Clean a Burnt Pan with Baking Soda (6 Easy Steps)

clean pan

If you have been cooking for a while, at some point, you dreaded the clean-up after. Especially removing burnt food from pans.

It can be a total nightmare but, with some good ol’ baking soda, it doesn’t have to be.

In this article, I’ll show you how I use dishwashing soap and baking soda to remove burned food bits from my pan.

What you’ll need:

4-6 Tablespoons Baking Soda
Dishwashing Soap
Scrub sponge

Steps on How to Use Baking Soda to Clean Burnt Pan:

1. Fill the pan about a quarter of the way with warm water.

baking soda and dirty pan

2. Pour in 2-5 tablespoons of baking soda and a few drops of dishwashing soap. Stir it a little bit to dilute the dishwashing soap.

add dishwashing soap

3. Let it sit for at least 20-30 minutes, depending on the hardness and thickness of the burnt bits of food. Sometimes I even leave it overnight for really stubborn stains.

4. Use the sponge to scape off the burnt food. By this time, it will be much easier to remove. Start gently to avoid scratching the surface of your pan. Use a circular motion focusing on the hard bits.

scrub pan

5. When you’re done scrubbing off the food bits, wash the pan with dishwashing soap and water. Make sure you wash off all the soap. If it still feels slippery, keep rinsing with water.

pan scrubbed clean

6. Dry your pan with a towel. Store in a clean and dry place.

For a Seriously Burned Pan, Use White Vinegar

If leaving the baking soda and soap solution on the pan overnight wasn’t enough to soften the burned food, use vinegar. Try these steps:

  1. Pour equal parts of water and vinegar to fill about 1/4 of the height of your pan. Make sure that it covers the entire bottom of the pan.
  2. Let it boil, then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. That should soften the burnt food.
  3. Remove the pan from the stove.
  4. Drain the pan.
  5. After that, add two tablespoons of baking soda directly to the burnt bits and start scrubbing. The low-abrasive nature of baking soda should help in scraping the food bits off.
  6. Rinse clean and dry.

I remember doing this to remove burnt fried rice from my pan. It worked like a charm.

Check The Manufacturer’s Guide of Your Pan

Always read the manufacturer’s guide before using DIY (do-it-yourself) methods to clean your pan. Baking soda is only mildly abrasive, but it’s better to be sure.

The non-stick coating of my pan got ruined because I used a rough scrubbing brush. I should’ve just soaked it in baking soda and dishwashing soap instead. Let this be a warning.


And that’s how I use baking soda to clean a burnt pan. It’s easy and works well for me.

Now I just need to learn how to be a better cook to avoid burning food again.

By the way, if you’re looking for other ways to use baking soda in the kitchen, here’s an article on how clean your fridge.

Share this article with your friends if it helped you.

Thank you for reading.

-Baking Soda Guy

Top Photo by Helinton Fantin on Unsplash