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How to Clean a Burnt Teflon Pan

Nidhi Nangia
By Nidhi Nangia. Updated: January 22, 2019
How to Clean a Burnt Teflon Pan

Cleaning burnt Teflon pans is an irritating task for sure. Although butter does not stick to Teflon surfaces, and food slides right out of its non-stick coating, sometimes it needs a trick to clean a burnt Teflon pan. Here are a few quick and easy solutions to clean a burnt Teflon pan and keep it performing and looking as good as new. Read on this oneHOWTO article to know how to clean a burnt Teflon pan.

You may also be interested in: How to Clean a Burnt Stainless Steel Pan

Steps to follow:


First of all, allow the pan to cool down. When it is safe to touch the burnt pan, scratch off any loose residue using a plastic or wooden spatula or a paper towel. If the pan is still warm, use a pot holder or a cloth to hold the pan’s handle. Make sure to use non-metal utensils only on Teflon surfaces, as metal ones may scratch the Teflon layer of the pan, and sometimes even remove it completely. If you want to save the rest of the food in the Teflon pan itself, use a non-metal utensil to take the food out of the pan and store it in a container to use later.


Once the pan is cool and you have removed the loose food from the surface, place the pan in the sink basin. Try to keep it flat in the sink, but if the sink is small in size, it may stick out a little. That’s not a big problem, as you would be rotating it anyway to wash it. Turn the sink faucet on and allow hot water to run through it. Let the pan remain filled with hot water for 5-10 minutes.


Now use a sponge, paper towel or a nylon scrubber to wash the pan. Sprinkle a few drops of the dish-washing liquid to wipe its surface. Make sure to scrub all areas of the inside and outside of the pan, including its handle and hinges. Now rinse off any soap residue. Never use an abrasive cleaning pad on a Teflon pan, as the abrasive material will remove or damage the pan’s non-stick coating.

How to Clean a Burnt Teflon Pan - Step 3

Once the pan is as clean as possible, add some vinegar and water to the pan. Usually, you fill half of the pan with water, and add ½ cup vinegar to it.


Now keep the pan on stove and boil the mixture of vinegar and water. Let it boil for 5-10 minutes. As the mixture gets hotter, the food particles and oil in the pan start rising to the water surface.


Now turn off the heat, and dab a paper towel on the pools of oil to collect it. As the mixture and the pan will be very hot, make sure you don’t touch it directly with your skin. Dispose off the paper towel and use a plastic spoon to collect any floating food particles. When you have removed all the debris, pour the rest of the mixture down the drain.


Finally, use a sponge, paper towel, washcloth or soft nylon scrubber to clean the pan gently with a dish-washing liquid. Now rinse it with clean water and let it dry. Your burnt Teflon pan is ready to be used again.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Clean a Burnt Teflon Pan, we recommend you visit our Home cleaning category.

Write a comment
What did you think of this article?
Can I safely use oven cleaner on non stick (Teflon) cookie sheets?
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Ken,

It is possible, but we would recommend against it as it is such corrosive stuff, it can take the Teflon off, especially if left to soak.
Hi, I was heating up a little water (to reheat dinner) in my non-stick skillet, it was covered with one of those flexible silicone pan lids (they are shaped like flowers) and I forgot about it ><
I smelled something when I went into the kitchen, and realized what I'd done. I lifted the lid a little and smoke came out, so I brought the entire pan and lid outside and lifted the lid with a set of tongs. Smoke billowed out like crazy! I left it overnight, the lid is somewhat smoke-stained and the pan seems to be okay, the surface isn't marred or blotchy, but I am concerned, is it still safe to use? Thank you so much.
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Kathleen,

If the Teflon itself is intact and is not peeling or coming off, it should be OK to use. However, you will need to make sure there is not silicone, etc. still stuck to it. It will depend on the damage done to the pan.
Jane beaumnont
Have Jamie Olivier Sauté teflon pan which has marked and has now become nonstick how do I clean this
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How to Clean a Burnt Teflon Pan