Substances That Remove Burnt-On Grease From Pots & Pans

Dinner may not have tasted burnt, but the evidence to the contrary is clinging for dear life to your pots and pans. Grease is a force to be reckoned with as it is, but burnt grease is a much more formidable adversary.

Show stubborn grease who's boss.

If your pots and pans simply won’t come clean, there are several substances to help this incriminating evidence right down the drain.

Baking Soda

When combined with water, baking soda can be turned into a paste that can scrub burnt-on grease away easily. Sprinkle baking soda over the grease, and scrub with a sponge soaked in hot water for surprising results. You can also sprinkle baking soda all over the stubborn grease, and add enough water to the pot or pan to cover the grease. Set the cookware on the stove, and allow the contents to simmer for at least five minutes, which will make the cookware much easier to clean.

Fabric Softener

In addition to soft clothing, fabric softener can be highly effective in loosening stubborn grease from your pots and pans. Fill the cookware with warm or hot water and pour in 1/4 cup of liquid fabric softener. You can also use a fabric softener sheet for the result. Let it soak for at least an hour to give it time to work. If you’re in no hurry, set the cookware aside, and let it soak overnight. When you go to wash the pot or pan, it will be a lot easier to clean.

Dish Soap

Hot soapy water can be your best weapon against stubborn grease. If washing the cookware with hot soapy water alone isn’t working as effectively as you would like it to, fill it with hot soapy water and place it on the stove. Allow the soapy water to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, and allow the cookware to cool off enough to touch before washing. The grease should slide right off when you wash it now. For additional scrubbing power, crumple up a piece of aluminum foil, and scrub the cookware with it.


Vinegar may not smell as pleasant as some other cleaning substances, but it’s highly effective in cutting through grease. Pour 1 part white vinegar to 2 parts water into the pan, and place it on the stove to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. When the cookware cools off, it will clean much easier. Another simple method incorporating vinegar is to pour apple cider vinegar into the cookware to cover the grease. Add 2 to 3 tbsp. of sugar to the vinegar, and let it sit for a couple of hours before washing it.