise that you should be able to get this stain out and make it look almost new again. You won't need supplies other than what are probably already in your kitchen or available at a grocery store.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Dish detergent
  • Rubber or plastic spatula
  • Baking soda
  • Nylon scrubbing sponge

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  1. 1

    Place the stainless steel pan in your kitchen sink. Pour three tbsp of dish detergent into the pan and then fill the sink with hot water.

  2. 2

    Let the pan soak for half an hour. Gently scrape the burnt area with a plastic or rubber spatula to see if the residue begins to slough off the pan. If it doesn't, drain some of the water, add more hot water and another tablespoon of dish detergent and let it soak for another half-hour.

  3. 3

    Sprinkle baking soda on your nylon scrubbing sponge. You'll need at least a teaspoon of baking soda, but you can add more if you wish.

  4. 4

    Scrub the burnt oil stain on the pan with the scrubber and baking soda. It should come off easily now.

  5. 5

    Drain the water from the sink and inspect the pan. You may need to scrub it again with the sponge and baking soda. After, rinse with warm water and buff it dry with a dish towel.

Tips and warnings

  • If the burnt oil does not come off easily after an hour of soaking, let the pan soak in soapy water overnight.
  • Do not use abrasive scrapers or steel wool and similar metal scrubbers on stainless steel pans. According to, these can cause minute scratches in the steel, inviting rust.

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