If you know how to clean non-stick pots and pans properly then good on you, many of us don't, and if you happen to be one of those people who kind of have no idea (don't worry, we all have to start somewhere), then this is the perfect blog for you.
The good news? Cleaning non-stick cookware isn't really that hard but there are still some strict guidelines that you should follow in order to maximise the longevity of your cookware.
Alternatively, you can also read our blog on how to make your non-stick cookware last here, but if you want to learn how to clean your pots and pans until they're spick & span then keep reading.
Can you put a non-stick pan in the dishwasher?
Most companies or suppliers will tell you it's okay to pop your pan in the dishwasher to clean it however this should be done cautiously.
Dishwashers use very strong detergents and hot water to get rid of the gunk on your dishes and that kind of temperature will only shorten the life one your non-stick cookware and damage its surface.
Our advice? Clean your cookware with mild soap, lukewarm water and a soft cloth or scouring pad.
Clean your non-stick cookware with scratch-proof scouring pads
Non-stick surfaces are usually super sensitive so using things like steel wool, scouring pads, sharp scrapers or harsh cleaning detergents are going to upset it big time.
If for some reason your food is really stuck on the surface of the pan, allow the pan to soak a bit, then use a stiff sponge to gently remove the leftovers. You could also use a scouring pad that is 'non-stick pan' safe if it's proving hard to remove and you'd rather be doing something else with your Friday night.
Alternatively, if you have a build-up of residue on your non-stick surface that's causing food to stick to the pan (and causing you to stress out) you can also give it a good scrub with some bi-carb soda, water and a little bit of elbow grease.
Start by sprinkling a couple of tbsp's of bi-carb soda into a dry pan. Grab a scotch bright type non-scratch scourer pad and put it in water before gently wringing it out (you want there to be enough moisture in the pad to turn the bi-carb into a paste).
Scrub the pan with the paste, working in small circles but avoid over scrubbing a single section. Once the paste turns brown, it means you're getting oil the surface, congrats.
When you're done, rinse the pan and evaluate the surface. If you can still see brown/black areas you may need to repeat the process.
Remember to be gentle
We know we just told you to scrub your non-stick cookware in order to get it spick & span but we advise caution as to how hard you're scrubbing. In other words, be gentle.
Remember if the burnt area or bit of food stuck on your pan is dry, the harder it will be to clean it off, making it really easy to damage your cookware.
The best way to avoid this is to take your time, your pots and pans will thank you for it. Why not use the White Magic Eco Basics Dish Brush?
Cleaning your dishes in the sink doesn't have to be hard work, especially if you have this handy kitchenware essential! Carefully crafted from bamboo, recycled plastic and soft recycled nylon bristles, this reusable brush is guaranteed to have your dishes looking squeaky clean! The long handle and tapered head means your hands don't have to get we and the flat end of the brush is perfect for chiseling off any burnt mess left on your cookware or plates.
Put away the metal utensils
Under no circumstances should you be using metal utensils to try to get your cookware clean. This is a sure fire way to ensure your cookware's lifespan will deteriorate rapidly.
It's up to you whether or not you want to use metal utensils when you're cooking (some manufacturers give it the okay), but when it comes to cleaning this is a no-no.
If you use metal utensils to clean the dirt or food off your cookware, especially if you don't treat the grime prior to trying to scrub it off, it's a lot easier to damage the surface of your pots and pans. Like we've mentioned before, try using a non-stick safe scouring pad.
Be aware of temperature changes
It seems innocuous but temperature changes will slowly but surely kill the effectiveness of your non-stick cookware.
We understand that it's very tempting to pop your pot or pan under cold water instantly when you notice a bit of food burning on the surface, but the non-sticky part of your cookware will most definitely ware off.
Instead, remove the pan from the heat and leave it to cool before starting to clean it.
Don't let your cookware sit with leftover food in it
The best way to clean your non-stick pans? Hand wash them fairly soon after you've finished using them. Waiting too long to clean your cookware increases the risk of leftover oils baking onto the coating and outside of the pan (mmm tasty).
These oils are tough to remove, so tough that you'll probably think about just chucking the whole thing out once or twice while doing it, and can cause your food to stick to the surface of the pan.
In conclusion, hand wash and hand dry your pans.