How to Remove Nonstick Coating From Cookware

Written by jeffrey brian airman
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How to Remove Nonstick Coating From Cookware
The non-stick coating is more difficult to remove from new cookware. (saucepan image by Leonid Nyshko from

You can completely remove the non-stick coating from cookware, leaving a smooth, clean surface. The look and usefulness of a worn out non-stick pot can be restored without damaging the surface below. Flecks of non-stick coating peel away from well used non-stick cookware, causing foods to release unevenly. These tiny pieces of plastic polymer often end up in the finished dish. Protect the people who eat at your house from unexpected bits of non-stick material in their food by cleaning it from your pan permanently.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Sink
  • Large stockpot
  • Dishwasher soap
  • Baking soda
  • Heavy-duty plastic scouring pad
  • Thick rubber gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Lye drain opener gel
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Soft sponge

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  1. 1

    Place the non-stick cookware in the bottom of the sink, and pour a half-inch layer of dishwasher soap directly onto the coated surface. Dump a large pot of boiling water onto the cookware until it is completely submerged, and allow it to soak overnight.

  2. 2

    Lift the cookware from the soapy soak and sprinkle baking soda onto the non-stick surfaces until you no longer see them. Scrub in a circular motion with a heavy-duty scouring pad using firm pressure to release the softened non-stick coating. Sprinkle more baking soda on the surface to augment the abrasion of the scouring pad and remove the non-stick polymer.

  3. 3

    Wear thick rubber gloves and eye protection as you apply a thick layer of gel drain opener to the remaining non-stick coating. Place the cookware in a well-ventilated area, and allow it to soak in the lye-based cleaner for at least 48 hours. Warn children and keep pets away from the soaking cookware to avoid injury.

  4. 4

    Put on the gloves and goggles to avoid skin and eye irritation. Rinse the gel from the pan, and use a heavy-duty scouring pad to wipe out the non-stick coating.

  5. 5

    The non-stick coating should now be gone. Clean the cookware with liquid dish soap and a soft sponge before cooking food in it again.

Tips and warnings

  • Non-stick coating can also be blasted off cookware using a relatively soft blasting medium like walnut shells and baking soda. Call local sandblasting companies to see if they offer this service. But it is probably cheaper to buy a new, uncoated pan.
  • Using harsh abrasives will scratch the surface of the cookware and make it difficult to lift out cooked foods.

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