I recently ran into this (put your pans etc in a closed container {a garbage bag will do}, pour in a bit of household ammonia and let it sit for many hours) and love it. However, I also have some pans with those black plastic? handles, is it safe to do on them also? I also have a teflon pan that has some grease stuck on the outside. Since there's no way to treat only the outside {it's the fumes that do the work, you don't immerse things} is that safe?

  • Can you post a link to the page you're using that describes the process more in-depth? – Catija Mar 22 '15 at 0:57
  • 1
    There are many examples around. The first hit on Google: stretcher.com/stories/03/03aug18a.cfm – Loren Pechtel Mar 22 '15 at 2:48
  • I mean add the version you're planning to use as information to your question. – Catija Mar 22 '15 at 2:55

After asking this in multiple places and finding nobody with an answer I decided to test with the gunkiest cover. The handle came through fine. I'm not going to try the teflon pan.


Do not use on teflon! I tried that and all the Teflon peeled off. I had to throw out the pans.

  • Do not use what? Ammonia? Barkeeper's Friend? – Cascabel Feb 17 '16 at 19:13
  • 2
    I will give that answer the benefit of doubt. The question is specifically about ammonia, so I assume the answer refers to ammonia too. But it could indeed be more clear. – rumtscho Feb 17 '16 at 20:59

If I'm understanding your method correctly, if you're worried about the handles being damaged you could use a smaller bag the covers the pan, but tie it tight around the handle where it joins the pan (and I assume isn't plastic). That way only your metal pan is exposed to the fumes, the plastic handle remains outside of the bag.

The other thing to try is the general advice when you're not sure if some chemical will damage some material. Dab a tiny bit on hidden or less visible part of the handle and see what damage it does.

You could try something like the above with your Teflon pan but it would be trickier. You could try using plastic wrap to seal the top of the pan before sticking it in the bag. You might need to tape it to make sure it doesn't come off.

  • I doubt tying it tightly would be airtight. – Loren Pechtel Mar 21 '15 at 21:06
  • 1
    @LorenPechtel You don't need it perfectly air-tight any more than you need the garbage bag perfectly air-tight. The tiny amount of seepage will dissipate in the air before it damages anything. – Ross Ridge Mar 21 '15 at 21:11
  • Oh, I see, one handle outside the bag. I was picturing protecting the handle with plastic. That won't work very well on the pot with one handle on each side. – Loren Pechtel Mar 21 '15 at 21:39

Instead of ammonia, you should try "Barkeepers Friend" that stuff is great. It takes off the burnt on grease easily. It is very gentle of my pans. I own all clad cookware, stainless steel. It works wonders, and shines it up real nice. In response to Teflon pans, if grease is burnt on like you say, I'd say it's time to get new pans. Once food starts to stick to the pan, even after a rinse in hot water, it's non sticking powers are just about depleted.

  • 1
    It's just Oxalic acid. You can by it for a few dollar per Kg at your local hardware store – TFD Apr 6 '15 at 1:22
  • 1
    The grease is on the outside of the teflon pan (it was sitting next to someone frying stuff in a too-hot wok.) – Loren Pechtel Apr 6 '15 at 2:10
  • @TFD do the other ingredients in BKF do anything though? Does one give up any functionality by using oxalic acid alone? – Tootsie Rolls Sep 25 '19 at 23:14

Enamel coated roaster, stainless steel & ceramic Is safe to clean using ammonia & garbage bag. I put 1/4 cup of ammonia in the roaster & lid & tied up the garbage bag & put it down stairs. Brought it up stairs to clean a couple of days later, dumped it in the sink & rinsed everything in hot water. Rolled up the garbage bag & threw it out. All the burnt on grease etc on the outside of the roaster & lid, it just peeled off the roaster. I rubbed a scrubbie over it all to get at the hard to reach places: handles & rim edge. All clean...... looks like new. Can do the same with stove top pans & rings & racks from oven - I do over night for those. 1/4 cup of ammonia or less & put everything in a garbage bag & tie it up & place it out of the way over night. Come morning your clean up will be so easy. Rinse in hot water & wear rubber gloves & use a stainless steel scubbie to get at hard to reach spots for a better clean. Use in pots that got burnt on food.... overnight ammonia & alittle water: wash with hot water in the morning.

  • 1
    Welcome to the site. Can you edit your answer so that it contains some white space, and instead of &, etc? Thanks. – user34961 Dec 16 '17 at 11:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.