Cleaning The Baked-On, Black, Carbonized Off Pot Bottoms
I rarely get excited over a cleaning product no matter what the hype is. In my experience none ever perform like they claim to, so I'm pretty cynical when it comes to promised expectations.
While I was at our local Gordon's Foodservice, I seen a product called Carbon Off in a spray can. It claims to remove that stuff of the bottom of frying pans. I inherited an old set of Wear Ever All Clad from my Grandmother that has to be 50 years old at least and another partial set that's from my ex Mother-in-law. Some of the pieces had such heavily baked on strata of carbon over the years of spills and run overs that you couldn't barely budge it with a screw driver. My Dad took a piece many years ago to work and tried cleaning one with a bead blasting cabinet. The cans are almost $11 each, but I figured it would be worth a try. Last night I sprayed down a 4Q pot and the bottom of a heavy, 40+ year old, electric frypan that my Mom had that was absolutely black around the element. I just recently found a replacement thermostat control for it and thought I'd try it too.
It's supposed to work fast, but it also says that it can be left overnight. Well, it doesn't work fast, at least not on these pieces. I left it on overnight and what a surprise this morning! Lot of this stuff was lifted up. No, it didn't take it all off, but enough to spray again and try again after I got home. Yup, even more came off where I could hit it with a Brillo pad where lots of the stuff came off. A third spray and several hours later, most came off with the exception of a few stubborn spots on the heating element of the fry pan.
I don't think I ever seen the bottom of the 4Q pot. This stuff works. It's going to take some effort, but I'm amazed and $11 well spent. It's safe on aluminum and not a lye based product.