How to Clean Baked-on Grease From Non-Stick Pans Like a Pro

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From only cooking eggs and delicate food, we have come a long way and now heavily rely on non-stick pans for cooking anything. Non-stick pans have now become the powerhouse of the kitchen.

Ironically, non-stick pans are considered to curtail the elbow grease in cleaning, but the truth is oil splatters can build up, especially around rivets and handles. Likewise, food can burn when we are busy chopping our vegies or when we miss our concentration and forget to stir the food. The burnt food gets accumulated on the pan’s surface, adding to our misery.

When we only wipe our non-stick pans instead of properly washing them, some of the food residues remain on the pan’s surface and turn solid or get blackened when we cook food on the pan next time.

We can scrub and scratch our stainless steel pans, but non-stick pans cleaning requires proper care and delicacy. The cleaning methods depend on how stiffly baked on grime, or burnt-on food is sticking on the surface.

The solidified layers of gunk, grease and grime are unhealthy if you keep cooking on them just like Teflon pans are hazardous. We recommend you to switch to healthy cookware choices by buying the best non-stick pans without Teflon.

How to Clean Baked-on Grease From Non-Stick Pans

Let’s discuss the methods to get rid of baked-on grease from non-stick pans. Baked-on grease is the grease that gets baked on due to oil splatters and high heat cooking in non-stick pan. The most problematic area of the baked-on grease on the non-stick pans is the sidewalls, handles, and rivets. Fortunately, you can clean this baked-on grease by following methods.

Baking Soda and Mild Dishwashing Liquid

Cleaning Pan with Baking Soda and Mild Dishwashing Liquid

  • Mix dishwashing liquid and baking soda and make a paste.
  • Apply the paste to cover the site of baked-on grease.
  • Let the paste sit on the non-stick pan’s surface for 1 to 2 hours.
  • After a few hours, you will see the paste change its color if there is too much baked-on grease.
  • Since baking soda is abrasive in nature, you can’t rub and scrub the pan. You can wipe the paste using a soft sponge.
  • Wash it with lukewarm water and use mild dish soap.
  • Dry the pan using a paper towel. If there is baked-on grease on the uncoated rivets, you can scrub only on those uncoated rivets. Be careful not to scrub the coated parts.
  • Similarly, you can scrub stainless steel handles to get rid of the grease.
Fulfill your need for a non-stick pan that makes dinner for your whole family by buying the best 12-inch non-stick pan.

Vinegar Solution to Dissolve the Grease

Baked-on grease needs to be dissolved. Vinegar and water solution is known to be the best cleanser that can dissolve the baked-on grease.

Vinegar Solution to Dissolve the Grease from Pan

  • Make a solution of water and vinegar (3 Parts water and 1 part vinegar).
  • Take the quantities in a way that this solution can fill the ¾ of the non-stick pan.
  • Boil this solution on medium heat till it starts simmering.
  • Turn off the gas and let the solution cool down.
  • Throw the mixture and wash it with lukewarm water using a mild dishwashing solution.

You can also check our article on how to clean outside bottom of pots and pans.

Cleaning Non-Stick Pan with Burnt-on Food

Non-Stick Pan with Burnt-on Food

Even a seasoned chef can make mistakes, and the food gets burnt on the non-stick pan. Sometimes when trying to adjust the temperature, the food gets burnt off due to misjudgment in the temperature setting. A nightmare! As you can’t scrub the non-stick surface.

Our first instinct is to wash the pan immediately under running water so the food doesn’t get dried and stuck on it. But resist the temptation of washing off your pan immediately in running water. Sudden temperature changes can damage the coating and also cause warping.

Here are some methods to clean the burnt-on food.

Soak the Pan

  • Once your burnt pan cools down, pour some dishwashing liquid into the pan.
  • Fill the pan completely with hot water.
  • Use a wooden spoon to mix water and dishwashing liquid till you see bubbles on the top.
  • Let the pan soak in the water to loosen up the burnt food on the pan.
  • Once the water cools down, throw it and rinse the pan with dishwashing liquid using a soft sponge.
  • Repeat the procedure if burnt-of food hasn’t lifted the surface completely.

Boil Water and Baking Soda Solution

Baking soda in itself is a cleaning agent that can clean the non-stick pans with stuck-on or burnt food layers. Now, you can use baking soda to clean the burnt food in two ways. We have discussed the first method above, using dishwashing liquid and baking soda.

Another method involves boiling baking soda and water in the pan.

  • Fill ¾ of the pan with water. Add a handful of baking soda to the pan.
  • Bring it to a boil on medium heat.
  • Let the pan cool down. Now you can clean the pan with nylon or microfiber using dishwashing liquid.

Using Salt Mixture

A salt mixture also works on cleaning the burnt-on food.

  • Mix salt with water and apply the paste thoroughly on the scorch marks and burnt food areas.
  • Leave the mix on the pan for about 30-45 minutes.
  • Wipe the paste and wash it to clean the pan’s surface.

Using Baking Soda and Vinegar Mixture

Many people are usually skeptical in using baking soda and vinegar together as acids and bases nullify each other’s characteristics. But the truth is it depends on the ratio of the ingredients. And mixing these can produce effective results.

Boil water and vinegar solution in the pan to start dissolving the burnt layer of food. Then add two tablespoons of baking soda.

Mix and stir the content. Let the solution simmer on medium heat.

Allow it to cool before washing it with a soft sponge. You can use a non-abrasive soft brush to clean the remaining residue of food.

Lessen Discoloration with Hydrogen Peroxide

Usually, discoloration in pans is caused by food build-up or burnt food. The non-stick ceramic pans are most likely to have discoloration problems due to their light-colored interior. Cleaning ceramic pans usually employ the above-mentioned methods. But to cater to discoloration issues, you will need a 3% Hydrogen peroxide solution.

  • Spread the solution on the ceramic pan’s surface. It should start bubbling.
  • Let the solution sit on the pan for 30 minutes.
  • Then rinse and clean the pan as we do with mild dishwashing liquid. You will notice reduced discoloration due to the bleaching act of hydrogen peroxide.

Note: If hydrogen peroxide solution doesn’t bubble, then it may have passed its shelf life, and you will have to buy a new solution.

Avoid These Things To Stop Ruining Your Non-Stick Pans

  • Don’t wash your non-stick pans in the dishwasher. The abrasive detergent of the dishwasher can harm the non-stick coating.
  • Don’t use scrubbing coarse brush and steel wools for cleaning.
  • Don’t heat any cleaning solution on high heat.
  • Don’t subject your non-stick pans to sudden temperature change by washing in cold water immediately after cooking. It is the quickest way to warp your pans.
  • Don’t scrape off food with metal spatulas.
  • Don’t use harsh chemicals or detergents to clean the non-stick pans.
  • Don’t stack your cookware without a felt pad or any layering to avoid scratches.
  • Don’t use vinegar or lemon to clean if the non-stick pan is beginning to show signs of wear and tear.
  • Don’t use cooking sprays; they tend to ruin the non-stick coating.
Want to make your stainless steel pan nonstick? Check this cool guide.

BONUS TIP – How to Prevent Baked-on Grease

The best approach to avoid grease and gunk build-up is to wash the pan after every use.

Washing Nonstick Pan After Use

  • Use a mild soap and lukewarm water to wash the non-stick pan.
  • Always use a soft sponge to rinse and get all the food residues off the pan.
  • Don’t use harsh detergent or dishwasher detergent to wash the non-stick pans, and don’t wash your non-stick pans in the dishwasher even if it’s labeled as “dishwasher-safe.”
  • Hot water will also harm the non-stick coating.

Wrapping Up!

Cleaning your non-stick cookware is not hard but you should follow a proper method to avoid draining your investment in drain. If you properly clean your non-stick cookware, their shelf life will extend, food won’t stick and you won’t be looking for a replacement sooner.

About Amelia

Hello, I’m Amelia. Welcome to my blog KitchenUnder100.Com. Over here I regularly post kitchen hacks, reviews of kitchen tools, utensils and related articles. My mission is to search and recommend the best kitchen products, so you don't waste your precious time and money on anything that is not worth it.

1 thought on “How to Clean Baked-on Grease From Non-Stick Pans Like a Pro”

  1. I have a non-stick baking pan (not a flat one) and all I have tried does not seem to remove the grease. I have Goo-Gone and have not tried it yet. Do you recommend it? I have tried vinegar and baking soda. It has failed.


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