How to Clean Grease off a Pan Like a Pro

A pan with grease stains being cleaned by a professional cleaning brush and a bottle of dish soap nearby

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Cleaning grease off a pan can be a daunting task, especially when the grease has hardened and stuck to the surface. However, with the right techniques and cleaning agents, you can get your pan looking as good as new. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps and tips to clean grease off a pan like a pro.

Understanding the Nature of Grease

Before we delve into the cleaning process, it’s important to understand what we’re dealing with. Grease is a semi-solid substance that is usually a byproduct of cooking meat or frying food. It is hydrophobic, meaning it repels water, which is why it can be challenging to clean.

Grease can adhere to the surface of the pan, creating a layer that is difficult to remove with regular dish soap and water. This is because the soap is not able to penetrate the grease layer to lift it off the surface. Therefore, we need to use specific techniques and cleaning agents to effectively remove grease.

Materials You Will Need

Before you start, gather all the necessary materials. Having everything at hand will make the cleaning process smoother and more efficient. Here are the items you will need:

  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • A non-abrasive scrubbing brush or sponge
  • Hot water

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Grease off a Pan

Step 1: Remove Excess Grease

First, remove as much excess grease as you can from the pan. You can do this by wiping the pan with a paper towel. Be careful not to burn yourself if the pan is still hot. This step will make the subsequent cleaning process easier.

Remember to dispose of the used paper towels properly. Do not flush them down the toilet or sink as they can clog the pipes.

Step 2: Apply Dish Soap

Next, apply a generous amount of dish soap to the greasy area. Dish soap is designed to break down grease and lift it off the surface. Let the soap sit on the pan for a few minutes to allow it to penetrate the grease.

After letting the soap sit, use a non-abrasive scrubbing brush or sponge to scrub the pan. Be sure to scrub all areas, including the corners and edges where grease can accumulate.

Step 3: Rinse and Assess

After scrubbing, rinse the pan with hot water. Hot water helps to further break down the grease, making it easier to remove. After rinsing, assess the pan to see if there are still greasy spots.

If there are, repeat the process of applying dish soap, scrubbing, and rinsing until the grease is completely removed. It may take several rounds, especially for stubborn grease.

Step 4: Use Baking Soda and Vinegar

If dish soap alone is not enough to remove the grease, you can use a combination of baking soda and vinegar. These two ingredients create a chemical reaction that can effectively break down and remove grease.

To do this, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the greasy area. Then, pour vinegar over the baking soda. You will see a fizzing reaction. Let this mixture sit on the pan for about 15 minutes. Then, scrub the pan with a non-abrasive brush or sponge and rinse with hot water.

Preventing Grease Buildup

Prevention is always better than cure. To prevent grease buildup, it’s important to clean your pan immediately after use. Do not let the grease cool and harden on the pan. If you can’t clean the pan right away, at least soak it in warm soapy water.

Also, consider using less oil when cooking. Excessive oil can lead to more grease buildup. If you’re frying, use a splatter screen to prevent oil from splattering and sticking to the pan.


Cleaning grease off a pan may require some effort, but it’s definitely doable. With the right techniques and cleaning agents, you can get your pan clean and ready for your next cooking adventure. Remember, the key is to act quickly and not let the grease harden on the pan. Happy cleaning!

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