How to Clean Ceramic Pans and Cookware

sponge in a ceramic skillet

The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

Ceramic pans and cookware, like those from Equal Parts, are popular for their non-stick cooking surface. The name is a bit of a misnomer because the entire pan is not made of ceramic; there is just a ceramic coating bonded to the metal of the cookware. A ceramic coating can be applied to cast iron, aluminum, copper, or stainless steel.

While the non-stick coating sounds like it would be easy-care, it will stain especially if food is burned on at a high temperature. With just a few tips and some household cleaning basics, ceramic pans can be used to prepare meals for many years.

How Often to Clean Ceramic Pans

New ceramic pans and cookware should be washed by hand in warm, soapy water, rinsed well, and dried with a soft cloth. This will remove any ceramic dust particles and dirt that settled on the surface during manufacturing and shipping.

Of course, ceramic cookware should be washed after every use to remove food particles. Periodically examine the cookware surface for discoloration and do a deep cleaning to remove stains.

What You Need

Supplies

  • Warm water
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide

Tools

  • Sponge or soft dishcloth
  • Dishtowel
  • Sink or large dishpan
ingredients for cleaning ceramic cookware
The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

Instructions

  1. Allow the Ceramic Pan to Cool

    Ceramic coatings do not respond well to quick, drastic changes in temperature. Always allow ceramic cookware to cool completely before washing.

    allow the pan to cool before cleaning
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  2. Fill a Sink With Warm Water and Dishwashing Liquid

    Fill a sink or dishpan with warm water and a few squirts of dishwashing liquid.

    filling a sink with dish soap and water
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  3. Clean With a Soft Sponge

    Submerge the ceramic cookware and use a sponge or soft dishcloth to clean the surfaces.

    scrubbing the pan with a soft sponge
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

    Warning

    Never use steel wool, abrasive nylon or metal pads or abrasive cleaners on ceramic coatings. They will cause minute scratches and damage the surface and lessen the non-stick quality of the finish.

  4. Rinse and Dry

    Rinse the cookware with warm water and dry with a soft dishtowel or allow the cookware to air-dry in a dish rack.

    rinsing the pan
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  5. Remove Stuck-On Food With Baking Soda

    If food has burned and is stuck to the ceramic coating, allow the pan to soak in warm, soapy water for at least 30 minutes. Dip a damp sponge into dry baking soda and use it to scrub away any bits of food that remain. Rinse well and dry the cookware.

    If the food does not come off easily, sprinkle the bottom of the pan liberally with baking soda and add one to two tablespoons of hot water. Allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes and scrub the pan with a sponge or dish wand in a circular motion for several minutes. Repeat, if needed, then rinse and dry.

    using baking soda to scrub a ceramic pan
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  6. Remove Discoloration With Hydrogen Peroxide

    After many uses—and a few burned-on food episodes—the ceramic coating can become discolored. To help lighten the finish, pour enough three-percent hydrogen peroxide (regular first-aid strength) to cover the bottom of the pan. To be effective, the hydrogen peroxide should bubble. If it doesn't, the solution is not fresh and you should buy a new bottle.

    Let the solution sit in the pan for 30 minutes and then rinse and dry. The slight bleaching action of the peroxide will brighten the finish.

    dry the ceramic pan after cleaning
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

Tips to Keep Ceramic Pans Lasting Longer

  • Always hand wash ceramic cookware. Dishwasher detergents can contain bleach and citric acids that are too harsh for the finish.
  • Never use abrasive cleaners or scrubbing pads when cleaning ceramic pans.
  • Avoid dramatic temperature changes. Always allow a hot pan to cool before placing it in dishwater for cleaning.
  • Never use metal utensils that can scratch the surface while cooking—plastic, silicone, wood, or nylon spoons and spatulas are best.
  • Never cut foods with a knife in ceramic cookware to prevent gouges to the surface.
  • Eventually, the ceramic coating will begin to show wear. When that happens, avoid using anything acidic to clean the pans (lemon, vinegar). The high acid content can cause the finish to erode more quickly.
  • Choose a bit of oil or butter and avoid cooking sprays when preparing foods. Cooking sprays can leave a hard-to-remove residue that builds-up. Some sprays may contain ingredients that are too harsh for ceramic coatings.
  • Do not use excessively high temperatures when cooking. Low to medium-high temperatures are best for the finish.
  • Do not stack ceramic cookware without a pad between the pieces. Using a pad will prevent scratches to the interior and exterior of the cookware.