The Soda Trick For Cleaning Burnt Food Off Cookware

Soda pop is good for more than sipping. Sure, you may already know that you can make a Coca-Cola layer cake, but there might be plenty of things you didn't know about soda, including the fact that you can use it to help clean pots and pans that have been plagued with tough burnt-on bits of food from those easy one-pot meals and baking endeavors.

To clean a charred, stainless steel pot, simply pour a can of Coke or Dr. Pepper, maybe two, into the cookware and place it on the stove to simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. Once the soda has simmered for the appropriate amount of time, turn off the heat and allow the pot to cool before you take a scouring sponge and put a little elbow grease into scrubbing the pot to remove those pesky burnt food scraps. Why does it work? This carbonated beverage contains carbonic acid which will help break down and lift those burnt food particles. You may want to use dark sodas because these fizzy drinks tend to be more acidic than other kinds.

Skip this trick for nonstick cookware

Can you use this soda pop hack for baking pans too? The answer is yes; however, if you don't want to heat this cookware on the stove, you can heat your soda pop in a separate pot.  Then simply pour the warmed soda into the offending baking pan; it will still be effective. Just keep in mind that the material your cookware is made of matters. While Coca-Cola is perfect for stainless steel pots and pans or even copper ones, you should not use it on nonstick cookware because it could cause damage or discoloration.

Of course, if you find that you drank your last can of Coca-Cola or don't have any, to begin with, don't worry. You can use baking soda and a little vinegar or lemon juice. Baking soda is a base, and when it is combined with an acid, a chemical reaction takes place, forming carbonic acid and sodium acetate. Similar to the carbonic acid in soda, it helps loosen up those burnt-on food bits.