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How to clean non-stick pans

Non-stick pots and pans require special care and the right products to effectively clean them! Read on for a handy guide on cleaning non-stick cookware.


how to clean non stick cookware

Key Steps

Clean your non-stick cookware in three simple steps:

  1. Remove any leftover oil
  2. Soak in warm, soapy water
  3. Wipe softly to clean – don’t scrub

Non-stick cookware is a must-have kitchen accessory for anyone who loves cooking up delicious meals. While they do tend to cost a little more than a regular pan, they should last you a lifetime. They will give you perfect performance with each and every use – if you treat it well, that is. So it’s important to know how to clean a non-stick pan if you want to get the best from it. 

Some people recommend using baking soda – an effective, all-round cleaner – for cleaning non-stick pans, but this isn’t a good idea. Although mild, baking soda is an abrasive, and can potentially damage the non-stick coating.

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How to clean a non-stick pan

1) Remove Oily Residues

Pour half a mug of white vinegar into the pan, and top up with water (you want the pan to be full, but not too full that you can’t move it to the cooker without spilling. Bring the liquid to the boil, and you should notice that the oils float to the surface (it will look like small, glistening bubbles). Remove from the heat and place an absorbent paper towel onto the surface of the water – taking care not to burn your hands – to draw out the leftover oils and grease.

2) Allow the pan to cool slightly

Cleaning non-stick pans while hot obviously isn’t a good idea – you could injure yourself. However, it’s much more difficult to clean them when they’re cold, as foods can cling to the surface as they get colder. Allow the pan to cool slightly before washing, so that you can touch it comfortably, but still feel a small amount of heat.

3) Soak in warm, soapy water

Place your pan into a sink full of warm water and washing up liquid. Believe it or not, a good quality washing up liquid is all you need to get your non-stick pans completely clean. They’re specifically designed to cut through grease, lifting any leftover greasy residues and removing any bacteria. 

4) Gently wipe - don't scrub

The most important rule when looking at how to clean non-stick pans is to never, ever scrub them. Non-stick pans use a clever coating on the base and sides to ensure that foods and oils simply glide off, rather than sticking. Scrubbing can damage this coating, making your cookware no better than a regular pan. The surface can also be damaged through the use of incorrect utensils (use wood or plastic rather than metal), by using harsh chemicals when cleaning (washing up liquid is best), and by using abrasive cloths.

If you’re having a bit of difficulty in removing residues, place the sponge or cloth over your thumb nail and give the pan’s surface a bit of a gentle scrape, but never scrape the surface directly.

Don't fear non-stick pans! Many people prefer not to use non-stick pans because they perceive the cleaning process to be too difficult, but it really couldn’t be easier. Non-stick isn’t something to be feared, and once you know the best way to clean the cookware, it can be a wonderful addition to any kitchen. It can even speed up the time it takes you to do your dishes – what could be better? For more information on how to clean burnt pots and pans, read our article here.


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Originally published