Cleaning coated pan: How to make it shine again

How to

To be able to prepare good food, the right pans are indispensable in the kitchen. However, since something often burns easily, you should always clean your pans thoroughly after cooking and frying.

When the water on the coated surface rolls off by itself, you know that the pan is spotless.

What you should pay attention to when cleaning a coated pan, what you should use to clean it, and what you should avoid, you can find out here in our guide.

The most important facts in brief

  • Never overheat the coated pan without contents, as this can damage both the cooking zone and the cookware.
  • Make sure that the liquid in the cookware never evaporates completely. Again, overheating could burn residue into the pan, which can damage the non-stick coating.
  • You can clean your coated pan using salt, the special home remedy baking soda, vinegar, citric acid, or baking powder. Simple wiping with a kitchen towel or rinsing with warm water and detergent is also possible in special cases.

What is a coated pan?

Pans can be coated with the following materials:

  • Ceramic.
  • Plastic polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).

Typical of PTFE-coated pans is the slightly waxy surface. These pans are resistant to cold and heat. They are also resistant to various chemicals.

You should never heat coated pans strongly for more than three minutes without contents. If you heat your pan to 230 °C or more, the coating will discolor and peel off. Heating at 360 °C or more can even be harmful to health, as it releases toxic fumes from the PTFE plastic.

Pans with ceramic coating are characterized by high scratch resistance. You can heat the pan to 400 °C and even higher temperatures without damaging it.

What you should know about cleaning a coated pan

A coated pan should not be cleaned with aggressive and sharp agents. Doing so can destroy the surface and non-stick coating of the pan.

It is important to make sure that you use the right oil in the pan and do not heat it too hot. Oils such as olive oil are not recommended because they do not have high heat stability.

What tools should you not use to clean a coated pan?

Do not use steel wool, aggressive liquid cleaners, or sand-containing abrasives to clean your coated pan. Hard sponge backs are also not recommended.

In addition, you should never scrape out the dirt with a knife or other sharp objects. This would damage the coating.

Washing the pan too often in the dishwasher can also damage it. The compact detergents that are in the sink could attack and damage the bottom or pan made of aluminum or cast aluminum. Therefore, we advise you to clean gently by hand.

Why shouldn’t you use olive oil for cooking and frying

Many fats and oils, such as olive oil, do not heat stable enough for use in cooking and frying. They get burned by heating too high and settle as a crust on the pan.

If these incrustations burn into the non-stick coating of your pan, they can no longer be removed. If this burn happens frequently, the pan will stick together and lose its non-stick properties.

How do you clean a coated pan

What to do about dirty coated pans: 6 tips that work

You should never let frying residues dry up in your coated pan. After use, it is recommended to wipe out the burnt components directly with a paper towel or clean them with hot water and detergent.

Baking soda for cleaning a coated pan

Stubborn stains can be removed with baking soda. To do this, dissolve the baking soda in water and then bring it to a boil. Then let the solution soak for a few hours so that the burnt spots can dissolve.

Salt for cleaning a coated pan

You can also add salt to the pan. Heat it on the stove until it turns brown. The brownish salt can then be wiped out with a cloth or newspaper.

Vinegar/citric acid for cleaning a coated pan
The vinegar or citric acid can help to clean your pan easily. If you let these agents soak for several hours, the dirt will dissolve as if by itself.

The acid is used to dissolve the dirt.

Soda for cleaning a coated pan

Baking soda is a salt that is known as a time-tested home remedy. Soda is a sodium salt of carbonic acid and helps to remove the stubborn dirt from the pan. To do this, you’ll use a baking soda paste to rub off the dirt.

First, mix equal parts of water and baking soda to make a paste. Spread it inside the pan with a sponge or a non-metallic brush. Leave the paste on for 15 minutes and then rinse the pan thoroughly.

Note: baking soda is abrasive, so do not scrub the pan with it. Just leave it to soak in.

Brush/sponge for cleaning a coated pan

If you have used the wrong grease or heated it to too high a temperature, you can clean the pan with a sponge or brush. However, it is important that these are in no case scratchy, otherwise, the coating of the pan could be destroyed.

Dishwasher and clothes for cleaning a coated pan

Clean the coated pan directly after use with hot water, a soft cloth, or kitchen paper and dishwashing liquid. This will prevent any residue from burning into the pan.

If you haven’t used it to cook strong-smelling food, you can just wipe the pan with kitchen paper. The main thing is to remove the food residue completely, as this will not damage the non-stick coating.

What tips should you follow for using a coated pan?

Coated pans should be treated well. Therefore, we will now give you four tips that will make it easier for you to use.

  • Remove any stickers before use.
  • Before using your coated pan for the first time, clean it with detergent and warm water, rinse it with hot water and dry it. You should also lightly rub the non-stick coating with cooking oil or cooking fat.
  • If you buy a non-stick pan, it is perfect for low-fat or fat-free frying and cooking.
  • The non-stick properties can be reduced if you use the wrong oils and fats that cannot be heated to high temperatures, such as olive oil. Frequent cleaning in the dishwasher can also deteriorate the quality of the pan.

tips to clean coated pans

How do you clean a coated pan?

If frying residues settle on the seal, you should rub the pan well with a little vegetable oil (NOT olive oil) and kitchen paper. Then, if necessary, you can use the pan directly by adding a little fat.

Use wooden, plastic, or silicone spatulas for cooking in the pan. Cut and scratch marks are no reason for complaint, as they have no influence on the non-stick properties and only represent visual signs of use.

The following things should be observed when frying with fat:

  1. Always add some fat to the cold, empty pan before cooking.
  2. Then heat it until the fat begins to smoke slightly.
  3. You now switch the energy back.
  4. Finally, you put your meat, for example, into the pan for frying.

The following table shows you which fats to use for frying which foods:

Fat type Sautéing food
Margarine or butter
Egg dishes, fish, pastry dishes, potato dishes
Oil and hard fats Meat without breading

The following things should be noted when frying with little fat

When frying with little fat, the temperature indicator of the hot fat is not present. Therefore, do not overheat the food to be fried, and make sure that the pan is heated to half the energy level at most.

  • Do not push or pull the cookware on the glass-ceramic hob. Doing so could damage and scratch the cooking zone due to dirt residue trapped between the bottom of the pan and the cooking surface.
  • Since metal surfaces – especially the handles – heat up extremely, always use gloves or oven mitts when cooking.
  • If the handle of your pan has loosened, do not use the pan. You must be sure to tighten the screw with a screwdriver before doing so.


Pans with plastic handles should not be heated above 150 °C in the oven. Pans with metal handles are better suited for the oven, as they are far more heat-resistant. However, you should always use suitable gloves or oven mitts to hold the pan, as metal handles get particularly hot.

Never leave your pan with hot fat alone or unattended while cooking. In rare cases, if the fat begins to burn, do not extinguish it with water. It is best to use a blanket or fire extinguisher when doing this, as the fire must be deprived of oxygen in order to smother it.

Coated pans will only get a heavy soiling residue if you use the wrong fat (olive oil, …) or fry too hot. The most important thing is to be careful with the optimal temperature. However, if you burn something, do not scrape the residue out of the pan, but soak it and wipe the residue out of the pan as best you can.

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Steve Toomey

The main inspirer and creator of this resource. In passion about gardening, home decor & interior. Also, likes to DIY projects and interesting in house gadgets. Moreover, he likes to find out how to make cooking easier and simple with kitchen gadgets. Read More.

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