Removing Stubborn Grease from Pots and Pans

For many home cooks, the joys of cooking are almost always dampened by the hassles of cleaning up. The most dreaded chore when doing dishwashing duty is cleaning up pots and pans that have cooked-on grease sticking stubbornly at the bottom. A lot of people have tried cleaning solutions from the strongest commercial all-purpose cleaners or dishwashing liquids to greener substances like baking soda and vinegar. But what really is the most effective way to clean up the grease? Read on to find out.

Steps in removing grease from pots and pans

To easily and thoroughly clean off grease from pots and pans, do the following steps.

Step #1: Dry wipe the pot or pan with paper towels or scrapers

Fill it up with water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid, then soak overnight.

Step #2: The next day, throw out the soaking solution

There should be a significant amount of grease, if not all, that have loosened up. Cut the remaining grease with vinegar and rinse off.

Step #3: Pour hot water if there is remaining grease still sticking at the bottom of the pan

Scrub with a dishcloth or sponge that has been dipped in dishwashing liquid or lots of baking soda.

Step #4: Use baking soda

pans cleaning

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Stubborn grease is usually cleaned up after soaking overnight, melting with hot water, and a few scrubbing. If, despite these efforts, some cooked-on grease still remains stubbornly clinging to your pot or pan, put in some new water and boil it. Add one to two teaspoons of baking soda to the boiling water. The most stubborn grease will detach from your pot or pan in a few minutes.

Step #5: Scrub off the last remaining grease after boiling

Rinse well and wipe clean or hang to dry.

Tips to avoid too much grease build up on pots and pans

The best way to avoid having to scrub off stubborn grease is to avoid them building up on your pots and pans in the first place. Do not leave any cooking unattended. You might forget that you have been boiling something up, all the water will evaporate, and the food will burn and stick to the bottom of the pot or pan. Clean your pots and pans immediately after use. Pour vinegar or water with dishwashing liquid while still warm to avoid grease from sticking.

There really is no magic solution that will remove stubborn grease. Some products that claim to do this will usually cause some residue buildup themselves. Buildup prevention and a bit of effort when cleaning up are the best methods to sparkling clean pots and pans.

Related questions

1. How do you remove grease that remains stuck even after washing?
2. What are some ways to avoid grease buildup?
3. What common ingredients can you use aside from commercial cleansing detergents?


  1. whimsical1207 says:

    Washing greasy pots and pans is exasperating but then again after cooking I have to do it. Usually it takes awhile to remove stubborn grease and what I do is I fill the pots and pans with water and dishwashing liquid and leave it overnight. The grease is usually removed when I do this. To remove food that got stuck in the pots and pans I use steel brush and it works magically. However, it is important that you do not put too much pressure while washing when you use a steel brush as this may damage your pots and pans. If you do not want to use a steel brush then you can use the scrub with rough surface. I suggest you use scoth brite as they have the best scrubs in the market today.

  2. jimple27 says:

    To easily remove the grease in pots and pans, be sure to soak the pots and pans with water a minute after cooking. Water will remove the grease for 1 to 2 hours. After which, dampen it with dust and baking soda and wipe with a sponge soaked in vinegar. But to be sure, soak the pots and pans in water until you could see the grease are floating. That’s means, when you wash the pots and pans it so easy to remove the remaining grease. You can avoid the grease build up if after using the pots and pans you will soak it always to water. As I stated, you can use alternative ingredients water, dust with baking soda and a mat soaked in vinegar than using commercialized cleansing detergent.

  3. It always pays to clean the pots and pans thoroughly after each and every wash, this can help prevent grease and other particles from building up. And like you, I also experience grease thats stubborn and so hard to deal with, so what I do with this is submerge the pan or pot in a basin with lukewarm/hot water and leave it for a couple of minutes. In doing this, hot water slowly removes the grease particles from the pans and pots. Do not leave it overnight because cockroaches, rodents and other pests could feast on it while you are asleep (You get what I mean).

  4. To remove heavy grease in pots and pans without the hassle of scrubbing it too much and damaging our beloved cook wares, I just put hot water and dish washing detergent in to it and let it let it sit there until it is not so hot any more and just use a sponge to clean it thoroughly. Repeat the procedure if necessary.

  5. Removing stubborn grease from pots and pans shouldn’t be that hard using effective commercial products. However, some of them may cause damage to nonstick pans like Teflon. It is best to place some lukewarm water first in the pan and cleaning it later. Too hot water may strip the non-stick coating.

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