Coated pans are not always nonstick. Something else must be added to create the perfect surface for preparing eggs, pan-grilled sandwiches and more. Many people reach for the cooking spray, but it adds more than just a slippery coating. It leaves behind gunk that seems to meld with the metal. It will not come off in the dishwasher, but it will come off on food that is subsequently prepared in the pan. Use the following easy method to remove cooking spray build-up in a skillet or saucepan, and restore it without causing damage.
To remove cooking spray from a nonstick pan you will need a kitchen sponge with a scratch pad for delicate surfaces, dishwashing liquid that contains degreaser and hot tap water. Nothing more is needed to get rid of the brown gunky mess. Consider using Dawn dishwashing liquid or a similar product. It includes degreaser that will help to safely break down and loosen the hardened coating. In any case, do not use cleanser, steel wool or any other cleaning product or item that could ruin the finish.
Begin by filling the pan with hot soapy water. Let it soak for several minutes. Dampen the scrub sponge, and use the scratchy side to rub away the cooking spray build-up. Use a circular motion on flat areas and a back-and-forth motion along the sides. Use the corner of the nonabrasive scratch pad in the crevices and around the edges. Go over it as many times as necessary to get rid of the brown bumpy mess. It will take a little work, but the hardened gunk will come off without damaging the surface.
How to Prevent Problems with Future Build-Up
Removing the build-up on a nonstick pan is not difficult, but it is time-consuming. It is best to use alternatives to avoid having to spend several minutes scrubbing and cleaning a coated skillet or saucepan. To avoid future problems, do not use cooking spray. Use a sliver of butter or margarine instead. A minimal amount will not add a lot of fat, cholesterol and unwanted calories, but it will work to keep foods from sticking and causing hard bumpy gunk to form in a coated pan.
Source: Professional Cleaning Experience