Housewives are commonly heard complaining about how difficult it is to get rid of burned-off food from pans and pots. Here are some simple tips to help you avoid the long hours of scrubbing, and remove the burnt stains from cookware effectively.
You know you need some tips if you can relate to this.
“I’m not saying my wife’s a bad cook, but she uses a smoke alarm as a timer.”
The food is nearly cooked, and suddenly you turn around and find your toddler has soiled her pants. You rush to change, assuming it will just take a second. Unfortunately, when you return several minutes later after changing her pants, calming her temper tantrums, and giving her all the toys she “needs”, you find that your food has completely got burned. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? After all, we all have had accidents in the kitchen where we are left with charred food and horrible burnt stains on the cookware. While you may not be able to rescue the charred food, you can try salvaging and getting the stains off the badly burnt pot.
You may cringe at the sight of the burnt stains on the cookware while imagining yourself standing long hours scrubbing and scraping away at the burnt food in the pots and pans. However, removing burned-on food from pots and pans is not really difficult, if you know these easy quick-fix methods.
Ways to Remove Burnt Stains from Cookware
Using Dishwashing Liquid
◎ If you find your food burning, remove it from heat immediately. Wait till it has cooled down. Do not pour water at this point as the temperature shock can damage the vessel. Scrape and wash away as much burnt food as you can from the pan.
◎ Now, fill the pan with water. Add two to three tablespoons of dishwashing liquid.
◎ Place the pan on the stove, and bring the water to a boil. Turn down the heat, and allow the water to simmer for five to six minutes.
◎ Turn off the heat, remove the pot from the heat, and cover it.
◎ Let the burnt pot soak in water for an hour, or best, leave it overnight.
◎ Spill out the water, and wash with some dishwashing liquid and scouring pad. The charred stains should come off quite easily now. For stubborn stains, you might have to repeat the process again. You can also try adding a tablespoon of bleach to remove the tough stains from the burnt cookware.
Using Lemon and Salt
◎ Instead of the dishwashing liquid, you can use lemon and salt to clean the burnt stains from the cookware. The acid from the lemon and the abrasiveness of the salt help in scouring the stains off the cookware.
◎ Fill the burnt area with water.
◎ Place a lemon, and add some salt to the water. Boil the water for some time.
◎ Leave the cookware soaked in water overnight. Dispose off the water in the morning, and scrub off the stains with a scouring pad or plastic mesh scrubber.
Using Baking Soda
◎ Take the burnt pan or pot off the stove.
◎ Add three tablespoons of baking soda to the burnt areas of the pan. Add a little water to make a thick paste that coats the pan.
◎ Let the baking soda paste remain for four to five hours. Rinse off the cookware in the morning, and scrape off the stains with a scrubber.
◎ Vinegar has acetic acid which is excellent for removing tough stains from the cookware.
◎ Pour some vinegar on a dishcloth. Lay it on top of the burnt food in the pot for an hour.
◎ Wash off as usual.
◎ You can also add equal parts of vinegar and water to the pan, and boil it for some time. Allow the pan to soak in the solution for an hour before washing and scrubbing it.
Other Methods for Removing Burnt Stains
♦ The acidity in your cola drinks is great for removing the stubborn stains. All you need to do is pour some into the burnt pan, simmer for some time, and after half an hour, clean as usual.
♦ Make a mixture of water and cream of tartar, and slather it on the burnt pan. Leave it overnight before washing off the stains. The potassium hydroxide and tartaric acid in cream of tartar remove stains quite easily.
♦ Some people also recommend using tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes to clean the burnt stains. The acidity in the tomatoes helps in clearing the burnt food in the pot.
♦ A solution of lemon peel and rhubarb helps in cleaning the stains on aluminum cookware and makes the discolored cookware look bright and shiny.
♦ For stainless steel pots and pans, you can use an all-purpose cleaner, like the Bar Keepers Friend which has oxalic acid that helps in stain removal.
Dos and Don’ts When Removing Burnt Stains from Cookware
✔ When you notice the burnt food stains, soak the vessel immediately. The longer you let the burned food remain, the harder it is to remove.
✔ Avoid using steel wool or abrasive scrubbers on non-stick cookware and polished metal.
✔ If you are removing the stains from aluminum pans or pots using baking soda, do not leave the baking soda on for more than an hour as it can cause pitting and dark spots on the cookware.
✔ Bleach and ammonia should never be used for cleaning stainless steel cookware as it can destroy the finish.
With these simple tips, you can now take the dread out of dealing with burnt stains on cookware. Moreover, these cleaning tips are cheap, non-toxic, and best of all, really effective in getting the stubborn stains off.