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Cleaning off buildup on pans

Does anyone have a good way of getting layered buildup off of pots and pans? My roommate does a lot of cooking, however his dishwashing skills are very sub-par. This combined with the worthless dish soap that we've been using up has left layers of grime on the outside of all my pots and pans as well as the lids that I can't seem to get off. I've tried soaking them in a sink with straight-hot water (and with our new water heater, that is HOT) and some real soap (Palmolive) but I can't seem to get very much of that film off. The set is only about a year old, but looks much older than that...
 
Whenever something is stuck on one of my pots or pans, I find that boiling water and baking soda in the pot/pan helps a lot. Depending on how much stuff is stuck on, you may have to repeat this a few times. Five or six times of doing this, along with an overnight soak, removed a fairly thick crust I burned onto a Dutch oven when I first started cooking.

EDIT: Of course their are probably more effective ways, but most of them require some harsh chemical. By the way, what are the pots/pans made out of?
 
I recently used Bar Keepers Friend to clean off some stuff that was burnt on to the bottom of a pan. We tried most other home remedies and none of them worked. The Bar Keepers Friend worked beautifully and it also removed some rust stains from the bottom of our sink.
 
if that non stick coating is chipped or worn,I would recycle that pan and invest in a decent one..once they are chipped guess where all the little shards of teflon go when you cook ? stainless steel is the best,and even the worst case of burned on crap can be restored by floating a layer of liquid dish soap across the bottom of the pot,then filling up to the top with bleach..let sit overnight,scrub and it's like new...you can't do that with teflon!
 
It looks like Barkeeper's friend is my best bet. Thanks gents :thumbup1:

And I believe that the non-stick isn't Teflon. The box is out in the garage, but I seem to recall that it's a type of ceramic alloy. I'd go out and check, but it's currently 16 degrees F (-9 C) outside and falling...
The pots/pans are in really good shape other than the buildup.
 
Not to sound overbearing or anything (I also have flatmates who suck at cleaning), but the main reason for buildup is cooking with too high temperatures so that stuff burns into the pan.

Non stick is pretty forgiving, but not impervious :tongue_sm
 
U

Utopian

Non-stick pans are also very intolerant of high temperatures. You should never have a non stick pan on a setting of beyond the typical "medium" setting on a stove top.
 
I don't think that it's an issue with temperature. The insides of the pans are easily cleanable. It's the outsides that look nasty. A lot of it is probably from the era where whenever the cookware was used, it remained dirty until it was needed again. The rest is from the fact that unless I clean it, it only gets a soapy dishrag swabbed around the inside only.

Temp control is interesting with our range. It's a vintage gas (ca. 1950) so the controls and burners are probably less than ideal. The oven has no way to regulate it's own temp, so baking anything is an exercise of vigilance :lol:
 
What I use is one of those green scrub pads. Be aware that they can cause fine scratches on the surface of softer materials. Some elbow grease is required also, but they are quite effective.
 
I recently used Bar Keepers Friend to clean off some stuff that was burnt on to the bottom of a pan. We tried most other home remedies and none of them worked. The Bar Keepers Friend worked beautifully and it also removed some rust stains from the bottom of our sink.

Use BKF and a Scott's Bright green and yellow cleaning sponge and you will get it nice and clean. I have Stainless that I use for lots of things and even with the dishwasher it gets a film over time that I use BKF to get off.
 
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