How to revive non-stick pans

Non-stick pans and other cookware can lose its non-stick qualities over time. Burnt on food or overheating can damage the non-stick coating, while cooking sprays can leave a sticky film that interferes with the nature of the non-stick surface. Food will even begin to stick to the surfaces of cookware that has been cared for and maintained correctly. Revive your non-stick pans by properly cleaning and seasoning the cooking surface.

Clean any left over food debris from the non-stick cookware. Wash the pan with hot sudsy water using a nylon scrubbing sponge. For stubborn, stuck-on food, use a non-abrasive cleanser or a paste of hot water and baking soda.

Fill the pan with boiling water to remove any cooking spray film. Let it soak for one minute to soften the residue, then carefully pour out the water. Scrub the cookware with a nylon scrubbing sponge and baking soda or non-abrasive cleanser.

Dry the cookware thoroughly, then warm the cookware over a low heat. Heat bakeware in the oven, and heat pots and pans on the hob.

Coat the entire cooking surface with vegetable oil or solid vegetable shortening using a paper towel. Allow the cookware to cool, then wipe down the inside with a clean towel to remove all excess oil.


Allow pans to cool before putting them into the washing-up water.

Make sure pans are completely cleaned of all oil residue before using them again.

Reheating can cause the residue to harden into a film that causes foods to stick. Don't use metal utensils on non-stick cookware; it can scratch the surface of the non-stick coating, increasing the chances of food sticking to the pan.


Use caution when applying vegetable oil or shortening to the heated pan. Always use a paper towel to protect yourself from burns.

Things You'll Need

  • Washing-up liquid
  • Nylon scrubbing sponge
  • Non-abrasive cleanser
  • Baking soda
  • Vegetable oil or vegetable shortening
bibliography-icon icon for annotation tool Cite this Article

About the Author

Kelly Cannon began writing travel and family-based articles for the Internet in 2008. She has contributed work to the ExpatPeru website, helping other expatriates from around the world find their way around Peru. She holds a specialized associate's degree from Full Sail University in Florida.