Since the emergence of non-stick cookware people are confused on how to clean it correctly. Some people think it can be cleaned in a dishwasher while others do not agree. Actually both views are valid, because earlier non-stick cookware was not supposed to be cleaned in a regular dishwasher but today it is possible to clean them in a dishwasher using regular cleaning materials. The only precaution to be taken is to protect the coating on the surface of the utensil because, it is this non-stick coating that keeps food from sticking to the surface of the pan. If this coating gets damaged, the whole non-stick aspect will be affected and the cookware may have to be replaced frequently.
Cleaning a Non-stick Pan
Before beginning the actual process of cleaning a non-stick pan, here are some important points to remember. Never soak the non-stick pan in soapy water as the silicon coating on the surface retains the soapy smell. Wash a new pan before use and apply vegetable oil to it after washing. Usually, the non-stick pan should be washed immediately after something is cooked in it. But for some reason, if you are not able to do so, soak the pan in cold water till the food stains, if any, start to erode away from the surface. These pans are easier to clean than regular pans, provided you do it in the right way concentrating on the above points. Usually, a user-guide or instruction manual accompanies the product which provides instructions on cleaning your pan. If you do not have the guide, follow the instructions given below with the requirements list.
Though it is non-stick cookware, some food remains on the surface of the pan and it is necessary to clean it off before washing the pan. Any food residue, or leftover grease will get cooked every time you heat the pan and leave the pan carbonized. This will cause the food to stick to the surface. Do not use a fork, knife or any other sharp object to remove the food particles, as it can harm the silicon coating on the surface. Instead, use a wooden or plastic spatula to remove the food residue. You can also rinse the pan when it cools down after food is cooked in it. This will make cleaning quicker and easier.
If there is Hard Food Residue...
You can use baking soda and water to soften it and remove it easily.
- Take 1 cup of water and add 2 tbsp of baking soda to make a paste.
- If you think the paste is very thin, add more baking soda or if it is very thick, add water to make the paste semi-solid.
- Apply the paste on the surface of the pan and start scrubbing the surface with the nylon scrubber in a circular motion.
- Apply some pressure if necessary and the residue will go off with this method.
- Rinse the pan with cold water twice to clear the paste and wipe the pan using a cotton rag before drying it.
If there is an Oil Layer...
It is difficult to remove oil from the pan. Though very little or no oil is used while cooking in a non-stick utensil, whatever little oil used, can sometimes form a sludge or residue. In such a situation, you can use vinegar and water to clean it.
- Fill the pan with water and add 3-4 drops of vinegar.
- Let the water containing vinegar boil for sometime.
- After a while you will see the layer of oil rising to the surface.
- When you see the oil layer, dispose the water, so the oil layer also drains with it.
- Wash the pan with dish soap and warm water using a nylon scrubber.
- Rinse it properly and dry it with a soft cloth.
These are the ways to clean your non-stick pan without damaging it. With proper cleaning, you can increase the life of your non-stick cookware. Make sure that you don't use an abrasive scrubber and cleaner for the non-stick pan as it can damage the non-stick coating on the surface.