The Best Cleaning Agent For Burned-on Grease – 6 Top Tips

The Best Cleaning Agent For Burned-on Grease – 6 Top Tips

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One of the most common questions that we, as professional cleaners, get asked is; what is the best kind of cleaning agent to use for cleaning burned-on grease?

There is nothing worse than finishing your cleaning, doing a spot of cooking and burning grease onto the pan. By the time that you realize it, it is too late. So, what can you do about it? First of all, you will probably have to throw the food away, unless you can get enough out of the pan without scraping the burned grease into the food. Secondly, you need to try and clean it.

There is almost nothing worse than having to scrub a pot that has ruined your favorite meal. However, the alternative option of throwing the pan away is even more frustrating. Before you reach for the garbage can, try these next tips.

What is Burned-on Grease?

Grease is soft or rendered fat such as butter or lard. However, in cooking, you have other greases that will burn, such as oils. We use them every day to prepare food and stop it from sticking to the cooking implement, such as the pan.

What Is The Best Kind Of Cleaning Agent To Use For Cleaning Burned-on Grease?

All greases and oils are different compositions of three fats:

  • Saturated
  • Monounsaturated
  • Polyunsaturated

The difference between all of the different oils, fats, and greases is the smoke point and flashpoint. The smoke point is the temperature at which the fat will start to break down and smoke. Whereas the flashpoint is the lowest temperature at which the fat can ignite when mixed with air.

The smoke point can range anywhere from 302F for butter oil to 527F for avocado oil. That is not the point at which they will ignite, though. The flashpoint for almost all cooking oils is around 600F. However, you do not need to get grease to these temperatures to “burn” them onto the pan. That is because it is a mixture of food and oil that stick to the bottom.¬†Therefore, if you are watching your food while it burns, it is likely not to be burned oil at the bottom of the pan.

What Is The Best Kind Of Cleaning Agent To Use For Cleaning Burned-on Grease?

Because it is not necessarily the actual grease that has burned on, it can be a little more challenging to remove. However, with the slightly technical part out of the way, we will get into how to save your pan.

Dish Soap

I know that you have probably already tried this before searching for which cleaning agent to use on your burned-on grease, but still, if you haven’t, give it a go. You may be surprised at the results. I will presume that you are using a stainless steel pot, as non-stick pans such as Teflon coated, do an outstanding job at stopping this very scenario. Therefore, try the following steps:

  • Soak the container in boiling water and dish soap. Leave it for about 10 minutes, or better, while you eat your salvaged or ordered dinner.
  • Try to scrape it off with a metal spatula.
  • Use a scrubbing pad.

Hopefully, that will have broken down some of the greases that are in the burned mixture. Thus allowing you to get rid of the majority of the “bulk.” If you still have staining, then move onto the next step.


Yes, you read that right. You can try water. Water can be pretty convincing at removing stains on its own. One of the best ways that we have found to remove some stains is with water. Do that by filling the pan with some water, boiling it, and allowing it to simmer for a while.

That is a great idea to try if you are waiting for your new dinner to cook or be delivered.

White Vinegar As A Cleaning Agent For Burned-on Grease

White vinegar can have a relatively high acidity content. Usually, they are around 5% acetic acid. Therefore, they will be able to break down some of the burned-on grease and food with ease if you leave it to soak.

You may still need to scrub it a little after leaving it to soak in vinegar for an hour or two, but it should get rid of the majority of burned-on grease and food. If you do not need the pan in a hurry, you can leave it to soak for a little while longer.

Baking Powder

Create a paste of baking soda and water to remove stains. Hopefully, by this time, you will not have any lumps of food stuck to the pan. Therefore, baking powder pate will be able to “polish” the pot and the manufacturing grooves found in the metal base. You may still need to scrub a little to get all of the stainings off, though.

Citric Acid

If none of the above has worked, then you can use citric acid. Use a few tablespoons of the powder, mixed with some water, and leave it to soak in the pan. That should break down any remaining remnants of food, grease or stains.

Soda Crystals As A Cleaning Agent For Burned-on Grease

Use soda crystals in the same way as you would baking powder or citric acid. Alternatively, you can put a few tablespoons in some water and allow it to boil for a while.


Although we have spoken about pans throughout this article, you can use these techniques for anywhere else that you have burned-on greases, such as stove tops and cooker hoods.

All of the above ideas have proven to work very well at eliminating stains. However, What Is The Best Kind Of Cleaning Agent To Use For Cleaning Burned-on Grease? Well, you will have to try and see what works for your specific stain. That is because of the different oils and foods that are in the particular stains themselves.

If none of the above have worked well enough, then it may well be time to get a new pan! However, I am confident that, if you have tried all of the steps in this article, you will have a clean pan to use again.

If you would like more cleaning tips for around the house, keep an eye out on our blog page!


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