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Please save my favorite casserole dish!

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Fill the dish with water and add some lemon juice to it, if it fits in the microwave pop it in there for a few minutes and then let it sit with the steam for 10-15 minutes, if not pop it in the oven for a while. Drain it in the sink and then scrub again. If that doesn't work use an S.O.S. pad, I rarely do because I do not want to damage the dishes, but if your choice is a few scratches or toss the pan, I would rather have a few scratches.

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If it's really your favorite, and you don't mind spending a couple dollars, TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) can be bought at home depot, lowes, etc. in most states. It's generally used to clean the walls of a house in preparation for painting. Make sure you get the red box, not the green (that's "phospate-free TSP" which defeats its own purpose).


For a mess like you've got, I'd put the dish in the sink and add maybe a teaspoon or so (for, say, a 1.5 qt. casserole - more if it's bigger) add a small squirt of dish soap and fill it up with water.


Let it sit for a day or two and you should see the black layer peel right off. If you don't, add some more TSP and let it sit again.


I have yet to find a burned-on mess that can defeat a TSP soak.


I also add 1/2 of a teaspoon to each dishwasher load now that phosphates have been removed from detergents; it eliminates the cloudy mess on my glassware and the stuck-on food that would normally have been washed away but now stays on the dishes.

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I have oven cleaner. So I took it into the garage and sprayed it there so it doesn't kill me. That makes sense, too, because it's the same kind of rock hard stuff you find stuck to the bottom of the oven. It looks and feels like lava rock.


I have no car until later, and then I'm having a party so I can't get TSP today.

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