How to Remove Carbon Buildup From Aluminum Cookware

If you have ever burned food in an aluminum pan, you know how difficult it is to clean. If this has happened a few times then the burned-on food will eventually turn to a carbon-like consistency and is very stubborn to remove. By using a few ingredients commonly found in any kitchen, you can have your aluminum cookware looking new again without using a lot of force or muscle. Save your cookware and keep it lasting with natural ingredients that you don't need to worry about.

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Cleaning carbon is easy with the right tools.

Step 1

Wash the piece of cookware using soap and water to remove any loose food or other grime.

Step 2

Simmer one quart of water in the piece of cookware with the carbon deposit on your stove. When the water is simmering, add 1 tbsp cream of tartar, 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp white vinegar. Simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool.

Step 3

Put on some rubber gloves and scrub the aluminum cookware with steel wool. The cream of tartar mixture will have loosened and softened the carbon deposits, which should now be easy to remove.

Step 4

Wash the piece of cookware again using soap and water. Repeat if necessary.

Nikki Fotheringham

Nikki Fotheringham is a Toronto green living blogger specializing in environmentally friendly building technologies, renewable energy and all things green. She's the copy editor for which dispenses green living advice for urban dwellers. She's traveled the globe, swum with sharks and been bitten by a lion (fact).