The Best Way To Clean Your Nonstick Pan

If you're like us, chances are you've probably bought some pretty cheap nonstick pans at some point and treated them like any other dish: wash with soap and water, scrub the stuck parts off, move on. Then, after a few years, the pans probably need to be replaced again, and you either decide to commit and buy yourself a nice set (or just one nice pan!) or repeat the cycle with a cheaper option. 

However, according to different sources, there a few ways to take care of your pan to help it last longer. A few tricks to always keep in mind, according to Kitchn and Cooking Light, are to never wash your pans in the dishwasher, and never use metal utensils on them. According to Kitchn, the "high heat and harsh detergents can damage both the nonstick interior and the anodized exterior" when you dishwash your pans versus hand washing them. Metal utensils can scratch off the nonstick coating, too.

Use a soft cloth or sponge to scrub, or don't scrub at all

If you must scrub your nonstick pan, make sure you're doing so with a soft cloth or sponge. As per Kitchn, "Never use an abrasive scrubber or one made of metal because it can scratch the coating." Leslie Reichart, a cleaning coach and the author of "The Joy of Green Cleaning" agrees with this, telling Cooking Light, "Avoid using anything metal on nonstick surfaces. I like using Skoy cloths and Skoy pads instead." Additionally, try using a gentle cleaner and a nonabrasive cloth or sponge to get any stuck-on bits off. 

Becky Duffett from Kitchn takes an even gentler approach. "Get a good, hard-anodized [nonstick pan]," she shared. "Never scrub it. Just wipe out with a damp dish towel." And if you get a quality pan and keep it well-seasoned and maintained, you may be able to simply wipe it out after use, rather than tackling charred pieces of food that seem to latch onto the pan's surface for dear life, as most of us tend to do when using an old or damaged nonstick pan.