No matter how carefully you use your non-stick pan, the non-stick pan will eventually get scratches, and consequently, the non-stick quality will begin to deteriorate.
Many people want their frying pan to be scratched-free again and look for ways to fix scratched non stick pan. The truth is getting scratches out of the pan is not possible in any way.
Scratches mean the non-stick coating has started peeling off or got scraped by metal utensils or metal scrubbers. And you can’t have those tiny microscopic peeled parts of non-stick coating stick back until you completely peel off the whole coating and recoat it.
If your non-stick pans get scratches, you are left with four options.
- To keep using the pan, and try to revert non-stickiness by seasoning.
- To completely remove the non-stick coating and use it as a regular pan.
- To get it professionally recoated
- And the last option is to replace the non-stick pan.
The best option is to replace the non-stick pan if its coating starts getting scratches.
But if you are not ready to replace it yet, we will explore other methods, their benefits, and disadvantages so you can decide in a better way what to do with your scratched frying pans.
In This Article
- Revert Non-Stick Quality of Scratched Pans
- Recoating Non-Stick Pan
- Replacing Non-Stick Pan
- Remove the Non-Stick Coating and Make It a Regular Frying Pan
- Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
- Wrapping Up!
Revert Non-Stick Quality of Scratched Pans
One of the main disadvantages of a scratched pan is that the non-stick quality of the pan suffers, and food starts sticking on the non-stick pans.
Underneath the non-stick coating lies the aluminum layer, and aluminum is not a non-sticky element by its characteristics. The parts of food coming in contact with aluminum will start sticking.
One solution to revert the non-stickiness is conditioning or seasoning of the non-stick pan.
Season involves temporarily coating your pan with a thin layer of oil and heating it for a few minutes. The oil will polymerize, fill the pores and create a barrier between food and the scratched surface so that the food doesn’t stick on it.
Step 1: First, clean the pan to remove all food residues and grease.
Step 2: Take two teaspoons of high-smoking oil like flaxseed and swirl it in the pan.
Step 3: Place the non-stick pan on the stove and heat it on medium flame till the oil smokes.
Step 4: Remove it from the stove. Let it cool and dry excess oil with a paper towel.
This method is temporary. The pan will start sticking again as soon as the thin oil coating gets dry or wears off and ultimately you have to get a new pan. Here are some good options for the best non-stick Pan for gas stove.
Recoating Non-Stick Pan
If you are thinking of finding a recoating DIY method anywhere, you won’t. Non-stick coating or recoating is a complex and technical procedure that only professionals can perform. It involves preparing the surface for coating by dipping it in various chemicals and then applying a non-stick coating.
Original manufacturers can offer services of recoating, but they are likely to charge higher.
In fact, you should take all transit costs and recoating expenses into consideration, as the recoating expense can exceed the cost of purchasing the brand new non-stick pan.
Choose recoating of a scratched pan only for higher-end models such as Calphalon, All-Clad where the cost of replacing a brand new pan is higher than recoating.
Replacing Non-Stick Pan
The best method is to replace a scratched non-stick pan as it would be more cost-effective than recoating. But before replacing it, check the manufacturer’s warranty. If it comes under warranty, the manufacturer will send you a new non-stick pan or repair its coating.
Here are our top recommendations for the non stick frying pans:
Remove the Non-Stick Coating and Make It a Regular Frying Pan
This method involves completely removing or scrubbing off the non-stick coating until the inner aluminum layer is visible. You should only use this method when your non-stick pan is highly scratched, and you don’t want to use it as a non-stick pan anyway.
To scrub off the non-stick coating completely, the fastest way is to use an angle grinder with a wire cup brush attachment. Do this procedure outside with safety tools such as gloves, goggles, dust protection mask, and noise-canceling earmuffs.
- First, attach the wire cup attachment to the angle grinder.
- Wear your mask, goggles, gloves, and earmuffs.
- Keep your pan firmly clamped to the ground, so it doesn’t move here and there.
- Start an angle grinder and constantly move it around instead of holding it in one place for a smoother finish.
- Use an angle grinder on rims and sides so all the non-stick coating peels off and you are left with a silver-colored aluminum layer.
- Wash the pan and season it with oil before using it.
The downside of this method is that the aluminum cookware is considered harmful for health due to aluminum toxicosis and leaching of aluminum into foods. Moreover, acidic foods also react with aluminum.
Aluminum cookware specially designed for cooking has high-grade aluminum with low chances of exceeding safe-level of tolerable aluminum weekly intake. However, the safety of scratched aluminum from non-stick pans is still questionable as the inner layer wasn’t designed for cooking on it.
What About Non-Stick Cookware Repair Spray?
You might have heard about non-stick cookware repair spray that creates a new non-stick film that acts as a barrier between food and the pan’s sticking surface. But the safety of such sprays to repair utensils or non-stick cookware is not yet determined.
Some people think that Dupont Teflon thin spray will coat the pan. However, it isn’t safe to repair non-stick pans, as mentioned by the manufacturers themselves. So, even if you come across any such product, research its safety on a non-stick pan before using it.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
Is it OK to use scratched non-stick pans?
It is fine to continue using a non-stick pan with light scratches. However, scratches are an indication that you will soon have to replace the non-stick cookware. When the non-stick pan starts flaking, there is a possibility of ingesting non-stick flakes by mistake. Although it does not pose any health threat, the scratched pan will lose its non-stick quality, and it might not remain a toxic-free non-stick pan anymore.
Read more about the safety of using a scratched non-stick pan.
Can the non-stick coating be repaired?
No, non-stick coating can’t be repaired. You will either have to season the pan or remove the whole coating with sandpaper or an angle grinder to continue using it.
Can non-stick pans be recoated?
Yes, non-stick pans can be recoated by professionals or original manufacturers. However, the cost of high-quality recoating plus shipment may get up to $75 to $100, and you can buy a new non-stick pan for this amount.
How do you get scratches out of a pan?
Removing scratches from the pan is not possible. So, you can season the pan to restore the non-stickiness of the pan and get it recoated by professionals and experts. But the best option amongst them is to replace the pan as early as possible.
How to fix a scratched stainless steel pan?
You can fix a scratched stainless steel pan by two methods.
- By rubbing a non-abrasive compound cleaner.
- By buffing and sanding it with a Scotch Brite or scouring pads.
In both methods, the trick is to rub or sand it in the direction of the grain; else, the scratch will only worsen.
For the first method, you can use a bar keeper’s friend, toothpaste, stainless steel, and copper cleaner and rubbing its paste with a microfiber cloth until the scratches disappear.
For deeper scratches, you can sand down the entire pan with a scouring pad or Scotch Brite. You can also apply lubricant or stainless steel cleaner to help you in the removal of scratches.
Fixing a scratched non-stick pan is a wish that can’t be achieved easily. The ultimate solution is to get it recoated or replace it. However, if you properly take care of the non-stick coating using silicone, plastic, or wooden spatulas, you can prolong your non-stick pan’s life. Other safety measures include not stacking it over one another and cleaning it gently.