5 Tips for Cleaning Pots and Pans

With holiday feasts come the inevitable dirty pots and pans marred with baked-on remnants of your favorite preparations. While they do ultimately need to come off, you don't have to spend your precious holiday minutes (or hours!) forcing them to do so-if you have the following five tips for easy cleaning.

Soak Before You Wash
Before you break out the elbow grease, start by soaking your dirtiest pots and pans in very hot, soapy water. By the time the water cools enough for you to do the dishes, it may have done most of the work for you.

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Boil Your Cares Away
Cast-iron pots or pans with baked-on mess become easy to clean if you fill the pot with water while it's still warm, heat the water to boiling, then let the water cool down enough so that you can dump it out and wash the pan.

Break out the Baking Soda
This multipurpose cupboard essential can be a godsend for the evening's dish washer. To remove stubborn stains or burnt-on food, add a bit of baking soda and a little water to the pot or pan until the two combine into a thick paste. Cover the stubborn area with the paste, let it sit for 20 minutes, then wipe it clean with a sponge. The best part? It's more gentle than some of the more abrasive cleaning agents, which can damage your cookware.

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Scour with a Scrubber
When the going gets tough, the tough reach for scrubbers! Steel wool or other store-bought scrubbers will do-if they won't scratch your cookware- but in a pinch, you can make your own with crumpled up tinfoil!

Use Denture-Cleaning Tablets
Cooking with enamelware? Any stains are easily removed if you fill the enamel container with warm water, add a couple of denture tablets, and let them fizzle themselves to cleanliness. You can also cover the discolored areas with a paste of equal parts salt and vinegar, let it rest for 15 minutes, and then clean it.

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