To Trash or Not, that was the Question

Part of the job the of a Legislative Aide is to attend monthly Community Advisory Board Meetings. Tonight was one of those meetings. It is also a Thursday night, and that means Boy Scout meeting. Thursdays are usually YOYO dinners (You are On Your Own). Life has been hectic, and there have been A LOT of these meals lately. Douglas was tired of them. He took the initiative tonight to make a homemade “hamburger helper” meal for everyone. I am so glad I have children who will step up and help out the family on their own initiative!

He used one of my favorite stainless steel pots to make dinner. I am not sure what he did. I don’t know if he cooked it on too high of heat, didn’t stir it enough, walked away for too long or a combination of all of the above. It wasn’t pretty! I came home to my oldest daughters saying Douglas ruined my pot. Becky had already gone through one steel wool pad spending 45 minutes to clean the bottom.  She then put it on the stove with some Dawn trying to loosen up the burned stuff which was at least a quarter inch thick. Looking at it, I was sure the pot was going need to be thrown out.  


After 45 minutes of scrubbing by Becky.  Give up and trash it?

Then I remembered something my mom told me my Grandmother had used years ago for cleaning pots and pans in the kitchen:


I emptied the water out of the pan and poured half of the bottle into it.  I rubbed it around the bottom and let it sit for a few minutes.  I took a scrubby sponge and started to scrub. The charred-on stuff began to peel up a little at a time.  I set the sponge aside and used one the of the nylon pot scrapers and it started to come up in chunks.  I continued to scrape the pan for a minute, then went back to the sponge. The little water in the pot turned black, and I couldn’t see the bottom of it.  I scrubbed a minute more, then dumped out the water and rinsed the pan.


First use of the cream of tartar

The black was going away; a lot more pot was visible, and the remaining black was much thinner.  I emptied the rest of the bottle of cream of tartar into the pot, rubbed it around and let it sit for another couple of minutes.  I scrubbed the bottom again, and more junk came off.  It was down to a just a thin layer, but I was out of cream of tartar.  I rinsed the pot one more time  and thought of an alternative — Baking Powder.  I poured some in, rubbed it around the bottom and used the sponge to scrub the pot.  The pan was almost perfect.


Just about perfect!

But I really wanted to get that last remaining stuff off.  I needed some abrasive power.  I personally hate to use steel wool pads.  I thought about what I had one hand and reached into the spice cabinet and pulled out the regular table salt.  I poured a couple of tablespoons into the pat.  Took a clean dry sponge and went to work.


Salt for srubbing

After another minute the work was done and the pot looked almost new!


Ready for it’s next use!

I think I spent a total of 15 minutes working on the pan.  Nice to know those “old fashioned” tips work!

Now to work with Douglas to make sure it doesn’t happen again.  🙂