Skip to Content

How to Clean a Burnt Copper Bottom Pan

How to Clean a Burnt Copper Bottom Pan

Copper is preferred at the pans’ bottom because it heats quickly and evenly distributes heat across the surface. The copper bottoms burn if allowed to sit for long under the fire, left empty, or when they catch fire. Copper cookware cooks properly and eliminates instances of undercooking or overcooking. Burnt copper cookware loses its ability to distribute heat evenly and leaves your food with a burnt taste. Instead of throwing the pan away, there are simple methods you can use to clean it.

How Get Black Burnt Stuff Off the Bottom of a Pan

To clean burnt copper pans and get them shining like new again, grab the following;

What You Require

  • ½ cup of Salt/flour
  • A Cup of white vinegar
  • Dish detergent
  • Hot water
  • Baking soda
  • Scrubbing sponge
  • Tomato ketchup
  • Lemon
  • Knife
  • A clean cloth/ towel

Dish soap and Baking Soda

Remove the burnt food fragments from the bottom of the pan. Add some liquid dish soap to the pan and fill it with hot water. Ensure you cover all the burnt layers and later add two tablespoons of baking soda.  Allow the pan to soak for about one hour.

Scrub the burnt layer on the pan with a soft sponge. It’s best to avoid scrubbers like steel wool as they scrape off the non-stick coating on the pan. If the particles are still stuck on the pan, let the pan soak overnight to soften the layer. Scrub the pan gently the following morning and rinse it with hot water. Use the kitchen towel to dry the pan or lay it on the counter to drip the water till it dries.

Use Tomato Ketchup

Spread tomato ketchup on the burnt section and allow it to settle there for about half an hour for the acid to penetrate the burnt spots and corrode them away. Wash the ketchup off with hot water as you scrub the surface of the pan with a scrubber. Later dry the pan with a soft cloth.

Use Vinegar, Salt and Flour Paste

Fill a bowl with vinegar and place it in a microwave. Heat the vinegar for 30 seconds on medium heat. Fill another bowl with salt and flour mix with vinegar to form a thick paste. Spread the paste with a cloth on the burnt area and gently rub the paste on the pan’s bottom. Wipe excess paste and leave the rest to dry.   Later rinse with hot water.

Use Lemon and Salt

Use lemon and salt, cut a lemon into two halves, and dip half in salt. Take the salted lemon and rub-down it on the burnt pan’s bottom until the stains are clear. Dampen a cloth and wipe the copper clean to reduce the risk of rust.  Rinse the pan with hot water to remove both lemon and scrub remains and dry it thoroughly.

Make Tartar Cream and Water Bath

Bring to boil a liter of water and stir in two tablespoons of cream tartar. Pour the mixture on the burnt copper surface and spread it over the whole surface. Remove the cream after 20 minutes, scrub the pan with a moist cloth, rinse and dry. 

What is the Fastest Way to Clean Copper?

Cleaning copper can be quite a hassle and may even give up. But there are seral tricks you can use to clean it up in an easy way. You can use the easiest and fastest way, white vinegar, salt, and scotch Brite sponge, in less than a minute. The salt and vinegar combine to dissolve the rust-like film on your pan, also called the red copper pan layer. It’s a homemade alternative, and thus it’s cheap to apply.

Can You Use Steel Wool on Copper Pans?

Steel wool is not the best cleaning agent for a copper pan. The wool or other harsh products may scratch the finish on your cookware. These scratches will destroy your cookware nonstick surface making it prone to burns and may produce some metal filings if you scratch more, thus unsafe for use. It’s best to use dishwashing liquid and soft sponge, cleaning cloth, or gentle brush.

Can You Use a Brillo Pad on Copper?

To protect the finish on copper pans, avoid using abrasive cleaners. The brillo pads, steel wool, and wire brushes all fall under abrasive materials as they scratch copper surfaces. It’s best to clean your copper with hot soapy water and scrub with a soft nylon brush. You can consider other DIY products like vinegar, salt paste, lemon with salt, or commercial cleaners.

What is the Best Food-Grade Chemical to Clean Copper?

The best food-grade chemical to clean copper is acetic acid. It’s the most commonly used to clean copper utensils, and it’s readily available in almost every household in the form of vinegar. Though the acetic acid is relatively weak, it does the cleaning pretty well. You can blend the vinegar with baking soda, salt, cream of tartar, or flour to prepare the paste. The cream cleans pure copper utensils for unmatchable shine.


Don’t allow yourself to get stressed if your pan gets burned. Use the available cleaners like vinegar, tomato ketchup, dish soap, and baking soda to get rid of the black stuff off the pan’s bottom. Remember always to use the appropriate cleaners and cleaning apparatus which are not abrasive to avoid destroying the pan’s non-stick surface.