How to clean a frying pan outside and inside – 12 best ways

To be honest, it is often very difficult to clean a frying pan of soot and grease, especially if it is old or badly burnt. But there is good news: most persistent pollution can still be dealt with with the penny tools that you already have at home (or at least make the task much easier). The main thing is to choose the method that is right for your frying pan. After all, what will save the cast-iron stewpan, the Teflon pancake maker can hopelessly ruin.

In this article, you can find almost all traditional and non-standard ways to clean all types of pans: cast iron, stainless steel, aluminum with a non-stick coating (Teflon, enamel, ceramic, marble) and without it. Just choose the recipe that suits you.

12 ways to clean your frying pan

Method 1. How to clean the pan with vinegar and soda (universal method)

This method is the fastest and most effective, and in addition, it is universal – it is suitable for removing most contaminants (carbon deposits, soot and old grease) from any type of frying pan except those that have a non-stick coating. It doesn’t require the use of harsh chemicals, so you don’t even need rubber gloves. Just relax and follow the instructions!

What you need to clean the frying pan

You will need:

  • 1 glass of water (or more if the pan is large and deep)
  • 1 cup 9% table vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda.


Step 1. Place the pan on the stove, then pour a glass of water and vinegar into it.

Step 2. Bring the solution to a boil (at this stage, some of the carbon deposits should have already been removed).

Step 3. Remove the pan from the heat and add baking soda to it. The mixture should sizzle.!

Step 4. Empty the pan and wash in the usual way with a sponge.


  • Places with super stubborn dirt can be additionally treated with soda or soda paste (soda + a couple of drops of water) and left for a while.
  • Sometimes the reaction of soda with vinegar solution turns out to be strong and the contents of the frying pan can “run away” behind its walls and stain the stove. To avoid this, you can first drain some of the solution and then add baking soda..

Method 2. How to clean a frying pan with vinegar and soda outside and inside without boiling

  1. Pour baking soda on the contaminated area.
  2. Pour 9% vinegar over the baking soda and let the resulting effervescent foam work for 30-60 minutes.
  3. Wash the pan as usual with a hard sponge..

Method 3. Boiling with soda (for cleaning all types of pans, except for aluminum ones without a non-stick coating)

In most cases, you can clean the pan inside and out by boiling it with baking soda. This recipe is very simple and suitable for any type of utensil..

  1. If you only want to clean the inside of the pan, pour about a liter of water into it and add about 100 g of baking soda. If you want to clean the dishes both inside and out, then use a large metal basin or bucket and fill it with a soda solution at the same rate – 1 liter. water / 100 g of soda.
  2. Put the pan / bowl and pan on the fire, bring the solution to a boil, and then forget about cleaning for another 20 minutes.

  1. Remove the utensil from the heat and let it cool, then wash in the usual way, using a hard sponge or scraper in difficult places (if there is no non-stick coating). During the cooking of the frying pan, the soda solution will soften and remove from it most of the fat, carbon deposits, and the remnants of burnt food.

Method 4. Boiling according to the Soviet recipe: laundry soap + soda + silicate glue (to remove carbon deposits from a cast iron, steel, aluminum or duralumin frying pan)

This old and proven method works in the most hopeless cases, when you need to remove a perennial layer of carbon deposits from the outside of a cast iron or aluminum / duralumin frying pan..

You will need:

  • A metal bowl or bucket of a suitable size (for example, a volume of 10 liters);
  • 1 piece of laundry soap 72% (optional);
  • ½ cup of silicate glue (aka stationery or school glue and liquid glass);
  • 1/2 cup soda ash (sold in household supplies) or half a pack of baking soda
  • Scraper (you can use a table knife);
  • Grater (medium) and metal sponge.


  1. Fill a basin / bucket with water and bring it to a boil over high heat.
  2. While the water is heating, grate the laundry soap (optional).
  3. Once the water boils, turn the heat down, pour all the soap shavings into the bowl, stir them, and then add half a mug of glue and a half mug of soda ash / baking soda. At this point, do not forget to open the window and turn on the cooker hood.!

  1. Finally, dip your skillet into the resulting solution, after removing the handle from it. If the handle is not plastic / wooden, then lower it into the basin. Now it remains to be patient and cook the pan for 1-4 hours, depending on the degree of pollution. During this time, part of the carbon and fat will lag behind the pan, and the rest will soften.

  1. After boiling, rinse the pan, transfer it to a sink or a clean bowl (you can use a plastic one), then start removing carbon residues with a metal sponge / scraper / knife. Do not overdo it with tools so as not to remove the enamel on the outer walls – if you remove it, the pan will quickly become covered with a new layer of carbon.

Method 5. Boiling with washing powder and oil

According to many users, this method is more effective than others in removing carbon deposits both outside and inside..

  1. Fill a large basin with water, add a few tablespoons of sunflower oil and some washing powder.
  2. Place the basin on medium heat and immerse the dirty utensils in it. Bring the solution to a boil, then wash the pan as usual..

Method 6. How to clean a burnt frying pan by boiling (except for non-stick pans)

  1. Place the skillet on the stove and heat over medium heat..
  2. Once the pan is hot enough (check with a drop of water), pour 1 cup of water into it and cook a little more (add some dishwashing liquid if you like).
  3. Then use a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to scrape off the debris on the burned areas..
  4. Wash the utensils as usual.

See also:

  • We clean the microwave in 5 minutes – 6 express ways
  • How to remove grease and dirt from the kitchen – 11 recipes for different surfaces
  • How to Clean Stainless Steel Spoons and Forks – 12 Ways

Method 7. Soak with cleaning solution for light to medium soiling

  1. Dispense a few drops of dishwashing liquid into a skillet, add hot water and let it stand for a few hours or leave it overnight.
  2. Then clean the utensils as usual with a sponge..

Method 8. “Scrubbing” with baking soda (not suitable for Teflon and aluminum pans!)

  1. Make a paste with equal parts baking soda and warm water.
  2. Paste carbon, soot or greasy deposits.
  3. Rinse with warm water and repeat the procedure if necessary.

Baking soda

Method 9. Boiling with laundry soap (for all types of pans except aluminum)

This method is well suited for removing grease and deposits from all types of pans..

  1. Rub a quarter of a bar of laundry soap (72%) on a medium grater.

Laundry soap and grater

  1. Place the soap shavings in a skillet and cover with water, then heat the mixture without boiling..
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside to soak for a couple of hours..
  3. Rinse the pan, then wash with a sponge and dishwashing liquid.

Method 10. How to clean a frying pan from rust

Rust can be easily removed with dry table salt. Just rub the problem areas, then wash and dry.

Method 11. Clean the pan with powerful chemicals – top 3 super effective tools

In our opinion, powerful household chemicals are indispensable if you need to quickly and with minimal effort to clean the pan from soot and fat. The main thing is to take precautions, use rubber gloves, work with an open window and not handle the dishes for too long. They say that if you cover a frying pan with Shumanite and leave it overnight, a hole can form in it..

  1. An oven cleaner from Amway is expensive, sold only through the Internet or dealers, but it removes even old carbon deposits and grease in a few minutes, while being economically consumed, it is washed off itself easier than its counterparts and practically does not stink. If you have animals and children, then this tool is indispensable in the household..

Shumanit and Amway

  1. Shumanit Bagi – is cheaper than Amway and is sold in many utility departments of hypermarkets. Slightly less effective than Amway (for example, very old pans may not always be washed), but still very effective. The main disadvantages are a pungent smell, which is felt even with an open window, and the difficulty of rinsing off the product itself.
  2. A sparkling cauldron – from inexpensive means A sparkling cauldron is the most powerful.

And here is the general instruction:

  1. We treat problem areas with the product, wrap the pan in a bag (so the smell does not spread throughout the room) and leave it for 15-60 minutes, depending on the degree of pollution.
  2. Remove the dirt and rinse the dishes thoroughly two or three times. To be sure, the pan can be wiped with vinegar to remove any residual product..

Important! All grease removers listed are not intended for cleaning aluminum and Teflon pans..

Method 12. Mechanical cleaning method

Mechanical cleaning methods are relevant for old steel, aluminum and cast-iron pans, when folk methods and chemicals do not help remove a perennial layer of soot and fat. But all mechanical methods have one significant drawback – removing the layer of dirt from the outer walls of the dishes, the top layer (enamel, anodized layer) is almost always removed, which means that in the future the frying pan will become more and more covered with grease and soot. After such a radical cleaning, the bottom of the cast iron / aluminum pan should be calcined with salt and oil..

Here are some of the traditional mechanical methods for cleaning pans:

  1. Sandblasting. To update your hopeless assistant, you need to hand her over for a small fee to the nearest tire workshop. The auto mechanic will place the utensils in a special chamber, where, due to compressed air and sand, deposits of carbon deposits will be removed in a matter of minutes.
  2. Cleaning with a grinder. This method of cleaning can be cranked in the country on your own using a grinder or grinder with a flap end wheel.

Rules for cleaning pans depending on the material and tips for prevention

Different types of metals and coatings react differently to acids and alkalis, prolonged soaking and heating. When starting to wash your frying pan, find out the contraindications (if you look at the table on your smartphone, turn it to a horizontal position – so the entire table will enter the screen).

Cast iron cookware Teflon cookware Stainless steel Aluminum cookware without non-stick coating and enamel
Dishwasher safe Not allowed (the pan will be covered with rust) Can Can It is forbidden
Using abrasive cleaners, brushes, scrapers and hard sponges Can It is forbidden Can It is forbidden
Using baking soda, laundry soap, and other alkaline cleaners Can Can Can It is forbidden
The use of acids (vinegar, citric acid, etc.) Can Not allowed (short-term exposure is acceptable) Can Not allowed (short-term exposure is acceptable)
Prolonged soaking It is forbidden Can Can Undesirable
  • Aluminum pans (uncoated) can be washed with detergents for glass and porcelain dishes, soap solutions with the addition of ammonia.
  • Any dishes should be washed only after they have cooled naturally. If you suddenly transfer a hot pan to cool water, it may deform. This is especially true for cast iron, aluminum (coated and uncoated) and ceramic pans..
  • Remember to remove the wooden / plastic handle before soaking or boiling the pan, or simply don’t submerge it in water.

How to ignite a pan after cleaning or before using for the first time?

By clearing the pan of soot and grease, you also remove its natural non-stick film, which protects food from burning. This applies to all types of pans, except for stainless pans (they do not corrode). Calcining is especially necessary for cast-iron pans and cauldrons. To create a non-stick layer after general cleaning or before the first use, you need to ignite the pan. Here are several ways to choose from..

For cast-iron pans or cauldrons, as well as pans made of white or blue steel (except for stainless steel dishes)

Before igniting, make sure the pan has been washed with a non-aggressive detergent. It is best to wash the pan with laundry soap or dishwashing liquid before this procedure..

Method 1. How to ignite a frying pan in the oven (for cast iron and steel utensils):

  1. Preheat the oven to 180-200 degrees;
  2. While the oven is heating up, rub a clean and dry frying pan / cauldron completely (!) With vegetable oil using a paper towel or cloth;
  3. Turn the pan upside down, place it in the oven on the wire rack and leave for 1 hour;
  4. After the set time has elapsed, let the pan cool naturally without removing it from the oven..

Igniting a cast iron pan

Method 2. How to ignite a frying pan with oil and salt on the stove (professional method of cooks):

  1. Fill the bottom of the pan with a 1 cm layer of vegetable oil.Then add coarse sea salt – there should be enough of it so that it absorbs almost all the oil.
  2. Place a skillet over medium heat until the salt darkens (about 20-30 minutes).
  3. Turn off the heat, let the pan cool, then remove the salt, and rub the remaining oil into the bottom and sides of the pan.

For Teflon skillet or skillet with any other non-stick coating

Heat a Teflon skillet over low heat for about 30 seconds, then turn off the heat and grease the bottom and inner walls with a teaspoon of vegetable oil using a paper towel or clean rag.