What to Do With Scratched Non-stick Teflon Pans?

teflon-pan-on-wooden-table
Source: Canva

You already know too well about Teflon pans. By way of introduction, Teflon pans are non-stick pans. And everywhere across the world, non-stick pans – popularly called Teflon pans – are now quite common. 

In fact, they are the new tag. And this is understandable. It is a safe bet that you enjoy pancakes so much. The question is, “Who doesn’t?” We all want to prepare our delicious sausages. However, when we do so, we want to be able to toss and flip them seamlessly.

But while we do all the above, there is the potential for one thing to happen. Because all the above processes involve oil, the snacks can easily stick to the pan. Who wants a partially burnt pancake or sausage; or a stuck fried egg? We sure know nobody likes that kind of experience.

Even beyond the bad taste that stickiness causes, there are other bad sides. For one, a lot of precious edible food sticks to the pan and gets wasted.

This brought about the need for non-stick pans. Still, they wear too. And one of the common symptoms of this wearing is that they get scratched. So, are you wondering what to do when this happens?

Here, we let you know how to fix a non-stick pan when it is scratched. Then, we let you know what to look out for if you decide to discard the pan.

What are Non-Stick Pans?

We can trace non-stick pans as far back as the 1940s; yes, they are that old! They are called non-stick because of the way they get made. They get made with materials that make it less likely for anything to get stuck with them.

That is so that your food or sausages or eggs will stop clinging to the bottoms of pans.

But why the name Teflon? History has it that the first non-stick pans came from a material polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). A brand of this material is known as Teflon. 

The non-stick pan technology was first applied for commercial use. That is, the one for consumer cookware only came later. This was because the non-stick pans of them were known to release harmful toxic gases when overheated. This becomes worse if in crowded or less ventilated spaces. But today, so many improvements have happened that they are now so safe.

You may like to know that you can use other materials for non-stick cookware. Other good materials should include stainless steel and ceramic.

Now, enough of the chemistry and history lectures. Let’s now focus on Teflon pans.

While we may like to use our beloved Teflon pans for as long as we wish, that is not always possible. They wear too. One of the common symptoms of this wearing is that they get scratched.

There are several reasons for this. However, one of the most common is the use of rough cooking utensils on the pans. Another is when you use those abrasive scrubbing sponges to clean them.

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Or the scratch might be due to prolonged use. You know, after you use something for so long, it starts to lose shape. 

However, for Teflon pans, you must decide what you should do when you notice the scratch. Most times, you can fix the scratched pan. At other times, there is nothing you can do about it.

Here, we let you know how to fix a non-stick pan when it is scratched. Then, we let you know what to look out for if you decide to discard the pan.

How You Can Fix a Scratched Teflon Pan?

If you have a scratched Teflon Pan, don’t worry. You are not alone. Thousands of other people, too, have scratched Teflon pans lurking in their homes. 

The main issue here isn’t about having a scratched Teflon pan. Rather, it’s about how to fix it and get it to work for you again. One exciting thing is that you get to save up money when you fix it. Instead of buying a new Teflon pan because of the scratches, you can repair the old one. And make it new again. Amazing, right?

In this part of the blog, we walk you through the step by step procedure of fixing a Teflon pan. Relax and enjoy how to do the magic with your Teflon pan. 

1. Clean it

The number one thing to do in fixing your dented Teflon Pan is cleaning it. You have first to ensure that there’s no longer dirt lurking in any corner of the pan. If there is oil or stain, you need to clean it too. If you have burnt foods in the pan, you must get rid of it before beginning the fixing process. 

If you don’t know how to clean your Teflon pan properly, that’s not a problem. We will explain that to you in a bit. 

First, you would need some cleaning materials. The cleaning materials you would need are, however, easy to get. In fact, they are basic cleaning materials in your home. 

You would need a sponge. We advise that you make a pick of the non-abrasive sponge. This is to ensure that you don’t create more scratches while cleaning your pan. Remember, we mentioned this above? Abrasive scrubbing materials tend to contribute to scratch. Sometimes, they are to be blamed solely for the scratch in non-stick pans.

Next, you would also need dish soap and warm water. 

After getting these items, you can now begin washing. Pour water and soap in the pan and scrub with the non-abrasive sponge for about sixty seconds. Ensure you cover the interior of the pan while scrubbing.

After this, rinse the foam away with slightly warm water. If you have stubborn residue in the pan, you can leave the water there for some time. This would help weaken the residue and make it easy to wash.

Now that you have finished washing, you should clean it up. You can turn the pan upside down to allow the water drain. Otherwise, you can use a towel to wipe off the excess water in it.

2. Get A Repair Spray

After thoroughly washing and getting rid of the residue, the next step is to get a pan repair spray. Since your Teflon pan is non-stick, ensure you get the repair spray that works with non-stick cookware. You can get this from different online stores selling cookware and other kitchen utensils. 

Now, once you get the spray, release it evenly on your pan. And ensure you get an even spray. Precisely, don’t leave any area unsprayed.

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You can then wait for about 30 to 45 minutes for the coating to settle. However, ensure it’s at regular temperature, and debris or dust cannot get there.

Then, you can bake it inside the oven for around 45 minutes. Ensure you preheat the oven, maintaining a temperature of 5000 Fahrenheit. This would ensure that your pan gets restored.

You can then put the pan for an hour inside your oven. This way, it gets cold before you remove it. You can then wash it using lukewarm water.

What Are the Dangers of Using Scratched Teflon Cookware?

Teflon cookware pans are unique. Its coating is prone to scratch; you use a rough sponge or scrubbing pad to clear out leftover in any event. And the coating particles scratched may find its way into your delicious meal. 

At other times, the particles may get exposed to heat emitting from cooking gas and then release poisonous fumes harmful to your health and your pets. Remember, we discussed this above? 

Then, you need to also watch out for the flu or related symptoms. They indicate exposure to poisonous fumes.

As prevention is always better than cure, we advise that you prevent scratching by using a Teflon pan at no more than medium heat level.

How to Use a Teflon Pan Properly For Making Delicious Dishes?

Don’t get it wrong. This isn’t the part where we call you out for using Teflon pans (Non-stick) is wrong all these years. We just want to share useful tips to guide your use of Teflon pans when next you want to make your delicious omelet or pancakes.

1. Go For Ventilation

Always ensure you ventilate your kitchen adequately while cooking. It’s the wrong time to have the windows down or turn off the fan. You need those fresh air. This is important so that you can maintain a great humidity condition in your kitchen while cooking. If possible, you can put your stove near the window. Or where it is easier for the fumes and smokes to find its way out before circulating.

Also, if it is not important, you can shut the door to the other room. This is to minimize the fumes that escape to other rooms. But, before doing this, ensure you have enough ventilation in the kitchen. This would help you to reduce heat while also protecting the rest of the house from cooking fumes.

2. Avoid Boiling With Teflon Pans

In the same vein, shun broiling with Teflon Pans. You may think nothing is wrong with this, but it is better you stop. The reason is that it provides a high temperature that’s unsuitable for your Teflon cookware. If you continue with this, you will wear out the Teflon Pan quickly. You don’t want this for your pans. So stop boiling in high temperatures with your Teflon pans.

3. Don’t Preheat Your Teflon Pan

Also, never place an empty Teflon pan on the gas heat. There should always be oil, food, or anything whatsoever when you place it on the gas heat. When you tick this box, you prevent polymer fumes emissions that are harmful to your family’s health. And, as you know, your health should come first. So, avoid anything that can release toxic in the pan.

4. Oil Your Pans Occasionally

For optimal use of your Teflon Pans, always grease its surface with oil and dry up under a low heat level before each use. This is a sure way to prevent your food from sticking to the pan. We can bet that you don’t want a situation where your foods burn all the time. So, it is better to always prevent this by oiling and heating your pan.

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5. Go For The Right Utensils

The right choice of cooking utensils is critical to minimizing risk while using Teflon non-stick pan. Expectedly, using metal-made utensils to turn or stir your food can result in scratches, which poses the health dangers we already talked about.

There are other downsides of using utensils made of metal on your non-stick pans. Metal-made utensils can significantly decrease the lifespan of your Teflon pans. We do recommend that you go for other types; plastic or wooden utensils are just fine.

6. Scrub And Wash Gently

We know you like to scrub hard. But must not do this with your Teflon pan. You must wash it gently with warm water, soap, and a delicate or soft sponge. 

Remember, we said Teflon pans are unique? For proper maintenance, don’t utilize abrasive cleaners to tidy it up after use. We also advise against the use of steel wool or a scrubbing pad to preserve its smooth surface. All these are important if you desire a long-lasting pan.

Well, this may not be easy to obey, but we must tell the truth. When your Teflon pan starts to coat, peel, melt and appear worse, just know its time is up. Kindly replace and not bother to repair it.

Can You Recycle Teflon Pans?

We can bet this is one question you can’t wait to get an answer to. Don’t worry. We have loaded answers for you.

There are a thousand and one things you can do with scratched Teflon pans. But let’s focus on recycling or how to put them to use again through sand-blasting.

First, kindly approach a preferred recycling service center specializing in non-stick cookware and discuss your recycling intentions. Usually, they take it up and ensure successful recycling. However, they may reject when such recycling will do more harm than good. Don’t push further.

You can also check with your locality waste management organization. If they recycle Teflon pans, you just need to send it to them. Alternatively, you could follow their recycling guidelines and conduct recycling in the comfort of your home.

Likewise, most manufacturer companies engage in recycling. So, you can contact them and request to transfer your Teflon Pan. If granted, they will recoat and probably replace the Teflon with a new layer then offer up for sales.

In case you opt for sand-blasting, you can have your Teflon non-stick plans sand-blasted and, equally, take off your pan’s coating.

This allows you to re-use your pan, albeit without its non- stick capacity.

Worthy of mention, the Teflon coating of many non-stick pans are difficult to recycle as it can pose many health risks.

Conclusion

You know your Teflon plans can get badly damaged and unusable. That is, it gets to a certain point when the Teflon pans start looking unrecognizable.

One way to know this is if the core of the pan starts to become visible. You should already know it is time to discard them. Continuing to use them, in this case, can be quite dangerous.

Your Teflon pans can last quite well if you make good use of them. The tips above should guide you on how to do so.

References:

https://homeguides.sfgate.com/dangers-scratched-teflon-cookware-85350.html

https://www.mashed.com/171873/are-scratched-nonstick-pans-dangerous/

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. :)