Which Cleaning Agent Is Best For Removing Baked-on Food?

Which Cleaning Agent Is Best For Removing Baked-on Food

Cleaning up after cooking can be quite discouraging especially when we have to deal with baked-on food in our pots, pans, baking sheets, and other cookware.

When cooking, there is usually a tendency of making a mess. This especially occurs when grease is used in cooking. Which is about 85% of the time. We use some form of grease when baking, frying, sauteing, stewing, grilling, etc. Not to mention the fact that some animals tend to produce grease when being cooked.

Aside from the mess caused by cooking grease causing food particles to stick to the pot, another major cause of concern is dealing with the mess caused by burnt foods. Cleaning a burnt pot or pan can turn out to be a herculean task. No matter how hard you try, those stubborn stains

It can almost make kitchen lovers like me consider bypassing the idea of cooking and just settle for eating at the nearby restaurant. Which in no way compares to a home-cooked meal which is not only uniquely delicious but nutritious as well. And why won’t it be?

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We always ensure that the ingredients we use in preparing our meals are the best we can get plus the satisfaction and peace of mind we derive from knowing what went into the food and how it was prepared.

Cleaning off baked-on food from cookware can be quite annoying, but it is nothing compared to the delight of perceiving the aroma of freshly made food at home.

Cleaning off baked-on food is particularly challenging when we can’t seem to get the right products for getting rid of those stains. Chemical products come with a lot of promises but with the added risk of food poisoning and potential damage to the cookware. Steel wool is, of course, an option but it is also awfully harsh on non-stick pans.

Now, the question is “what cleaning agent best removes baked-on food?”


Generally, the best cleaning agents for removing baked-on foods are centered on the idea that heat plus abrasives can effectively do the trick. Surprisingly, the best cleaning agents are not as complex as we may think. They are simple solutions that are easily accessible and can be made from home.

Guess what? We use them every day in that very same kitchen without realizing that they are more useful than we give them credit for.

Listed below are some of the best cleaning agents for removing baked-on food:

  • Dishwashing Liquid With Water

Applying a liberal amount of dishwashing liquid onto the pan and washing with hot water is sometimes all it takes to get rid of baked-on food from the pan. It is very effective if the stains are not stubborn and can easily come off.

  • Baking Soda


Apply baking soda in a substantial amount over the surface of the pan. Apply a little amount of water to form a thick paste. Use a scrubbing pad to work the paste into the stains and rinse off.

  • White Vinegar

This is a solvent that is very effective in getting rid of stains. Cover the stained surface with white vinegar and allow to sit preferably for a few hours. This makes it easier to scrub the stains off and is often used for stubborn stains.

  • Baking Soda

Mixing baking soda with white vinegar is also very effective in cleaning off baked-on foods from cookware. When baking soda and white vinegar are mixed they give off a fizzy reaction (i.e they make bubbles) which helps to loosen more grease. Using a scrubbing pad remove the stains and wash as normal with a dishwashing liquid

  • Cream Of Tartar

Applying cream of tartar is also very effective in cleaning baked-on foods. Although it is not as popular as its cleaning counterparts, the cream of tartar has excellent cleaning abilities and is especially good for getting rid of stubborn stains such as baked-on/burnt food, grease stains etc. It can also be used in other areas that require cleaning such as laundry.

Frontier Cream of Tartar, 3.52 Ounce Bottle

Cleaning baked-on foods using the cream of tartar requires little effort on your part and saves time too. The cream of tartar is one of the best cleaning agents for removing baked-on food from pots and pans.

It can be done by just sprinkling the cream of tartar on the burnt surface and pouring water into the pan. After a couple of minutes, the solution in the pan is poured off and the pan is washed as normal using a scrubbing pad, soft sponge, or brush. It can also be used with vinegar.

This is done by applying enough cream of tartar on the affected area and adding vinegar to make a paste. Apply a generous amount of the paste on the baked-on area. After leaving the paste on for some time, wash off as normal.

  • Ketchup


Yeah, you read it right. Ketchup is not just used for preparing delicious meals. It is also an excellent cleaning agent for baked-on foods. Apply a generous amount into a pan and allow to sit overnight. By the next day, you should be able to just rinse it off.


But, if there are still a few stains remaining, then just scrub it off. The acetic acid in ketchup breaks down the copper oxide formed when food is burnt. Let’s put it this way, the tomato sauce eats up the baked-on food.

  • Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola is not just for drinking. It can also be a wonderful l cleaning agent. For a pot or saucepan, add a can of Coke to it and sit it on a burner on low heat. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes to an hour, then remove from heat. Use a scouring pad to scrub away the grime.

Soaking or allowing the cleaning agent to sit in the pan for sometime before scrubbing off makes removing the stain easier. If the stain doesn’t leave after the first wash, repeat the process until you attain the results you desire.


How To Clean Off Baked-on Food From Pans And Pots.


Turn off the heat and allow the burnt pan or pot to cool completely before handling them. Then, use a wooden spoon to gently scrape off and get rid of large, loose food particles from the cookware into the trash.

Fill the pan with equal parts of water and white vinegar. You would want to ensure that the burnt food debris is fully submerged under the liquid.

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Turn on the heat and bring the water-vinegar solution to a rapid boil. Allow the solution to boil for 10 minutes. Then, turn off the heat and transfer the pans to a cool surface.

While the water-vinegar solution is still hot, add in baking soda to the pan to be cleaned. The solution will begin to fizz, indicating that the chemical reaction of the two handy household cleaners is at work dissolving any burnt remains in the pans.

Be rest assured that although baking soda may be tough on food residue, it is a mild abrasive agent that won’t scratch the bottom of your stainless steel or ceramic cookware. But, don’t use baking soda on anodized aluminum cookware, as it can react negatively with the pan coating. If you are cleaning up aluminum pans, skip this step.

If your pans bear particularly stubborn stains that were not loosened substantially during the boiling process, add more baking powder, discard the water-vinegar solution from the pan, and Wash as normal using a dishwashing liquid and rinse off.

 How To Clean Off Baked-On Foods From Cooking Wares Using Baking Soda And Vinegar

Now you have your cooking wares looking shiny and new again. With the best possible cleaning agents, cleaning baked-on food from your pan wasn’t so difficult now. Was it?
So, you no longer have to consider eating out any longer! With these readily accessible as well as effective cleaning agents, cleaning your pots and pans no longer has to be a Herculean task.

You can also use them for other forms of kitchen cleaning such as cleaning your stovetop, cleaning the inside of the oven, etc.

Tips on Preventing Baked-on/Burnt-on Foods and Grease Stains In The Kitchen


Give complete attention to what you are cooking. Try not to zone out when cooking meals.

Don’t leave the food unattended for a long period. If you need to go somewhere, ask someone to look after it for you or preferably turn off the heat.

Know your turf. Before attempting to cook, ensure that you have basic kitchen knowledge. Ending up with a burned pot may be the luckiest you may be. If you are only a beginner without substantial experience, get someone with experience to watch over you.

  • Don’t use pots that easily get food burnt.

  • Make use of a cooker that has a heat regulator and possibly a timer.

  • Use parchment paper who making use of the oven.

  • Clean off spills immediately they occur.

  • Soak pots and pans with hot water immediately after use.

    These are a few tips to help avoid having to do much cleanup after cooking. Ensure a healthy kitchen environment by cleaning the kitchen regularly especially immediately after cooking. Your body and cooking utensils will thank you for it.

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