Monday, October 28, 2013

Taming the Wild Beast - Abused Wildflower 8 1/2 inch Rangetopper

So, I was at the Salvation Army today, when I found this.....

An 8 1/2 inch Rangetoper in Wild Flower.

Normally, this is not a pattern that particularly interests me.  Thus, as a general rule, I pass them by without so much as a second glance.  After all, I already collect and use 2 different print patterns as well as my French White, which seems to come in 2 forms (Original and II) along with a few of the Buffet Servers, the Grab-It/Pop-ins line and miscellaneous Storage & microwave browning pieces (even though I almost never use my microwave)  So I have enough "stuff" to look for as it is.

But I was completely overtaken by righteous indignation when I saw the abuse this poor skillet had endured in the hands of it's previous owner.

That is just down right gross...... Thus, I decided to try and save it.

I will admit that I may have bitten off more than I could chew this time. (first scrubbing - 15 minutes)

The inside was no problem.  So I guess it's technically useable at this point, however, the bottom is a nightmare incarnate.

I have scrubbed, and soaked, and pasted and let it set and scrubbed some more.

After 45 minutes of scrubbing, this is as far as I have gotten.  Then my sponge wore through....  (sigh)

It's aluminum bottomed, so oven cleaner is out of the question, I am thinking of soaking it in "goo gone" to see it that may turn the caked on, baked on and burnt grease coating off the bottom of the poor skillet.

Anybody else have any insights as to how to save this skillet?  I will keep you posted if I can figure out some way to save this wretched beast of a skillet. (that doesn't involve continuous scrubbing and arms like Popeye)

Where is your Corningware??

Update 11/6/2013 - Solution Found, though it involves Chemicals.



  1. Shane, I've had luck with taking a concoction I found on the Good Things with Jillee Web site and adding another ingredient. Jillee uses a paste of peroxide and baking soda to restore things like old cookie sheets. I've found that making a paste of peroxide and baking soda and adding a few drops of Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds so the mixture is a little soupy will melt away/loosen most burned material on Corningware.

    I wash and dry the item and then liberally apply the paste so that the burned material is completely covered. Then, I just let the item sit overnight. Usually the next morning just a slight scrub will remove all of the burned material. I've used this paste many times and have taken Corningware pans that were burned black and they are now pristine.

    For any stubborn, remaining bits of burned material, I'll use one of the brown plastic scrapers that comes with Pampered Chef stoneware.

    Jillee has great success with just peroxide and baking soda. I think it works better with the Sal Suds added. If I didn't have Sal Suds, I might try adding some undiluted dish detergent to the paste.

    I've also used Dawn Power Dissolver but it's very hard to find in stores. I've had luck a few times finding it in Walmart on the shelf with the other Dawn dish detergents. The trick with Dawn Power Dissolver is to first wash and dry the pan. Then, spray the Power Dissolver on the dry pan and let the pan sit. When you scrub the pan, don't add any water.

    Good luck!

  2. Wow Shane all that and it didn't come clean, that is a crime! Makes you wonder about the former owner? I hope with the above suggestions you will conquer that grime. I have tried the peroxide and baking soda on my ancient cookie sheets and it didn't help. I hope you are able to find the Dr. Bronners that Kathie had luck with.

  3. Thanks Kathie! I have plenty of peroxide and baking soda, but I have to run into town this morning to grab the rest of my chili fixin's for Halloween night. So, I will check and see if I can find the Sal Suds or Dawn Power Dissolver and give it a whirl.

    Patricia, I know. I see some of these pieces in the Thrift Stores and really wonder how they got into the condition they are in. Maybe this one was used on a BBQ or something.

  4. One thing that you could try is take a much larger pot and place the skillet in it with water all around and in it and then boil gently for an hour or so. When I burned a Visions skillet, I filled it with water and 'cooked' the stuff til it floated off and loosened. Might work with this.

  5. Wow! Thank you for the great ideas! I had no idea to offer that was better than Barkeeper's Friend, therefore I am glad to read about some new-to-me ways to get rid of burned on stuff.

  6. Shane,

    Several other thoughts after looking again at your pictures. A few months ago I cleaned up a wonderful German-made deep stainless frying pan that was like your skillet - fine on the inside and a measurable layer of burned on stuff on the bottom. I did have a Pampered Chef scraper, but I remember reading on the Web that people used the plastic tab from a loaf of bread as a scraper. On my frying pan, I'd let it sit with the baking soda/peroxide/Sal Suds paste or Power Dissolver and then be able to scrape off some of the layer of burned on stuff. It took several iterations to scape through all of the burned on layers.

    What's unbelievable to me is that as I use the frying pan, I just wash the inside and the bottom and it's fine. What in the world were people doing to have 1/4 inch of burned on stuff accumulate on the bottom of a frying pan?

    This is another idea. We live in the country and have well water which leaves hard water deposits. I haven't tried it on burned pans but I've recently become aware that a 20 Mule Team Borax and water paste will soften the hard water deposits from our well water. No other cleaner has been as effective as the Borax and water paste. If nothing else works, it might be worth trying the Borax/water paste just to see.

    Good luck!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.