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Old 11-01-2014, 04:34 PM   #1
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My poor old pan: I know it can be cleaned up, but...

You can see from the attached photograph that there's a great pan hiding inside this old crusty mess. It's stainless steel, copper base, I think I know the brand (probably obvious, but not with all that guck on the bottom). I guess using it camping on a Coleman stove wasn't such a great idea...

I have tried everything I can think of to clean it up:
  • soap and water
  • every kind of scrubber known to man and beast
  • Barkeeper's Friend
  • powdered cleanser (i.e. Ajax, Comet)
  • Easy Off oven cleaner
  • steel wool
  • alcohol
  • acetone
  • CLR
You can see pieces of the guck have even fallen off, leaving a nice, cleanable pan underneath. It's the big carbonized deposits I can't get off.



I can't think of anything else to try. Is there any way to get all this stuff off the steel and copper and get it looking nice again? I've had it for many decades and I'd just buy a new one if it weren't for my sentimental attachment. Help!

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Old 11-01-2014, 04:58 PM   #2
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My poor old pan: I know it can be cleaned up, but...

I've had success resurrecting Lazarus pots by boiling in a mix of baking soda and white vinegar. Maybe put your pan in a bigger pot in the mix and boil the heck out of it.
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Old 11-01-2014, 06:18 PM   #3
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Stick it in a trash bag with an open dish of ammonia. Seal it tightly and leave it outdoors overnight.
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Old 11-01-2014, 06:44 PM   #4
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I have had a couple like that.

I cleaned them in stages using Barkeepers friend or Cameo and a blue scrubber sponge. I cleaned the bottom, for about 5 minutes, each time I used the pan over a period of months and eventually the bottoms were restored. The Zen of pot scrubbing, Om, Om, Om!
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Old 11-01-2014, 08:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Stick it in a trash bag with an open dish of ammonia. Seal it tightly and leave it outdoors overnight.
I'd be careful immersing the handle in anything.
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Old 11-01-2014, 08:29 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Bigjim68 View Post
I'd be careful immersing the handle in anything.
Noting is immersed. The pan sits in a trash bag along side of a bowl/dish of ammonia. Overnight the fumes work on the pan to soften the deposits.
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Old 11-01-2014, 08:40 PM   #7
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Noting is immersed. The pan sits in a trash bag along side of a bowl/dish of ammonia. Overnight the fumes work on the pan to soften the deposits.
I get that. But I have no idea whether or not the Bakelite would react with the ammonia.

There is no reason, however, that you could not tie the pot with the handle outside the bag.
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Old 11-01-2014, 08:44 PM   #8
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I get that. But I have no idea whether or not the Bakelite would react with the ammonia.

There is no reason, however, that you could not tie the pot with the handle outside the bag.
Good point.
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Old 11-01-2014, 10:53 PM   #9
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Take a torch to it. We used to clean the char grill grates by dropping them into the fire pit. The black burnt on layer used to burn and fall off. Just stick to the black parts and don't linger too long so you don't burn through. It may work.
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Old 11-01-2014, 11:51 PM   #10
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You're right. There's little question it's Revere.

I bought a very, very old Revere griddle at a flea market years ago that looked worse than your pan. What I did, and had to use several repetitions, was to slather it generously with Easy-Off oven cleaner (I know you said you've already tried that.), then covered the gunky areas with plastic wrap and, finally, sealed the pan (not the handle) in a tightly sealed plastic bag and let it "cook" for at least 24 hours.

It came as clean as when it was new. But, as I said, it took several iterations of the process. The handle CANNOT take the oven cleaner. Trust me, I know from experience.

Be patient. It will come clean.

Good luck and show us a picture of the sparkling new pan when your're done.
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