How to Clean a Burnt Stainless Steel Saucepan

Updated February 21, 2017

It has happened to every cook that has spent any time in the kitchen. A stainless steel saucepan boils dry and the food inside burns and sticks stubbornly to the pan. Often, it seems the best thing you can do is throw the pan away, but there are ways to clean the saucepan and have it looking good and back to use once more. In most cases, cleaning the burnt saucepan will take less than an hour.

Fill the saucepan with hot water to a level above the burnt area.

Squirt approximately 1 tbsp of dish soap into the water.

Bring the water to a boil.

Use the wooden spoon to loosen the burnt debris particles from the pan as the water boils. This can take 15 to 20 minutes.

Drain the pot and wash using a steel wood soap pad to remove any remaining burnt debris on the pan.

Treat the pan as listed above.

Make a paste using equal parts of creme of tartar and vinegar. If you don't have creme of tartar, using baking soda and water instead.

Apply the paste to the burnt area and let the pot sit for 15 to 20 minutes.

Add several inches of water to the pan and bring to a boil a second time. Boil for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring with the wooden spoon to help loosen the burnt on debris.

Wash and scrub with a nylon kitchen scrubby to remove any remaining debris.


You can also use a metal (copper or stainless) kitchen scrubber to remove heavy burns but these will scratch the stainless steel.

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden spoon
  • Steel wool soap pad
  • Dish soap
  • Creme of tartar or baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Nylon kitchen scrubby
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author