How to clean a non-stick pan easily and effectively

The non-stick pan is a familiar household item in every family’s kitchen. This cooking appliance helps us to prepare delicious fried and stir-fried dishes daily. However, if not properly cleaned, a non-stick pan will lose its quality and durability. Today, mycookingtown will give you some tips for using and cleaning non-stick pans properly.

non-stick pan

How to use the newly-purchased non-stick pan for the first time

Using a non-stick pan for the first time in a right way is not difficult if you follow the steps below:

1: Pour water into the pan (about 2/3 of the pan is fine; no need to fill up).

2: Put the nonstick pan on the gas stove (or the induction cooker), then, turn on the high heat to boil the water in the pan.

3: Boil the water until you see a lot of steam rising up; no need to boil until there are bubbles.

4: Turn off the heat and pour the water out of the pan.

5: Wipe away any remaining water from the pan with a soft cloth or tissue.

6: After drying, put the non-stick pan on the stove (or the induction cooker) and set the lowest heat.

7: Pour some cooking oil into a tissue paper, then, wipe the surface of the pan evenly for about 30 seconds.

8: Turn off the heat and let the pan cool.

Note: You should repeat steps 6, 7, 8 two more times. This method of using a newly-purchased non-stick pan makes sure your pan will be more durable and the non-stick layer will be more difficult to peel off.

Some notes on how to use the non-stick pan properly

When frying, use only a sufficient amount of cooking oil or grease

Conventional pans normally require you to use a lot of cooking oil or grease to cook evenly and prevent the pans from burning. However, with a non-stick pan, you should only use a sufficient amount of oil because the pan itself already helps the food from sticking. Moreover, the use of less oil and grease is both economical and good for health as well as good for the life of the non-stick pan.

The oil should be added when the pan is not too hot

When using a non-stick pan, you should first turn on the low heat to make the pan dry, then, add oil immediately. Do not add oil when the pan is too hot. If the non-stick layer meets high temperatures in dry conditions, it will easily peel off, which in turn affects the quality of food, and that is not good for human health.

Do not add salty seasonings when the pan is at high temperatures

Putting salty spices (such as fish sauce, salt, etc.) when the pan is at high temperatures will cause the surface of the pan to be porous. The non-stick layer will be easier to peel off.

Use wooden utensils to stir food in a nonstick pan

Wooden utensils will not scratch the surface of the pan like metal tools (aluminum, stainless steel).

Do not let the fire be too big

At high temperatures, the non-stick layer of the pan can decompose and then cause health issues. Therefore, when cooking with a non-stick pan, you should keep the fire low or medium to ensure the family safety as well as maintain the durability of the pan.

Do not use the pan to bake, grill or stew food

In fact, many people take advantage of their non-stick pans for baking, grilling or stewing food. However, you should not do that. The reason is that baking, grilling and stewing at high temperatures can cause the nonstick layer to peel off, reducing the durability of the pan.

How to clean the nonstick pan after use

How to clean the non-stick pan after use is very simple.

  • You just need to soak the pan in cold water.
  • Then, use a soft cloth to wash the grease.
  • Do not use a piece of sandpaper to scrub the pan as this will cause the non-stick layer to peel off.
  • Rinse the non-stick pan with water to remove all soap bubbles.
  • After washing, hang the pan in a cool and dry place.
  • Do not stack the non-stick pan on other pots and pans as this will cause the pan to be easily distorted and scratched.

How to clean a burnt non-stick pan

Sometimes when cooking, we lose our focus and let the food burn on the pan. Such burns are very difficult to clean. We below recommend some different ways you could use to get rid of the stubborn burns.

Soak the pan into hot water; use grease remover

It is a good idea to soak the burnt pan immediately into the water after cooking, because if the burns are left to dry out, getting rid of them will be much harder. Make sure you have the following items in your cupboard:

  • Cloth/ rag
  • Sponge
  • Dish washing liquid
  • Latex gloves – make sure your hands are safe

When you try to clean the burn in a non-stick pan, the key to success is patience. If you soak pan into water long enough, the stain will loosen, so it will be easy to remove it with a sponge. The softer the stain, the simpler the job.

Fill the pan with hot water (enough water to flood the burned area) and some good dishwashing liquid, then wait for 5-10 minutes. If the stain is still very firm, change the water and soap with hot water again, then wait a little longer.

Clean the pan little by little, then fill it with hot water again. Repeat the step until all black marks are removed. Use a soft rag or a gentle sponge to avoid scratching the bottom of the pan.

However, you soak the pan into water for an hour and still cannot get rid of the burn? The next step is to replace the daily dishwashing liquid with grease remover for kitchen and oven, because this is foam cream, so it can stick on the surface for long without melting. Follow the instructions on the package. When using grease remover, you need to:

  • Apply it directly to the stain
  • Wait for 5 minutes (to allow sufficient time for the detergent to work)
  • Clean gently with a sponge
  • Rinse the pan with warm water

Besides the above method, we can use some available ingredients in our homes to remove the burns. Note that such homemade cleansers should be tested on a small area before used. Below are some suggested ingredients that we can use to clean the burns.


Put the burnt non-stick pan on the stove and boil it with a mixture of water and vinegar. After letting it sit on the stove for a few minutes, the burnt layer will come off automatically. Your kitchen will also be effectively deodorized by steam of vinegar.

You can use a different combination which is vinegar and salt. You put the mixture of salt, vinegar and water in the pan for 10-15 minutes, and then, use the dishwashing detergent with a moderate force to clean the pan.

Potatoes and salt

First, you need to prepare the peeled potatoes and cut them in half lengthwise. The cut side of the potato is dipped in salt and then rubbed into the burning part of non-stick pan.

Why do potatoes have a cleansing effect in this case? Because potatoes contain natural oxalic acid components that help dissolve the rust layer. When combined with salt, potatoes will “upgrade” the ability to clean the burnt surface.

Baking soda powder

You still need to boil the vinegar and water, but this time, you pour the baking soda powder into the mixture. After that, mix the mixture well and wait for it to cool before you can use it. You pour the detergent onto the surface of the burnt pan and then rub it with a soft cloth or sponge.

When you pour baking soda into the mixture of boiling water and vinegar, you should not stand too close to the stove, as you can be affected by its effervescence and strong evaporation.

Fresh lime

On the burnt surface of the non-stick pan, you arrange the slices of fresh lime, pour a little water on the surface and then boil. When the water boils, use a spatula to move the lime slices to remove the burns. If the burnt layer is too stubborn, you can leave the mixture overnight and clean again the next morning.

Freeze the non-stick pan if nothing above works!

So, you tried different ways but still cannot remove all the burns? There is still an interesting way left. Try putting that burnt non-stick pan into the freezer! Leave it for a few hours and then take it out. Try rubbing again. You will be surprised because the food traces can be removed so easily!

Kitchen appliances affect food directly and human health indirectly. Therefore, when detecting any problem, even as small as a burn on the non-stick pan, you must handle it early to prevent any harm.

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