How to Clean a Burnt Non Stick Pan

If your Non Stick Pan is burnt and no longer performing well, here’s how to fix it.

  • George Steckel
  • Oct 27, 2021
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Non Stick Cookware is one of the most popular cookware materials for a reason. It’s easy to cook with and even easier to clean. However, sometimes accidents happen and food gets burnt to the surface of the pan. But don’t worry, we have all the tips and tricks on how to clean a burnt Non Stick Pan effectively.

Why Does Non Stick Burn?

Avoiding burnt messes is probably a reason you opted for Non Stick Cookware to begin with. However, knowing how to use your tools is essential. There are two common ways Non Stick Pans can get burnt: dry heating and overheating.

Dry heating occurs when you expose your pan to heat for extended periods of time with nothing in it. This is why we always recommend adding a cooking oil or food to your pan before turning the heat on.

Overheating occurs when you leave your Non Stick Cookware over too high of heat for too long. Remember, Non Stick Cookware can’t handle as high of heat as other Cookware materials, so we recommend cooking on medium-high heat, maximum.

How to Clean a Burnt Non Stick Pan

The answer to whether or not a burnt Non Stick can be fixed depends on the level of damage. If it’s just burnt on food, then there is a simple way to remove it—we’ll get into that shortly.

However, if you’re cooking and your food is constantly getting stuck to the pan, then it's likely lost its non stick tendencies. To attempt to fix this and restore it back to its original condition, there's a more rigorous method of cleaning we like to use.

Soap and Water

The first way to restore a burnt pan is to simply wash the surface of your Non Stick Pan with dish soap, hot water, and the soft side of a sponge (anything more abrasive will scratch the surface). You’ll find that if you have high-quality Non Stick Pans, this should clean off any burnt food remnants and render your pan good as new.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

If your Non Stick Pan is visibly burnt and not performing how it should be (like food sticking when cooking or it’s tough to completely clean the surface of the pan), a solution of white vinegar, water, and baking soda should help.

  • Add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan, along with 2 tablespoons of both white vinegar and baking soda.

  • Allow the mixture to cool completely after boiling, then rinse pan with warm water and wash with dish soap and a non-abrasive sponge.

What’s Next?

If this method didn't work, then it probably means that the coating of your pan is worn out and is no longer non stick. A pan is only as good as its composition, and if you have a “ceramic” non stick pan, then it’s most likely just poorly constructed aluminum.

We suggest upgrading to a new Non Stick Pan, preferably one with even and consistent heating and one that is trusted in some of the best restaurants in the world. Learn more about maintaining your high-quality Non Sticks for years to come with our video below.

Made In’s Performance Non Stick Cookware features a double coating of PTFE, which is entirely non-toxic and has a 5-ply Stainless Clad construction. This ensures your Non Stick Pan will last for much longer than that one that burns easily, will wear out less rapidly, and will cook your food much more evenly.

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