Cleaning a cooking pot that has boiled dry is often an arduous project. If you left water boiling too long and the water cooked out, the bottom of the pot may have turned dark or white from the mineral deposits from the water or liquid. If stew, chili or another type of food boiled dry, this leaves a thick, stuck-on residue that requires patience and persistence to clean. It is tempting to throw away the pot because of the unsightly stain or amount of burnt-on residue, but don't immediately discard the pot into the garbage until you attempt to clean it with the right products.
Left Water Boiling Too Long
If a pot boiled dry, how to clean it begins with carefully remove the cooking pot from the hot eye on the stove using a potholder or insulated cooking glove. Allow it to cool off before attempting to clean it. Discard any remaining food from the pot into the garbage or your disposal, because it is likely to have a burnt taste.
Soaking and Scraping
Add water to the pot and allow it to soak for at least 30 minutes. Try to remove any remaining food with a plastic scraper or plastic spatula. Pour the water and food debris down the garbage disposal once you loosen the food.
Using Fizzy Tablets
Fill the pot with 2 inches of warm water and drop in two to six fizzing tablets in it if the food residue or stain is still apparent. Denture cleaning tablets and the over-the-counter medicines that fizz and treat indigestion, heartburn and pain work well. The number of tablets depends on the size of the pot and thickness of the burnt-on residue.
Allow the tablets to fizz for about 10 minutes. Scrub the pot with warm soapy water and a nylon scrubber. Rinse it well before drying with a clean dish towel.
The Salt Treatment
Wet the pot if it only has mineral deposits or a stain from boiling dry. Sprinkle regular table salt on the inside bottom of the pot. Allow the salt to sit for about 10 to 15 minutes. Scrub the pot with a nylon scrubber until it comes clean. This works well for burnt milk and other stains. The salt is nonabrasive and does not scratch the cooking pot or cause any other damage.
Cleaning Copper Pots
Clean copper by sprinkling regular table salt over the inside bottom of the pot. Saturate a cleaning cloth with white distilled vinegar. Scrub the salt into the copper pot with the cloth. Rinse out the salt and wash in your normal fashion.
Cleaning Stainless Steel Pots
Boil 1 cup white distilled vinegar and enough water to cover the bottom of a stainless steel pot. Allow it to boil for about five minutes and then let the mixture cool. Scrub the pot with a nylon scrubber to remove stains and burnt-on food residue.
Cleaning Non-Stick Pots
If you have a boiled dry non-stick pan, add 2 tablespoons baking soda, 1 cup warm water and 1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar to the pot. Boil the mixture for about 10 minutes. Allow the pot to cool and then clean in your normal manner. If your nonstick pot has mineral deposits, moisten a cleaning cloth with white distilled vinegar and rub the damp cloth over the mineral deposits to remove them.
Chelsea Fitzgerald covers topics related to family, health, green living and travel. Before her writing career, she worked in the medical field for 21 years. Fitzgerald studied education at the University of Arkansas and University of Memphis.