A non-stick pan is a great help in the kitchen to cooks of all abilities. The non-stick coating on the surface of the pan prevents food from sticking to the pan and burning. This is the secret to producing your favorite, healthy, tasty food! What happens if the non-stick coating wears off? You can fix it! Learn how to make non stick pans non stick again.
There are many different options you can use to restore your favorite non-stick pan to its previous glory. Before you decide to toss your damaged non-stick pan in the trash, try one of these methods (discussed in more detail below).
- Home remedies
- Specialized repair spray
- Coconut or vegetable oils
- Professional services
A non-stick pan may start to lose its non-stick properties due to the accumulation of old grease, mineralized grease, burnt food, overcooking at high heat, or simply cleaning the surface with abrasive pads. These are all common reasons for the loss of non-stick performance. Once this has happened to your non-stick pan, it’s time for some TLC!
Why We Love Non-Stick Cookware – When It Works!
Non-stick cookware has to be one of the best inventions of the modern age! No longer do you need to stand over a pot or pan in front of a hot stove, shaking the pan to prevent the food from sticking and burning! And, you can also find great non-stick bakeware to use in the oven.
Non-stick is the coating on the base and sides of the pan designed to prevent any food from sticking to it. Cooking with non-stick cookware allows the chef to cook tasty, healthy meals in a flash, without the fear of serving burnt food scraped from the bottom of the pan!
So what are the benefits of cooking with non-stick cookware, and should we really go out and buy a few essential pots and pans to use in our kitchens?
The advantages of non-stick cookware are many:
- Cooking food the non-stick way is considered healthy as you don’t need to use fats and oils to grease the bottom of the cookware to prevent the food from sticking to it. Reducing or eliminating fats and oils make for a healthier meal.
- Heat is evenly distributed across the cookware base, keeping the pan warmer for longer and reducing your fuel costs.
- Using non-stick cookware is great for frying, as the food doesn’t fall apart as easily as it does with regular cookware.
- Non-stick cookware is easy to use and easy to clean, saving you time in the kitchen. All it takes is a swift wipe over the interior and exterior of your cookware with hot soapy water and a soft sponge. Most non-stick cookware is dishwasher safe, but always check the manufacturer’s instructions before placing it into the machine.
- Non-stick cookware is lighter than regular cookware, making it easier to lift and carry while turning and flipping your food.
- Non-stick technology means that the surface is scratch-resistant if used as intended, keeping your cookware in a better condition for longer.
- Non-stick cookware is available in many shapes, colors, and sizes, to complement the décor of your kitchen and is extremely affordable. The price of the cookware is determined by the metal you choose – non-stick cookware is generally made from high-quality stainless steel and aluminum.
Helpful Tip – Purchase the best non-stick cookware that you can afford – better quality non-stick pans will last longer while saving you money by not replacing them as often
There is a downside to the non-stick formula – it can, over time, lose its non-stick qualities, making it difficult to use when cooking your favorite dishes. So if this happens to your favorite cookware, you should learn how to make non stick pans non stick again?
Why Non-Stick Cookware Starts Sticking
As with most cookware, the non-stick coating on a non-stick pan can degrade over time due to constant use. The are many reasons why the non-stick surface starts to stick, but these are the most obvious:
- The surface can become scratched and stained due to the incorrect use of cooking utensils.
- Food particles can build up over the surface, making it sticky and pitting.
- Certain acidic foods like pickles, lemon juice, and wine can be corrosive, causing blistering to the non-stick coating.
- Aerosol cooking sprays can result in spray build-up and damage the non-stick coating, giving the pan a rusty look.
- High heat can damage the non-stick coating – low to medium heat is advised to protect the non-stick surface.
- The pan is not seasoned before being used. Seasoning protects the non-stick coating, prolonging the lifespan of the pan.
- Abrasive cleaning materials are used to clean the cookware, scratching and damaging the non-stick coating.
- The dishwasher can eventually damage the non-stick surface because of the intensive heat used during the cycles.
How to Make Non Stick Pans Non Stick Again: 4 Simple Ways
Fortunately, there are some simple ways to refurbish your non-stick surfaces and repair your scratched or gouged pans so that they will work like new again.
If your favorite non-stick pan has become too damaged to use, before you decide to toss it in the trash, try these methods to restore it:
1. Homemade Remedy To Restore A Non-stick Pan
Home remedies don’t cost too much and are generally a mixture of common household items, so chances are, you should not have to make a trip to the store to buy anything!
What you need to restore the non-stick coating on a pan:
- 1 cup of water
- 2 tablespoons of baking soda
- ½ cup of white vinegar
- A few drops of vegetable oil
- Paper towels
- Mix the water, baking soda, and vinegar together and pour the mixture into the damaged pan.
- Turn up the heat to high on the stove and allow the mixture to boil for 10 minutes.
- Pour the mixture out of the pan and allow the pan to cool slightly – the mixture will be extremely hot, so take precautions to prevent burning your hands!
- Wipe the remaining mixture from the surface using a paper towel – make sure that you remove all the residue.
- While the pan is still hot, rub the vegetable oil directly onto the surface to clean, re-season, and restore the non-stick coating.
- Store the pan correctly until you need to use it again.
Helpful Tip – Baking soda will soften and absorb tough dirt and grime and help to eliminate food odors!
2. Repair Spray To Restore A Non-Stick Pan
Using a non-stick pan repair spray is one of the easiest ways how to make non stick pans non stick again. Restore your pan back to non-stick health! You can purchase a good quality repair spray online or from your local home depot.
Follow these steps when using a non-stick repair spray to restore the non-stick coating on a pan:
- Wash the pan with soapy water and make sure that no food residue remains behind.
- Allow the pan to dry completely.
- Spray the inside of the pan thoroughly with a thick, even coat of repair spray.
- Allow the pan to dry for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven. 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the pan into the oven and leave for about 45 minutes, then switch the heat off.
- The pan should remain inside the oven with the door closed until it has cooled completely.
- Remove the pan from the oven and wash it with a soft cloth and dishwashing soap.
- Your pan is perfectly restored and ready for use!
Helpful Tip – Never place a non-stick pan in an oven heated to over 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Non-stick pans can not stand severe heat and could become irreparably damaged!
3. Coconut Or Vegetable Oil To Restore A Non-Stick Pan
Oil is generally used together with salt to re-season non-stick cookware, but sometimes oil is used on its own. Coconut or vegetable oils with their high smoking point are a great option for this method as the heat will bake the oil into the pan’s surface, restoring the coating.
How to restore the non-stick coating on a non-stick pan using coconut or vegetable oils:
- Wash the pan with soapy water and dry completely.
- Slowly warm up the pan over the cooker top.
- Pour a thin layer of coconut or vegetable oil over the pan’s surface, ensuring it is evenly coated, and all the pores are filled.
- Place the pan into a hot oven 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 2 hours.
- Turn the oven off completely and allow it to cool down.
- Remove the pan from the oven and store it until needed.
Top Tip – Never use olive oil to restore or season a non-stick pan. Olive oil has a low smoking point, cannot stand severe heat, and could be a fire hazard!
4. Hire A Professional To Restore A Non-Stick Pan
If you don’t have the time to restore your non-stick pan, contact the manufacturer or a re-coating specialist to restore it to its former glory.
This option can be expensive, so it might be worthwhile to replace the pan, but the professionals can restore your pan if it has sentimental value or is a favorite workhorse.
How To Deep Clean A Non-Stick Pan Correctly
If your non-stick cookware looks a bit grubby, salt will give the non-stick coating a thorough clean. Salt will only work as a cleaning method and does not offer any protection to the non-stick coating. If the non-stick coating is in dire need of restoration, use one of the other restoration methods instead.
This method can be used as often as you like and should be used each time after using the pan to keep the non-stick coating in good working order.
Using salt to clean a non-stick pan:
- Wash the pan with soapy water and allow it to dry completely.
- Pour one cup of ordinary table salt into the cold pan.
- Spread the salt over the entire surface of the pan.
- Turn up the heat on the stovetop and gently brown the salt, moving the salt around the sides and bottom of the pot.
- Pour the hot salt out of the pan and discard – caution, don’t burn your hands!
- Leave the pan to cool down.
- The surface of the pan with be non-stick, smooth, and ready to use!
When You Should Repair Vs. Discard A Non-Stick Pan
Sometimes, damaged non-stick pans can be repaired rather than discarded. If your favorite non-stick pan looks like this, it can be restored:
- The non-stick coating is scratched and stained
- The surface of the pan is sticky
- Food particles have built up on the surface of the pan
When You Must Absolutely Replace Your Non-Stick Pans
There will sadly come a time when your favorite pan cannot be salvaged – it has been restored a few times and cannot be restored anymore!
Non-stick pans do not last forever, even though they often have a lifetime guarantee! Most good-quality non-stick pans should be replaced after about five years.
Damaged, flaking, and peeling non-stick pans can become a health risk so, if your pan displays any of the following, it is beyond repair and should be trashed or re-cycled into a planter on your patio!
- The non-stick coating is peeling or flaking away from the pan
- The pan has been restored successfully at least twice
- The pan is warped, the core is showing, and the handles are melting
- The pan is discolored
- The surface of the pan is scratched beyond repair
Preventing Problems: Maintenance Tips For Your Non-Stick Pans
Non-stick pans can be expensive to replace, so to keep them in good condition requires following a few simple rules. Many good-quality non-stick pans come with a lifetime guarantee, but you should pro-actively take good care of your pans to preserve the non-stick coating and prolong their lifespan.
Here’s how to take care of your non-stick pans to prevent them from being destroyed prematurely:
- Re-season your non-stick pan with oil before cooking to protect the non-stick coating.
- Season routinely throughout the year to prevent scratches, stains, and the non-stick coating from peeling off.
- Store your non-stick pots and pans correctly so they last longer. Place a piece of paper towel between pans to protect the non-stick coating.
- Use the correct cooking utensils on non-stick pans. Metal utensils will scratch the surface of non-stick pans.
- Be careful how you cook using non-stick pans – use low to medium heat to preserve the lifespan of the pans.
- Avoid using non-stick cooking sprays. Cooking sprays help reduce the amount of oil you use when cooking, but as they burn at lower temperatures, they could burn the non-stick coating or bake the unused sprayed oil onto the non-stick pan.
- Clean the pans correctly with a soft sponge and soapy water immediately after each use, and avoid the dishwasher if you can!
How To Remove Scratches From Non-Stick Cookware?
To remove scratches from a non-stick pan, wash the pan thoroughly and dry completely. Cover the non-stick surface with coconut oil and heat on the cooker top on a medium heat setting for 10 minutes. Cool the pan and wipe off the residue with a dry microfiber cloth or paper towel.
How To Fix A Burnt Non-Stick Pan?
A vinegar, baking powder, and water solution is best to fix a burnt non-stick pan. Boil the mixture in the pan for 15 minutes, then discard the liquid down the drain. Use a light sponge to wipe away any residue.
How To Clean The Aftermath Of Non-Stick Cookware Repair?
After restoring or repairing your non-stick pan, always season it with oil before using it for the first time. Pour a thin layer of coconut or vegetable oil over the pan’s surface and bake in a hot oven for 2 hours.
How To Remove Burnt Food From A Non- Stick pan
To remove burnt food, sprinkle ½ cup baking soda over the pan’s surface. Fill the pan up to the halfway mark with water and bring to a boil. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to gently scrape the surface and loosen the food. Pour out the dirty liquid and wipe the residue out of the pan with a paper towel.
To remove the remains of cooked eggs, soak in cold water – don’t use hot water as the protein will bind to the non-stick surface.
Non-stick cookware is great to use when cooking your favorite foods until the non-stick stops working! There are many reliable and tested methods to restore the non-stick coating to your favorite pan, so give them a try before you absolutely have to give up, admit defeat, and toss the pan into the trash!
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