How to clean non-stick pans with vinegar without ruining them

Non-stick pans are the best and most preferred since they prevent food or other cooking ingredients from sticking on the surface. They are also easy to clean and maintain with the proper technique, even when burnt out.

Here, we cover several methods to clean non-stick pans with vinegar and keep them in good shape.

Materials required to clean a non-stick pan

  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Non-abrasive nylon scrubber
  • Wooden spoon
  • Baking soda

Best way to clean a non-stick pan

You may have a burnt non-stick pan that you want to clean immediately. However, soap and water don’t clean it well.

Here are the steps on how to thoroughly clean non-stick pans with vinegar:

Method 1: Cleaning a burnt pan

  • Once you use the pan, allow it to cool completely, as washing it when hot or warm may ruin its surface.
  • Pour two tablespoons of baking soda, white vinegar, and a little water into the pan to form a white solution.
  • Place the pan on the cooking heater and let the solution boil for 5 minutes while occasionally stirring it around the pan.
  • Remove the pan from the stove and let the solution cool for a few minutes.
  • Pour the solution and rinse the pan with warm water.
  • Scrub the non-stick pan with soap and a sponge or washcloth to remove the remaining food particles.
  • Rinse the pan and let it dry.

Method 2

A burnt pan
Credit: iStock

Alternatively, if the pan is not extremely burnt out, you can try the steps below to clean it:

  • Mix a cup of water and a half-cup of distilled white vinegar in the pan.
  • Put the solution to boil, and you’ll notice an oil layer rising to the top.
  • Pour the oil and water into the sink and let the pan cool for a few minutes.
  • Wash it in warm soapy water with a nylon scrubber.
  • Rinse it off and let it dry on the rack.

Method 3: Cleaning a burnt pan without baking soda

Here is how to deep clean a burnt non-stick pan without baking soda:

  • Mix one part white vinegar with one part water in the pan. If the vinegar is undiluted, use two parts of water.
  • Use a wooden spoon to scrape off the stuck food bits.
  • Soak the non-stick pan in hot soapy water for a few minutes.
  • Wipe off the remaining food particles.

Is vinegar safe on non-stick pans?

It is safe to use white vinegar to clean non-stick pans, especially if they’re made of standard PTFE or Teflon.

However, you should not leave it on the pan overnight as its acidic properties may corrode and damage its surface.

Additional tips and advice

  • Don’t use steel wool or abrasive cleaners to clean non-stick pans with burnouts, as they can scratch and damage the surface.
  • Use the vinegar cautiously, as overusing it or leaving it overnight may damage the non-stick pan’s surface and make it lose its non-stick property.
  • Never use undiluted vinegar on the non-stick pan because it may break down its coating and make it peel off.
  • Avoid using the pan on high heat to prevent forming stains and discoloration.

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