EMERGENCY! I F#%Ked up...

Joined Dec 16, 2009
i accidently burned olive oil on my all clad stainless pan...for about 10 minutes, now there is a big black spot and i can't get it off! what do i do? anyone had this happen to them before?

Please help!!
Joined Aug 7, 2008
Use a SS scrubie available at any GFS or similar store (wally world?) with a tiny bit of water and some Bar keepers friend. Scrub a dub dub.
If that fails you can get some spray on grill cleaner at GFS (warning don't use on aluminum!) spray it down and let it soak.
Back to step one.
I've saved more pans this way than I'd care to admidt. ;)
Joined Jan 10, 2010
I've been using All-Clad and other SS pans for 30+ years. Best solution that works for me is a long soak in very hot (boiling) soapy water using a detergent like Dawn. Overnight seems to work just fine. Then a wipe with a sponge and finish up with Barkeeper's Friend. I scrupulously avoid any abrassives and scouring pads.

Joined Jul 3, 2009
Really? Avoid scouring pads? I guess to each their own but they work wonders for me with hot, soapy water and comet.
Joined Nov 1, 2009
Shmoozer is right. With stainless you want to avaois abrasives because they can cause minute scratches in your cookwear.
Joined Jul 28, 2006
When something really gets burnt on my pans, I put about a quarter cup dishwasher powder in the bottom along with a cup or two of water, bring it to the boil on stovetop, then let it sit until it's cooled enough to proceed with the scrubbing. Then I stir that around to loosen it up, dump that out and finish with a nylon scrubber and some barkeepers friend (powder---don't waste money on the liquid). Beautiful every time. :thumb: However, if you're "afraid" of Barkeepers Friend, you can use baking soda. It will also do a great job, just takes a little more time.
Joined Dec 16, 2009
thanks for the input!

im soaking it overnight and going to get some barkeepers friend tomorrow, can't stand the sight of that spot covering half the pan...
Joined Feb 13, 2008
Soaking + BKF is a good, environmentally friendly way to go.

If you're in more of a hurry, or if the BKF is taking too much elbow grease, just hit your pan with a spritz of an oven cleaner like Easy Off. Oven cleaners are made to remove burnt-on grease. Easy peasy.

Joined Dec 23, 2000
What's always worked for me is a quarter-inch of water in the pan and a tablespoon of powder dishwasher detergent. Put this on to simmer (AND TURN YOUR STOVE VENT FAN ON HIGH - THE FUMES WILL CHOKE A RHINOCEROUS) and it should lift the burnt-on residue right off. :peace:

Only good for stainless steel. It would remove any anodizing from aluminium, and G*g knows what it would do to non-stick. :eek:

Joined Feb 26, 2007
Elbow grease - lots of it. creamy cleanser and PLASTIC scrubber, not metal scourer, after a good long hot soak in suds. If your arm gets tired, switch arms, try a figure 8 motion for something different.
Joined Aug 13, 2006
For all burned food i found that WASHING soda, like arm and hammer puts out in the states (may not be as easy to find as it was once, but it's out there), is miraculous. You put some in the pan, like half a cup, and fill with water to the spot where the burned stuff is (if you've burned your sauce, it might be 3/4 up the sides, or in a frying pan, the sides may be all black from the oil if you've been frying chicken or eggplant or something) and put it on the stove. Bring to a boil and simmer for as long as you feel - sometimes it;s enough to bring to the boil and let it sit. More often than not, the spot just lifts with a plain sponge after that.

Not sure if you can do this with aluminum - but with stainless it;s a dream.

By the way, washing soda is great for greasy clothes, like jeans someone has used for fixing the car or aprons you've been wiping your greasy hands on. Just wet the cloth, sprinkle all over with washing soda so it looks like you left your wet towel on the beach and the sand stuck to it, and roll it up and put in the washing machine. Amazing.

Baking soda works a little, but not nearly as well.
Joined Feb 13, 2008
Washing soda is a strong base (alkalai), and even though most of what get's sold is put out by Arm and Hammer it does NOT have much in common with baking soda.

It's strength depends on how strong a solution you make. Obviously, more washing soda to less water will be a stronger solution.

With the quantity and method suggested by the talented and lovely DC you need to be careful. Treat it as you would a strong household chemical like oven cleaner. Keep it way from children and pets; Arm and Hammer recommends gloves; if you splash some on your skin rinse it off quickly; and, be very careful not to get any in your eyes, but if you do, rinse them immediately and copiously.

No aluminum, no fiberglass, no waxed floors.

Joined Jun 6, 2007
this is my combo treatment:
(As per Mike LM) dishwashing powder in 1/2 water , simmer 10 min. let rest.

Discard water, scrub and dry. If any residue left: use Glass Cook top Cleaner.

Luc H.
Joined Mar 16, 2008
Overnight soaking with Dawn detergent with a little bit or a lot of vinegar helps a lot too, somewhere around 2:1 mixture...or if you are in a hurry, put some vinegar with water and boil it away...I rather tend to do the former than the latter as I have lots of pots and pan I can use anyway...:mullet: (<< I really like this girl. :lol:)
Joined Feb 26, 2007
Aww heck - shucks BDL :D (I'll take that with a grain of salt).

The method works for me. The OP needs to decide for themselves what to do - sounds as if most everyone has had the same problem at least once. Most pans survive the treatment. Once burnt, twice shy? hehe :rolleyes:
Joined Jun 5, 2009
Reminds me of making a rice pilaf and getting distracted. Wow, did that ever take a long time to clean up!!

I've used some of the solutions listed above with great success. One trip on the sailboat had a friend cooking below. Afterwords there was a quarter inch of black in my stainless pot. My friend suggested deep sixing the pot and offered to buy a replacement. However, having lots of time (sailing at 5 mph over 250 miles takes a while) I proceeded to scrub with scouring powder. Eventually, it looked like new.

More commonly now, at least at home, we put some dishwasher detergent in plus hot water and let soak overnight. Works quite well although I don't know why.

I also don't understand the aversion to the tiny scratches that abrasive cleaners might leave. I don't treat my stainless with the kid gloves that non-stick might warrant and have never noticed a difference. Even with metal utensils, dishwasher cleaning, etc. the stainless cookware is still a joy to use and virtually non-stick on its own. I simply apply a bit of pre-heat, add lube, and go. Nine times out of ten a sponge and hot water will do the trick.

Joined Jan 27, 2010
Fill it with water and bring it to a boil. It will then degrease right? After it boils you will be able to see that most of the oil stuck on the pan eventually bubles up, as soon as it happens, wash your pan with lukewarm water and scrub. Its gonna be easily cleaned.

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