How to Clean Bottom of Pans and Pots: Different Ways Explained

Last updatedLast updated: July 27, 2021
House & Beyond is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

We all spend way more time than we would like cleaning dishes. They seem insurmountable sometimes, and even if you have a dishwasher, not everything can be placed in it. As a result, pots and pans have to be tediously washed by hands. While you may be a pro at cleaning the inside of a pan, one area that tends to be forgotten is the bottom. Knowing how to clean bottom of pans isn’t as simple as you may think. After all, there is a reason the bottom of pans become dirty and stained, seeming to never recover again. If you’re ready to tackle this tedious task, we’re here to help. We’ll break down the different types of pans and how to make them look as shiny as the day you bought them.

Basic process of cleaning the outside bottom

While different pans are made from different materials, you can start with a basic procedure for most pans, including carbon steel pans and stainless steel pans. If this doesn’t work, we’ll get to some more in-depth cleaning instructions for mor specific types of pans.

How to Clean Bottom of Pans and Pots: Different Ways ExplainedDegrease

Understanding how to clean burnt grease from bottom of frying pans is the first step in this process. While you might think that grease is only found on the inside of pans, the truth is that grease loves to splatter. When cooking, it can splatter onto the surface of your stove, which is then picked up by your pan. Grease can also spill, and the bottom of your frying pan may be the first surface to soak it up.

To degrease the bottom of your pots and pans, start by filling your sink with warm water and a dishwashing soap. Dawn is often recommended in this process because while it is a strong degreaser, it is also safe to use when washing by hand.

Let your pan soak for up to an hour in the sink. Then, take a scrubbing pad and wash off the grease.

Remove baked-on grime

Now that the bottom of your pan is showing signs of cleanliness, you may be able to spot other issues. One of these is baked-on grime. Essentially, food particles may be stuck on the bottom of your pan, and if you keep using your pan without scrubbing them off, they will continue to stick.

For this step, you will need a heavy-duty paste. Luckily, all you need to make it is baking soda and water. Combine the two so that it is not too wet. Then, spread the baking soda paste on the bottom and outside sides of your pan.

Scrub thoroughly

After you have coated your frying pan with the baking soda paste, it’s time to get scrubbing. If you haven’t yet, it’s best to put on gloves to protect your hands. Use a scrubbing pad for this step, although it should still be gentle so it won’t scratch the surface of the pan.

Dry with paper towels

After soaking and scrubbing, you should be an expert at knowing how to clean the outside bottom of pans. Give your pan a thorough rinse. You may even want to wash it an extra time in soapy water, to ensure all of the baking soda is removed.

Once your pan is finishes, you can dry everything with a paper towel. This will allow you to check for any spots you may have missed.

Best working methods

In addition to the steps we discussed about how to clean the bottom of cooking pans, there are a few other, more intensive methods you can try. They are all a bit innovative and the beauty is that most methods use pantry staples you already have.

Salt and vinegar

Copper pots are gorgeous. Until they are used. After cooking with them, their tarnish can quickly become faded and too many grease and food stains can make them seem unsightly. However, there is a quick way to remedy this.

Start with a large, clean pot. Add 3 cups of water and 1 cup of vinegar. Bring this mixture to a boil and then add 1 to 2 tablespoons of salt. Once the salt is dissolved, the mixture is ready.

Place your copper pan directly into this mixture. Move the pan around a bit and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then, remove the pan and give it a quick wipe. You’ll be amazed at how your copper pan shines again.

How to Clean Bottom of Pans and Pots: Different Ways ExplainedBaking soda

As we discussed above, baking soda is a wonderful grime cleaner. The reason for this is because baking soda is gritty. It adds an extra layer to scrubbing but it still gently enough that it won’t cause any scratches.

Baking soda is also a great tool to use because it can naturally absorb any smells. If you have a non-stick pan, food stains can quickly appear, and baking soda both neutralizes their odors as well as helps to remove the stains.

How to Clean Bottom of Pans and Pots: Different Ways ExplainedLemon juice and salt

If you’re looking for a powerful, natural combination to clean the outsides and bottoms of pots and pans, then look no further than lemon juice and salt.

To make it simple, you can actually just cut a lemon in half. Then, rub the cut lemon on the bottom of your pan. The acid in the lemon will start to break apart grease in a gentle way.

For a further clean, combine the juice of 2 lemons with 1 tablespoon of salt. Mix until it forms a paste. Then, spread this on the bottom of your pan. Scrub with a non-abrasive cloth. The grittiness of the salt works in tandem with the acidity of the lemon juice to lift stains and tackle any baked-on grime.

How to Clean Bottom of Pans and Pots: Different Ways ExplainedKetchup

No, we’re not making this up. Ketchup can actually clean your pans! If you want an innovative way to clean the bottom of stainless steel pans, spread a thin layer of ketchup over the surface.

Ketchup works because it has vinegar in it. In turn, vinegar is a weak acetic acid that reacts with grease and tarnish on pots and pans.

Leave the ketchup on your pan for up to 30 minutes. Then, take a cloth and gently wipe it away. You will want to also use soapy water for a final cleaning.

Bar Keepers Friend

You’ve probably heard of this brand but may not have realized how amazing it is. While the cleaner used to be used by tavern owners, hence the name, it is now readily available and can be used on all surfaces of your kitchen.

You can start with a Bar Keepers Friend kit. It includes both a cleansing liquid and a non-scratch scrubbing set. You can use the liquid soap to degrease your pots and pans as well as tackle baked-on grime.

Bleach powder

How to Clean Bottom of Pans and Pots: Different Ways ExplainedWhat was once a household staple is now a product that many are wary of. Bleach powder has its uses and as long as it is used correctly, there is nothing to worry about.

You may have a pot or pan that has a bottom that just won’t become clean. Bleach powder is effective and potent enough to work.

Start by filling your sink with warm water. Then, add 2 tablespoons of bleach. Make sure you are wearing gloves as bleach can react to your skin. Furthermore, you may want to wear an apron or change into old clothes, just in case the water stains your clothes.

The trick when working with bleach is that pots and pans shouldn’t be exposed to it for too long. Take one pan at a time and submerge it into the water. Then, gently scrub. The bleach not only gets rid of stuck-on food, but it also kills harmful bacteria.

Once each pan has been washed, give it a thorough rinse and let it dry.

Coca-Cola

How to Clean Bottom of Pans and Pots: Different Ways ExplainedIt’s always a bit scary when the foods we consume can be used for cleaning purposes. However, if this method makes you think twice about consuming sugary beverages, then maybe it’s worth it.

Coca-Cola is both a creative method of cleaning the bottom of pans and perhaps even a fun science experiment for kids.

Start by pouring a bottle of Coca-Cola into your sink. There should be enough for the whole plan to be submerged. Then, place your pan into the sink. Just note that you should not use this method for non-stick frying pans as it may damage the coating.

Leave the pan in the Coca-Cola for up to 3 hours. Then, use a food scraper to remove any stuck-on grime. You can also use a non-abrasive cloth.

After everything has been removed, wash your pan in soapy water.

Final thoughts

While there are no shortcuts when it comes to cleaning the bottom of pans, it is a task that is worthwhile. Having shiny pans is inspiring and clean pans also produces better-tasting food. No matter how dirty your pans may look, there is a method to get them looking as shiny as new again. Whether you want to use your trustworthy dish soap, the ever-popular baking soda method, or be a bit creative with ketchup, the results should get you smiling. Hopefully, you are now an expert at understanding how to clean bottom of pans.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *