DIY: Magic! Clean a burned enamel pot


I’m a total sucker for thrift cookware. Cast iron skillets. Weird 1970s coffee mugs. Just recently I made an impulse swing into Bishop’s Attic, one of my favorite spots in Fairview, and I happened upon an enamel pot. It was one of my most favorite shades of yellow. And only $2.50! But, look at what it looked like on the inside:

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I have successfully cleaned my own enamel pots after several burned soup incidents, so I decided to give this one a go. ย It is pretty bad, so I wasn’t going for perfection. I started by giving it a good scrub with my favorite scratch-free powder and a little dish soap. Here is my favorite stuff:

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(You can also use Bon Ami. DO NOT use an abrasive cleaner like Comet.)

Here’s what it looked like after the scrub:

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Enamel is porous, so you can totally bleach it. Key is just not to use too much. And to have patience. For a pot this size, I’d go with two tablespoons max. You want to fill it as high as possible, so you don’t have a line where the bleach water ends. And leave it there. I only left mine for three hours, but I might repeat it and leave it overnight. Here it is sitting on the stove where no children can knock it over:

IMG_9591After you dump out the bleach water, give it a good wash with dish soap and more Bar Keepers Friend.ย Then fill it with hot water,ย let it sit for a half hour, and smell it. If it smells even the tiniest bit like bleach, wash it again, fill it with warm water and smell. Repeat until the water smells like nothing.

Here’s how it turned out:

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I can get it whiter, but this is a good start. I’d cook with it. Look how cute it is!

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Julia Oโ€™Malley is a journalist who lives in Anchorage. She writes about culture, family, home, the environment and food in Alaska.

2 thoughts on “DIY: Magic! Clean a burned enamel pot

  1. Love bkf. I use it for lots of things. Goes well with my janitor career. soft metal like copper and brass are great with bkf but for extra shine try the mothers paste. I use it on my kirby vacs in my collection with them being soft aluminum

    Scent phrum Shreks Eye fone

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