Easy Ways To Clean The Bottom Of A Pan

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woman demonstrating how to clean the bottom of a pan

When you are a busy chef spending time in your kitchen, you may not stop to properly clean your pots and pans. This is entirely understandable, and we are guilty of it ourselves. A quick wash with some soap and water, and the pan makes its way back into the cabinet. 

However, there are times when our pans need a bit more attention than this. Knowing how to clean the bottom of a pan and the outside bottom of a burnt pan is really important. With these simple tricks, you can keep your cookware in place for years to come. 

How To Clean The Bottom Of A Pan: A Step-by-Step Guide

When you start to see some excess grease and grime on the bottom of a pan, you are going to need to grab some cleaning supplies. We are going to go back to one of our trusted kitchen friends, baking soda.

Baking soda is such an easy to use natural cleaner we always have it on hand in our kitchen. Here are the supplies you will want to grab to clean the bottom of the pan. 

  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Dawn 
  • Soft Scrubbing Pad 
  • Toothbrush
  • Sink

Step 1: Make a Paste

The first step in this process is to make a paste that you can use to eliminate some of the grease in the pan. The paste is going to be made with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. You can also use baking soda and water if you happen to be out of peroxide. 

Take about a tablespoon or so of baking soda and just start adding a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in at a time until you make a paste. Depending on your pot or pan’s size or the amount of mess, you may have to use varying amounts. 

Step 2: Apply The Paste 

Next, you will want to take the paste that you made and apply it generously to the bottom of the pan that you are working on. At this point, we also like to take a few drops of Dawn dish soap and add it to the mixture as well. Make sure that the paste is applied across the entire bottom of the pan. 

Step 3: Scrub

Take your soft scrubbing pad and start to work your hand in a circular motion along the bottom of the pan. You will want to make sure that the scrubbing pad you use is one that is designed to be used on pots and pans. 

Choosing the wrong scrub brush could lead to a scratch or two in your cookware, and that is something we would like to avoid. 

Step 4: Wait

Once you have scrubbed now, you can let your pot sit with this mixture. Do not rinse the pot and do not touch it. Let the hydrogen peroxide and baking soda break down the rest of the grease sitting in the pot. 

We recommend waiting about a half hour before touching the mixture again. If you felt like there was not enough baking soda and hydrogen solution left in the pan when you finished scrubbing, you can always add a little more before letting it sit. 

Step 5: Scrub Again

Now that everything has sat for about a half hour, you can take out your cleaning toothbrush. Use the toothbrush to give the bottom of the pan one more great scrub. Once you have completed this step, you can wash and rinse your pot using dish soap. 

When finished dry, the pan really well and check and see how the bottom of the pan looks. If you can still see areas that need some more cleaning, you can repeat the process again.

If you have some really bad areas, you can soak them in vinegar, rinse the pan and then repeat our steps for how to clean the bottom of a pan. 

The vinegar helps the grease break down and loosen up even before the baking soda tried to do its job. 

Best Ways To Clean The Outside Bottom Of A Pan

how to clean the outside bottom of a burnt pan with vinegar

Now that you know how to clean the pan’s inside bottom, it’s a good idea to understand how to clean the outside bottom. Chances are after many meals, the outside bottom of the pan also has some great build up or some leftover remnants of a piece of food that escaped the pan during one of your meals. 

There are lots of ways to clean the outside bottom of a pan, but our favorite is undoubtedly the baking soda method that we used above. In our next section, we will give you some more ideas about how to complete this process. 

If you don’t want to use baking soda, there are a few other tricks that you can use. Here are the best ways to clean the outside bottom of a pan. 


Use a bit of vinegar on a dry pot and then rinse and wash with soap and water; vinegar works fast and gets the job done. 


If your pot or pan is dishwasher safe, you can sometimes put it on the dishwasher’s bottom rack and let it do the work for you. 


Yes, Coke can take away excess grease and grime from the pan’s bottom. The only issue we have with Coke is that you will then need to make sure you wash it all off, or it can do some damage to your pots. 

Vinegar and Baking Soda Mix

Mixing vinegar and baking soda make for a great solution that will quickly leave your pots and pans shining. 


Surprisingly, you can place ketchup on the outside bottom of a pan, let it sit for about fifteen minutes, and then clean it off. It will have done a great job of cleaning the outside bottom of the pan. 

How To Clean The Outside Bottom Of A Burnt Pan

Now that you know all the best ways to clean the outside bottom of a burnt pan, it’s time to get to work. As we mentioned, our favorite method uses a bit of a mix of vinegar and baking soda to complete this job. 

We like to put a kitchen towel on the counter and then lay the pan upside down on the towel. This helps to keep things in place in case you really need to use a bit of elbow grease. 

The first step is to take a bit of vinegar and wipe down the bottom of the pot. If you see particularly greasy or burnt areas, you can add a bit of extra vinegar. 

The next thing you will want to do is to create a paste of baking soda and water. Apply this paste to the bottom of the pan and use a soft toothbrush to scrub it in.

Although you are mainly going to want to focus on the burnt areas, we recommended cleaning the entire pan. You may as well get it all cleaned while you are working on this process. 

Once you have scrubbed your paste all in, you can then let the pan sit unattended for about 20 minutes. When you return, simply wash the pan with soap and water, and you should see the burnt area or the grease will have come off. 

Again if you have trouble and the pan is still not as clean as it should be, you can always repeat the process. 

How To Clean A Burnt Pan With Salt

If you want to use something as simple as salt on your burnt pan, you absolutely can. Salt has some excellent cleaning power in the kitchen. Because of how course salt is, it works almost like a natural brush to break down the burnt food that is stuck to the bottom of the pan. 

When using salt to clean a burnt pan, all you need to do is sprinkle salt over the area that is burnt and use a sponge or a toothbrush to start scrubbing the salt in. We usually add a bit of lemon as it seems to aide the salt and make things just a little easier to manage. 

Always check the finish of your pan to make sure that salt will not cause any damage. Most pots and pans can handle a little salt scrub without any issue. 

How To Clean A Burnt Pan With A Dryer Sheet 

If you thought dryer sheets were just for your laundry room, think again! You can use a dryer sheet to clean a burnt pan. This process is extremely simple, and in fact, it almost feels lazy. Instead of lazy, we like to call it a kitchen hack

All you have to do is fill your burnt pan with water soap and a dryer sheet. The water should be warm, and you can use a normal amount of dishwashing soap.

Let the solution sit for about thirty minutes to an hour. When you come back, use the dryer sheet that has been soaking to wipe down the sides of the pan. 

When you rinse and wash, you will very likely see that your pan is no longer a burnt pan! 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How do you restore the bottom of a pan?

Wouldn’t it be nice if kitchenware stayed looking brand new? Unfortunately, this is not always the case, but there are some steps you can take to help make this more of a reality. If you want to see if you can restore the bottom of your pan, create a mixture of the following . . .

  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 Tablespoons baking soda
  • ½ cup white vinegar

Put this mixture into your pot and let it cook for about ten minutes. When all is said and done, you can wash the pot and then use a bit of oil to reason it if necessary. If you have just purchased new cookware, try to do this from the start, so you never have to worry about losing your nice finish. 

How do you clean the bottom of a non-stick pan?

When working with a non-stick pan, you need to be careful what you do with the bottom. Too much scrubbing or treatment with harsh substances will cause you to lose your non-stick finish. 

If for some reason, soap and water are not getting a mess off of the bottom of your pan, you can boil a bit of vinegar and water for about ten minutes on the stove. When the mixture is finished boiling you should be able to wash the pan and get it back to normal. 

With non-stick pans, it is best to clean them as soon as you are finished cooking. This helps release the food without you having to do too much extra cleaning. 


Hopefully, you now have some better tips and clues to be able to clean the bottom of your cookware. If you are going to spend some time cleaning your microwave or your oven, you may as well make sure that the bottom of your pots and pans are clean and ready for use as well.

Following our steps, this will only take a few minutes of your time, but it could significantly extend the life of your cookware.