Here's How To Prevent Losing Pots And Pans To Burned-On Food

Cooking food onto the bottom of a pot or pan is always at least a little unfortunate because you know it will take a bit more work to clean the mess up. But burned food is an even tougher prospect. It can happen in all manner of ways. Maybe the heat was set too high on the stove or perhaps you got busy setting the table, completely forgetting about that one last dish left cooking. Either way, the clean-up job is one that nobody wants to have waiting for them after dinner. Yet, even if it happens, there's still hope. With a few surprising items and a bit of extra time, even some of the worst burned-on messes can be remedied.

A classic go-to solution for loosening and lifting burned-on food is applying a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar. According to Savory Lotus, boiling a quarter cup of baking soda in a few inches of water in your pot or pan is will get the cleaning process started. After it boils for about 15 minutes and cools for another 30, you can use something like a silicon scrubber to chip away at the cooked-on food. If it still doesn't budge, then repeating the process with an added quarter cup of vinegar should do the trick.

These surprising items are game-changers

According to The Spruce, reigning home-keeping queen Martha Stewart uses another genius hack that may surprise you. That's because she relies on dryer sheets and hot water for the job. Apparently, all you have to do using the Stewart method is add hot water to a dryer sheet in the affected pot or pan. Then, let it sit for about an hour. When you come back, the food should be softened enough to easily scrub away.

If that method is a little too out there for you — even if it is Martha Stewart recommended — then there's one more trick you can have up your sleeve. This one also utilizes a household item you likely have on hand: Alka-Seltzer. The Spruce notes that you can just add six of these antacid tablets to the pot or pan, along with some hot water. Let it fizz and sit for about an hour.

No matter which method you use, make sure you've got some elbow grease left. That's because you'll still have to do a bit of scrubbing to free the pot or pan of all burned- or cooked-on food. At least you won't have to toss your cookware at the end of the night.