How To

5 Simple Tips to Clean Nonstick Pans Easily

If you have nonstick pans in your home, you want to find simple ways to clean them. Americans lov...

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cleaning supplies for a nonstick pan
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If you have nonstick pans in your home, you want to find simple ways to clean them. Americans love nonstick cooking pans. Consumers spent about  $1.4 billion on nonstick cooking tools in 2018. With these big investments, you want to treat your nonstick pan with plenty of TLC to maintain its longevity. Let's look at the five best ways to clean your nonstick skillets.

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1 - Skip the Dishwasher

Dishwashers are a huge convenience in the kitchen. You can just load it up and let it handle all of that hard work. While you may be tempted to put that nonstick into the dishwasher, try to resist. Yes, it can be a hassle to wash by hand. By doing so, you can preserve the durability of your pans.

Many of these pans are made from different materials. Always read the manufacturer's care instructions - most will advise that you skip the dishwasher. When they are cleaned by hand, you will have plenty of years of use from them. That slippery coating will quickly deteriorate under high heat and harsh conditions in the dishwasher. You should clean even those nonstick pans listed as "dishwasher-safe'' with caution. Over time, the harsh detergents and hot temperatures will break down the surface.

Related: Carbon Steel Pan Rust: What to Do About It

2 - Clean Immediately With Hot Soapy Water

No one wants to spend time cleaning in the kitchen. With those nonstick pans, you want to clean them right away. Most debris will quickly wash away by rinsing the pans under the faucet. You can thank the nonstick qualities for preventing food from adhering to the surface. If you want to keep your pans from sticking, wash them with hot soapy water. Any gentle dishwashing soaps can easily cut through the grease. You will want to clean the entire pan from the outside and inside. Use hot water, soap, and microfiber cloth to maintain the surface of your cookware.

If you have any baked- or cooked-on grime, reach for that baking soda. You can use these household items as alternatives to harsh cleaners that contain corrosive acids. Take baking soda and add olive oil or water until you have a consistency that looks like toothpaste. Not only does this work as a greener cleaning option, but it can remove those tough greasy spots.

For those who want are still having issues with baked-on grime, you can create your own cleaning cocktail:

  • Take 1 ½ cup water and ½ cup vinegar and add them to your pan.
  • Cook that mixture over medium heat for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Allow everything to cool down.
  • Once that is finished, wash the pan with gentle dish soap and warm water.
  • You can clean it with a microfiber cloth.

avoid abrasive brushes

3- Avoid Abrasive and Metal Pads

Abrasive scouring pads and steel wool can do a number on your nonstick coating. You never want to clean with them. Anything that has a stiff scrubbing surface should be avoided.

Related: Everything You Need To Know About Seasoning

4 - Always Oil Up

Once you have cleaned your nonstick pans, make sure to give them a little lubrication. You don't need to season these pans like cast iron, but you should add a slight touch of oil to the surface. By adding oil before and after use, you can help to protect the nonstick capabilities. Don't soak the pan in oil. Add a teaspoon to a half teaspoon per use to keep it lubricated. Once the oil is on the surface, wipe any excess off. With that, your pan will be ready to go when needed.

5 - Dry Thoroughly

After washing and oiling your nonstick cookware, you want to dry it thoroughly before storing it. Take a soft, clean towel to wipe down the pan. If you like to stack your nonstick pans with others, layer a clean, dry dish towel and washcloth to avoid scratching and damaging the surface.

Look at Cleaning Alternatives

Along with that cleaning cocktail, you can use other common ingredients in your kitchen to make your pans shine. Salt is a great way to clean your pan. Take some oil and let it melt in the pan. After that, you can sprinkle a generous amount of salt. Use a paper towel or cloth to rub the salt in a circular motion firmly. After a few minutes, you just need to wipe out the salt and oil.

Related: What Are PFOAs? Should You Avoid Them?

There are a few other ways to clean your nonstick pans. Some individuals recommend that you clean a nonstick pan with ketchup, especially for those pans with burnt grease. Leave the ketchup on the pan for about 10 minutes. After that, use a non-scratch sponge and rub in a circular motion.

Finally, many people stand by the Bar Keeper's Friend. This formula is used to keep pans clean and shiny. You have to apply the cleanser to a wet cloth and rub it in a circular motion. If you have a difficult stain, make a paste with the powder and leave it on for a few minutes. After that, you can clean your cookware in warm water. Bar Keeper's Friend is a good choice for those tough exterior stains.

However, check with your nonstick manufacturer's guidelines before trying any of these remedies. You always want to follow those recommendations.

a collection of nonstick skillets

Nonstick pans allow you to cook without having food cling to the surface. Cleaning your pans is never a fun chore. However, with a bit of elbow grease and these tips, you can keep your nonstick pans looking great for years to come. In the end, you will be able to have those pans maintain their nonstick abilities so that you can create those delicious dishes.

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