How To Clean Non Stick Pans With Baking Soda And Vinegar

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Published by: Chef Matty Riedel • Updated: October 26, 2023

The non-stick pan, like a decent pair of silverware, is a kitchen necessity. Take the most common breakfast item—scrambled eggs. A non-stick pan is a way to go to get the perfect fluffy scrambled eggs.

While cooking in non-stick saucepans and frying pans is a breeze, cleaning these later can be something akin to a nightmare for most people. Non-stick pans require a considerable amount of maintenance as well so that they do not get damaged easily.

It is due to this that not all detergents and cleaning agents will be efficient in properly cleaning non-stick pans while maintaining their coats. How can you preserve your cherished cookware in peak condition?

One of the easiest ways to clean non-stick pans and preserve the protective coating is to use baking soda, vinegar, or a combination of both. It is not recommended to use just any dish wash bar or gel with a non-stick pan since these can compromise the non-stick coating.

Baking Soda And Vinegar To The Rescue!

Baking soda may be used to remove difficult stains from your stubborn non-stick pans. This is also a good use for old baking soda that has been sitting in your fridge.

Almost every household invariably has that one box of expired baking soda which cannot be used for cooking or baking. Now you know where you can use that instead of just throwing it away!

Similarly, vinegar is a wonderful cleaning agent for your non-stick pans due to its acidity. Every household has an almost-full bottle of vinegar sitting somewhere because a very small quantity of vinegar is added to dishes. This way, you can utilize your vinegar before it expires as well.

How Often Should Baking Soda Be Used To Clean Non-Stick Pans?

Baking soda is non-abrasive, so you can use it whenever your pots and pans need to be cleaned thoroughly. You can do this as frequently as ever whenever you use them, or you can save it for the most obstinate, stuck-on gunk.

However, before you use baking soda, remember to go over the instructions that come with your non-stick pan. In case the manufacturer's instructions advise you to not use baking soda and stick to a certain dish wash gel, then follow that.

Can Vinegar Be Used Frequently To Clean Non-stick Pans?

The main constituent of vinegar is technically an acid, and thus it is considerably more abrasive than baking soda. However, vinegar is not a corrosive acid and thus it is safe to use it to clean your cookware unless specified otherwise.

The only thing to keep in mind while using vinegar for cleaning non-stick pans is to make sure that you never pour the vinegar in concentrated form directly on the non-stick coating of the pan. Always dilute it in a solution of hot water and use that for cleaning.

Even though vinegar is not a corrosive acid, direct contact with the non-stick coating may cause it to get eroded and be scraped off.

Can Vinegar And Baking Soda Be Useful In Cleaning A Burnt Non-Stick Pan?

The most common use of baking soda and vinegar is seen in cases where the non-stick pan has been burned. This is more common than you think—after all, when you are making different dishes at the same time, you cannot make sure to keep an eye out for the utensils.

In some other cases, the dish may warrant high heat, low heat for a very long time, or a combination of these. While these techniques will cook your dosh to perfection, the non-stick pans you use may not look so happy once the dish is done.

how to clean non stick pans with baking soda and vinegar

After each use, hand-wash the nonstick pan with warm water and soap. Even if the maker states the pan is dishwasher safe, don't put it in there. Dishwasher chemicals that are too abrasive and use very hot water, can erode the pan's nonstick surface. Rather, carefully scrape your pan with hot water and a scrubber or pad.

How To Use Baking Soda And Vinegar To Clean Burnt Non-Stick Pans?

You will need:

  • 1 glass of white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda
  • Warm water (as required)
  • Mild dish wash soap

Don’t fret if your favorite non-stick pan now looks sad and burnt after a night of intense cooking. Follow the instructions given below:

  • To begin, fill the pan halfway with warm water to cover the frying pan and any burnt areas
  • Allow 10 minutes for the frying pan to heat up and boil
  • After that, add 2 tbsp baking soda
  • This material will interact with the vinegar to create bubbles, which will aid in the removal of burnt spots
  • Allow the pan to cool before discarding the liquid, white vinegar, and baking soda combination and cleaning it with warm soapy water
  • To clean the most stubborn charred remnants, use a gentle pad

What Is the Best Way To Remove Burnt Food From A Non-Stick Pan?

Oh no! While preparing a skillet supper, you had to use alternating levels of heat and now your nonstick pan is coated in a persistent scorched mess. No worries, you can salvage this. Here's how to do it:

  • Return your pan to the stove
  • 1/4 cup baking soda and 2 to 3 inches of water should be enough to fill it
  • Let it sit on low heat for five to seven minutes
  • Allow the baking soda-water mixture to cool before washing your pan with warm soapy water as usual
  • Use a soft scrubbing pad to clean the gunk

Your non-stick pan should be as good as new after this.

How Can Grease Be Cleaned Out From A Non-Stick Pan?

Although non-stick pans do not need a lot of oil to facilitate cooking, animal fats such as bacon grease can be very difficult to get rid of. Follow these instructions to remove grease from your pans:

  • Fill the pan with water and add 1/2 cup of vinegar
  • Bring the water and vinegar to a simmer
  • The grease will float on the top as the liquid boils
  • Drain the water to remove the grease
  • Using a nylon scrub, clean the pan with warm soapy water
  • Thoroughly wash and pat dry with a clean cloth

Here Are A Few Tips To Keep Your Non-Stick Pans In Great Shape

If you use and maintain it well, a regular non-stick pan should last between 3 to 4 years. Beyond this, it is not recommended to continue using them. However, if they are not maintained properly, they can erode very quickly. Here are a few pointers to make sure you get the best out of your non-stick pans:

  • Always let your non-stick pan cool down before cleaning it since using cold water on the hot surface of the pan can compromise the non-stick coating
  • Steel wool, scrubbing pads, oven cleaners, peroxide, and strong gritty cleaners should all be avoided since they will harm your non-stick pans
  • To avoid water spots and white dried lime streaks, properly wipe your pans as soon as possible after washing them
  • Never run your spatula with excessive force against the surface of the pan as this can eat away at the non-stick coating
  • While storing your non-stick utensils, always make sure that no other utensil comes in contact with the non-stick surface
  • If you are storing things on top of each other, separate every item using a towel to avoid scratches

In Conclusion

It is normal to get sidetracked while cooking, but make sure that you turn off the heat if you are preoccupied. While baking soda and vinegar can work wonders on burnt spots, grease, and gunk, repeatedly using these to clean your non-stick pan will reduce its longevity.

Nevertheless, utensils will get burned during cooking. From now on, do not rely on your dishwasher or strong gels to take care of your non-stick pans. You can follow the instructions spelled out here to tackle these on your own.

Chef and Restaurant Owner Matty Riedel
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