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May 3, 2012 06:09 AM

I finally figured out how to get Teflon clean

I could never seem to get Teflon clean. No matter how many times I washed it, there always seemed to be a greasy feeling. I finally figured out how to clean it so that the greasy feeling is gone. First thing, I don't put water in the pan. I squirt a little Dawn directly into the pan and use a nylon scrub brush to scrub the entire pan, inside and out. Rinse, and voila! No more greasy feeling. I also have enough soap left on the scrub brush to clean whatever else I'm washing.

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    1. I always assumed that "greasy" feeling was inherent in the Teflon coating. I wash my Teflon-coated pans with soap and water and do not consider them to be "actually still dirty." Although it may feel "greasy" the pan after being washed with soap and water is not really greasy (covered with an oily substance). Sounds more like a "feel" issue than a "clean" issue to me.

      5 Replies
      1. re: ttoommyy

        I had made the mistake, some 20 or so years ago, of buying All-Clad roasting pans. They were a bitch to clean, but this really works for me now, and I no longer have the same problem. Buti don't think it's just's my husband too!

        1. re: ttoommyy

          basically it sounds like your teflon pans are correctly "seasoned."
          roxiet's approach will "UNseason" the pan.

          1. re: westsidegal

            There is no such thing as seasoning a teflon pan. I'd like to see where there is information about that.

              1. re: ttoommyy

                Actually was not aware of that :p I have one pan with teflon and I might use it once every 3 months. Mostly I use a well seasoned wok.

        2. We switched to mainly SS pans a few years ago. There are instances where non-stick pans are necessary however. We have a small pan used only to fry eggs. We have a large non-stick skillet as well. The small pan pretty much gets washed using hot water, dish soap and a paper towel to wash. The large pan usually needs water to soak for a while and then gets washed in the same manner. I don't even use the green 3M Schotcbrite pad on the non-stick pans. This is an experiment to see how many years we can get out of these pans. (i got sick of non-stick pans with a lot of the surface missing).

          28 Replies
          1. re: John E.

            eek! Don't ever use green Scotchbrite on non-stick -- the green is quite aggressive and will destroy the non-stick coating. Don't use it anywhere you wouldn't use steel wool -- that's how aggressive it really is.

            You can use the white "non-woven abrasive" (the non-branded term) with impunity -- it's very, very fine, and there are some non-stick manufacturers who even recommend using white non-woven on their cookware.

            1. re: sunshine842

              I have know that about Scotchbrite. I still prefer it to the sponge with Scotchbrite on one side.

              1. re: John E.

                Use a scotchbrite pad by itself, or one attached to a sponge -- that makes no difference.

                But the abrasives impregnated in the nylon of the green pads is a full-on industrial-grade abrasive (aluminum oxide, to be exact) , and the reason it removes so much from your non-stick surface is because it is removing the surface itself -- it is the equivalent of #00 steel wool.

                The white has no abrasive grains, so it's just the abrasive power of the nylon itself -- that will remove the crusty bits without destroying your pan.

                On stainless? Knock yourself out.

                1. re: sunshine842

                  What is interesting about these posts is that we seem to be in agreement. I will however say that the Scotchbrite pad is not as abrasive as steel wool because when I use Scotchbrite on SS I often have to use steel wool to finish the job.

                  1. re: John E.

                    It all depends on what grade steel wool and what grade Scotchbrite -- but for industrial applications (which is where I learned all of this), it's pretty accepted that green non-woven is about the same as #00 steel wool.

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      We just buy what is for sale at the grocery store. The 'steel wool' that we use is not the industrial, grade steel wool, it's just the steel abrasive stuff also sold at the grocery store. When scrubbing the bottom of SS pans I use the steel wool and BKF.

                      1. re: John E.

                        The only steel wool that I saw at a grocery store was the SOS pads I believe. I did use to get different grades at Canadian Tire. (000 and up). Believe the stuff sold at grocery stores is at the most abrasive end of the steel wool (in comparison to Canadian Tire) - much more abrasive than 00.

                        1. re: John E.

                          OK, I buy shiny metallic looking scrubbers at about $1 each. They are nylon or some other material though. They aren't really metal. I use mine mainly to clean my glass top stove, at which they excel.

                          These would be safe for non-stick cookware, but surely, surely you are not using actual steel wool, as in an SOS or Brillo pad? Or the stuff you use to buff down furniture? Because if you are, it is so wrong. Use it on stainless or CI, but not on non-stick.

                          1. re: sueatmo

                            Wow, this is getting confusing and it has taken on much more importance that I ever intended. No, I do not use any sort of steel wool on non-stick cookware. As I posted somewhere above, I do not even use a nylon or plastic scrubber or brush of any kind on our non-stick cookware. I use a paper towel. I use two non-stick pans, neither of which is new any longer but they are in almost pristine condition. I don't use SOS pads either. I think a Brillo pad is similar to SOS, but we don't use them either. The steel wool I use is actually metal and a very loose weave that is sold in the same section as the Scotchbrite, SOS, Brillo, and sponges, but sponges are another topic. I would never, ever keep a stinky sponge anywhere near the kitchen sink.

                            1. re: John E.

                              Loose and curly, right? Bright gold or silver? These are not metal.

                              1. re: sueatmo

                                The ones I use are silver and stick to a magnet. You be the judge.

                                1. re: John E.

                                  It sounds like you have metal scrubbers to me, if they stick to a magnet. But I wouldn't use them on non stick. Although, I might use them on anodized--maybe. But why would you need to? I'm not being a smarty here. I'd really like to know.

                                  1. re: sueatmo

                                    I DON'T USE STEEL WOOL ON NON-STICK COOKWARE! I did not go back and read my posts on this thread because I'm tired of it but I am sure I never said I used steel wool on non-stick. I used to use Scotchbrite pads on non-stick, an no, I do not believe Scotchbrite is as abrasive as steel wool, however if Scotchbrite is used to 'scrub' as opposed to wiping a pan clean it will put wear on the non-stick surface.

                                    For the third time, I use a paper towel to wash the two non-stick pans we have after having left them to soak.

                                    1. re: John E.

                                      OK. Sorry I misunderstood. Perils of the long, long thread.

                                      1. re: sueatmo

                                        No worries, that was a little frustration showing.

                        2. re: sunshine842

                          The green pads are highly abrasive. I use them to lay down a scratch pattern on some of my stainless knives to cover scratches left behind from sharpening. The blue on the other hand is pretty gentile

                          1. re: scubadoo97

                            Yep -- blue is considered very-fine grade of abrasive -- less aggressive than the green (and brown, and maroon) -- but not as fine as white.

                            The nonwoven abrasive industry follows a more-or-less standard color strategy:

                            Maroon or Brown -- made from Aluminum Oxide -- generally coarse grits -- extremely aggressive. Do not use these for anything except heavy-duty industrial use.

                            Grey or Black - made from Silicon Carbide -- medium grit -- rarely seen in kitchen applications. Again, extremely aggressive.

                            Green -- Alumino-Silicate -- regular potscrubber grade -- aggressive, but okay for un-coated metal (not for use on paint or nonstick!)

                            White -- Talc -- yep, like talcum powder. Gentle on almost all surfaces.

                            For kitchen use, stick to the green or white.

                            1. re: sunshine842

                              Should mention again that the green will scratch metal so should not be used on metal pans when one is particular about how it looks

                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                Absolutely! They use the green to repair the scratches in stainless-steel elevator and refrigerator panels!

                                I can't emphasize it enough - -nonwoven abrasive is first and foremost an abrasive and works by removing the stuck-on material AND the underlying material, as well!

                                The *only* grade you can use in the kitchen without worrying about scratching is the white -- and there are surfaces that it will scratch and/or destroy, too.

                                1. re: sunshine842

                                  If you mean by 'nonwoven green' to mean 3M ScotchBrite pads, they are perfectly fine to use on stainless steel cookware. I use a combination of the Scotchbrite and steel wool on our SS pans.

                                  1. re: John E.

                                    the discussion was about using them on COATED pans. It will also screw up the finish pattern on the inside of your SS cookware (unless you're careful to follow the grain) and it will destroy the polished finish on the outside of your SS cookware.

                                    Scotchbrite is a brand name -- the term for the abrasive manufactured with nylon filaments impregnated with abrasive particles and then formed into a flat pad is "nonwoven abrasives". All Scotchbrite is nonwoven abrasive -- not all nonwoven abrasive is Scotchbrite.

                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                      I have found the no-name "nonwoven abrasive' pads to be less effective than the 3M version so I believe the color is not the only determining factor but now I'll know to avoid the white ones. I have not damaged the SS pans we have with either 'nonwoven abrasives' nor steel wool.

                                      1. re: John E.

                                        there are many other manufacturers out there -- some of whom make better nonwoven products than 3M.

                                        Unfortunately, in the world of private label, it's difficult to suss out whose is whose.

                                        I cannot imagine why you would avoid the white ones -- they are powerful enough to remove a lot without altering the underlying finish.

                                        Steel wool is even more abrasive than nonwoven -- and it leaves small pieces of steel in the scratches, which rust and mar the finish further.

                                        Your money, your pans.

                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                          As I have said repeatedly, our SS pans are doing just fine with the occasional use of BKF.

                  2. re: sunshine842

                    idk if All Clad Ltd is Teflon but I've been using ScotchBrite pads on this pan for over 10 years.

                    1. re: ScubaSteve

                      I don't believe they're the same thing.

                      Using it on the **OUTSIDE** is no biggie. But using the green pads on a nonstick surface will remove the nonstick coating.

                      1. re: sunshine842

                        i don't use them on the outside, who cares what's on the outside?
                        if they're not Teflon then i suggest buying them.
                        i use the pads on the inside. as well as all metal utensils and very high heat. never had a problem and eggs/omelets slide right out with a swipe of oil on a paper napkin.

                        1. re: ScubaSteve

                          I just refuse to spend the money on something like All-Clad and then do something that I *know* will damage the coating.

                          It's been working well for five years...with proper care, it might have been the last pan you ever bought.

                          (metal utensils, green nonwoven abrasive, and very-high heat are very damaging to cookware.)

                2. Have you tried hot water with a sponge? I can usually wipe it clean with a sponge under warm or hot water. Same with SS.

                  1. I have now and have had in the past non stick skillets. I've never worried about getting the stuff clean. Far from it. It cleans up easily. Am I to assume you don't have seasoned cast iron in your kitchen cabinets? You have to put those away with a intact seasoning, which definitely gets a little oily or greasy.

                    13 Replies
                    1. re: sueatmo

                      No, we have several cast iron skillets, but they live on a shelf above the stove. And guess what? Horror of horrors -- we wash those too. Yup. And they work just fine. We put a very light coating of vegetable oil on them after they're clean. No, I don't like greasy things in my cabinets, and most of my pots and pans are in very good shape since we clean off all accumulated gunk about once a year. Call me crazy, but dirty/greasy and kitchen don't go together for me. But that's me (and my husband). Don't want to debate it, and I have learned here that others feel differently.

                      1. re: roxlet

                        You are not alone. I have the same feeling after one wash. I wash once with the green scrubby rinse it and then wash again with a sponge. Seems like the grease it just hard to wash off teflon.

                        I don't think this a symptom of OCD.

                        1. re: cajundave

                          Call me crazy, and I don't want to debate it.... but.... it is a symptom of OCD ... OCD comes in many forms....

                            1. re: cacruden

                              Can't stop washing teflon...Can't stop washing teflon...Can't stop washing teflon...Can't stop washing teflon...Can't stop washing teflon....Can't stop washing teflon

                                1. re: cajundave

                                  right now ask cacruden what the definition of a bench scraper is..........

                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                    I think I missed the bench scraper controversy.

                              1. re: cacruden

                                Including seeing it in others where it doesn't exist :)

                                1. re: cacruden

                                  I had knife sharpening OCD, but I have recovered. (not really ).

                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                    I like the way green Scotch-Brite makes my Teflon soft & fluffy...

                                2. re: cajundave

                                  I use the green scrubby Scott thingie too when I do my cast irons skillets.
                                  some times it's hard to remove everything but I was told to always heat the skillet after washing/rinsing to ensure it'd be dry, really dry, so it wouldn't want to rust.
                                  love those cast iron skillets, all of 'em.

                                3. re: roxlet

                                  No debating from me. To each his own, I say. However equating a seasoned pan with dirt and grease is a bit much. My CI gets washed when it needs it, but I try to leave a little oil--very little--on them in the cabinet. They aren't dirty.