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Home Maintenance And Repair - 01500079

Cleaning Teflon

Wash promptly after use with hot, sudsy water, to avoid staining. The Teflon finish is not harmed by dishwasher washing, but outside surfaces of some utensils may be damaged, so follow label instructions for each utensil. Remove stubborn spots with a plastic mesh pad.

Staining occurs from charring of food/grease residues in the pan. Dark, widespread staining, the result of overheating and incomplete cleaning, may lessen the effectiveness of the non-stick property. The non-stick surface can be "renewed" and stains reduced or removed with commercial stain removers or by the following home remedy: Mix two tablespoons of baking soda and a half cup of liquid household bleach with one-two cups of water, or enough solution in these proportions to about half fill the pan. Simmer this solution for five minutes in the stained pan. Remove from heat and check the pan surface. If the stain still remains, repeat the treatment.


The solution will foam and if it boils over, it may stain the outside of the pan. This solution is a strong oxidizing agent and will cause some change in the color of Teflon, with dark colors becoming lighter. This bleaching effect does not reduce the non-stick performance of the pan. Do not substitute ingredients for the baking soda, household bleach, or water. After the cleaning/stain removing treatment, thoroughly wash, rinse, and dry the pan; then wipe it with cooking oil to "condition" before using it again.

Should a white-spotted film appear it probably results from minerals in the water and can be removed by saturating a soft cloth with lemon juice or vinegar and rubbing over the finish. After wiping, wash the pan, dry, and "condition" as you did when new.

This recommendation is ONLY for Teflon, not for other non-stick finishes.


This article was written by Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus, with references from DuPont Corporation.

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