Assuming you’re scouring on how to clean scorched glass, you’ve come to the right place. Regular use of your casserole dishes or glass Pyrex yields wear and tear exterior. Deterioration accumulates over time, but we can fix it on the fly. So, I tried four different cleaning methods to restore my cookware and bring back its sparkles.
Some were better than others, but there is one clear winner. If you’d like to know more about my experiment and what the best option proved to be, please read on.
Once you’ve cooked with glass, casserole, or Pyrex bakeware, you’ll use it time and time again. It’s one of the best, if not THE best, cookware material on the market today. I’ve lost count of using my casserole or glass pyrex for things like Moussaka, Fig and Goat Cheese Tart, and Peanut Butter Brownies.
But the problem is that all glass-type cookware eventually suffers from grease buildup. After constant use, they suffer from brown and yellowish grease stains. These blemishes can be pretty hard to shift – so hard that many people simply give up trying.
Let’s discuss how to clean burnt casserole dish
Cleaning stubborn baked-on grease on a casserole or glass bakeware involves a bit of elbow grease. Well, fret no more. I will share the lowdown on some effective cleaning methods to get your casserole or Pyrex glass looking as good as new.
But before we get down to the cleaning, let’s just briefly discuss the buying of Pyrex. Although Pyrex is a type of glass, it doesn’t necessarily follow that all glass cookware you see is Pyrex.
If it is, it should clearly say so on the packaging, but if in doubt, consult the store assistant if you’re buying in-store.
The brand is renowned for its highly durable products, which home cooks have been using since the 1920s. Looked after properly, Pyrex bakeware can last you for decades.
Did you know that there is an active market in vintage Pyrex products? The most revered and collected Pyrex is the opal glass items with colorful designs manufactured during the 1940s and 50s.
But although Pyrex has a reputation for being tough and durable, it can still get scratched and stained.
There’s not much you can do about scratches, but there is about stains, which I’m about to discuss.
How to clean scorched glass
Below, you’ll see four methods that I tried to eliminate the stubborn marks and stains on my scorched glass cookware.
Don’t bother whether we’re talking about a piece of dishes, a vintage Pyrex, or something recently bought casserole. The process we’re going to discuss will help take a load off of persistent grease and grime and restore your cookware to its original condition.
Option 1 Scrubbing with Bar Keepers Friend
The best way of getting rid of cutlery marks and scratches on glass dishes (specifically Pyrex® opaque vintage cookware) is to use Bar Keepers Friend.
It’s great not only with Pyrex® but also with other kitchen items. You can tackle scuff marks on casseroles, glass dishes, and other surfaces, including induction hobs. I also found it works brilliantly on ceramic plates and porcelain sinks.
Follow these steps:
Fling on a pair of kitchen gloves. Prepare to create a paste using your Bar Keepers Friend and a bit of water.
Smear the paste on the inside base of the dish, ensuring you double dose any spots with heavy sediments.
Allow the paste to sit for a maximum period of one minute. Don’t let it dry or jeopardize discoloration, especially for patterned dishes.
Wet a sponge and scrub clean without sparing any elbow grease. If the stains and marks are stubborn, add extra Bar Keepers Friend and let it sit for a minute to work before rinsing.
Rinse thoroughly, then wash the dish with hot soapy water to remove any residue.
Why it works
The reason that this powder cleanser works is that it contains oxalic acid as its main active ingredient. It’s a plant-based cleaner that can tackle rust and stains at the molecular level.
It claimed to handle grease and grime, hard water deposits, mildew, oxidization, and tarnishing from various surfaces, including brass, copper, glass, plastics, porcelain, stainless steel, and tiles.
Bar Keepers Friend is so effective partly because of its acidic content, so always wear your kitchen gloves when you use this cleaner.
Option 2 Magic Eraser, Dawn Dish Soap + baking soda
This method is the winner.
If you’re trying to clean baked-on grease that’s ruining your casserole or glass cookware, use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
Magic Erasers are sponges that work like superfine sandpaper. They make short work of buffing through the worst surface grime on surfaces, including glass cookware.
For best results, Magic Erasers have to be wet. However, I also recommend adding one or two drops of Dawn Dish soap, plus a little baking soda.
The mighty grease-cutting action of Dawn Dish Soap. Plus the abrasive power of the Magic Eraser can cut through even the most stubborn grease that has stuck to your casserole or glass cookware. It doesn’t stand a chance.
You can buy Kitchen Magic Erasers that already have Dawn Dish Soap inside them. They’re great for cleaning any cookware, including Pyrex® items. They’re also very economical to buy.
Apply baking soda to coat the bottom of the dish or casserole. Drizzle one or two squirts of Dawn liquid dish soap.
Fill the casserole or glass dish with hot water. Allow to stand and soak for approximately 15 minutes.
Grab and wear your kitchen gloves. Take your Magic Eraser and scrub the pan or dish. Add extra baking soda if necessary to deal with any particularly stubborn grime.
The Magic Eraser, Dawn Dish Soap, and baking soda combination are more than a match for any grease, grime, or stubborn stains.
Rinse thoroughly, then wash the dish with hot soapy water to remove any residue.
The reason it works
This method works so well because it has all the sound ingredients to dissolve baked-on grease. The hot water soak, the baking soda’s abrasiveness, and the Dawn Dish Soap, plus a little elbow grease, will see off any spots marks and stains in a short time.
Option 3 Hot water soak and dishwasher detergent tablet
Not long ago, I uncovered that dishwasher detergent tablets could do the trick for getting the glass or casserole dish clean.
But keep in mind to use only the detergent tablets, not the solid ones made of compact powder or liquid-filled packs.
I figured that if they work well for cleaning glass, they’d also be good for cleaning Pyrex glass, so I gave it a shot, and guess what – they are.
Having said that, you must allow your casserole or glass cookware to soak in hot water after dissolving the dishwater detergent tablet in it.
How to use this method:
Let the dirty dish soak in hot water for 15 minutes, then empty.
Don a pair of kitchen gloves. Moisten the dishwasher detergent tablet with a bit of water to soften it.
Smear or rub the softened tabs into the affected spots. Let the mixture sit for one minute, and use a sponge to scour away the marks and stains.
Rinse with warm water and repeat the process if there are still stubborn marks.
Rinse thoroughly, then wash the dish with hot soapy water to remove any residue.
The reason it works
It’s because of the powerful ingredients of the dishwasher detergent tablets. The surfactants can lift and wash away food debris from the dishes when blended in water.
On top of that, the enzymes present in the tabs dissolve and erode starchy foods and proteins.
Option 4 Attack with oven cleaner
Given that oven cleaner has been designed to break up stubborn grease stains from the insides of your oven, I thought it might work with casserole and glass dishes as well.
I’ve heard several other Pyrex® devotees saying that they found it one of the best ways to deal with grease, so I thought, let’s give it a go.
I have to say that it did work, although it’s definitely not one of my top picks.
Go ahead and wear those kitchen gloves. I keep on saying it, but it’s well worth repeating when dealing with any abrasives – especially oven cleaner.
Note: Consider doing this task outdoors to avoid fumes buildup in the kitchen.
Spray a good amount of oven cleaners directly onto the scorched glass dish and allow to get down the business for approximately 30 seconds or one minute.
After the time has elapsed, take a sheet of paper towel and wipe away the cleaner.
Give your dish a good rinse with hot soapy water.
Which method achieves better results?
I have to say that the method that works best for cleaning dirty scorched glass or burnt casserole dishes is the combination of the Magic Eraser and Dawn Dish Soap and baking soda.
It delivers an excellent job, on top of being safer and gentler on the hands than using some of the other more harsh cleaners.
However, I have to admit that I prefer to use the Bar Keepers Friend method with my prize piece of vintage Pyrex® cookware made from opal glass.
I don’t want to risk anything too abrasive that might damage the pattern. It works almost as well as method two but takes a little longer.
If I don’t have any Magic Erasers around when I’m cleaning my ordinary casserole or Pyrex glass, I tend to go down the method #3 route, i.e., using the dishwasher detergent tablet.
If I were completely out of everything apart from the other cleaner, I would choose method #4, as many other Pyrex® devotees do.
You can try other methods, such as a dryer sheet to soak up the stains using white vinegar or scrub with baking soda alone.
But having tried every type of method, there is; the four I’ve written about above are the ones I prefer using.
How do you care for Pyrex or glass dishes?
If you’re wondering about the best ways of looking after your glass or Pyrex bakeware, including any vintage pieces that you might have, this section is for you.
The tips I have gathered below tell you the best ways of keeping your dishes in pristine condition while making sure that those lovely bright colors and beautiful patterns don’t fade.
1 Avoid using abrasive sponges.
Glass or casserole bakeware has a reputation for being durable; however, that doesn’t mean to say that it won’t scratch or chip.
Avoid using abrasive sponges and steel wool. All you need is either a cellulose sponge or a wet cloth.
Brushes that have stiff bristles and products like metal scrubbers can damage the surface of the glass or Pyrex. Avoid them at all costs and instead use gentle products like ordinary sponges, nylon brushes, or silicon scrubbers.
2 Use warm soapy water.
You don’t have to revert to using any special tricks cleaning glass dishes or Pyrex until you encounter stains and parched marks.
Most of the time, you’ll find that washing your cookware in warm soapy water is all it needs to return it to a sparkling clean condition.
It’s best to avoid using any cleaners that contain harsh chemicals. Not only can they damage your cookware, but they’re not good for your hands either.
If your glass dishes get some gunge baked onto them that is tough to remove, you can always turn to method two – the Bar Keepers Friend, as outlined earlier.
3 Avoid sudden temperature changes.
Even though most glass or casseroles are created with hot oven temperatures in mind, they cannot handle sudden temperature changes.
So please don’t take your glass or Pyrex dish while it’s still hot, and put it under the cold tap. As soon as cold water comes into contact with the hot surface of the dish, it could cause it to shatter, sending shards of broken glass all over the place.
The same applies to transferring the hot glass dish into your fridge. Allow it to stand on a kitchen work surface for 20 to 30 minutes. After that, you can put it in your fridge safely without the danger of it shattering.
4 Handle with care
As I just mentioned, the manufacturer produced most glass dishes (like Pyrex®) to be sturdy and durable; however, it is susceptible to cracks or chips.
Once it becomes damaged or gets severely scratched, it can be dangerous to use. To prevent that from happening, always handle it with care and store it safely.
If your glass dish or casserole has handles, they can be relatively fragile. Rather than picking it up by the handles, it’s better to don some oven gloves and pick it up by cradling it in your hands. It’s imperative with any vintage Pyrex pieces you might have.
It also pays to ensure that if the dish in question has a lid, it must be firmly positioned before moving the dish. Otherwise, it could slip off and shatter.
5 Keep your glass or Pyrex® away from open flames (including broilers)
Most food cooking takes place on a stovetop or sometimes beneath a broiler. However, if cooking with either of these methods, ensure the cookware you’re using isn’t Pyrex. This applies to any Pyrex, even something you’ve purchased recently.
The manufacturers’ glass is safe when transferred to a preheated oven or microwave (assuming the dish isn’t chilled). Still, it’s not designed for exposure to open flames, so putting it on top of gas-powered stoves or under gas-powered broilers is to be avoided.
6 Avoid putting your vintage Pyrex glass cookware into your dishwasher.
Although they classify most glass or casserole cookware as being dishwasher safe, I wouldn’t personally recommend using a dishwasher to clean it, especially if we’re talking about vintage Pyrex.
To keep your vintage pieces safe and in pristine condition, you can simply wash them by hand to be on the safe side.
7 Handwashing your glass dishes
Although the manufacturers say that their products are dishwasher safe, experts advised that dishwashers can eventually etch the surface of glass bakeware.
Washing by hand using warm, soapy water is gentle and effective, and if you do this from the outset, it will help prevent any stubborn grease spots and stains from forming in the first place.
8 Avoid stacking glass or Pyrex when it’s still wet.
I’m not saying you don’t stack your glass bakeware and cookware. Most of these products are designed to be stackable for space-saving purposes, and you will want to take advantage of that.
However, always take pre-caution about stacking it while it’s wet. I make the point because once it dries after being stacked wet, it can stick together, making it difficult to prise the dishes apart.
You could damage them in the process, so make sure your glass or Pyrex cookware is nicely dry before stacking.
Keeping the grime at bay
There is a well-known saying that prevention is better than cure, and this is certainly the case with allowing dirt and grime to build upon your glass, casserole, or Pyrex cookware.
The key is to get into the habit of handwashing these dishes in warm soapy water and paying attention to corners and handles. A thorough regular hand washing will help to prevent that grease buildup.
Another helpful tip is to hold your dishes up to the light after cleaning and drying. It is not always possible to spot marks and food residue in the sink while the dish is still wet. It stands out much more after drying and inspecting under the light.
Frequently asked questions
This next and final section is a resume of some of the points already discussed above, plus answers to some other frequently asked questions.
Why does my Pyrex get cloudy?
If you live in a hard-water area, you will find that hard water deposits with high mineral content gather on glassware over time. It’s a twofold problem.
- First problem
The first problem is that the increase of minerals in hard water lessens the effectiveness of detergents. That means that you may need to use more of them to get your dishes clean.
Also, hard water doesn’t rinse off as well as soft. It implies that residues of soap or dirty water get left on the dishes. Ironically, the more detergent you use, the worse the problem gets.
- Second problem
When the minerals in the hard water are allowed to dry on the surface of the glassware, it creates a cloudy film.
A way of testing for hard water is to soak a glass item with a cloudy film in vinegar for approximately five minutes. If it removes the deposits, it indicates that hard water is the problem.
If the vinegar soak doesn’t remove the film, it means that the etching results from soft water corrosion, and I’m afraid there is nothing you can do about it.
How do you remove the cloudy film from glass or Pyrex?
Apart from soaking the item in vinegar as discussed above, you can also remove film caused by the calcium and magnesium in hard water by applying acetone. Acetone is a common form of which is nail polish remover, then scrub gently using a mild detergent.
If you want to avoid ruining your glassware by putting it in the dishwasher, you need to buy dishwasher-safe glassware.
How do you clean baked-on grease off the glass
I’ve already discussed the various ways of cleaning stubborn grease marks from glass dishes or Pyrex. But there is something else you can try too – a combination of baking soda and vinegar.
If you want to try this, sprinkle the baking soda over the affected area. Then, add some vinegar and wait for it to begin bubbling. After a minute or so, rinse clean with warm soapy water.
How to clean a burnt casserole dish?
We’ve all been there. Burning your casserole dish now and again is going to happen. You can use any of the methods discussed above to get rid of crusts and burn stains.
Try to use the less abrasive methods for crusts and burns, especially on vintage Pyrex®, not to damage the colors and patterns.
Does baking soda scratch glass?
It can do since baking soda can instigate tiny scratches. But you’ll probably get away with it if you avoid using a rough sponge to apply the baking soda. But remember to scrub as gently as possible.
Can you clean Pyrex® with steel wool?
No, it isn’t. Like the plague, scrapping glass dishes or Pyrex® with aluminum, brass, or steel wool scrubbing pads is avoided. If you go ahead, two things will occur.
- The first thing that will happen is the cleaning implement will get incredibly dirty and, in the process, will carry on collecting dirt and grime, making it impossible to get the dish clean.
- The second thing that will occur is that the scratches caused by the cleaning implements will deteriorate the Pyrex®, and it could fail spectacularly and not in a good way.
If you are going to scrub, use plastic scrubbies and scrub away gently but firmly until most of the baked-on offender has been removed.
Once you’ve done that, clean off the rest with a paste made up of Dawn Dish soap or Palmolive and baking soda.
How do you make glass or Pyrex® shiny again?
To return your glass or Pyrex® cookware to its pristine condition, soak it in a mixture of water, baking soda, and vinegar. For best results, allow it to soak overnight.
Once you’ve finished soaking it, if there is any residue remaining, clean it off with a scratch-free pot scrubber, and rinse clean.
Finally, to restore it to a new condition, rinse again with a mixture of hot water and vinegar.