In-Depth How To Guides

How to Clean A Wok with Burnt Food? (7 Super Easy Ways)

How to clean a wok with burnt food

I know, most of you made this mistake most of the times like me. So, if your concern about how to clean a wok with burnt food. Then you came to the right place.

I kept my food on my wok which was cooking on the stove and as I got busy in other cooking prep for a little moment. When I turned back to my wok, I saw it get burnt. After a lot of elbow grease, it seems it never comes off.

Whoops!! It’s so frustrating.

If you have wok whether it is carbon steel, non-stick or stainless steel, it is necessary to clean if it is burnt.  Your wok will damage early and leads to health issues, if proper cleaning will not have done. If you want your wok lasts for longer, then you need to clean it precisely.

After researching about it, I found a few remedies that worked for me perfectly. So, here I will share with you easy tips and tricks that clean your burnt wok and turn it like brand new.

The white vinegar method is favorite to clean out my stainless steel wok as it works amazing and turns my wok like brand new without using much elbow power.

How to Clean a Non Stick Wok with Burnt Food?

You can clean your non-stick wok with burnt food by following easy ways.

Washing Powder

Washing powder to clean burnt wok

If your non-stick wok gets burnt, then you can clean it simply with washing powder. It helps to clean sticky burnt residue easily from your wok.

Things you’ll need:

Washing powder

Room temperature water



  1. Fill the wok with water.
  2. Place wok on the stove and start off the stove.
  3. Add washing powder into the wok.
  4. Wait till the water brings to the boil.
  5. Turn off the stove and soak it for a few hours.
  6. Use the rough side of the scrubber to remove burnt food residue. You need here some elbow grease to scrub.

Can you use wok on an electric stove? Check out here.

Baking Soda

Baking soda to clean burnt wok

You can clean your non-stick wok naturally with the cooking ingredient which is lurking in your fridge or kitchen cabinet.

Yes! It is baking soda. Baking soda is effective to clean out burnt food from your wok.

Let’s see how to clean your wok with baking soda.

Things You’ll need:

Baking soda

Room temperature Water



  1. Keep empty wok on the stove and heat up the wok to high.
  2. Pour room temperature water into the wok.
  3. Add baking soda to the water in the wok.
  4. Bring the mixture to the boil.
  5. Turn off the stove and soak the wok in the solution for a few hours.
  6. Rub the burnt food residue with the scrubber and clean it thoroughly.

Dishwasher Tablet

Dishwasher tablet to clean burnt non-stick wok

If you have a dishwasher, then you might have using a dishwasher tablet to clean your utensils. You can also use these tablets to clean your wok to remove burnt food.

Let’s get to know how to use a dishwasher tablet to clean your wok with burnt food.

Things you’ll need:

Dishwasher tablet




  1. Put a wok on the stove and heat up it to high.
  2. Add water into the wok.
  3. Drop dishwasher tablet into the water.
  4. Boil water up to 10 minutes.
  5. Turn off the stove and soak the wok for a few hours.
  6. Scrub the wok with the scrubber and remove the sticky burnt food residue.
  7. Wash the wok and dry it thoroughly.

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How to Clean a Burnt Stainless Steel Wok?

If your wok is stainless steel, then you can clean your burnt stainless steel wok easily. Following are some easy tricks that take away burnt food residue from your wok.

White Vinegar

white vinegar to clean burnt stainless steel wok

You might have been using white vinegar in many of your cooking recipes. You can use this ingredient to clean out the things around your house. Cleaning with vinegar is a natural way to clean your wok.

Things you’ll need:

White vinegar

Room temperature water



  1. Place wok on the stove on high heat.
  2. Pour ½ cup of vinegar and ½ cup of water into the wok.
  3. Let mixture bring to the boil. When water will start off boiling, you will see burnt residue start to come off.
  4. Turn off the heat and take out the wok from the stove.
  5. Scrub the inside of wok with a sponge. You will see burnt sticky food come off without using much elbow power.

White Vinegar and Baking Soda

You can get burn marks off from stainless steel wok by using white vinegar and baking soda.

Things you will need:

White vinegar

Baking soda


Scour pad


  1. Put the wok on the stove and turn your stove on high.
  2. Add one cup of water and one cup of white vinegar into the wok.
  3. Let bring it to the boil. When it bubbling away, let it bubble for at least 30 seconds.
  4. Turn off the heat and add two tablespoons of baking soda. Add it slowly as it will foam up.
  5. Let it sit for a few minutes. Take out the wok from the stove and take to sink.
  6. Add some baking soda into the wok start scrubbing the wok with scouring pad.

Want to know how to clean coffee maker without vinegar? Click Here.

How to Clean a Burnt Cast Iron/Carbon Steel Wok?

Trial 1: Kosher Salt or Coarse Sea Salt

Coarse sea salt to clean burnt cast iron wok

Is your cast iron wok got burnt?

Then Don’t worry. You can clean your cast iron wok quickly with kosher salt or coarse sea salt.

Let’s dive into the process.

Things you’ll need:

Kosher salt or coarse sea salt

Paper towel

Plastic pan scraper


  1. Sprinkle some kosher salt or coarse sea salt on a wok.
  2. Scrub wok with the paper towel to remove burnt spots. Scrub until the inside of wok will smooth. Don’t use a scouring pad or steel wool as it could remove seasoning of your wok.
  3. If paper towel doesn’t work effectively, then you can use plastic pan scraper to remove stubborn burnt spots.
  4. Wash the wok with clean water and dry it thoroughly.

Trial 2: Heating Up and Using Coarse Sea Salt

If trial 1 doesn’t work for you, then you can apply a combination of the heating process and using coarse sea salt. It helps to remove extra stubborn burnt spots.

Things you’ll need:

Metal baby spoon

Coarse sea salt

Grape seed oil


  1. Scrub the wok with a metal baby spoon and loosen the burnt food residue.
  2. Place the wok on the stove and turn the stove on high heat.
  3. Burn the thick layer of burnt food. When it turned into liquid form, take it out. The part which doesn’t turns into liquid, scrape with a metal spoon. Remove the burnt coating with the spoon.
  4. Let the wok cool. Take some coarse sea salt and scrub inside the wok with hands. Scrub until the inside of wok gets smooth.
  5. Wipe out the wok with grape seed oil and heat the wok at the high flame on the stove.

Watch out the following video that shows how to clean a wok with burnt food.

Check out for best bacon meat slicer. Click here.

Cleaning Tips and Care

  1. Clean your wok immediately after every use.
  2. Seasoning the wok prevents food from sticking and rusting.
  3. Avoid persistent overheating while cooking food. It may lead to food to burn.
  4. If you have carbon steel or cast iron wok, don’t scrub it aggressively. It may remove the patina of your wok.


Now you know how to clean a wok with burnt food. These easy tricks will definitely help you to clean your burnt wok.

Regular Cleaning and maintaining the wok enhance the performance of wok and helps for lasts for longer. So clean your wok as soon as you finish your cooking. Proper cleaning of a wok is essential for healthy cooking.


About the author

Komal Shinde

Hi I am Komal. I love writing about home appliances. I am a management degree holder with a keen interest in reading, traveling and blogging. You will see more authoritative and in-depth home product reviews at this site.

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