How to Clean Your Smoky Lake Evaporator Pan

There are many commercial pan cleaners on the market and many people have had great results from them. However, there are also more natural approaches to cleaning your pan and you won’t have to go any farther than the grocery store to get the necessary ingredients. This method does NOT require a lot of elbow grease, is gentle enough to not scratch the mirror finish stainless steel, and can make your pans look good as new.

You Will Need:

  1. Clean Water
  2. White Vinegar
  3. Non-abrasive cloth or soft sponge
  4. Large bucket (for premixing vinegar and water)
  5. Water Hose
  6. Baking soda (for cosmetic touch ups)
  7. Spray bottle (for cosmetic touch ups)

Step 1: Remove Major Gunk and Sediment

Premix a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water and fill your pans with it. HOT water works best.

WARNING: NEVER pour 100% vinegar directly into your pan. Vinegar is a light acid that could damage welds over time, especially if it is not properly mixed and diluted with water. If you do not premix, the unmixed vinegar can find its way into in hard to reach places like flues and drain manifolds where it will be impossible for you to properly mix with the water.

Step 2: Soak

Now you can walk away and let the diluted vinegar do it’s thing. Allow the pan to soak up to a day, depending on how dirty the pan is.

Step 3: Drain and Rinse

Drain the pan and spray out with a hose. Nearly all the major gunk should lift off effortlessly when it is hosed. If necessary, rub problem areas lightly with a non-abrasive cloth or soft sponge.

Step 4: Touch Ups

At this point your pans will be clean, but you may notice some “scaling” in some areas. This cosmetic concern can be easily remedied with a little help from some baking soda. Use a damp non-abrasive cloth or sponge to rub baking onto the scaling. Then spray lightly with your diluted vinegar solution. This will activate the baking soda’s bubbly magic powers. After the foaming has stopped, rinse and wipe with a clean rag. Stand back and admire the sparkly clean perfection.



We have been hearing good things about Barkeeper’s Friend. According to the product’s website, it is safe to use on cookware. We recommend testing this product on the underside of your pan first.

Have you tried Barkeeper’s Friend on your pans? Share your results in the comments below.

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