Home Care How to Clean Nonstick Pans and Bakeware So They Last Longer
how to clean nonstick pans

How to Clean Nonstick Pans and Bakeware So They Last Longer

by Helen
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How to Use and Care for Nonstick Cookware

There are many benefits to using nonstick cookware regularly — it allows food to release easily from the pan, is easy to clean, and it's suitable for people who are managing their fat intake, as you can cook food in less oil, butter or other fat than in conventional cookware. However, it's essential to properly maintain your nonstick cookware to ensure it will last for more than a year or two.

Nonstick pots and pans are generally aluminum or stainless steel with a smooth, nonporous chemical coating over the entire interior, making it a slick, nonreactive surface that prevents food from sticking to the bottom of your pan. If scrapes or chips appear on the nonstick surface, it's time to replace the cookware.

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How do you maintain nonstick cookware?

Using the right tools and techniques to care for your nonstick cookware is essential. First and foremost, avoid using metal utensils, which can scratch and damage the nonstick coating. Instead, use woodensilicone, or nylon utensils. Additionally, always hand wash your nonstick cookware with a soft sponge and mild dish soap. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scouring pads, which can scratch the surface. If food is stuck on the surface, soak the cookware in warm, soapy water before washing. Knowing how to care for and clean your nonstick cookware may extend the longevity of your pans.  Lastly, store nonstick cookware separately or with a protective layer to avoid scratching. With proper care, your nonstick cookware will last for years to come.   

With appropriate care and cleaning, nonstick cookware can last for many years. Use the following tips to clean nonstick pans to maintain them and keep them damage-free.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools


  • Mild Dish soap
  • Hot water
How to clean nonstick pans

Caring for Nonstick Cookware

Most home cooks find skillets and sauté pans useful for nonstick cookware since they can fry or scramble eggs, delicate foods like fish and crapes, or cook pancakes. A nonstick saucepan can also help cook rice or make custards, allowing easy cleanup.

Using your nonstick cookware in the way the manufacturer recommends will help to maintain your cookware in the best working condition:

  • Some manufacturers advise rubbing a thin coating of vegetable oil over the pan cooking surface prior to using your nonstick cookware for the first time. This process will condition and protect the cooking surface.
  • Do not preheat an empty pan. Nonstick cookware is typically made of aluminum, which will heat faster than heavier, denser stainless steel. Add a little oil to the pan first, just enough to lightly coat the pan surface, and preheat it a few seconds before adding your food.
  • Use an oil, such as vegetable oil or grapeseed oil, instead of nonstick cooking spray. The nonstick spray contains lecithin, eventually making your nonstick surface gummy.
  • When cooking with nonstick cookware, use only low or medium heat. Higher heat may degrade the cooking surface and, depending on the type of nonstick coating, can release toxic vapors into the air.
  • Also, avoid using metal utensils on nonstick cooking surfaces. Instead, use wooden spoons, plastic, nylon, or silicone-coated cooking utensils. Using these utensils will prevent the pan surface from getting scratched or nicked.
  • Always check with the manufacturer before using your cookware in the oven, and follow the recommended maximum temperature. Some nonstick brands of cookware are oven-safe, though many brands are not.
Pan with Wooden Spoon

Final Thoughts: How to Use and Clean Nonstick Cookware

To use your nonstick cookware:

  1. Start by selecting the appropriate utensils.
  2. Avoid using metal utensils, which can scratch the nonstick surface, and instead opt for silicone or wooden utensils.
  3. Preheat your cookware on low to medium heat before adding food. This will help ensure your food cooks evenly and won't stick to the surface.
  4. Avoid using high heat settings when cooking, as this can cause the nonstick coating to break down over time. 

Finally, when cleaning your nonstick cookware, use a soft sponge or cloth, mild dish soap, and warm water. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scouring pads, which can damage the nonstick surface. With these simple tips, you can enjoy your nonstick cookware for years.  There are many brands on the market that make nonstick cookware. Anolon is one of them.  Not only do they make nonstick cookware sets, but they also make 3-Ply Stainless Steel and Ceramic, plus more. You can find out more about the brand by reading our review.

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