How to Clean Burnt Popcorn From a Pan

Burnt popcorn can be a tough stain to tackle. If you get those black stains in your favorite popcorn pan, don't worry--you can remove the popcorn stains with vinegar. Vinegar works well to both clean and deodorize cookware. Vinegar is an acid and can cut through burned-on foods such as popcorn with ease. When you combine vinegar with baking soda, you get a nice abrasive scouring paste as well.

Carmel corn
credit: Hemera Technologies/ Images

Boiled Vinegar

Step 1

Pour 2 cups vinegar and 2 cups water into the stained pot.

Step 2

Heat on high until the mixture boils.

Step 3

Remove the pan from the heat and let it completely cool.

Step 4

Pour out the vinegar and water.

Step 5

Wipe the pot clean with a soft cloth.

Step 6

If some burnt-on popcorn remains on the pan, pour another cup of vinegar into the pan and let it soak overnight.

Step 7

Pour the vinegar out of the pot and remove the remaining stains with the scouring pad. Rinse and dry your pot.


Step 1

Put 1/4 cup baking soda into a small mixing bowl.

Step 2

Add 2 to 3 tsp. of vinegar to the baking soda and stir. Add enough vinegar to make a thick paste. It should about as thick as toothpaste.

Step 3

Cover the stained pan with the paste and let it sit for 30 minutes.

Step 4

Use the scouring pad to scrub the burned popcorn off the pan. If some of the stain is still on the pan, repeat the process. This mixture can stay on the pan for up to 24 hours if needed. Wash and dry the pot.

Lorrell Kay

Lorrell Kay obtained a Master's Degree in animal husbandry from Southwest Minnesota State University and went on to work as a veterinary technician for 10 years. As a professional writer, Kay is the author of two fiction novels and has also co-authored a book on non-traditional animal medicine.