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The Best Ways to Clean Your Cookware (Especially Those Burned Pots and Pans)

Cleaning Burned Pots, Cleaning Burned Pans

The holiday season is here, along with all the large family meals and special sweet treats this time of year brings. What else do these months bring? Dishes, and lots of them. We all know the feeling, when the end-of-meal cleanup feels just as daunting as cooking and hosting the feast. Delta faucets already make the aftermath of a meal much easier by providing Touch2O technology, where a simple touch of your forearm to the spout or faucet handle activates the flow of water, letting you keep a clean faucet even when your hands are dirty. Though you may be tempted to ignore that mountain of dirty cookware in your sink and across your counter, have no fear. We have a few tricks to help make cleanup as easy as stuffing one’s face. (If your pots and pans are past redemption, head to our cookware buying guide for tips on choosing your next set.)
Cleaning Nonstick Cookware: This common cooking surface is sensitive—never use sharp tools on its surface, and do not soak it overnight. For hard-to-remove food (like eggs and cheese), fill the cool pan with hot, soapy water and let soak for 10 minutes. Take a textured, scratch-free sponge and gently rub the stuck-on food. Repeat the process for particularly stubborn food bits. This method works well for cleaning your ceramic cookware, too. Delta Faucet’s ShieldSpray technology would also help ease the mess. This faucet produces a concentrated jet of water which gently remove food bits with laser-like precision, simplifying cleanup.  
Cleaning Cast Iron Cookware: A well-oiled cast-iron pan is a dream to cook with and rather easy to clean. Simply rinse the dirty pan in hot water while scrubbing the interior with a gentle brush—no soap necessary (soap removes the pan’s cherished seasoning). Should resistant bits of stuck-on food become a problem, rub a simple paste of coarse sea salt and water onto the pan’s interior to remove the remnants. Rinse with warm water immediately, then dry your pan and oil it. (Learn how to re-season your pan here.)
Cleaning Enamel Cookware: If you’ve accidentally burned food in your enamel cookware, don’t fret—burned-on food doesn’t have to be permanent. Bring four cups of water to a boil in the dirty pot. Add four tablespoons of baking soda and let boil for a minute or two. With a wooden spoon, start scraping the food bits off the bottom. This surface is sensitive, so do not use metal utensils to scrape it. Once all the gunk has been removed, dispose of the hot, dirty water and wipe clean.
Cleaning Stainless Steel Cookware: Burning your stainless-steel pan isn’t tragic. Simply boil one cup of water with one cup of vinegar in the pan (use extra of each, in equal amounts, depending on the size of your cookware). When the mixture comes to a boil, turn off the heat and add a couple of tablespoons of baking soda. Warning: There will be a fizzy reaction that will remind you of homemade volcano lava. Use a nonmetal scouring pad to clean the pan, and add more baking soda as needed. Rinse with water and voila—easy cleanup.
Cleaning a Crockpot: For those old-school crockpots that don’t have a removable inner bowl, simply wipe the interior with a warm, wet sponge once the crock has cooled. For those with a removable interior, rinse it out with warm, soapy water and a gentle brush or scratch-free sponge. To make cleanup even easier, get a pack of crockpot liners. Line the inside of the pot before you cook, and remove the liner once the pot has been emptied.