If your burner pans and covered casserole dishes look like mine did, they've got baked-on spots that no amount of scrubbing will remove.
And if you're like me, even the thought of using chemical cleaners brings tears to your eyes and makes you want to start coughing, not to mention that the chemical cleaners are expensive.
One simple solution that I've found works very well uses ingredients that are probably in your cupboard right now: cream of tartar and vinegar.
Here are the steps to follow:
1. Mix 2 teaspoons of vinegar and 2 teaspoon of cream of tartar in a small dish (use 3 or 4 teaspoons of vinegar and 3 or 4 teaspoons of cream of tartar if you have more items to clean or if you have larger items, such as a heavily soiled casserole dish and cover).
2. Use a cotton ball to apply the solution to your burner pans or casserole dishes and covers (Corning Ware casseroles, for example).
3. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
4. Scrub with a scouring pad and then wash in hot, soapy water.
5. Repeat several times, if necessary, for heavily soiled burner pans and covered casserole dishes.
I was surprised by how well this works. You will still need to scrub a bit, but your effort will produce definite results.
The first time I tried it, one of my burner pans was black and crusty from lima beans that had boiled over. The vinegar/cream of tartar solution took it right off. It worked so well, I tried it on my other burner pans, and soon they were cleaner and more shiny than they had been in a long time.
Then I tried it on a covered casserole dish that had belonged to my mother. (Mom died in 1985, so that tells you how long the casserole dish has been around.) When I used a cotton ball to wipe on the vinegar/cream of tartar solution, some of the baked-on gunk wiped off immediately! I scrubbed a little harder with the cotton ball, and more of it came off. I also discovered that the longer I let the solution sit on the cover and the casserole dish, the better it worked. Soon, the casserole dish and cover also were cleaner than they had been in years.
And one of the best parts about all of it was that I didn't have to use expensive chemical cleaners that make me cough and bring tears to my eyes.
LeAnn R. Ralph is the author of the book: Christmas in Dairyland (True Stories from a Wisconsin Farm) (trade paperback; August 2003). Order your copy today! You are also invited to sign up for LeAnn's FREE monthly e-mail newsletter, Rural Route 2 News & Updates. Visit — http://ruralroute2.com