How to Clean Burnt Oil from Pans

burntoilpan

Dress asked: How do I clean olive oil that burned on the bottom of a large metal saucepan. An oil fire left a thin, black film, very like enamel paint, on the bottom of the pan. I tried oven cleaner, but it did nothing. Comet takes it off a little bit. Clorox did nothing.

Burnt on oil can attach itself to the pan in a permanent fashion. While it is possible to remove the oil, it will take time and effort. Prepare your work space with an area to soak the pan, a well ventilated area to work and plenty of clean water to wash and rinse it afterwards. Then get ready to tackle that nasty burnt on stain!

Baking Soda Method

You Will Need:

  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Scrubbing pad (SOS Pads work well)

Steps to Clean the Burnt Oil:

  1. Mix water and baking soda to make a paste.
  2. Spread the paste over the affected area and scrub with a scrubbing pad.
  3. Allow it to set until dry.
  4. Wash with soap and water and scrub it away.

Dishwasher Detergent Method

You Will Need:

  • Dishwasher detergent
  • Water
  • Large tub or basin
  • Scrubbing pad

Steps to Clean the Burnt Oil:

  1. Fill the tub or basin with hot water.
  2. Add a good amount of dishwasher detergent.
  3. Place the pan into the mixture and allow it to soak overnight.
  4. Scrub with a scrubbing pad the following day.
  5. Rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of the soap.

Chemical Cleaners

You Will Need:

  • Cleanser (pick one):
    • Bar Keeper’s Friend
    • Greased Lightening
    • Oven cleaner
  • Scrubbing pads (SOS pads or Brillo pads)
  • Water
  • Dish detergent
  • Rubber gloves
  • Goggles

Steps to Clean the Burnt Oil:

  1. There are many commercial products available that contain chemicals that will cut through the burnt on oil. Select one from the list above, or browse the cleaning aisles for additional options.
  2. Since these cleaners contain harsh chemicals, protect your hands and eyes with gloves and goggles. Work in a well ventilated area (outdoors is best).
  3. Apply the cleaning product to the surface of the burnt area.
  4. Scrub the area with a scrubbing pad.
  5. Allow the cleaner to remain on the surface for several hours to overnight.
  6. Scrub again with a scrubbing pad.
  7. Continue adding additional cleaner as needed and scrubbing/soaking.
  8. Once the burnt on grease is removed, clean the pan thoroughly with dish soap and water. Remove all traces of the chemical cleaners.
  9. Rinse the piece completely and allow it to dry.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are effective in removing tough, burnt-on stains. After the film is loosened with the above methods, the eraser will work well to scrub it away.
  • Vinegar is another acid that is environmentally friendly. Allow the affected area to soak overnight in the vinegar and scrub the following day. Mix it with dishwasher detergent for extra cleaning power.
  • If the pan is non-stick and coated with Teflon, extra caution will need to be taken. Soaking the piece in dishwasher detergent will ruin the coating and leave the pan useless.
  • Regardless of what option you choose, remember that it will take time for the product to work through the affected area. Allowing the burnt area to soak overnight will help. At a minimum, it needs to soak for 4-5 hours.

Comments

  1. Irene says:

    How do you clean glass kitchen oil bottles (olive oil, sunflower oil, etc.) Thanks.

  2. Kay says:

    Baking soda and scrubbing pads are TERRIBLE ways to clean pans! This will just scratch the heck out of the pans–which looks awful and also makes them much more prone to sticking later.

    Do NOT use abrasives on your cookware!

  3. Amy says:

    I used Bar Keepers Friend, a sponge and balled up tin foil, and my stainless steel pan came out looking just like new! I wouldn’t be able to do this on a non-stick pan, but I was very happy with the results!

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