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How to Clean Oil Buildup Off Pots

Cooking sprays, butter and other oils prevent food from sticking and burning onto pots and pans. Unfortunately, the oil will build up on the pots over time, resulting in a hardened black reside that can be very difficult to remove. This residue frequently occurs on the bottoms and sides of pots, although it can occur on the interiors as well. The key to removing these stains from pots is to use a substance that will soften the hardened oil deposits.

Clean Stainless Steel Pots

Oil buildup results in black residue on pots.

Place the oil stained pots and pans into a large trash bag. Carry the bag to an outdoor location.

Open the mouth of the bag and pour 1 to 2 cups of pure ammonia into the bag. Try to concentrate the ammonia in the location of the stains. If the stains are inside the pots, pour the ammonia inside the pots. If the stains are on the bottom of the pots pour the ammonia into the bottom of the bag so the pots are sitting in it.

Close the mouth of the bag tightly using a twist tie or tape, and place the bag in a sunny location. Allow the bag to sit for approximately 4 to 8 hours.

Open the mouth of the bag. Do this quickly, and then walk away from the bag to prevent inhaling the ammonia fumes. Wait 5 to 10 minutes for the fumes to dissipate.

Put on gloves and remove the pots from the trash bag. Spray the pots thoroughly using a garden hose to remove most of the ammonia from them.

Take the pots inside and wash them immediately with hot water, dish soap and a scrubber sponge to remove all final traces of the oil stain as well as the ammonia residue.

Dry the pans thoroughly using a cloth.

Things You Will Need

  • Trash bag
  • Ammonia
  • Twist tie
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Gloves
  • Garden hose
  • Dish soap
  • Scrubber sponge
  • Cloth

Warning

  • Do not use this method on anodized aluminum pots that have a nonstick surface.

About the Author

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.

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