Hacks from my Happy Place – XXIII

Okay, I promised recently that I was going to share some new recipes to try, but I found this kitchen hack and I’m so excited to share it with you. In fact, this might be my favorite kitchen hack of all time (at least so far…)!

Most of you have seen or heard about how cola can clean the porcelain in your toilet bowl of stains and also clean the connections of your vehicle battery of rust and corrosion. Yet, despite that, Americans are said to consume an average of 399 servings of cola products per year. World-wide, the average drops down to 52 servings per year, which means that other people drink very little cola products to help reduce the number that Americans drink. But my point is that, besides what we know the power of some of the cola ingredients are, we still choose to ingest it.

But forget cola for a moment, because here is a hack involving ketchup. I have to admit that, when I heard of this, I was pretty cynical – the idea that ketchup and a little bit of elbow grease could clean off all of the dark stains on the bottom of our pots and pans. You know, your pan looks something like this on the bottom:

I have read various tips and hacks over the years, but I neither wanted to spend hours scrubbing away with a baking soda paste nor the expense of buying some type of cleaner that allegedly removes these stains. So, I’ve ignored the stains, telling myself that they didn’t matter because they didn’t come in contact with the food I was making inside the pan. And then I heard this hack using nothing but ketchup and stating that it took very little elbow grease to scrub it clean. Store-brand ketchup is not expensive, and I already had a scrubby on hand (the hack says SOS or Brillo, but I use a stainless steel scrubby and dish soap instead of those wasteful pads).

I decided I would document how the process went, although I expected to be able to call it a failure. My first step was to choose a pan and put masking tape on the bottom of it to divide into two sections, one I would scrub and one I wouldn’t. I applied ketchup (I probably could have used a LOT less and spread it out, but I wasn’t taking chances). When that was done, I let it set overnight since I wasn’t sure how long I was supposed to leave it.

I chose one that wasn’t terribly dirty to begin with!
I started with the dirtier side and really poured on the ketchup!

The next morning, after I’d had my coffee and done my normal routine, I decided it was time to see what happened. I put a few dots of dish soap on my scrubby, ran it quickly under water, and away I went. I spent less than 15 minutes and didn’t use any extra elbow grease but scrubbed it like I might scrub any dish with dried-on food. This was the result:

Um… wow! It actually worked!

Well, seeing that result, I had no choice but to do the rest of the pan. And when I was done with that, this is what I ended up with:

I’m still astonished!

Needless to say, I will be doing this to each of my pans the next time I use each one and have to wash it (I’ve done another one already). So far, the two I’ve done have used up about 5 ounces of a 12-ounce bottle of store-brand ketchup for which I paid $1.27, and I suspect my scrubby will last me until I’m done with all of my pans, and it was one of a 2-pack for which I paid a dollar at Dollar Tree (before the price increase).

I keep my pots and pans out of view when I’m not using them, but if you have them on display somewhere, hanging from a rack over and island or on walls, this is really something you want to try sooner than later!

I get a big grin on my face every time I use one of the two I’ve already cleaned, having to turn them over and admire their shine before beginning to start my actual food prep.

I guess sometimes it doesn’t take much to make me happy!