How to Clean Pans With Baking Soda

stack of pots and pans with cleaning products

The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 

Project Overview
  • Total Time: 1 hr
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Whether you run your pots and pans through a dishwasher or hand wash them, sometimes your cookware needs an extra boost to get clean. Cleaning pots and pans with baking soda can provide this boost. The baking soda adds a gentle scrubbing effect to get rid of stuck-on food and tough stains.

Here's what you need to know about using baking soda to clean cookware and bakeware.

How Often to Clean Pots and Pans With Baking Soda

Because baking soda isn't abrasive, you can use it anytime your pots and pans need a thorough cleaning. This can be as often as every time you use them, or you can reserve this method for the most stubborn, stuck-on food and stain situations.


Watch Now: How to Clean Pots and Pans With Baking Soda

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Wooden spoon
  • Dry towels or cloths
  • Nonstick-safe nylon scrubbing brush


  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Lemon


ingredients for cleaning pans
The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 

How to Clean Enameled Pots

Porcelain-enameled cast-iron cookware, such as Le Creuset, has a seemingly bulletproof, relatively nonstick surface, but it can get crusty like any other type of pan. The secret to removing stubborn buildup is boiling water with baking soda.

  1. Boil Water

    Fill the pot or pan with about 1 quart of water—or more if necessary to cover the burned area. Bring the water to a boil on medium heat.

    Enamel pot boiling water

    The Spruce / Almar Creative

  2. Add Baking Soda

    Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda, and then stir with a wooden spoon. Let the mixture simmer for several minutes.

    Baking soda poured and stirred into emamel pot with boiling water

    The Spruce / Almar Creative

  3. Scrape the Pan

    Dump out the pot and rinse the pan with warm water, and then dry.

    Enamel pot pat dry with microfiber cloth

    The Spruce / Almar Creative

How to Clean Copper Bottoms on Pots and Pans

Return the copper bottoms of your pots and pans to their shiny selves using baking soda, vinegar, and a half lemon.

  1. Cover the Bottom

    Turn the pan upside down, and sprinkle baking soda all over the copper bottom. Pour vinegar over the bottom of the pan.

    Turning the pot upside down and sprinkling baking soda on top

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  2. Scrub With a Lemon

    Use a half lemon as a "scrub brush" to scrub all over the bottom of the pan. Scrub up along the sides, too, as needed.

    Using a lemon to scrub the bottom of a copper pan

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

  3. Rinse and Dry

    Rinse the pan thoroughly, and then dry it with a cloth.

    Drying off the copper pan

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

How to Clean Nonstick Frying Pans

Nonstick frying pans can benefit from a mixture of baking soda and water to remove lingering food smells and flavors. Baking soda also works as a mild abrasive to help clean stubborn stains and scorched oil.

apply a layer of water to the bottom of the pan
The Spruce / Letícia Almeida  
  1. Create a Paste

    Cover the bottom of the pan with a layer of water. Sprinkle baking soda liberally over the water to create a thin paste.

    sprinkling baking powder onto the pan
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 
  2. Rest, Rinse, and Wash

    Let the pan sit for several hours, and then rinse and wash the pan.

    let the baking soda and water work its magic
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida
  3. Remove Stubborn Stains

    Remove stubborn stains on nonstick pans by boiling a solution of 4 tablespoons baking soda and 1/2 cup water in the pan. Let the pan cool. Then rinse, and scrub the stain with straight baking soda and a nonstick-safe nylon scrubbing brush.

    scrubbing the inside of the pan with a nylon bristle brush
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

How to Clean Roasting Pans

Clean any roasting pan with stuck-on food using baking soda, water, and vinegar.

person cleaning a roasting pan
The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 
  1. Sprinkle the Surface

    Sprinkle the surface generously with baking soda.

    person sprinkling baking soda in pan
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida
  2. Create Fizz

    Combine 1 cup of hot water and 1/3 cup of vinegar, and pour the solution into the pan. The baking soda and vinegar will fizz for a moment.

    roasting pan fizzing
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida
  3. Soak and Scrape

    Let the pan soak for a few hours. Then, scrape the surface with a spatula or other suitable scraper, and continue to soak.

    person scraping a pan with a spatula
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida
  4. Wash and Rinse

    Wash the pan with straight baking soda and a scrubbing brush, and then rinse.

    person scrubbing a pan
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

How to Clean Burned Pans

Anyone who has ever burned a pan knows how hard it is to clean off scorch marks. Next time this happens, cook off the burn with baking soda and water.

  1. Make a Paste

    Cover the bottom of the pan with baking soda, and add water to make a thin pasty solution.

    Pouring baking soda into a burnt frying pan

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  2. Heat the Pan

    Heat the pan on the stove until it comes to a boil, and then remove it from the heat. (You don't want to burn it again!)

    Heating up the mixture in the burnt pan

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  3. Wait and Wipe

    Wait for the solution to cool, and wipe or scrub the pot to remove the burned-on food.

    Wiping off the burnt food residue

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

How to Clean Cookie Sheets

It doesn't take long for new cookie sheets to start looking old with brown stains that don't come off no matter how hard you scrub. Return your cookie sheets to gleaming perfection with a thick paste with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.

  1. Mix Baking Soda With Hydrogen Peroxide

    Mix baking soda with a small amount of ordinary household hydrogen peroxide to create a thick paste.

    Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide mixed to create cleaning paste

    The Spruce / Almar Creative

  2. Apply Paste

    Apply the paste all over the stained area of the cookie sheet.

    Paste applied to cookie sheet with gloves

    The Spruce / Almar Creative

  3. Wait

    Wait two hours.

    Paste setting on cookie sheet for two hours

    The Spruce / Almar Creative

  4. Rub Off the Paste With a Cloth or Sponge

    No heavy scrubbing is necessary. If any stain remains, rub it with your fingers; it should come right off.

    Paste rubbed off cookie sheet with sponge and gloves

    The Spruce / Almar Creative

  5. Flip and Repeat

    Flip the cookie sheet over, and repeat the process on the bottom side. 

    Paste applied to bottom of cookie sheet

    The Spruce / Almar Creative

  6. Wash and Dry

    Wash and dry the cookie sheet as usual.

    Bottom of cookie sheet being dried with cloth

    The Spruce / Almar Creative

Tips to Keep Your Pots and Pans Clean Longer

  • You should always allow pots and pans to cool before washing them; particularly hot stainless steel cookware can warp if submerged or splashed with cold water.
  • Avoid using steel wool, scouring pads, oven cleaners, bleach, or strong abrasive cleaners—all of these can scratch your cookware.
  • Thoroughly dry your pans immediately after cleaning them to prevent water spots and white dried calcium spots from developing.
clean with baking soda
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