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Today it is hard to find a household; that doesn’t have at least one non-stick vessel hanging in their kitchen. Non-stick pans are the best choice to fry protein-rich food types, egg, meat, tofu, which tend to stick to the heated metal surfaces and get burnt. They are lightweight, require minimal cooking oil, are easy to maintain, and are available at an affordable price range. Thus they have become must-buy cookware for people who are passionate about fitness and lead a busy lifestyle.
For non-stick pan owners, one of their biggest concerns is the durability of the non-stick coating. When you shell big bucks on a cooking pan from a reputed brand, you expect it to last at least the life span mentioned by the company. Most often, within several months of buying the pan, the non-stick coating starts to blister and peel off. Usually, this problem occurs not because of quality issues but due to our negligence and lack of knowledge in maintaining the pans.
Hence it’s required to know the right way of cleaning non-stick pans, so they perform as per expectations and last longer.
Easy Ways to Clean Nonstick Pans
The removal of grease and food waste from the non-stick pan is far easier than the conventional metal pans. Below is the list of simple practices to wash non-stick pans using common household ingredients.
Caution: Before you proceed with cleaning, make sure to refer to the instruction manual given by the company to care for the non-stick pans. Check if the material of your non-stick pan is incompatible with any of the cleaning agents mentioned in this list.
1. Soap Water Cleaning
It is the simplest method to wash non-stick pans. If you make a habit of cleaning the pan immediately after use, this process is enough to keep them working for a long time.
- Fill the pan with water and heat it to boiling temperature.
- Mix detergent into the water and leave it until the water cools down.
- The grease and other waste sticking to the pan float to the surface of the soap water.
- Throw the water. Clean the pan by rubbing its inside and outside with a sponge and wash it with fresh water.
2. Deep Soak Cleaning
This method is helpful if you need to remove the burnt stain on the outer surface of the pan.
- Close the draining hole with a stopper and fill the sink with hot water until the non-stick pan submerges in it. You can also use a medium-sized tub to supply the water.
- Mix mild dishwasher liquid into the water.
- Immerse the pan in the soap water for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove the pan and drain the water.
- Wash the pan with soap, a soft pad, and freshwater.
3. Vinegar Water Cleaning
Vinegar is one of the common ingredients in many homemade cleaning mixtures. The acidity of vinegar not only helps to remove sticky, burnt food, it is also strong enough to kill some harmful microbes. It is one of the easiest methods to clean a burnt non-stick pan.
- Pour water into the pan until it covers the entire cooking surface.
- Add a cup of white vinegar to it.
- Heat the water to boiling temperature.
- Leave it rest until it cools down.
- Throw the dirty water.
- Rinse the pan using soap, a sponge, and water.
4. Bleach Mix Cleaning
One of these forgetful days, when you destroy and char the entire food, this method will be helpful for thorough cleaning of the pan.
- Mix three tablespoons of bleach and one tablespoon of a liquid dishwasher with one cup of water.
- Apply this mixture to the burnt area and vigorously rub with a soft scouring pad.
- Rinse with water.
- Repeat the process until the pan is fully clean.
5. Baking Soda Deep Cleaning
Baking soda mix helps remove burnt food from the non-stick pan along with helping restore the non-stick pan. Baking soda is also known as Sodium bicarbonate.
- Add water to the non-stick pan until it covers all the burnt area.
- Add one cup of white vinegar to the water and mix well.
- Heat the pan and let the mixture boil for few minutes.
- Keep the pan in a sink, add two tablespoons of baking soda to the mixture. The mixture starts bubbling when baking soda reacts with vinegar, releasing the burnt food stain from the surface of the pan.
- Let the water cool down.
- Rub the pan with a soft scouring sponge and rinse with fresh water.
- If the stain persists, repeat the process.
- Dry the pan with soft tissue. Smear a light amount of oil on the cooking surface of the pan before storing away.
6. Baking Soda Scrub Cleaning
Baking soda and water mix make an abrasive paste that helps to remove stubborn food residue without damaging the non-stick cooking surface.
- Mix baking soda with either warm or normal temperature water, make a consistent paste.
- Using the paste, scrub the pan thoroughly with a soft scouring sponge and rinse it with water.
- Repeat the process if required.
- Wash the pan with fresh warm water.
7. Saltwater Cleaning
It is one of the age-old cleaning methods which never fails to remove even the worst food stains from non-stick pans. If you add vinegar (optional) to this mixture, it makes a great cleaning agent.
- Fill the pan with warm water and add two tablespoons of salt to it.
- Let the mixture sit for few hours.
- You can also boil the mixture for few minutes for better removal of the grease and food stains.
- Let the water cool down.
- Scrub the pan with mild dishwasher liquid and a soft sponge, wash with fresh water.
8. Magic Eraser Cleaning
A lot of people swear by the effectiveness of the magic eraser in removing the most persistent stains. Magic eraser is nothing but melamine foam with a cleaning agent inside it. The cleaning agent used to soak the foam is formaldehyde-melamine-sodium bisulfite copolymer. They are easy to use and affordable. All you need to do is wet the eraser and scrub away the grime and dirt. There are many DIY blogs and vlogs available on how to create a homemade magic eraser.
While cleaning your pans is necessary, if you want to keep your non-stick pan healthy, then just cleaning is not enough! You need to know how to care for them so they can last longer.
How to Care for Non-stick Pans
Below are some of the tips to increase the life of your non-stick pan.
- It is best to hand wash the non-stick pans. This will prevent scratches from cutleries and other utensils when loaded in the dishwasher.
- Use gentle dishwashing cleaners and non-abrasive scouring pads made of soft sponges, foams, microfibre cloth to wash the non-stick pans.
- Clean the newly bought pan with water before using it for cooking.
- Reduce the usage of cooking sprays containing lecithin, which builds sticky residue on the pan.
- Use spatulas and cutleries made of plastic, silicone, rubber, wood, etc. It prevents scratches on the cooking surface.
- Never heat an empty pan. Always add a small amount of oil or water before placing it on the burner.
- The non-stick pans are not made for high flame cooking. Hence it is advised to cook food at low-intensity flames. Make sure to check the help manual to know the allowable temperature limit for your non-stick pan.
- Prevent abrupt changes in the temperature of the pan. Allow the pan to cool down before you expose it to cold water.
- Non-stick pans are not meant to function as storing containers. Make a habit of transferring leftover food into other containers and wash the pans earliest.
- Don’t leave burnt pan unwashed for a long time. It may damage the pan irrecoverably.
- After every wash, dry the pan with soft tissue or cloth. Coat the non-stick surface with a thin layer of oil. It will help to restore the non-stick pan.
- Place a soft cloth or tissue on the cooking surface of the pan before storing it away.
- It is better to hang the pans than stacking with other pans to prevent accidental scratching.
- If you see blistering, excessive scratching, and peeling of non-stick coating, it is recommended to replace the pan.
Non-stick pans are a treasured item of home cooks, often hidden deep where others cannot touch it with metal spatulas and steel scrubbers. As precious as they are, you also need to invest sufficient time and effort in caring for them – not only for cleaning them but increasing their life during usage. With these tips, you can learn to take better care of non-stick pans and stop spending fortunes on new pots and pans each time!