How to clean a stainless steel pan that the water burned dry in

Updated February 21, 2017

Normally, it's easy to clean-up stainless steel cookware. That's one attribute it has that makes it so popular with cooks. But, sometimes accidents happen. You put water in a pan on the stove to make some pasta, and the water boiled dry. Now, your stainless steel pan is burnt, black and discoloured. At least you don't have a burnt food mess to clean out of the pan, but the discolouration is still unsightly. You can clean it off with a few household items you probably have on hand.

Fill up the stainless steel pan with just enough hot water to cover the burnt part.

Put three or four squirts of washing up liquid into the hot water to clean a stainless steel pan that has burn marks from water on the stove.

Pour a 60 g of bicarbonate of soda into the solution. Then, swish the washing up liquid and the soda around the water to dissolve them.

Let the pan sit undisturbed for 15 minutes. Then, pour the water out. Sprinkle additional water across the bottom. Add a dab of water to make a paste. Then, use a nylon scrubber to remove the loosened discolouration from the entire pan.

Rinse the burnt pan and inspect it. If it still has black marks, sprinkle additional bicarbonate of soda on the discolourations. Add a dab of water to make a paste. Scrub the pan clean with the nylon scrubber. Wash the pan once more with hot, soapy dish water. Rinse well, and dry.


Don't use abrasive cleansers or metal scrubbing pads on stainless steel. They will scratch the surface.

Things You'll Need

  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Washing up liquid
  • Nylon scrubber
  • Tea towel
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About the Author

Kayar Sprang has been a professional freelance writer and researcher since 1999. She has had articles published by clients like Kraft Foods, "Woman's Day" magazine and Mom Junction. Sprang specializes in subjects she has expertise in, including gardening and home improvement. She lives on and maintains a multi-acre farm.