How to Clean Nonstick Cookware

Cleaning Nonstick Cookware

It’s no wonder that nonstick cookware is one of the most popular types of cookware around. After frying an omelet to sizzling perfection, you can slide it right from pan to plate with merely the flick of a wrist.

At American Kitchen, we make some of the best nonstick cookware around. It all starts with two layers of professional-grade stainless steel wrapped around a layer of super durable aluminum so your pans will heat evenly (no hot spots!). Then we add not one but two layers PPG Eterna® nonstick coating that’s incredibly smooth and thicker than many of the top competitors. The result? Nonstick cookware that’s built to last.

But part of making your nonstick cookware last is caring for it properly. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean nonstick cookware to keep it slick for years to come.

How to Clean Stuck-on and Burnt Messes

Maybe you decided to tackle your Friday night dinner dishes on Saturday morning or got distracted by a phone call and your meal got a little burnt. Whatever the reason, staring down a pan with gooey or burnt on food can seem daunting. The good news is that getting your cookware looking new again is nothing some steam and soapy water can’t fix. 

First, it’s important to always allow your cookware to completely cool to avoid thermal shock and warping. Next, wipe away any loose particles with a paper towel. Then, place the pan on the burner and fill it with warm water so that the entire bottom surface is covered. Set the burner to medium/low and heat for a minute or two. If the burnt or sticky food has run up the side of the pan, feel free to place a cover on and let the steam work its magic. Use a wooden utensil to gently scrape food from the pan. Lastly, turn off the heat, empty your pan, and wash with soap and water.

Pro tip: if you find that the food isn’t lifting with just warm water, you can add 3 to 4 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar and 3 to 4 tablespoons of baking soda to the hot water. Stir the solution with a wooden utensil and allow it to simmer for several minutes before gently scraping away the remaining debris. Empty the pan, then finish off the job by washing in warm, soapy water and towel drying your pan.

How to Deep Clean the Nonstick Surface

Over time, the nonstick properties of your cookware can diminish. Nonstick coatings aren’t meant to last forever, but their lifespan can be increased by occasionally deep cleaning the surface of the cookware.

To treat your nonstick cookware to a spa day, start by washing your pan as normal with warm, soapy water and towel drying. Then, make a paste of baking soda and water and gently scour the nonstick surface using the paste and a non-abrasive sponge. Lastly, rinse your pan and wash again in warm, soapy water. Don’t forget to towel dry your cookware when you’re done!

How to Clean Water Spots

Water spots are probably the easiest mess to clean—so easy, in fact, that they might not even be considered messes at all! Water spots can be avoided by thoroughly drying your cookware after washing.

However, if a water spot does appear, you can wipe the surface of your pan with distilled white vinegar. Avoid other types of vinegar as they contain additives that can harm the nonstick coating.

How to Clean Stains on the Underside of the Pan

Since American Kitchen nonstick cookware is constructed with the same tri-ply stainless steel as our traditional stainless steel cookware, you can use the same cleaning methods for stainless steel on the bottom of your nonstick pans!

Other Insider Secrets

  1. Let Your Pans Cool: One of the biggest mistakes people make is immediately trying to clean their pan after cooking. Extreme changes in temperature (like going from a hot stove to cold water) can warp your pan. Instead, when you’re done cooking, make sure the pan is completely cool before trying to clean it.
  1. Resist the Dishwasher: Although it may seem like a time-saver to throw your nonstick pan into the dishwasher with the rest of your dinner plates, doing so can cause the nonstick surface to become dull over time. Instead, you’ll want to…
  1. Handwash with Care After Each Use: First, rinse your pan with warm water. Then, using warm, soapy water and a non-abrasive sponge, gently handwash your pan in the sink. Stay away from scouring pads, steel wool or anything too abrasive as these can scratch the coating (which is also why you never want to use metal utensils with your nonstick pans).
  1. Thoroughly Dry and Store: Using a soft towel, hand dry your nonstick cookware completely before putting it away. If you need to stack your cookware—skillets, for example—make sure to place a paper towel or cloth napkin in between each piece so nothing gets scratched.


Shop easy to clean American Kitchen nonstick cookware.