How to Clean Baked On Grease from Aluminum Pans: 5 Effective Methods

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Last updatedLast updated: June 01, 2021
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Wouldn’t it be nice if your aluminum pans looked as good as they did when you first bought them? Wouldn’t it be inspiring to have freshly cleaned pans? And finally, wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was nothing unsightly stuck to those pans that could cause odors and off-putting tastes into the next dish you make? Well, to make all those dreams a reality, you simply need to know how to clean baked on grease from aluminum pans. The good news is that there are some pretty innovative methods you can try and a lot of them don’t require too much effort. To read on to find the best ways to get your aluminum pans shiny again.

Method 1: cream of tartar

How to Clean Baked On Grease from Aluminum Pans: 5 Effective Methods

Cream of tartar is one of those odd pantry staples. While it is technically a chemical called potassium bitartrate, it’s often used to make homemade playdough. But it has another function, and that is to make your aluminum pans really shine.

Start by mixing 3 teaspoons of cream of tartar with 1 teaspoon of water. Mix it until it forms a paste. Then, spread the paste onto the surface of your aluminum pans. Let it sit for about 15 minutes.

The next step is to take a non-abrasive scouring pad and rub the paste into the pan. As you scrub, all the oil and grime should come off.

Finally, give your aluminum pan a good cleaning in warm soapy water.

Method 2: ketchup

Sometimes it’s fun to add a bit of whimsy to cleaning. And, if you’re trying to get your kids involved, then this next cleaning method for your aluminum pans might be fascinating enough to tempt them to take over.

One of the ingredients in ketchup is vinegar, and because it is an acid, it can help dissolve baked on grease on pans.

Start by cleaning your aluminum pan so there is no dirt or leftover cooking. Then, place the clean pan back on the stove.

Inside your aluminum pan, add ¼ cup of ketchup. Add a bit of water and then bring the mixture to a boil. Let everything cool and then use a scouring pad and start scrubbing. The acid in the vinegar will have cut through the grease and staining and you will be able to wipe a lot of it away.

Once you have scrubbed the whole surface, rinse the ketchup from the pan. Finally, clean the whole pan in warm soapy water.

Method 3: lemon juice and vinegar

Two cleaning staples that can be used all over your home are lemon juice and vinegar. In this method, you can add vinegar to the stained pan. Add a bit of water and then bring the mixture to a boil. The acid in vinegar should loosen and baked-on grime.

Alternately, you can add lemon juice to the pan and add a bit of water. Again, bring this to a boil and then after you have emptied the pan, you can scrub away any of the loosened grease.

Method 4: baking soda

Before you use baking soda on an aluminum pan, first give it a good cleaning to make sure any larger debris has been removed.

Mix ½ cup of water with 3 teaspoons of baking soda. You want a nice paste, so you can adjust the measurements as needed. Spread the paste onto your aluminum pan, wherever there are grease spots. Let the paste sit for 2 to 3 hours. If your pan is particularly stained, you can even leave the baking soda on overnight.

Once your pan has sat, you can start scrubbing. Finish by washing your pan in warm soapy water so there is no baking soda residue.

Also, you can mix baking soda with vinegar for quicker results:

Method 5: special cleansers

If your home remedies are just not able to cut through the baked-on grease, then it may be time to try a special cleanser. These are specially formulated to cut through grease while not scratching or discoloring your aluminum pan.

While special cleansers will cost you money, the good thing is that a little can go a long way. An investment in an aluminum pan cleanser will last you for quite a while, making it an intelligent purchase.

What to avoid when cleaning your aluminum pans?

Cleaning your aluminum pans can require a bit of effort. However, you do not want to use anything that will scratch the surface. Knives are definitely out of the question. Instead, you can use a specialized stainless steel scrubbing pad. It is abrasive enough to tackle baked-on food but won’t damage your aluminum pan.

How to prolong your aluminum pans’ lifespan?

Now that you have your aluminum pans restored to their glory it’s time to think about keeping them this way. There are plenty of simply ways you can keep your aluminum pans looking good so you don’t have to continually scrub them.

While it may seem easier to soak your aluminum pots for a while after cooking, it’s actually best if you keep the soaking to a minimum. While a few minutes is helpful, don’t leave your pots and pans in the sink overnight. Or, if you’re cooking breakfast, don’t leave your frying pan to clean until the evening.

Furthermore, while it is a lot easier to place pots and pans in the dishwasher, this won’t prolong their lifespan. Instead, you will have to use some elbow grease to keep this cookware looking good and lasting longer.

Final thoughts

While aluminum pans are incredibly useful when cooking, they do take a bit more effort to keep clean. Try your best to clean your aluminum pans right away, instead of leaving them to soak overnight. And, while it may be tempting, it’s best to wash them by hand than in the dishwasher. If you do have some well-used pans, the next step is knowing how to clean baked on grease from aluminum pans. You can use a variety of methods, including cream of tartar, baking soda, vinegar, and lemon. And, if all else fails, you can always try a specialized cleaner.

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