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May 6, 2009 09:20 AM

Accidental burning in Caphalon pot/how to clean

I have an older large Caphalon pot that has served me well for at least 15 years. Over the weekend I sauteed some onions and garlic in some butter and olive oil, and added some white wine. After reducing this, I thought I had turned it down to just 'warm' on my gas range. Actually, I had turned the burner higher (this is a new gas range and when you turn it to the left it goes higher, not lower like my last range). I went off to finish cleaning the bathroom without realizing the pot was on high, and everything in it was burning. After airing the house out and cooling down the pot, I am left with a burned up mess at the bottom of the pot. It's almost gluey and sticky, and I can't remove it. I tried boiling some plain water in it thinking it would loosen the gloppy mess, but it really made no difference. My next thought was to dry it out and try leaving some oven cleaner in the pot to see it that will remove the mess. However, I'm not certain whether that will ruin the pot or not. Any bright ideas out there?

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  1. As you can read in some recent posts there has been some discussion today about how to clean your Calphalon! How convenient! Here's a link I posted on another thread. I would follow instructions on the Calphalon site as opposed to people here (some have suggested things like Barkeepers Friend). While that may be fine to use, some cleaning agents can void the warranty of your pots & pans.

    4 Replies
    1. re: SQHD

      Calphalon specifically recommended Bar Keeper's Friend and provided product samples. If soaking and hand washing doesn't succeed, that ancient product works very well. (It's also very hard to find, at least in Toronto.)

      1. re: embee

        Embee, Do you have Calphalon One? Calphalon does recommend BKF for C1 and it works well. Their website recommends other products for older Hard Anodized cookware. Strange that different versions of HA would have different recommended cleaning products.

        BKF is available at the Calphalon Culinary Centre at King & Spadina. Also the BKF website has store listing.

        1. re: BruceMcK

          Yes, I have Calphalon One. While Calphalon has treated me very well, I do not recommend it!

        2. re: embee

          Good the hear, thanks embee.

      2. Bar Keeper's friend, Ajax powder

        1. If you have the older commerical calphalon which does not have a coating on the interior - don't use Bar keepers friend or any product that contains bleach.

          Soak the pan with a baking soda mixture - if it is really burnt it could take a few days. To hurry it up, you could scrub it a little and soak again. You can also heat the baking soda and water mixture and then set it aside to soak.

          I only use baking soda to scrub my commercial calphalon pans. Just keep changing the baking soda and with each new change - more crap will come off. You can tell you are being successful because the baking soda changes to a dark brown color as it picks up burnt on bits

          1. Well, it all came out well. I took the suggestion regarding the baking soda and boiled it a bit with water in the pot and let it sit overnight. It got most of the burned bits out. Then I used Bon Ami scrub to really get the rest of the burned out gunk out. I could not find Bartenders Friend, and regularly use Bon Ami, which I've heard is a good alternate to BF.
            Thanks everyone for your help :-))

            10 Replies
            1. re: mschow

              Baking soda may have cleaned it but this is a classic case of "don't believe everything you read on the internet." Some people like kayakado have good intenetions but they are sometimes completely inaccurate with their instructions.

              If I do say so myself, the best suggestion here was the first one written by me! It provided a link to Calphalon's site which includes recommended cleaning agents and some that should NOT be used. Here's a little quote from their website:

              "DO NOT USE

              Oven cleaners or other caustic cleaning solutions, baking soda, automatic dishwasher detergent, liquid bleach, liquid household cleaners used for walls, floors, porcelain, etc."

              So while you may not be concerned with a 15 year old pan's warranty, others that visit here might be...

              Using baking soda to clean your hard anodized Calphalon voids your warranty.

              I can also assume that because you are instructed not to use baking soda it also damages the pan's finish. Otherwise, why would they tell you not to use it?

              1. re: SQHD

                <"Baking soda may have cleaned it but this is a classic case of "don't believe everything you read on the internet."> interesting thread.. I called Calphalon regarding this very subject about ten or fifteen years ago.. I was told by them to use Barkeepers friend (and a 3M green pad if needed. (at the time Caphalon had a cleaning product, which I can't recall the name of, but I could no longer find it locally, hence the call). A year or two ago I bought a bunch of Calphalon One (not the non-stick coated garbage) and it came with sample of guess what? Barkeepers Friend!

                I passed on much of my old 25+ year old Commerical stuff to my son, with instructions to use BF and a green 3M pad if needed.

                1. re: JRCann

                  I'm not exactly sure why you're quoting me, but the information I've given is exactly in line with what Calphalon says to do.

                  My "don't believe everything..." comment was in reference to kayakado's instruction to soak "with a baking soda mixture." In other words, everyone here can give advice but sometimes people don't give good advice and sometimes, as in this case, they can be flat out 110% wrong.

                  1. re: SQHD

                    I know this is long after the the original posts, but i burned my pan so badly that neither BKF (a long-time favorite, even beforenI bought Calphalon) nor Ajax was making a dent. So I tried the BAKING SODA Scrubbed a paste into the layer of burned food that was thick charred and hardened, then boiled it for a while and I could NOT believe how much of it came off. Also, it seems to have bored holes into the remaining layer. Going to keep following the advice, and try it a few times more. Hopefully I'll get to a layer thin enough that BKF or Ajax (the latter ws recommended along with a green scrubby in the enclosed maintenance instructions from Calphalon). Anyway, my task is already easier. So, sorry to the guy who thought this is was 110% wrong advice... not so.

                    1. re: josy erne

                      I'm guessing that you added water before you boiled it- how much? I have a Calphalon pot that I boiled dry cooking sunchokes and it's one of my favorite pots. Desperately seeking remedies.

                      1. re: EWSflash

                        Have you tried letting it soak overnight with water and a few dryer sheets? I do this all the time for burned on messes in pots, pans, and the slow cooker crock.

                        When I worked as a cook at a preschool, I was gone for a day, and my sub absolutely scorched shredded BBQ chicken onto the bottom of my favorite pot. (It was just the right size for the veggies.) My bosses told me to throw it away, but I was too attached. I had to do two nights of soak overnight with the dryersheets and then clean, but the second day it came completely clean, and I didn't even have to scrub very hard.

                        1. re: jw615

                          Hi, jw615:

                          I've been around the block a few times, and I'm intrigued...

                          What do dryer sheets accomplish?


                          1. re: kaleokahu

                            Kaleo -

                            I'm not exactly sure on the mechanics of how it works, so all I can say is that in my experience, they do, and very well.

                            I actually heard it first from my Mom, so I'm not even sure where the information originally came from.

                    1. re: JRCann

                      Are you sure? The 3M Scotch green pads are extremely abrasive, so much so that they will scratch glass. It is the 3M Scotch blue pads that are non-abrasive.

                      Also, I've just visited the Calphalon website. No mention of BF, just Soft Scrub. Soft Scrub is a liquid (pricier) form of calcium carbonate which in powdered form is sold as a product called Bon Ami.

                      The primary active ingredient in Bar Keepers Friend is oxalic acid.

                2. Once left a non-stickskillet on stove on VERY LOW and totally forgot about it. Thought the pan was a gonner, since the black seemed cemented to the non-stick surface. Someone from some web site posted this suggestion. Fill the pan as full as possible with water (all the way to the brim)and bring to a slow simmer. Then turn off and add several BIG spoonfuls of baking soda... it did bubble over a little but only briefly. After water cooked down to where I could put a finger in it without it being too hot, had to use turkey baster to siphon off enough water so I wouldn't slosh it all over on the way to the sink. ALL of the burned on stuff came right off with a gentle coaxing of a rubber spatula.