How to Clean Ceramic Pans and Cookware
Maintaining Your Favorite Cookware for Long-Lasting Quality
Learning how to clean ceramic pans and other cookware is essential to remove food particles that can cause a sticky build-up. Ceramic cookware can stain and develop a brown discoloration, especially when food is burned at high temperatures. But with just a few household cleaning staples, you can keep your cookware looking like new.
Here's what you need to know about washing your ceramic pans.
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.
Ceramic cookware should be washed after every use to remove food particles that can easily stick to your pan and cause a sticky build-up. Periodically examine the cookware surface for brown discoloration, and do a deep cleaning to remove stains.
What You'll Need
Equipment / Tools
- Sponge or soft dishcloth
- Sink or large dishpan
- Warm water
- Dish soap
- Baking soda (optional)
- White vinegar (optional)
- Hydrogen peroxide (optional)
Allow the Ceramic Pan to Cool
Ceramic coatings do not respond well to quick, drastic changes in temperature. Always allow ceramic cookware a few minutes to stop sizzling and cool down completely before attempting to wash it.
Fill a Sink With Water and Dish Soap
Fill a sink or dishpan with warm water and a few squirts of dish soap.
Clean With a Sponge
Submerge the ceramic cookware, and use a nonabrasive sponge or soft dishcloth to clean the surfaces.
Never use steel wool, abrasive nylon, metal pads, or abrasive cleaners on ceramic coatings. They can cause minute scratches, which damage the surface and reduce the nonstick quality of the ceramic finish.
Rinse and Dry
Rinse the cookware with warm water. Dry with a soft dishtowel, or allow the cookware to air-dry in a dish rack.
Remove Hardened Food With Baking Soda
If food has burned and is stuck to the ceramic coating, allow the pan to soak in the 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. Add some white vinegar to the paste while it's on the pan to create a bubbling action that can loosen the burnt-on food. 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 1 to 2 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.
Remove Discoloration With Hydrogen Peroxide
After many uses—some possibly involving burnt food—the ceramic coating can become discolored. To help lighten the finish, pour enough 3 percent hydrogen peroxide (regular first-aid strength is fine) 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 requires a new bottle.
Let the solution sit in the pan for 30 minutes, Then, rinse and dry. The slight bleaching action of the peroxide will brighten the finish.
Dos and Don'ts of Cleaning Ceramic Cookware
- Do hand-wash ceramic cookware.
- Do not use dishwasher detergents that contain bleach or citric acids because they are too harsh for the finish.
- Do use only plastic, silicone, wood, or nylon utensils when cooking in ceramic cookware; metal utensils can ruin a ceramic pan.
- Do not cut foods with a knife in ceramic cookware to prevent gouges to the surface or the ceramic pans will lose their nonstick quality.
- Do choose a bit of oil or butter to cook with on ceramic cookware.
- Do not use harsher cooking sprays that can leave a build-up of hard-to-remove residue when preparing foods.
- Do not use excessively high temperatures when cooking to avoid burnt-on stains.
- Do not stack ceramic cookware without a pad to prevent scratches between the pieces.
How can I restore my ceramic pan?
There are plenty of cleaning hacks out there that might be able to restore the nonstick surface to a minimally damaged ceramic pan. Try oiling the surface to bring back some of the pan's nonstick quality. (Use seed oils to do this, not olive oil.) Place the pan on medium heat for about five to seven minutes to bring the oil to its smoking point, which helps the oil bond to the pan's surface. Remove the pan, let it cool down, and gently remove excess oil by wiping it out with a paper towel.
Can you still use ceramic pans with scratches?
That depends on how badly your ceramic pan is scratched. Those scratches may just be cosmetic marks made by metal utensils and they can be buffed out. Deeply gouged, chipped, or scratched ceramic pans should be tossed, just to be on the safe side. You wouldn't want the gouge, chip, or scratch to get larger and create flakes of coating that could end up in your food.
How long do ceramic pans last?
There's no definitive answer, but ceramic pans are not known for their longevity. If you take excellent care of your ceramic-coated pan, it could potentially last for three to five years.