Why My Non-Stick Coating is Coming off? (And How to Fix it)

sprouts-cooked-in-non-stick-pan
Source: Canva

There are no doubts that you have a kitchen that’s fully loaded with kitchen items to make your cooking experience seamless. But did you know that non-stick cookware can make your cooking experience even better? 

Non-stick cookware is straightforward to use, quick and easy to clean, perfect for preparing breakfast omelet. And because of its non-stick feature, these cookwares will help retain the flavors in your food. 

With all those pluses, there is one thing that people don’t like in non-stick cookware. This cookware usually comes with a coating over them and there are chances that it can come off in some cases. 

This article will walk you through what you can do when your non-stick cookware coating comes off. So without further ado, let’s jump right in. 

Why Does Non-Stick Coating Come Off?

It’s no doubt that non-stick coating is the most important feature in your cookware, but it also stands the risk of eroding after some time because of some mistakes people make. So what are some of the mistakes most people make when using non-stick cookware? 

1. Cooking Over High Heat

Cooking over high heat is not recommended because it can damage the coating of your cookware. According to a report, heating your non-stick cookware to temperatures above 500 degrees will damage the precious coating of your non-stick cookware. 

Also, using your non-stick pan over high heat will damage its surface and even worse, emit some toxic vapors that can contaminate your food. Most people tend to smoke their pan, which can erode the coating of your non-stick pan. 

It is also important to note that the chemicals released when your non-stick pan is overheated are not harmful to humans but can endanger the lives of the birds. Therefore, be extra careful if you use non-stick cookware and keep birds. 

2. Failure to Season Your Cookware

Using your cookware without seasoning can make it vulnerable, so it’s advisable to first season it before using it. Clean your cookware with a clean piece of cloth and a detergent before you start seasoning it to remove all the chemicals. You can use your non-stick pan after you have seasoned it. However, you will need to re-season it over time because the coating will always erode after some time. 

3. Overusing Non-stick Spray

Non-stick spray is excellent to prevent the food from sticking to your pan, but it won’t be necessary to use it when the cookware you are using is already designed for non-stick purposes. 

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Now, the risk of using a non-stick spray is that it will stick on the surface of your cookware and not burn off when cooking. Even worse, the sticky layer is unlikely to come off even when you scrub and rinse. In such cases, the only option is to use bleach to remove the coating. 

4. Use of Abrasive Utensils on Your Cookware

Your cookware is fragile, so using sharp steel to toss your food when cooking is already a big mistake that can damage the surface of your cookware. That said, don’t use forks, knives or metal objects to toss your food when cooking. Additionally, don’t use steel wool to clean your non-stick pan because the steel wool will severely damage your non-stick cookware coating. 

5. Tossing Your Pan in Dishwasher

Non-stick cookware is indeed safe in dishwater, but tossing them in dishwater exposes them to detergents used to wash other utensils, hot water and hard scrubbing. And of course, you’ll not notice the damage instantly, but will over time. 

6. Consistently Preparing Acidic Foods

Too much cooking of acidic foods can also be dangerous for your non-stick pan because acidic foods like lemon, tomatoes, pickles, etc. are corrosive. So if you are constantly using your non-stick cookware, the chances are that your non -stick coating will peel off after some time. Also, acidic foods will leave blisters on the surface of your, which increases the chances of your non-stick cookware aging fast. 

Things to Do When the Non-Stick Coating Is Coming Off

You must be thinking of throwing away your non-stick pan probably because it has become sticky and you’re finding it useless. If this is what you’ve been doing with all your non-stick cookware, it might be time to reconsider your decision. 

First, non-stick cookware is costly, and as such, you shouldn’t toss it away upon losing its components. A little management and care will go a long way into maintaining the sheen of your non-stick pan. 

Once you notice that the non-stick coating is coming out, below are some effective ways to recover the non-stick feature. 

1. Non-Stick Cookware Repair Spray Will Help Fix It 

Non-stick repair spray is a good bet for damages that aren’t severe. Before you can start spraying, make sure to rinse your pan thoroughly while scraping off the leftovers gently. Allow it to dry, after which, you can spray a thick layer of non-stick repair spray. 

You can purchase one from a convenience store since it’s the most popular around. After spraying, let your pan rest for at least half an hour then transfer to the oven. 

Once the skillet is subjected to oven heat, the sticky film will start peeling off. Be patient and let the repair spray do the magic. 

For efficiency, your pan should heat for about 45 to 50 minutes then let it cool completely. Meanwhile, please leave it to cool in the oven to prevent sudden temperature changes. 

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In the next step, use a mild soap and washcloth to rinse the pan until no debris is left behind. Once finished, your pan should be ready to use. 

2. Re-seasoning it with Oil 

The method of cooking varies from each individual. While some will oil their pan before pouring the ingredients, others will do vice versa. If you tend to forget, don’t worry because you can re-season the coating with a thin layer of oil or shortening. 

When you oil your pan before using, the layer of heat is heated under extreme temperatures that allow it to polymerize onto the pan’s surface, forming a protective layer. Essentially, this will shield your pan from stains, scratches, or even rust.  

Seasoning is a recurring process, meaning that you’ll have to do it repeatedly to hide the scratches while strengthening its non-stick lusture. Also, it’s an economical way to revitalize your non-stick pan compared to buying a new one.  

You can affect this process in two primary ways. For home re-seasoning, wash your pan thoroughly then gently remove the food scraps, grease, and residues. 

Meanwhile, employ the baking soda concept to get rid of tough stains. Dissolve a small amount of vinegar into a handful of baking soda then mix it with water. Drain the dissolved mixture into the pan and let it boil.

After a few minutes of boiling, bubbles will start forming, which prompts you to pour out the solution. This mixture is essentially perfect for stubborn stains. You may now wash your pan as usual.

Proceed to season your pan by smearing a few drops of oil over the surface. Place it on medium heat of up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for two hours. Most importantly, the oil should cover the whole surface for efficiency. Please leave it to cool overnight inside the oven to allow it to bring back its strength. 

3. Seek Coating Services

Unlike the tips above, this option won’t require your direct participation. To begin with, you can contact a service provider that’s an expert in coating cookware. Often, experienced professions are equipped with knowledge of how to fix damaged pans. You’re likely to incur significant expenses, but the results are worth the spending. 

Alternatively, you can contact the manufacturer from whom you bought your pans. Reputable companies often give warranties, which can help with repair expenses. Fortunately, some agencies will offer to refinish your damaged pan at no cost. Others might charge you a small fee for the service done.  

It would help if you first leverage the prices of buying a new pan and restoring the damaged one. In some instances, buying a new one can be quite reasonable, especially when you have to meet in person with the manufacturer for repairs. Such decisions are worth giving a thought, especially when running on a tight budget.   

Ways to Extend the Life of Your Non-Stick Pan

You need to maintain your kitchen items to make sure that they serve you for a long. Delicate items like the non-stick cookware should stay in top condition if you need them to serve you longer. 

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The chances are that you can’t do without a non-stick pan and because they are costly, you wouldn’t want to be careless with it. So below are a few ways you can extend the life of your non-stick cookware to serve you longer. 

1. Use the Right Utensils to Stir

Avoid any metal utensils like metallic spoons and spatulas and use only non-abrasive utensils to stir food when using a non-stick pan. Wooden spoons are perfect for stirring food, especially when using non-stick cookware, which is always delicate. 

Wood is better than metals when it comes to stirring food because they don’t leave any scratches at the bottom of your non-stick cookware. You might want to try out other options if you are preparing foods such as pancakes. 

Silicon utensils are also great because they are dishwasher safe, soft and malleable. If you want to cook lighter foods like vegetables and eggs, you will find silicon spatulas helpful because they can flip these foods easily. 

If you are planning to cook heavier foods like fish fillets, you might need nylon spoons that are stronger and may not damage your cookware coating. Finally, make sure that you choose the best utensils that will not scratch the surface coating of your non-stick cookware. 

2. Ensure Proper Storage

You already know that you should be extra careful when washing your non-stick cookware, but you should also be very cautious with where you store it. 

If you are using a cupboard to store your non-stick cookware, don’t just throw it in there. Instead, place it safely and don’t include other utensils in the same space. 

3. Avoid High Heat

Non-stick cookware is not meant for acidic foods or foods that require high heat. If you need to cook any of these foods, please use a grill pan or cast-iron cookware. 

However, light foods such as pancakes, lean meats and soft scramble are suitable to cook in a non-stick pan. This is because these foods are lighter and less likely to stick to the surface of your non-stick cookware. 

4. Right Time Adding of Fat 

Some people are fond of leaving their non-stick pans to heat up before pouring the oil, and that’s a mistake you should avoid henceforth. Waiting for the pan to overheat before pouring your oil can cause flames which can end up burning you. Pouring oil in time is crucial because it helps protect the surface of your non-stick pan from overheating. 

5. Gentle Cleaning

Finally, you should be careful when cleaning your non-cookware. Leave some oil at the surface of your non-stick pan to prevent its erosion. Also, use a soft sponge and dish soap when cleaning your non-stick pan. However, you must never use steel wool because it can scrub the coating responsible for preventing food from sticking to your pan. 

About Sylvette Brown

Sylvette is a homemaker and is passionate about cooking and other kitchen-related stuff. She also loves to do home improvement related tasks and keeps on writing about food and cookware on her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her 2 little kids. :)