How to Remove Burnt-on Stains From a Nonstick Pan

Non-stick pans and pots have a coating that helps create a smooth cooking surface to which no food sticks. When food remains in a non-stick pan too long and ends up burning, however, it will likely stick no matter what the surface is. Removing burnt-on stains is a task that you must complete without scratching or damaging the non-stick surface. Proper supplies and techniques help you remove charred food and its accompanying smell.

Place 2 tbsp baking soda, 1/2 cup white vinegar and 1 cup water in the non-stick pan with the burnt-on food stains. Stir the ingredients with a wooden spoon to dissolve the baking soda. Heat the solution to boiling and allow it to continue boiling for 10 minutes to loosen the burnt-on food stains.

Remove the pan from the hob and carefully dump out the vinegar mixture. Allow the pan to cool until it's just warm to the touch.

Ball up a couple old nylons and use them as gentle but effective scrubbers to remove the burnt-on food stains from your non-stick pan. Dampen the nylons and add a few drops of dishwashing detergent. Scrub the stains as you frequently rinse the nylons and add more detergent.

Rinse your non-stick pan with warm water and dry with a dry kitchen towel.


Use wooden or plastic-coated utensils for scraping food out of a non-stick pan. Metal utensils will scratch the non-stick surface. Dilute liquid fabric softener half and half with water and soak the burnt-on food stained surface with the solution for 10 minutes. This softens the burnt-on food, making it easier to remove.


Avoid burning food by starting with lower heat and increasing as needed.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 tbsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • Wooden spoon
  • Old nylons
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Kitchen towels
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About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.