Scorched the stew? These easy cleaning tricks will have your pots looking brand new.

By Andra Chantim
Updated March 10, 2014
Woman with stained pot on stove
Credit: Peter Oumanski

“My pots have baked-on stains.”

Mara P., via e-mail

The fix: To remove interior spots, put an inch of water and 2 drops of dish soap in each pot and bring to a boil, says Laura Dellutri, a home expert for the TV show The Daily Buzz. Let the liquid simmer on low heat for 5 minutes, then pour it out and scrape off loosened bits with a plastic spatula. Stains on the exterior? Submerge the pot in warm, soapy water for 1 hour, then make a paste with 1 tablespoon of Bar Keepers Friend cleanser ($2 at supermarkets) and 1 teaspoon of water, says Lisa Callaghan, the director of culinary relations for All-Clad. Scrub the paste into the stains with a nonabrasive sponge for a minute, then rinse.

Have a disaster that needs solving? Share your problem at, or tweet it to @RealSimple, and be sure to include the hashtag #nowwhatRS.