Recently, my mother and I went to spend the weekend with my son. One of the family traditions we enjoy is “Grandma Cooked” pancakes on Sunday morning. We had supplied my son with a reasonable set of non-stick cookware when he moved to his apartment, which included a 10” pan, perfect for her famous pancakes. Well that pan appeared to be the last pan from a world war movie. It was warped, scratched and pretty close to unusable. Obviously, the pan abuse was the result of improper cleaning procedures. My mother, being the elite pancake provider, proceeded to make our Sunday morning delicacy on the mistreated pan, while lecturing her grandson about the proper ways to cook and maintain the non-stick cookware. Never, under any circumstance ever, wash them in the dishwasher! Non-Stick cookware should always be stored once it is dry and never stack anything directly on the surface. Here are the proper ways to clean the pans.
If no food particles are adhered to the surface, use a clean dry cloth to wipe out the pan while it’s a little warm. Repeat with the cloth until pan is completely clean. Next, swish with hot water and a mild dish detergent. Rinse and towel dry. This is a basic cleaning technique for lightly cleaning a non-stick pan that hasn’t been used for cooking anything too complex.
If food particles or oils are adhered to the surface, use a paper towel to remove as much of the food off the surface as possible. Soak for about 10 minutes in a bath made with a dish detergent that includes grease-releasing ingredients. Rinse with warm water and towel dry or sit on a dish rack.
If hard to get out food or staining remains, make a solution of 3 parts white vinegar to 1 part water and pour into the dirty pan. Let simmer on stove until solution bubbles – usually on low to medium heat for about 5 to 10 minutes. Once the food particles are dislodged, remove pan from heat, pour out solution and let the pan cool. When the pan cools to room temperature, wash with a non-abrasive mild dish detergent and a soft cloth. Rinse and towel dry.
If cookware has a stain that the above methods have failed to remove, it’s time to step things up. Make a paste out of baking soda and water. Apply the paste directly to stain and let sit for 30 minutes. Rinse and wash in mild dish detergent and towel dry.