6 Weird Cleaning Hacks To Make Your Pots & Pans Look As Good As New

6 Weird Cleaning Hacks To Make Your Pots & Pans Look As Good As New

A creamy, cheesy, slightly crispy-on-the-top-and-round-the-edges lasagne; a thick, cosy and comforting lamb stew; a beef roast, dripping in all the good kinds of fat, roasted with sticky honey parsnips.

All of these things are absolutely delicious. They'll also all guaranteed to make an absolute mess out of your pans.

When you're faced with stuck on food, burnt bottoms and thick grease, you need all the help you can get. Expert Home Tips have got 6 rather unusual, but extremely effective cleaning hacks to get your dirty pots, pans and oven trays spotless again.

Don't waste time scrubbing - try these cleaning hacks today!

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1. Dryer sheets will make pots & pans sparkle

Weird but it works!

Forget a scourer - what your dirty pot needs is a dryer sheet! It's a mystery as to why this works, but we're certainly glad it does.

To try this weird pan cleaning hack out, fill your pot with hot water and washing up liquid. Add a dryer sheet, and leave to soak for an hour. When you return, the dirt should be easy to remove, requiring little to no scrubbing from you.

What a miraculous cleaning hack! Time to stock up on those dryer sheets.

2. Tin foil is the best for scrubbing dirty pots

Be careful with sharp edges.

Tin foil is your best friend when it comes to removing burnt on food from dirty pots and oven trays. It's particularly effective on glass and large roasting trays.

Make sure you don your rubber gloves for this one - they'll give you more grip and also protect your hands from the foil's sharp edges.

Tear off a sheet of aluminium foil, then scrunch into a ball. After you've soaked your pan in hot soapy water, begin to scrub with aluminium foil. It will make removing food and burnt spots easier than any other washing up tool you own.

For more ways to clean burnt pans, check out our blog post. 

3. Vinegar & baking soda will make pans sparkle

Now time for that fizz!

You know how much we love using natural products here at Expert Home Tips. We're happy to say that one of our favourite combinations, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar, is extremely effective for cleaning dirty pots and pans.

These natural products will do wonders for burnt marks, and really will make your pans, pots and oven trays look like new again.

Sprinkle the surface of your dirty pan with baking soda, then pour on a solution of 1 cup hot water and 1/3 cup vinegar. Allow the mixture to fizz away, and it will lift the food particles clean off, making your job much easier.

4. Clean dirty pans & pots using sugar cubes

This one is truly bizarre, but it does in fact work!

Just like aluminium foil, the hard and rough edges of sugar cubes means they're ideal for breaking down tough, stuck on food.

Soak dirty pots and pans as normal, then remove any extra liquid before you start scrubbing to help prevent the cubes from dissolving.

They'll make your job much easier!

5. Barkeeper's Friend is amazing for cleaning pots, pans & oven trays

Time to get cleaning!

Every cook should have Barkeeper's Friend in their cleaning cupboard.

This product is specifically designed to tackle tough baked on food and scorch marks. It's an absolutely brilliant tool to have in your kitchen, and makes cleaning pots, pans and over trays easier than ever.

Want proof? Just check out the amazing results The Kitchn got using Barkeeper's Friend on their dirty pots and pans - seriously amazing!

6. Rhubarb makes cleaning pans easy!

Make light work of tough stains!

This is a new one - or should I say old? It's rumoured 1940s housewives used to rely on rhubarb to get their dirty kitchen pans clean.

Lacking in sophisticated products and cleaning tools, they would boil rhubarb in a burnt pan for 10 minutes, then remove, and clean as normal - astonishing!

It's a pretty unusual idea, and not one we'd turn to every day. If you've got some rhubarb growing in your garden though, why not give it a try?

Now that's what I call amazing cleaning hacks! Which one will you use to get your dirty pans, pots & oven trays clean?

Stephanie C


Lover of all things fashion & foodie...I look to satisfy my tastes without obliterating my budget. Wannabe interior designer, I'm an avid cushion cover maker and charity shop hunter.

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  1. Author Donatello46 on August 30, 2017 at 8:47 am

    As you say, using rhubarb as a cleaning product is an old trick but if you grow your own rhubarb, use the leaves rather than the stems, the active ingredient is oxalic acid and the leaves are richer in oxalic acid than the stems. For pots and pans, yes, boil up the leaves, for other surfaces, steep the leaves in hot water, squeeze them out and rub them over the surfaces or round the inside of stained cups BUT make sure you wear rubber gloves and rinse pots pans and cups thoroughly afterwards, oxalic acid is mildly poisonous, it's extremely unlikely to cause major harm, especially in the quantities you would use for cleaning but it may cause stomach upset. Incidentally, oxalic acid is the active ingredient in Barkeeper's Friend so the same caveats apply.

    1. Author Stephanie C on August 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm

      Hi Donatello. Thanks for commenting and sharing some of your extensive knowledge with us! :)

  2. Author Maria Costa on August 30, 2017 at 9:30 am

    I tried the baking soda and vinegar to clean the pots and it did not work. I tried it a second time and again it did not work!

    1. Author Stephanie C on August 30, 2017 at 2:10 pm

      Hi Maria. I'm sorry you didn't have any success with the bicarbonate of soda & vinegar tip. Perhaps you could try another method?

  3. Author George Hill on August 30, 2017 at 11:59 am

    The rhubarb tip is as you said is old but it is great for getting stains out of pans A further tip for dusting is spray polish on to a microfibre cloth before use and you may find that you don't need to dust as often. From a man who now has had to take over the house work because wife taken into care due to Alzheimer's

    1. Author Stephanie C on August 30, 2017 at 2:09 pm

      Hi George. Thanks for your comment and sharing your dusting tip with us :) Sorry to hear about your wife.

  4. Author Charles L. Gallagher on June 3, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    Hi Stephanie, When I read your tips I often have a chuckle as most of them were passed-on by my Gran to my Mam in the 30's and 40's except for the use of aluminum foil which was being used to build Spitfires, Lancaster's etc. and was not available in the UK.

    1. Author Joanne A on June 4, 2019 at 3:38 pm

      I'm glad we can bring some joy to your day! It's funny how little cleaning has changed.

  5. Author jacqueline thompson on June 4, 2019 at 8:34 am

    i find bio pods work very well ,just slowly bring to boil and leave over night and the hardest burnt on food will come away quite easily

    1. Author Joanne A on June 4, 2019 at 12:59 pm

      Great idea! I'll have to give this a try.

  6. Author Julie Burns on June 4, 2019 at 10:25 pm

    I use brown sauce to clean my copper-bottomed pans, just smear some on, leave for about an hour and rinse off to get a good as new shine every time.

    1. Author Joanne A on June 5, 2019 at 9:13 am

      We'll have to try this! Thanks, Julie!

  7. Author Joanna on May 29, 2020 at 4:45 pm

    Use cheap dishwasher tablets - just rub the edges of the dish with one to remove the hard bits and then once it's all crumbled fill the pan with hot water and leave over night.

    1. Author Joanne A on June 2, 2020 at 11:28 am

      Love this tip!

  8. Author Jacqueline jones on October 3, 2020 at 11:45 am

    When I was younger, am in late 70s now my late Mother always used to buy rhubarb to clean her pots and pans and when I grew up, I was quite shocked to see people buying it to actually eat it and not for cleaning their pots. Another way to clean pots is to spray with vinegar and salt and leave then gently rub over with a cloth, or if no salt vinegar and bicarb.

    1. Author Joanne A on November 3, 2020 at 12:11 pm

      How funny! Thanks for sharing.

  9. Author Anne Bunney on October 7, 2020 at 8:40 am

    If my saucepans are marked from cooking meat especially minced beef for a lasagne or pasta etc ordinary washing is ineffective so I put a small amount of malt vinegar , which is very cheap, gently heat for a few minutes & the pan will be sparkling again. Works well

    1. Author Joanne A on April 5, 2023 at 3:30 pm

      Malt vinegar contains acetic acid, effectively breaking down tough stains and grime. However, it's essential to use caution when using this method and to check if vinegar is safe for your cookware before cleaning.

  10. Author Sara on December 18, 2020 at 12:46 am

    My father-in-law taught me to boil the pot in a larger pot with dishwasher detergent (such as Cascade, etc). I just did it to clean my tea pot. The hardest Peet’s to get off took additional scouring. I might try the overnight tip, as mentioned above by others.

    1. Author Joanne A on February 10, 2023 at 5:57 pm

      Using dishwasher detergent to clean a teapot is not recommended, as the harsh chemicals in the detergent can damage the surface and affect the beverage's taste. Instead, it's best to use a mild soap and warm water or a natural alternative such as baking soda and vinegar for cleaning a teapot.

  11. Author wahab on September 26, 2022 at 10:50 am

    I use brown sauce to clean my copper-bottomed pans, just smear some on, leave for about an hour and rinse off to get a good as new shine every time.

    1. Author Joanne A on November 1, 2022 at 12:03 pm

      Thanks for sharing! Ketchup is also great for removing tarnishing.

  12. Author Renee on April 15, 2023 at 5:52 pm

    Good morning! OK I love all your tips on how to clean a burnt pot . With the exception of my pot doesn’t have stuck stuff on the bottom. What’s wrong with my pot as a boiled water until there was no water left in the pan and it left a white film all around it. Do you have any suggestions for that? Because they’re not in your list and I understand why that’s really weird. Yes, I actually burnt boiling water. The old joke she can’t even boil water. Well apparently I can’t boil water.!! Any suggestions on that? Or should I just follow some of your suggestions above and see if that works? Have I totally lost the pot I hope not. It’s a beautiful pot and I love it except now it looks like shit because there’s a white film on the bottom about an inch into the pot.!! So if, and when you have time and you don’t mind, I would love to hear your suggestion for that. Thank you and have a great weekend bye-bye❣️😃😀❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    1. Author Joanne A on April 17, 2023 at 12:07 pm

      To remove the white film from the bottom of your pot caused by mineral buildup, try soaking it in equal parts water and white vinegar or using baking soda and a soft sponge to scrub it away gently. Then, rinse the pot thoroughly with water and dry it with a soft cloth once the white film is removed.

  13. Author Elizabeth on April 12, 2024 at 3:59 pm

    Pink stuff. Brilliant on pans

    1. Author Joanne A on April 15, 2024 at 9:39 am

      It's great!


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