Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How to Clean Cookware and Servingware


Cleaning Nonstick Finishes
  • Nonstick finishes or coatings are relatively thin and easily damaged. Use wood, nylon, or specially coated spoons and spatulas to prevent surface damage.

  • Most nonstick cookware can be safely washed in the dishwasher.

  • Wash new pans before using them, and lightly coat the inside with vegetable oil. Apply vegetable oil again after each washing in the dishwasher and after treating for stains.

  • Do not soak pans in soapy water; the coating can retain a soap flavor.

  • When you want to remove stains from nonstick cookware, mix 2 tablespoons baking soda with 1 cup water and 1/2 cup liquid bleach. Boil the solution in the pan for several minutes until the stains disappear, then wash as usual.

You wouldn't get much cooking done without dirtying up a utensil or two. Learn about cleaning plastic and rubber on the next page.


More to Explore