How to Clean Non-Stick Cookware & Bakeware

Non-stick pots and pans are a staple of any well-stocked kitchen. They’re great for cooking everything from pancakes and omelets to rice, meats, and just about anything in between with minimal mess. Typically, nonstick bakeware is coated with a layer of Teflon, which prevents foods from adhering or burning onto the surface when heated. Because these pans don’t require the use of cooking sprays or oils, they can also be a great way to make cooking your favorite dishes a little healthier.

Steps to Clean Non-Stick Cookware

Non-stick bakeware has come a long way over the years; it’s no longer very expensive, and it’s easier to care for than ever before. Still, there are some tips and tricks worth keeping in mind if you want your non-stick pots and pans to last for many years to come.

Skip the Non-Stick Cooking Spray

One of the most common misconceptions people have about using non-stick pots and pans is that it’s fine to use a little non-stick cooking spray or oil for additional protection. In reality, you really shouldn’t use any additional sprays, butters, or oils when cooking on non-stick bakeware because doing so can cause a layer of residue to build up on the surface over time. Eventually, this can actually make your pots and pans more prone to damage from foods sticking and burning to the surface.

If you decide to use non-stick sprays, oils, or butter for any reason when cooking on non-stick bakeware, it’s important to wash it off thoroughly after each use. Even then, you should use it as sparingly as possible.

Forego the Dishwasher (Seriously!)

The dishwasher makes your life a lot easier, doesn’t it? As convenient as it is to toss your dirty pots and pans in the bottom rack of the dishwasher after you’re done cooking, the truth is that you should really hand-wash all of your non-stick bakeware to preserve its Teflon coating. Dishwashers use much higher heat than you would when washing your dishes by hand, which can quickly wear away Teflon and defeat the purpose of buying non-stick bakeware in the first place.

Allow Time to Cool Before Washing

Okay, so you’re going to take the time to wash your nonstick bakeware by-hand in order to prolong its life. Sorry to burst your bubble, but there are some extra precautions you’ll need to take on top of that. Specifically, you need to give non-stick pots and pans some time to cool off on their own before you wash them.

As tempting as it may be to run those hot pots and pans under cool water so you can get to scrubbing, this can actually damage your bakeware. That’s because extreme and sudden changes in temperature can cause metals to warp, which can also cause the Teflon coating on your pots and pans to begin chipping or flaking away. Always wait until your non-stick pots and pans have had some time to cool off on their own before you get to hand-washing them.

Never Use Abrasive Sponges or Cleaners

Just as you wouldn’t use steel wool on your favorite cast-iron pan, you shouldn’t use harsh cleaners or abrasive sponges on your nonstick pots and pans. Unfortunately, abrasives can cause surface scratches to develop along the protective Teflon coating—which will make it deteriorate faster.

Generally, the best way to hand-wash your non-stick bakeware is to use warm water, a few drops of your favorite dish detergent, and a soft washcloth or sponge. Scrub in circular motions to remove grime and food debris, which should slide off easily!

Tackle Stubborn Build-Up on the Stovetop

If you do end up with any stubborn grime that you can’t easily remove with hand-washing alone, there are a couple “hacks” you can use to take care of it. One of the best ways to easily remove caked-on debris from a nonstick pot or pan is to simply fill the pan with about 1.5 cups of water and half a cup of white vinegar. From there, heat the mixture until to begins to boil; then, allow it to boil for about 10 minutes.

Allow the liquid to cool before washing out the pan again with gentle dish soap and warm water. This should take care of any remaining grease or debris that wouldn’t come off with washing alone.

Dry Thoroughly and Store Properly

Once you’re done cleaning your non-stick pots and pans, it’s also important to dry them thoroughly before you put them back into storage. Otherwise, leftover moisture can cause metal components of the pans to rust over time. The best way to dry a non-stick pan or pot is to use a clean microfiber cloth to dry it by hand. You can also set your pots and pans out on a large dish-drying rack and allow them to air-dry if you’re short on time.

Much like you would “season” a cast-iron pan, you can also lubricate your non-stick bakeware from time to time to provide some added protection and non-stick properties. Applying a very small amount of cooking oil to the surface of each pot or pan after washing and drying them can make a big difference.

From there, it’s all about properly storing your non-stick pots and pans to prevent damage to the Teflon coating. If you have a set of non-stick pots and pans, they can often be stored nestled within one another for compact and effective storage. You may also want to consider purchasing and installing a lid organizer inside one of your cabinets to make sure you never lose track of your lids.

The main thing to remember when it comes to storing nonstick pots and pans is that setting heavy objects on top of them (such as cast-iron pans or small appliances) can cause scratches to form along the non-stick coating, so it’s important to be careful about where and how you store this bakeware.

Get Help With Your Other Cleaning Tasks…

Taking care of your nonstick pots and pans isn’t difficult, but it will require a little extra time on your end. From there, however, you can expect a non-stick pot or pan to last you for many years without needing to be replaced. Meanwhile, your favorite dishes can continue to turn out delicious while leaving a minimal mess to clean up afterward.

If you’re looking for help with other cleaning tasks around your kitchen ( or elsewhere in your home), Maid Sailors is here to help! We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee with all our house-cleaning services, so you can book with confidence. Contact us today to find out more or to schedule your first service!

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