How to Clean Nonstick Pans

How to Clean
Nonstick Pans

Cooking is a lifelong journey, but cleaning a nonstick pan can be quick and easy.

Author: Patty Lee  |  April 6, 2024  |  Time to read: 4 min

cookware set

Light and fluffy pancakes. Crispy-bottomed dumplings. Golden, cheesy quesadillas. When it comes to versatility, there’s simply no match for what a nonstick pan can help home cooks achieve. The best of the bunch help you cook with ease and confidence, whether you’re getting a simple one-pan dinner on the table or hosting a celebration with a delicious centerpiece.

The Always Pan can do even more. Thanks to its multifunctional 10-in-1 design, it also braises, bakes, and steams (to name a few). But as with all nonstick pans, proper care is essential to maintaining its ceramic nonstick coating and making sure it continues to serve you — and those you lovingly feed — for years to come.

Before tackling any messes, there are a few best practices to keep in mind for how to clean a nonstick pan.

Cool It Down
After cooking, allow the pan to cool down before cleaning. Extreme temperature changes, such as plunging a hot nonstick pan into cold water, can damage the surface.

Hand Wash With Care
Add nonstick pans to the list of kitchen tools (hello, knives) that should never go in the dishwasher. Harsh detergents and high temperatures will shorten the lifespan of the nonstick coating.

Go the Gentle Route
Just like when you’re mixing together nonna’s meatball recipe, a light touch will do. Skip the steel wool and other abrasive cleaners and simply use a soft sponge.

How to Clean Nonstick Pans

Cleaning a nonstick pan after cooking your morning omelet or seared salmon dinner is nice and easy. There’s no need for any special tools or cleaners — another reason why nonstick pans are such an accessible piece of cookware.

  1. Once the pan is cool, gently scrub the surface with a non-abrasive sponge and mild dish soap.
  2. Rinse the pan thoroughly to remove any soapy residue.
  3. Towel dry the pan or let it air dry completely before storing away.

How to Clean Burnt Nonstick Pans

Getting into a sticky situation is bound to happen, but don’t be tempted to scrub off those stuck-on bits with a scouring pad. Sticking usually happens because a thin film has formed over the coating — here’s how to remove burnt food from nonstick pans while preserving the surface.

  1. Deglaze the pan by boiling water with a few tablespoons of baking soda.
  2. If that’s not quite enough, form a paste using the baking soda and a bit of white vinegar. Apply to the affected areas and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes before scrubbing gently.
  3. Rinse the pan thoroughly with warm water to remove the baking soda, then towel dry or air dry completely before storing.
  4. The baking soda paste also works to remove drips and stains on the exterior of the Always Pan. Remember that the cookware will naturally patina as you use it. 

Nonstick Maintenance Tips

Taking care of your nonstick pan is key to keeping it slick and ready for action. Learning how to clean a ceramic nonstick pan is just one essential step in extending its nonstick longevity so you can continue pan frying, simmering, and sauteing your way to countless homemade meals and memorable dinner parties.

Skip the Metal
There’s a good reason why we include a nesting beechwood spatula with the Always Pan — metal utensils may damage the surface.

Don’t Overheat
If you want to maximize the lifespan of your nonstick pans, stick to low- to medium-heat settings and keep them off high heat. The Always Pan is made with ultra-thick cast aluminum that’s super conductive and efficient. That means you won’t need more than medium heat to get a beautiful golden-brown sear.

Go Spray Free
Ever wonder why aerosol oils aren’t recommended for nonstick pans? The droplets burn because they’re so small and block the nonstick from working properly. Instead, stick with high-smoke point oils, such as avocado and sunflower, in their non-spray forms.

Stack Safely
If possible, avoid storing nonstick pans directly on top of each other. Storage space in short supply? Place a soft cloth or paper towel between each pan to provide cushioning.

patty lee

Patty Lee

Patty Lee is a writer and editor based in New York City. Her writing has appeared in The Kitchn, Martha Stewart Living, Food Network, and many other food and lifestyle publications. A native New Yorker who grew up in Brooklyn's Chinatown, her perfect weekend breakfast is a combination of bagels and dim sum.