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How to Clean a Stainless Steel Pot That The Water Burned Dry In [3 Effective Methods!]

You forgot your stainless steel pot on a burner/stove, and now you are in a panic. You immediately turned off the burner and took it out of the stove. 

But now, there are ugly stains on the pot. Don’t worry, it is possible to make them go away!

How to clean a stainless steel pot that the water burned dry in?

To remove the stains we have to apply a cleansing mixture to the burnt surface. One of them can be made by mixing baking soda and lemon juice. Also, the blend of salt and lemon can remove the stains. Lastly, use vinegar as a cleaning agent. After applying the mixture, scrub and rinse the pot.

To clean the burnt pot you will need distinct and specific guidelines. That is exactly what I have explained in the methods below.

Therefore, let’s get right into it!

Why Are There Burnt Spots on The Pot?

Well, it can only happen when the pot sits empty on the stove for a while. Basically, the water boiled dry in the stainless steel pot. On top of that, leaving the stove on for too long can develop grease. And cleaning the grease can be very tiring. 

The burns can be fresh or they can be old. If it is fresh, it should be taken care of immediately. The sooner you take the pot off the heat, the better. Old burns can be a hassle to remove but it is possible.

Fortunately, there are multiple ways to clean an old stained pot. So, what are the methods of cleaning it? 

Read along to find out!

Removing Stains from A Scorched Pot – 3 Methods

There are a lot of stainless steel pot cleaning hacks out there. Accordingly, I have included 3 remedies with detailed procedures for each of them. 

Removing hard water stains is a tough job on its own. Regular scrubbing won’t do a thing when it comes to burnt water stains. So by applying mentioned methods you can clean the pot easily.

Don’t sweat about it. You won’t need to visit the shop for any equipment. These remedies can be done by common household items. 

You can try any of the methods for cleaning a scorched stainless steel pot.

Method 1: Using Baking Soda & Lemon

This is a very effective and old trick on how to clean a burnt stainless steel pot

Necessary Tools and Ingredients

  • Baking soda
  • Lemon Juice
  • Scrubber 

Now, let’s start with the procedure.


First, lay out the burnt area of the pan. Then, take 1 or 2 tablespoons of baking soda and sprinkle it densely on that area.

Next, apply lemon juice with the baking soda and make a paste. Wait for 15-20 minutes after you put the paste on the scorched area.

At last, you will have to scrub the area. For this step, you need a scrubber.

A soft scrubber will be very less effective and might be unable to remove the burn stains. It is important to grab a hard and tough scrubber. For instance, a nylon scrubber.

For your aid, I have mentioned some good-quality scrubbers:

Product 1
Product 2

Use the scrubber with enough force to clean the stains. Constantly rinse with water to track the stains. 

All these steps should be enough to make the burn stains go away. If there is some left, you can repeat the whole process. This method can be used to clean a scorched stainless steel pan too.

Method 2: Using Salt & Lemon

If the method above doesn’t give good results follow this one. This method is a good one for stubborn burn stains. 

Necessary Tools and Ingredients

  • Lemon
  • Salt
  • Warm Water

Now, let’s see how it’s done.


Firstly, grab some fresh lemons. Cutting the lemons in half or quarters is necessary. If the burn area is too big, cut the lemons in quarters. If it’s small, cut them in half. 

Secondly, add a layer of salt to the burnt surface. Try not to make the layer too thick or there will be very little friction.  

Finally, use the lemon slices as a scrubber and grind the lemons in the pot. Grind the lemons and the salt, and focus the pressure on the surface. After rubbing, rinse the surface with warm water. 

The stains from the burnt stainless steel pot should come off very quickly.

Method 3: Using Vinegar & Dishwashing Liquid

To clean a burnt stainless steel pot inside downright, you may use this method. Old burn stains are more vulnerable to this one.

Necessary Tools and Ingredients

  • Vinegar
  • Dishwashing Liquid
  • Water
  • Scrubber

Well, let’s start with the procedure.


First, add water and vinegar (each 1 part) into the stainless steel pot. It is a very strong method to clean a stainless steel pot with vinegar

Second, mix 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid in it. You can also use Zote soap for this case. Surprisingly, there are a variety of uses for Zote soap and it can substitute the dishwashing liquid.

Mix them well and turn them on the stove on high heat. Wait for 3 minutes before lowering the heat to medium. Let it boil.

After about 10 minutes, the burnt patches should start coming off of the surface of the pot. Rinse it with water and lastly, scrub the surface for any excess burnt patches. 

You can also apply method 2 after rinsing. It will definitely be cleaning the burn marks of the stainless steel.

You can go with any of the 3 methods above! All of them are quite effective.


Question: Is burnt stainless steel toxic?

Answer: No, it is not toxic. Kitchen utensils made out of stainless steel are very safe in general and they don’t contain any toxic materials. Although, burnt stainless steel is considered unsafe to use. Properly cleaning the burns from the stainless steel will definitely make them safe to use. 

Question: Can you still use a burnt pot?

Answer: You can definitely use a burnt pot. Burnt pots are never a deal-breaker as long as you manage to remove the burns. The scorching of the pot does not interfere with its usage. The pot can be used if it has stains on it. But, if it is rusty, do buy a new one. 

Question: Can you overheat stainless steel?

Answer: Stainless steel can be overheated, yes. A slight discoloration takes place on the surface of the steel when it is overheated. It can easily be fixed. Nonetheless, the surface is able to heal from heat and oxygen. Additionally, overheating a stainless steel pot/pan won’t be harmful to your health.


Hopefully, now you know how to clean a stainless steel pot that the water burned dry in. Following these methods precisely will revive your burnt stainless steel pot.

Remember to wear gloves while working with the mixtures. In contact, your skin might be harmed.

Wishing you all the very best!