DIY - Burnt to Shiny Pot, How to

The Effortless Way to Clean...

Shutterstock / Julia Shamayaeva

Picture a day when you are in the kitchen, running around without much time to pay attention to the food cooking on your stove. We have all been there. The day it happened to me was much the same.

I had come home from a day full of classes starving, and I was itching for a meal. The only problem was that I only had an hour to cook, eat, and get dressed for a business event downtown. I remember pulling out my sister's grill pan and throwing the chicken on when the pan was too hot, the smell of burnt chicken and smoke already filling the air. Needless to say, I royally burnt what was once a beautiful chicken and a silver shiny pan. With no time to spare, I thought leaving the pan to soak until I got home would solve the problem. Spoiler alert: It did not.

Coming home that night, I tried to scrub the pan to no avail and proceeded to do a deep dive into the web. There are quite a few solutions to consider. After breaking down what my options were, I will share the one I like best. Looking at the internet, some of the strangest solutions I found were:

  • Ketchup - This method is less so for removing heavy burns and more so for creating a shine to a dull pot or pan. If you want a shiny pot or pan, spread a thin layer of ketchup on the surface, allow 15 minutes to pass, and then wipe off the ketchup and wash away!
  • Cream of Tartar - No, cream of tartar and tartar sauce are NOT the same thing. If you thought it was, I did to. This powder substance is an acidic byproduct from the production of wine. Your grandmother has probably used it to bake meringue pies, snicker-doodle cookies, and angel cakes. As a cleaning agent, it works as a substitute for baking soda. Mix a tablespoon in a cup of water, bring it to a boil, and then scrub away!
  • A Dryer Sheet - Apparently a dryer sheet is on duty outside of the laundry room. Using this method, soak a dryer sheet in the burnt pot or pan and let it sit for an hour. In the same way a dryer sheet softens clothes, it also softens the burnt bits and helps remove the grime to produce a beautifully shiny pot or pan.

After numerous techniques I found and modified one that worked. Here are the steps:

  1. Put dish soap into the pot or pan (the amount depends solely on how badly the burnt pan looks).
  2. Add water to the middle of the pot or pan's height.
  3. Bring to a boil.
  4. Slow to a simmer. Using a spatula, gently scrape at the burnt bits in  the pot or pan. The hot water and soap mixture should loosen these bits up so they start floating once they have been scraped at.
  5. After 15 minutes, take the pot or pan off the heat and wash as normal. The burnt bits should come right off.
  6. Sit back and enjoy the almost brand new pot or pan.

Of all the methods I found, the soap and water method is the least messy and requires the least amount of work. It also is easy to do as every household has soap and water, making it convenient and hassle-free.

I hope this helps someone in need of an easy fix, as it helped me in keeping my sister from finding out that I almost ruined her favorite pan for good.

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