Good Morning everyone! I hope your week is starting out good today and that you were able to rest a little this past weekend. I don’t know about you, but I try to have at least a little rejuvenation time during the weekends in order to power back up for the week ahead. It’s not always easy to carve this time out for yourself though because our schedules get so busy with life and family.
One of the things that always seems to steal relaxation time from me on the weekends is cleaning the house. I just don’t have the energy to keep it up during the week with working full-time out of the home so it usually gets done on the weekends. That’s why I decided to do a blog post series focused on time saving tips for cleaning! This week’s post is the first in that series and it’s going to give you tips and tricks to getting your pots and pans back to looking like new again! I hope you enjoy this list and would love to get your feedback about which ones worked best for you or any tips you have that aren’t included in this list!
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I’m going to break these tips and tricks down for you so you can see how to remove specific stains as well as how to clean specific types of pot and pans according to the material they’re made from. Make sure you read through the entire list because I’m going to include a bonus tip at the very end that you’ll definitely want to try out!
Quick note: you should always check your manufacturer’s instructions for any restrictions that might apply.
- Use a dampened magic eraser on glass dishes such as Pyrex to easily remove leftover grease and those horrible brown marks that never seem to go away!
- For the outside and bottom of pots and pans, cover area with a small amount of salt and pour white vinegar over the area. Add more salt as needed and let the mixture sit for a minute or two. Then wet a sponge with vinegar and rub the affected area to remove the grease. Finally, rinse clean.
Removing Burn Spots on Outside of Pans-
- To remove the dark marks from cookie sheets, sprinkle the affected area with baking soda then spray area with hydrogen peroxide. Add a second layer of baking soda to the area and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Gently scrub the area with a sponge, or scrubber if needed on tough stains, and rinse clean.
- To clean the burnt bottom of pots and pans, fill a baking/cookie sheet with 1 inch of white vinegar. Add 1 cup of baking soda and quickly set the bottom of your pot or pan into the solution. Let it sit for up to 24 hours then remove from the solution and scrub burnt area with an equal parts paste of baking soda and vinegar and a sponge or scrubber. Then rinse clean.
Removing Burnt on Food inside Pots-
- Add equal parts hot water and white vinegar to the pot or pan to cover affected area. Add 3 tablespoons of baking soda and let sit until mixture cools. Pour mixture out and scrub area with dish soap and water. Finally, rinse clean.
- Alternate Method: Fill the pot or pan with dish soap and water to cover the affected area. Add a dryer sheet to the water and let soak for one hour. Dump out the water and remove the dryer sheet and wipe clean.
Cleaning Stainless Steel-
- Scrub with a sponge and a paste of hot water and baking soda.
- For stubborn stains: soak the pot or pan in hot water and baking soda before scrubbing
- For tough stains: soak with 1 cup of peroxide and 2 tablespoons of baking soda for an hour. Then make a paste of equal parts baking soda and hydrogen peroxide and cover the stain with the paste and let sit for a half an hour. Scrub with a sponge and rinse clean. (be careful using abrasive scrubbers as they can scratch the stainless steel finish)
- After your pot or pan is clean, polish the stainless steel with some olive oil on a clean cloth then buff with a clean, dry cloth to shine and remove excess oil.
- Polish using a paste of equal parts water and cream of tartar then rinse under warm water.
- For stubborn stains: fill the pot or pan with a mixture of 1 quart water, ¼ cup white vinegar and 2 tablespoons cream of tartar. Bring to a boil, then turn off heat and soak for an hour. Scrub with a scouring pad and rinse clean.
- Soak with baking soda and water for 15-30 minutes then scrub with sponge or scrubber and rinse clean.
- You want to avoid using anything abrasive on a non-stick surface so it doesn’t scratch the protective layer off. Soak with dishwasher detergent (powder or liquid) and hot water then scrub with a sponge or soft-bristle brush.
Cleaning Cast Iron-
- To season: wash with warm water and dish soap then dry thoroughly. Wipe pot or pan with cooking oil to cover all of the cooking surface and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for an hour
- To clean: rub a paste of cooking oil and coarse salt over the affected area with a towel or cloth and rinse clean. Tip: Try to clean as soon as possible while it’s still warm and keep exposure to water to a minimum to avoid developing rust.
- For stubborn stains: make a paste of hot water and salt and scrub with a cloth or scrub brush and rinse clean.
- For rust: scrub affected area with steel wool or use a potato cut in half (cut side) and coarse salt then rinse clean. Tip: If cast iron begins to look dry, re-season the pot or pan.
- Pour a little white vinegar in the pot or pan to cover the affected area and sprinkle spot with salt. Cover area with more white vinegar and scrub with a sponge or soft-bristle brush and rinse clean.
- Use a paste of baking soda and warm water and cover the affected areas and let sit 15 minutes. Scrub with a sponge or soft-bristle brush and rinse clean.
- For stubborn stains: fill with very hot water and add ¼ cup baking soda and soak for an hour. Scrub with a sponge or soft-bristle brush and rinse clean.
Bonus Cleaning Tip: Cleaning Your Slow Cooker/Crock Pot
Cleaning the Cooking Dish-
- Fill your slow cooker with water above the burnt on food. Add 1 cup of white vinegar for a 6 quart (or 1/2 cut for a 3 quart). Adding one spoonful at a time and allowing time between spoons for the bubbles to subside, add 1 cup of baking soda for a 6 quart (or 1/2 cut for a 3 quart). Turn slow cooker on low and let cook for at least 4 hours. Turn off slow cooker, remove lid and allow to cool completely. Empty mixture into the sink and clean dish out with hot water and dish soap scrubbing lightly when needed.
Cleaning the Aluminum Inside-
- Buy spray oven cleaner (you can usually find some in your local dollar store). Tip: make sure the label for the oven cleaner states it is safe to use on aluminum surfaces as not all oven cleaner can be used on aluminum. Spray oven cleaner foam evenly over surface in a well-ventilated room or outside. Let sit for 2-4 hours then use a sponge or scrubber to wipe out the foam and remove any remaining stains.
- Alternate method: Fill a small bowl with ammonia and put it inside the aluminum inside of the slow cooker once you have removed the cooking dish. Replace the lid and leave overnight. Remove the lid and the bowl of ammonia. Mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and baking soda into a paste and apply to the inside of the slow cooker using a paper towel. Scrub affected areas with a sponge or scrubber and wipe clean with a damp paper towel.
I hope you find a trick here that lets you bring your pot or pan back to life when it seemed like it was doomed for the trash heap! I’d love to hear what worked for you or any tips you have to share! And if you’re like me and you dread having to spend time cleaning on the weekends, then you’ll love reading my future blog posts in this series so watch for the next one in a few weeks!
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