How To Remove Baked-On Grease From Cookware

Over years of use, cookware and bakeware can acquire layers of baked-on gunk that’s hard to get rid of, especially the kind that comes from cooking spray, oils and butter. Subjecting your pans and cookware to high temperatures and a variety of different foods will ultimately result in a dark, oily coating over the dishes.

If you’ve ever struggled to figure out how to remove baked-on grease from cookware surfaces, we’ve got some tried-and-true tips you can try, though the best preventative measure for keeping baked-on grease at bay is to soak and clean your cookware soon after using it so the grime doesn’t have a chance to harden onto your pots, pans and baking sheets.

How To Remove Baked-On Grease From Baking Sheets

For baking sheets, Bar Keepers Friend — used generously and with lots of water to suds it up — worked well for me when I tested out various methods for cleaning grease off baking sheets and pans. Coating the sheet with baking soda and using a ball of foil as a scrubber was also a pretty effective cleaning combination.

Just don’t use foil or any harsh scrubber like steel wool on non-stick or coated cookware surfaces. They’ll remove your grease — along with the coating on the cookware.

Plate and sponge with Bar Keepers Friend next to them
Simplemost

Removing Baked-On Stains From Glass Cookware

According to blogger Laurie at Passionate Penny Pincher, there are several ways to remove tough stains from glass cookware. One method is to let oven cleaner sit on the cookware surface for about an hour. Then, use a Magic Eraser to scrub off the cleaner and grime. Some Dawn dish soap and a run through the dishwasher makes sure there’s no residue.

One method that did not work well for the Passionate Penny Pincher blogger was using vinegar, baking soda, sea salt and Brillo pads. Letting a pan with baked-on grease soak in a sink full of laundry detergent was another suggestion, but the blogger didn’t try it out.

Dawn dish soap new packaging
Courtesy P&G

Tips For Cleaning Grease Off Stainless Steel

In a test of four caustic chemical-free methods to get rid of burnt grease stains on stainless steel skillets, Cooks Illustrated found that hot water and soap and a good soak was the best way to get the gunk loosened.

A good scrub was still needed, too.

How to Remove Baked-on Grease from Cookware-Cleaning Tips
Adobe

Other Tactics For Removing Baked-On Stains

A writer for CNET tested out some supposed treatments for the removal of tough grease stains to find out which tactics worked and which ones were useless. The winners were Bar Keepers Friend (again), a Magic Eraser (again), Borax, a bleach cleaner like Comet or Ajax, steel wool, adding a dryer sheet to boiling water in the stained pan and letting it sit for a while and ketchup.

Yes, ketchup. The acid from the tomato-based condiment apparently helps remove baked-on grease.

bottle of Heinz veggie ketchup
Heinz

Combining baking soda and vinegar is an oft-suggested cleaning method, but it seems to have mixed results depending on the level of staining on your cookware. However, a slight variation on this combo — baking soda, dish soap and a good soak in hot water — will work wonders, according to Good Housekeeping.

Finally, The Kitchn came up with an intriguing list of cleaning agents to try, including cornstarch and vinegar, denture cleaner, Bon Ami Cleaning Powder and toothpaste.

Have you tried any of these methods? What’s your go-to for removing baked-on grease from cookware?