How To Clean Burnt On Grease From Stainless Steel

Have you ever flipped your favorite stainless steel pan over to find a big, nasty grease spot burnt onto the bottom?  It happens to my pans all the time and no matter how hard I scrub, I can never get it all off.

At least… I never USED to be able to get it off!

Thanks to the power of modern science, I have recently discovered the MOST effective way of removing burnt on grease stains from stainless steel pans.  I have started using this method on all of my stainless steel pans and can’t believe I lived with those nasty burns for so long {or that this method was able to remove grease that had been burnt on my favorite pan for MONTHS}.

Here’s What I Do:

  1. Fill a large pot with a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water. You need enough to cover the entire bottom of your stained pan without boiling over.
  2. Place your pan in the vinegar/water mixture so that the entire bottom is covered.
  3. Put both pans over a high flame and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat off and let sit for 30-minutes.
  4. Remove the stained pan from the vinegar/water mixture and sprinkle with baking soda and a little salt.  Let the pan sit for about 5-10 minutes.
  5. Whip out your scrub brush and get to scrubbing!  {Hey, I didn’t say this method was EASY}
  6. Rinse the pan, wash with soap and water, and buff dry with a hand towel {drying immediately prevents water spots}.

Okay, yes, this method DOES require you to put in a little elbow grease, but I can’t tell you how many times I tried to pour elbow grease all over my stained pan and got nowhere.  The good thing about this cleaning method is that you will start to see results immediately which, trust me, definitely motivates you to keep going.

~*~ BEFORE ~*~

~*~ AFTER ~*~

Seriously, folks, I couldn’t believe the results!  My old roommate SCRUBBED this pan; I scrubbed this pan; my husband scrubbed this pan; and none of us could get ANY of the grease to come off.  I was in complete awe as I scrubbed the pan and found the grease dissolving before my eyes.

ALSO!  I’ve found this method useful for grease stains inside the pans, too.  I just pour enough of the 50/50 vinegar and water solution to cover the bottom of the grease stained pan and follow the steps above.  As with the stains on the bottom of the pans that gets continuously burnt on by the open flame, grease stains inside your pan can be completely removed with the above cleaning method.

So the next time you find a giant grease stain on your favorite stainless steel pan, don’t freak out!  Just grab your vinegar and baking soda and dissolve the grease stains away :)


  1. I was dealing with this this morning! Thanks for the tip.

  2. Belinda says:

    THIS WORKS!!!!!! I Can’t believe it, because like you, I scrubbed and scrubbed and thought all hope was lost. My pot is almost spotless, but I have to do it again because The stain (interior) was pretty bad, but the first time it removed 80% of the stain.

    Thank you so much!

    • Gabrielle says:

      You’re very welcome :) The pot that I used in the post was one that I ended up having to pay an ex-roommate for because he was convinced the pot was ruined. As you can see, it wasn’t :P I’m so glad the technique worked for you, as well!

  3. Add me to the “this works and thank you!” camp. We have a nice set of Calphalon stainless steel pans, and we store them hanging on the wall, bottoms facing out. The bottoms had been getting so disgusting, especially the frying pans. I tried Bar Keeper’s Friend, I tried scrubbing with plain baking soda, nothing. Then I used this method and most all of the gunk came off! They look a million times better and my husband was impressed. Also thrilled that it’s vinegar and baking soda–both cheap and non-toxic!

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