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How to Clean Burnt Non Stick Pan: (4 Simple Ways)

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Cleaning a nonstick pan is easiest of all utensils. Thanks to the Teflon or ceramic coating on the surface that eases cleaning. And it is because of this coating, food does not get stuck to the surface.

Ceramic and Teflon pans need very little oil to cook food. But there are times when you add a sufficient amount of oil and still see food sticking to the nonstick surface. And this is where real struggle beings, cleaning of a burnt nonstick pan.

People usually rush to the kitchen sink with hot pan in hand having burnt food stuck onto the pan surface. But one must strictly avoid doing this.

A sudden change in temperature will further increase your trouble while cleaning a burnt pan. So the best way is to turn off the flame and wait for the pan to cool down naturally. You can try to slide out food that comes off easily while the pan is cooling down.

Once the cookware comes down to room temperature, you can clean the burnt nonstick pan easily. There are three popular methods to clean the frying pan with Teflon coating. These methods are equally helpful to clean pans with ceramic coating.

How to Clean Burnt Non Stick Pan

1. Baking Soda and Water

Baking soda is a popular household cleaning agent. It is well known for cleaning various types of surfaces including kitchen utensils. Properties of baking soda will help loosen residues of burnt food without damaging the nonstick coating. And once the particles loosen up, you can easily clean nonstick frypan.

You’ll Need:

  • Baking soda
  • Water(to make a thick paste)
  • Nylon sponge


  1. Pour a small amount of baking soda directly onto the pan surface which is burnt or has burnt food residue.
  2. Then carefully add water enough to make a thick paste.
  3. Or you can also prepare a thick mixture of baking soda and water before adding it to the burnt area.
  4. Leave the mixture overnight for the best results.
  5. The next morning, wet the nylon sponge slightly and gently rub over the burnt surface. You’ll see most of the burnt residue coming off the nonstick surface easily.
  6. Apply bit pressure to scrub off stubborn burnt food stuck to the pan surface.
  7. Simply rinse the pan under running water and let it dry naturally. Or dry it with a cotton cloth or kitchen towel for immediate use.

2. White Vinegar

The acidic nature of vinegar helps in the thorough cleaning of various items and surfaces. It is strong enough to remove hard water stains, grime, and glue of stickers. A little right trick will help to loosen up burnt food particles from the nonstick Teflon surface.

You’ll Need:

  • White vinegar
  • Microfiber cloth or dishcloth


  1. Take either microfiber cloth or dishcloth and soak in properly in white vinegar.
  2. Gently squeeze the cloth to remove excessive vinegar and lay it directly over the Teflon pan surface.
  3. Keep the cloth for an hour or two before wiping the nonstick coat.
  4. Wash the pan normally once you wipe away all burnt residue.

3. Salt

Any dish is always incomplete without salt. But apart from adding taste to food, salt can also be used to clean the burnt pan bottom. Plus, it is easily available in the kitchen and not very costly.

You’ll Need:

  • Table salt
  • Lukewarm water


  1. Fill the nonstick pot or pan with a small amount of lukewarm water and add 3-4 tablespoons of salt in it.
  2. Let the salty water sit for 2-3 hours.
  3. Then place the pot or pan over gas-stove and bring the water to boil.
  4. Wash the nonstick pot as usual after spilling out salty water.

Note: This method is suitable for nonstick pans and pots having less stubborn burnt food particles.

4. Vinegar and Water

If you’ve burnt food on Teflon pan then the vinegar-water solution is the best way to remove those stubborn particles. Vinegar, when mixed with water, ensures Teflon coating does not damage in the process of cleaning the surface. Along with removing burnt residue, the mixture also helps to clean the greasy nonstick surface of the pan.

You’ll Need:

  • Vinegar(Preferably White)
  • Water
  • Paper towels


  1. Fill half of the pan with water and add 1/2 cup of vinegar. You can increase or decrease the amount of vinegar according to the size of pan.
  2. Then turn on the flame and bring the solution to boil. This will take around 5-10 minutes. You’ll see burnt food rising from the Teflon surface and oil floating on water while the water is boiling.
  3. Turn off the flame and very carefully collect the oil floating on the water surface using bunched up paper towels. (One must avoid throwing water inside a sink that contains oil as it might choke up the drain pipe.)
  4. You’re good to throw water in the sink once you see there are only a small amount of oil pools left on the surface.
  5. Then wash the Teflon pan using soft nylon scrubber and let it dry naturally.

We tend to scratch and destroy the base coating in a frying pan. And if it is teflon then it can cause harmful side effects to your body. It is always advised to use Teflon Free non-stick frying pans. It might be a little costlier but definitely safe for you and your child.

Tips and Care for Nonstick pans (Teflon & Ceramic)

A nonstick frying pan will last for nearly 5-6 years if you use it daily. But rough usage might make a pan lose its nonstick abilities quite early. However, you can elongate the life of your frypan by following some simple steps.

  • Never, we repeat, never use aerosol cooking spray on your nonstick pan be it Teflon or ceramic.
  • You must avoid putting ceramic or Teflon pans inside the dishwasher even if they’re dishwasher safe. While you might not see immediate results, but they lose their nonstick ability much faster when washed inside the dishwasher. Plus, the smooth surface of nonstick is easy to clean by hands under minutes.
  • Always use soft nylon or sponge to clean the surface of the pan. Using a metal or other abrasive scrubber will chip Teflon coating which can be very dangerous if mixed in your food while cooking.
  • Use a soft wooden spoon or silicone spatula to mix ingredients. Using a steel or aluminum spatula will damage the Teflon surface.
  • Avoid washing pan just after removing it from the stove as a sudden change in temperature might affect its nonstick ability. Let it cool for a few minutes before soaking it in soapy water.
  • Follow instructions on the user manual for a long life of the nonstick pan.
  • Rubbing a little bit of oil on the nonstick surface before you start cooking will prevent it from blackening.
  • Take note of maximum temperature while putting your nonstick pan inside the oven. Do not set the temperature above the limit as it will affect the coating.
  • Use the pan on a suitable cooking surface only. Mostly, all nonstick Teflon and ceramic pans are safe to use on a gas stove. But if you’re planning to use it on electric or induction then it is important to check whether the unit is compatible with those surfaces.
  • Dry the pan completely before using it to make the next recipe.

So now you know some of the best ways to clean a non-stick frying pan. However, avoid cooking at a very high temperature to avoid burnouts. If you are using a Teflon coated pan the try not to scratch the bottom of the pan.

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