Restoration Tip: Cleaning vintage enamel pans

For those of you who follow our blog regularly, you will know that I collect Norwegian cookware. CathrineHolm is my favourite but we also have a lot of vintage Le Creuset too. The fact that they both produce pans in bright orange is a bonus!

Well you won’t know that it is Mr YVL who does the lion share of the cooking in our home . While he is a fantastic cook he sometimes forgets that he is actually cooking. By that I mean, he puts pans on the hob then floats off to do the weeding or to tinker in the garage. Basically he burns our pans on a regular basis!

“I’ve burnt the kids dinner!” he says. My reaction is generally “Oh No! Not in my pans?”

Last week, while boiling peas this was the result!

After I dried up my tears, we set to clean it. So this is how we did it!

Half fill the pan with warm water and ass 2 denture tablets. These will fizz up and should be left for ten minutes. Gently scrub the pan with a sponge (nothing too abrasive) and the burn should lift. Rinse the pan thoroughly.

In this case only the top level came off but for less severe burns this should work without the need for stage 2.

Half fill the pan again with warm water and pour in 3 spoon fulls of Bicarbonate of Soda. Leave for 5-10 minutes depending on the severity of the burn. Again, gently scrub and rinse out the water. You may need to repeat this a few times.

This is how clean we got it. Yes, there are still some dark marks but thankfully no burn remains which means we can use it again without getting it into our food. Some people now use diluted bleach but as we use these pans, I don’t do this.

There we go, another pan saved. Ah no, I now have this one to sort..but at least I got an amazing roast dinner!


This Restoration Tip comes from our book “Style Your Modern Vintage Home” along with many more. It can be bought from major retailers and us here!


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