How to clean the bottom of pans?

Cast iron pan

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We put all the effort into cleaning the inside of the pan, skillet, and any other cookware. But it is the outside bottom of the pan that sits directly on the heat and exposes itself to all the harshness first. With time, as we do nothing to maintain the cleanliness of the bottom of the pan, the grease starts gluing to it and forms into hardened stubborn grime.
When you finally think of removing it, it does not take off with simple water and soap. Here come the homemade tricks and store-bought cleaning agents to the rescue. Let’s learn how to have them rescue our pans in minimal time.

4 Great ideas to clean the Bottoms of all material’s Pans

All the hacks below involve scrubbing at some point; you need not be violent for your hate for the grease and be gentle enough to avoid the major scratching.

1- Oven Cleaner

Recommended for material type: Nonstick, Ceramic
If you are into baking or have any type of oven at home, you must be using an oven cleaner to remove grease from the oven racks and grills. The strong solution works with softening the grime and then you can scrub the surface to peel off or wipe it out. It will work the same way on your burnt pan bottom. So depending upon the availability, I will describe two ways to clean the pan with an oven cleaner.

If you have a spray oven cleaner, use this method:

  • Take the abused pan and clean the visible grease and grime on the bottom with a paper towel.
  • Spray the oven cleaner all over the bottom of the pan and leave it to dry for half an hour.
  • Now take a scouring pad and start scrubbing the bottom.
  • If the bottom is uneven and the scouring pad does not reach the cavities easily, take a toothbrush and scrub those areas with it.
  • Now take warm soapy water in some container and put the pan in it.
  • Leave the pan in it for further 15 mins.
  • Later, scrub again and rinse with lukewarm water.
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Therefore, if you have an oven cleaner solution instead of the spray: use this method:

  • Take a big plastic bag with a seal.
  • Remove any apparent grease or grime from the pan bottom or wash it.
  • Add the oven cleaner solution into the bag and place the pan in it.
  • Seal it and leave it soaked in somewhere in your kitchen for 24 hours.
  • After a day, take it out and scrub with a scouring pad.
  • Keep scrubbing until the grime starts getting off the bottom.
  • Rinse thoroughly with tap water.

2- Ketchup

Recommended for material type: Copper
The oxalic acid present in tomato ketchup is strong enough to degrease the bottom of your pan, even quicker if it is made of copper material because the copper lets it sit efficiently. Follow the steps to do it well.

  • Clean the bottom of your pan with a paper towel.
  • Spread a thick layer of ketchup on the bottom and place the pan upside down for about 25 to 30 minutes. The best is to leave it for 1 hour.
  • Now take a dish sponge and start scrubbing the bottom in a circular motion.
  • You can also add a few drops of liquid soap to the ketchup before scrubbing to create leather.
  • After a few mins, rinse it with mild warm water.
  • It’s optional to apply the dish soap again if you had already added it to the ketchup before.
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3- Baking Soda and lemon

Recommended for material type: Stainless steel, Copper, Aluminum
Baking soda is an amazing cleaning agent used around to clean almost the whole house because of its versatile properties. When paired with lemon, the intensity of baking soda to tidy up the surfaces of objects increases even more. To clean the grease on the bottom of your pan, follow this guide.

  • Remove any excess grease or dirt accumulated on the bottom with the help of a paper towel or piece of cloth.
  • Take a bucket or container and add some white vinegar in it, enough to soak the pan bottom in it. Remove it after 10 minutes.
  • Take 3 or 4 spoons full of baking soda in a bowl and squeeze two lemons in it.
  • Make a moderate paste. Also, add a little bit of water.
  • The paste will start fizzing and then settle on its own.
  • After it sits, apply the thick layers of this concoction on the pan bottom and leave it to dry.
  • Once it has dried, take a scouring pad and start massaging the paste off the pan.
  • Keep adding a little bit of water to the dried area to make the scrubbing easier.
  • After you have done it religiously and the grease has been removed, rinse it with water and soap.
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4- Barkeeper’s friend or Bon Ami

Recommended for material type: Copper, Aluminum, Stainless steel, Cast iron
This is a ready-made solution to the usual grease on the pan bottoms or any other cookware. You can choose between Barkeeper or Bon Ami according to your will.
For this method to work, follow these steps.

  • Remove any excess grease from the bottom of the pan.
  • Wet the bottom thoroughly with water.
  • Sprinkle any of these two, Barkeeper or Bon Ami.
  • Add a little bit of water above it and mix the mixture.
  • Leave it on there and let the cleaning agent work its way for the next 15 minutes.
  • Then take a toothbrush and start scrubbing it off.
  • Rinse with water and soap.


Some pans are naturally more prone to grease due to inefficient and cheap formation that can not handle the stovetop with resilience and ends up damaged due to gunk.

Kitcheniest has a great review guide about special pans made for gas stovetops that come with instructions on maintenance and cleaning. Therefore, quite often the suitable solution to get rid of that greasy pan is to replace it with a better one that does not allow the grease to attack the bottom easily.

Philip Okoye
the authorPhilip Okoye
Your favorite recipe author, faithful to every course. Mail me at

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