How to Remove Soot from Camping Cookware

How to Remove Soot from Camping Cookware: 5 Best Methods

Want to know how to remove soot from camping cookware? If you are a camper and you love to cook over an open flame or campfire, it is something that can never be matched by or experienced in any 5-star hotel. Inevitably, this soothing pleasure of cooking over a campfire does come up with the dreaded black soot price, which built up with the time on your camping cookware. It can prove to be a little overwhelming while cleaning.

Follow these 5 steps and remove soot from camping cookware :

  1. Scrubbing
  2. Baking Soda
  3. Abrasive Cleansers
  4. Laundry Detergent
  5. Lemon Juice and Salt

1) Scrubbing to Remove Soot from Camping Cookware

If you want to keep using your camping cookware for a little longer, like any other cooking ware, it requires routine cleanup. Scrubbing helps in keeping soot and food residue from building up. Which eventually turns into layers of stubborn stains and makes them harder to remove. Melamine scrubbing sponges, the alternative to soot sponges, work both when they are dry or wet.

Steps to use Melanie Scrubbing Sponge

Step 1: The first step is to wet, allow the sponge to soak up water, and squeeze out the excess water.

Step 2: Now gently rub down foam on the dreaded area to remove soot from camping cookware.

Step 3: The foam will loosen up the soot and dirt and trap it in the sponge and wash off the cookware. You will see a noticeable difference with scrubbing the sponge on the surface. For best results, soak the melamine scrubbing sponge in warm water. If you do not want to muscle with your item, you have to be extra careful with using your cookware on the open flame or campfire.

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2) Baking Soda with Vinegar

Baking soda is a natural cleaner that also works as a soot remover from your camping cookware. It should be your simple solution to tackle tough stains. Because Baking Soda is non-abrasive, you can use it any time you want. You may also use some vinegar for better results; You would be amazed by the shine of baking soda mixed with vinegar. But it doesn’t mean baking soda alone can not do the work.

baking soda and water

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Steps to use Baking Soda

Step 1: Clean soot with a sponge or a damp cloth by softly rubbing baking soda on camping cookware surfaces.

Step 2: Allow it to sit for a few minutes.

Step 3: Now, take a damp cloth and wipe/clean. The baking soda consumes much of the surplus soot on the cookware surface.

If baking soda is not on hand, you can also use cornstarch as an alternative to baking soda. Bakery soda and vinegar both are also better known for reactions to the chemical foaming they produce.

Both blends are efficient and cleaner although that is exaggerated for soot blemishes. This method is the cheapest and simplest for getting rid of soot from your cookware.

3) Abrasive Cleansers

If you probably don’t know what abrasive cleaners are? An abrasive cleaner lets you remove rough dirt and flecks by applying additional muscle, washing the surfaces, and preserving shine.

Abrasive cleaners are available in various categories. Some still have bleach for added cleaning capacity. You need to pay attention to which one you choose and find one suitable for your cooking ware by confirming through the manufacturer or label on the product.

Steps to use Abrasive Cleaners:

Step 1: Start with washing cookware with hot water.

Step 2: Now, apply the abrasive cleaner powder or cream and let it sit for an hour for better results.

Step 3: Now add some more abrasive cleaner and use a wet cloth or sponge to scrub until you have rid of dreaded soot.

Step 4: Now rinse off with warm water and soap and scrub with a brush to leave no residue from cleaning products.

Abrasive cleaners are the most effective cleaning products right now. They usually contain particles of minerals or substances. They create fiction through these particles for cleaning surfaces. You can use abrasive cleaners with vinegar which makes it more vital to remove soot from your camping cookware, but make sure you mix cleaners well with vinegar.

4) Laundry Detergent

Soot on your camping cookware can get pretty thick after multiple times of use over a weekend. The thicker soot is, the harder it is to get rid of it. Laundry Detergent can help you in taking away the soot. You may be wondering if laundry detergent is used for laundry, but believe me, it also does the trick of getting rid of soot from your cookware with pretty easy steps to follow on your own.

water and laundry detergent

Steps to Use Laundry Detergents

Step 1: Fill your sink/wash basin with hot water and add 11/2 tablespoon of laundry detergent in the sink/washbasin.

Step 2: Put your cookware into the sink and leave it in the sink for about 5-10 minutes.

Step 3: Now, take out your cookware and let it air dry.

Step 4: Take a sponge and remember to wipe it only inside the pot. Do not wipe the outside surface.

Step 5: Cook some fantastic food in your cookware over an open flame, and Remember to enjoy your tasty food and take your time with it.

Step 6: Now, take a damp cloth and rub down your cookware.

If there is still soot remaining, then take white vinegar and water, both equal parts, in a larger pot. Boil them up and put your cookware into the bowl. Now let it sit for 5 minutes and keep boiling.

Now rinse your cookware with warm water and rub again with a sponge and rinse it off with clean water. It will remove soot and prolong your camping gear life.

5) Lemon Juice and Salt

Salt and lemon both have proved to be natural cleansers for house cleaning. You can use it to remove stains, brighten up and revive the dark colors of clothes. They are both vital ingredients in homemade eco-friendly and economic detergents and baking soda and white vinegar.

These should be your go-to options when you are in a rush or while cleaning your cookware. Lemon juice and Salt keep your cookware and home clean and great smelling.

lemon juice and salt

Steps to use Salt and Lemon

Step 1: Wet your cookware with water and cover the dreaded soot area with Salt.

Step 2: Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice down to the affected area covered with Salt. It would create a thick paste.

Step 3: Now, take a sponge or any cloth and rub down the sooted area. Keep rubbing until you see some results.

Step 4: Rinse with warm water and let it thoroughly dry.

Step 5: Now again, squeeze some more lemon juice on the soot.

Step 6: hang your cookware in the sun for as long as possible for natural bleaching. Let it dry.

Step 7: Now, you might want to wash your cookware regularly.

It would be best if you used gloves while using this method for your skin’s extra safety. You can try this method with white vinegar and flour. This method works because the acid in lemon and vinegar works to strip the patina from your cookware, and Salt removes the soot.

If you want to go further ahead, get a large pot of water and boil. Add salt, lemon juice, and vinegar to it. Put your cookware into it and. Let it sit and rub down with a sponge. Now wash it with water.

Be Cautious With How You Use Camping Cookware

These tips work to the best extent, but you need to be extra cautious with your camping cookware to prolong its life. You have to take care of not getting your item nasty in the first place. It is better to take a moment and be cautious with your item before you put it to open flame, then clean and remove the soot from it. Below are some tips that can help you to prolong your camping cookware life.

Do not Overcook the Food: Pay close attention to the heat and do not overcook. Cook with lover intensity flame and give yourself time. Remember to stir your content in the cookware. In the end, it makes tastier food and more comfortable to clean up, which will more evenly cook your food.

Do not Use Pine to Cook: Instead, you should use hardwoods for cooking. Using Pine which is heavy in resins, will leave black tar on the surface. Remember, all woods leave some residue but believe me cooking with Pine makes it worse.

Cook in Freezer Bags: This is certainly not the correct cooking process for many dishes, but for many, it might be the right solution. Add water to the oven rather than cooking in the pan or pot. Now add your ingredients into the freezer bag and put them in the cookware. You have to clean the freezer bag, not the pan or pot.

Cover the Outside with Soap Film: IF you do not want to get your item dreaded with soot, then cover the outside area with dish soap before you start cooking. It will wash off the soot with the surrounding soapy coating as you go to wash it.

From your camping cookware, all the cleaning cookware stainless pots and pans work in your kitchen. But you do have to be vigorous with how you cook in cookware with tips that I shared; otherwise, you have to go an extra step with cleaning and make more efforts.


These are some of the best methods that you can use to remove soot from your camping cookware. You can also try other methods like using vinegar or flour. But be extra cautious with how you use your cookware and do not overcook the food. Cover the outside of the cookware with soap before cooking to avoid soot build-up. Wash your cookware regularly to prolong its life.

Do you have any other methods that you use to remove soot from your camping cookware? Let us know in the comments below!​

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