How to Clean Nonstick Pans

How to Clean Nonstick Pans: 4 Best Ways with Video Tips

Nonstick pans are one of the most loved and valuable cooking tools. However, they can leave a terrible mess in your sink. Even if you use a nonstick pan for less than 5 minutes, you will likely have to wash it before using it again. Therefore, properly handling nonstick pans is essential for keeping them perfect.

Most of us use some standard cleaning methods but in the wrong direction. Some silly mistakes will damage your pan status. There are many ways you can tackle this challenge. We try to give you some best methods of cleaning nonstick pans with some easy tips and tricks. Maintaining some basic cleaning rules, you can use your cookware for a long time.

This article will guide you to clean nonstick pans without scratching them.  

For the First Time Use

After buying a new pan, you should clean it thoroughly before first using it. Unbox your pan and wash it with lukewarm soapy water. Clean the soapy matter with fresh old water thoroughly and dry it properly. You can wait to dry the pan or soak the water from the pan with a soft cotton towel. This is a regular practice for using any cookware in your kitchen.

Five Simple Steps of Cleaning

Let the cookware cool before washing; immersing a hot pan in cold water could permanently warp and ruin it.

Let the Pan Cool

After finishing you’re cooking, let the pots cool entirely. Most of us make the same mistake: we quickly start washing the pan immediately after cooking, and Coldwater on a hot surface can damage your nonstick pan surface. So, be careful about it.

Always Use your Hand   

The best way of cleaning nonstick pans is to use a hand. Always try to avoid any cleaning scrubber for your utensils. Use warm soapy water and your hand to wash the dirty pan.

Another important thing is that use the best quality dishwasher. The low-quality dishwasher can damage your pan surface. For example, always avoid bleach, rough cleansers, or any harmful chemical to clean your nonstick pans.

Scrub Gently

Always scrub your dirty pans gently with a soft spongy scrubber. Before we say, hand washing is safer than any other scrubber. But if there is heavy dirt, you can use a sponge scrubber, soft cotton cloth, nylon net pad, etc. Don’t use complicated or rough scrubbers like steel-made, stiff brushes, etc.

When you feel that your pan has scorching dirt, soak it in the water for a long time, and it will help remove dirt easily. For better cleaning, you can scrub your pan twice.  

Wash with Clean Water

Make sure that the pans wash thoroughly with clean cold water. Try to wash pans two or three times with a good amount of water. If any soapy material remains, it will not be hygienic for the next cooking session. So, recheck the pan carefully.

Let the Pan Dry

The last step is to dry the pan completely. You can dry your pan by hanging it in the kitchen or using a soft cotton towel to soak all liquids. If you need the pot immediately after cleaning, use your kitchen towel to dry it quickly.

Different Methods of Cleaning

Steps of Cleaning

Baking Soda

Baking soda is the most effective and popular method of cleaning nonstick pans. You should try this method in your kitchen for quick and better results. Moreover, baking soda is a prevalent ingredient in a kitchen. If you don’t have one, then from now have it always. Besides any backing purpose, this ingredient will act as a suitable cleaning agent for your nonstick pans. This method is also famous for its cheap rate and easy availability.

For this method, you need-

1. Baking soda (amount as required)

2. Water

First, you have to make a paste with these two ingredients. Add baking soda and water in a 3:1 ratio. Apply the paste to the pan and leave it for 15-20min. Then scrub the pan with a soft sponge. You can apply this method after a heavy cooking period because your pans become dirty after so much cooking is complete. However, this method is the best for cleaning heavy dirt and spots on your nonstick pans.


Rinsing with salt is the cheapest method we ever say. For this method, you need-

Coconut Oil
Soft Paper Towel

Add some coconut oil to the pan and heat the pan on medium heat for some time. Then add a significant amount of salt to the pan. Wipe up the oil and salt with a soft paper towel. Remember an important point: when you wipe the pan, use your hand in a motion direction. In this method, salt acts as a scrubbing agent. It would help if you were careful about this technique because rough wiping can damage your pan surface.

 Tomato Ketchup

Ketchup as a cleaning agent! Sounds weird? But trust us, it will work. Though it is expensive, it will work great for a burnt pan. Moreover, Tomato ketchup is also a prevalent ingredient in every kitchen. For this method, you need-

Tomato ketchup

Paper Towel

For this method, you have to add some ketchup to the pan. Cover the pan surface completely with ketchup and leave it for the night. This is a time-consuming method, but it works! Tomorrow morning clean your pan with clean water. The acidic tomato works well for the burnt area.

 Lemon Juice or Vinegar

Vinegar is another expensive cleaning agent. Instead of vinegar, you can use lemon juice as well. Add vinegar or lemon juice from the dishwasher to the bottom of your pan. Let the pan soak for some time. Then rinse the pot with cold fresh water. 

Bonus Tips for Nonstick Pan

Never use metal utensils on the nonstick pan surface. The improper use of utensils will damage the nonstick coating of the pan.
Don’t cook or bake at very high temperatures for a long time. High heat also destroys your pan surface.
Store the nonstick pans in a proper way and in a suitable place.  
Always dry the pan before your further use.

How do you clean a burnt non-stick pan?

The cleaning process of a burned non-stick pan will depend on the severity of the damage, but scrubbing and using lemon juice are typically recommended to clean a burnt burner. If cleaners such as baking soda or vinegar are used, they must be done in moderation because harsh chemicals can easily damage the non-stick coating.

Non-stick pans are quite easy to clean as long as the pan is not burnt. To clean non-stick cookware, the first step is to heat it on the stove thoroughly. For example, one might pour a generous glug of white vinegar and enough warm water to cover the burnt areas.

The next step (after waiting for it to cool) would be adding two tablespoons of baking soda into the mixture and heating it. Lastly, remove the burnt outer layer using a soft non-stick sponge or cotton pad and rinse with warm water to ensure that all traces of sugar deposits can be removed quickly without damage.

Does vinegar ruin non-stick pans?

No, vinegar does not ruin non-stick pans.
Vinegar is a natural product that has many health benefits.
Vinegar can help kill germs, clean and disinfect surfaces and reduce odors. It can also help neutralize acids in the stomach to prevent heartburn or reflux disease.
It is often used as a cleaning agent because it helps remove dirt, grease, grime, and stains from most surfaces without harming them.

Can I use baking soda to clean non-stick pans?

No, baking soda will not clean non-stick pans. Using baking soda as a substitute for other cleaning products is also not recommended because it may damage the non-stick coating on your pan.

The best way to clean your non-stick pans is by using dish soap and water, followed by a paper towel or cloth soaked in cooking oil.

How do I know if my non-stick pan is ruined?

Nonstick pans generally have a layer of ceramic coating that interferes with forming foods and fats as they adhere to the pan. This creates a thin barrier, which helps prevent food from sticking in nonstick pans.

Unfortunately, when overheated, scratched, or abused, this light coating can peel off and make it easy for food to stick on your pan.

If you notice dark marks or scratches on your nonstick pan, especially those that are hard to remove, it’s likely time to replace the product.

Another common trait of nonstick pans is that they oxidize, which means the chemical coating leaches out and leaves a rusty appearance on cheap and expensive brands.

How do you clean a non-stick pan with baking soda and vinegar?

To clean a non-stick pan with baking soda and vinegar, all you need to do is:

Add a cup of water and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to the pan. 
Add two tablespoons of white vinegar to the mixture in the pan. 
Let it boil for about 30 seconds or until most of the bubbling has stopped, then remove it from heat and cool down for 10 minutes before wiping away any residue with a cloth or paper towel. As a bonus, let the pan soak in hot soapy water for ten minutes or until thoroughly rinsed before washing and drying.

Why is there no cooking spray on non-stick pans?

Non-stick pans are manufactured not to require the use of the cooking spray. This is done for two reasons, it helps increase the longevity of your pan and doesn’t cause residue to stick around the edge. Non-stick pans don’t fit into a kitchen standard because they limit how well they can come in contact with foods like meat and vegetables, which claim some nutrients.

Final Words   

Pick one method that is suitable for your cleaning purpose from above. If you wish, you can use all of them according to your requirements. Which way will be ideal for you is dependent on your demanding situation. But our final suggestion is to strictly follow the rules of using nonstick pans, which will extend your pan’s longevity.

Keep cooking healthy foods and stay healthy!

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