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How to clean a very greasy pan?

I have a non-stick pan that seems to have accrued a large amount of grease over the year or so that I have had it. It's not a huge problem, but it smokes far more easily than I would wish, and flames a little too often. Does anyone have a good tip for cleaning it? Can I just soak it in soapy water for a few hours, or will that damage it? I normally just scrub it, but it's clear that there's a build-up there that I haven't been able to get rid of.

I know the best solution is to buy a new and better pan (this is an Ikea one), but unfortunately that's not doable right now.

I would appreciate any and all tips and advice! Thanks, everyone!

asked by Brady Klopfer about 3 years ago

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24 answers 2084 views
730e314f caf5 438f 9a9a 998057ffb9ff  20151109 150352
Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 3 years ago

This confuses me. I have never met a nonstick pan that doesn't come clean. You are using hot soapy water to clean it correct? You can't cook with non stick with high heat as you can other surfaces. Is your nonstick surface intact?

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23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 3 years ago

Sorry, I should have worded more clearly. The surface of the pan has no problem getting clean. There appears to be a strong grease build up both on the bottom of the pan, and where the handle meets the pan, which is making it conduct heat more intensely (for instance, the handle used to always remain a normal temperature, but now it becomes too hot to touch within a minute or two).

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 3 years ago

Try a paste of baking soda and water. Coat the pan liberally with the paste, and let it sit for a while. Chemically, baking soda and grease = soap.

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23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 3 years ago

Thank you! I will try this.

730e314f caf5 438f 9a9a 998057ffb9ff  20151109 150352
Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 3 years ago

I just had a thought. Do you use a nonstick spray like Pam? They are not good for any pans. They quickly will cause a sticky build up.

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23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 3 years ago

Ooh, good problem solving, but sadly, no, I only use oil and butter. That is good to know, though!

730e314f caf5 438f 9a9a 998057ffb9ff  20151109 150352
Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 3 years ago

I had to go look at my pans to see if I had any build up on the handle area, but there must be different methods of attaching them. I think a good scrub with some grease cutting detergent (like dawn) and one of those scrub brushes to get into the crevices will work. Good luck Brady and let us know how it goes. By the way, consumer reports just graded cheap nonstick pans and Wal-Mart won...in case it comes to that.

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23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 3 years ago

Thank you, Susan!

Mine is from Ikea, and I'm certainly hoping I can keep it alive until I can afford a nice non-stick, but it's good to know there are good, cheap options!

730e314f caf5 438f 9a9a 998057ffb9ff  20151109 150352
Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 3 years ago

You'll keep it alive. :0) Just one more tip...expensive nonstick is not all that important. A good knife..it's so important. Just a thought. :)

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23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 3 years ago

I've got the good knife, thankfully :) An expensive nonstick is nowhere near the top of my dream kitchen list . . . .but it is on the list ;)

Thanks for all the help and advice, Susan!

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Diana B

Diana B is a trusted home cook.

added about 3 years ago

America's Test Kitchen likes the T-Fal skillet for a well performing inexpensive non-stick skillet, if you're looking to replace yours.

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730e314f caf5 438f 9a9a 998057ffb9ff  20151109 150352
Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 3 years ago

Have you read this thread?

Voted the Best Answer!

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Diana B

Diana B is a trusted home cook.

added about 3 years ago

Yes, Brady said he was keeping the pan alive until he could afford a good non-stick pan; you suggested WalMart, and I thought I'd mention the T-Fal as another inexpensive good choice. I don't understand the snark.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 3 years ago

Thank you, Diana!

D347253b 88e5 4ba1 ab1b 7b10260231b2  stringio
added about 3 years ago

I buy TFal skillets at Home Goods or atJ Maxx, I bought a 10" for $17

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23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 3 years ago

Thank you, Dona! If I can't get this one to behave properly I'll go check those out.

730e314f caf5 438f 9a9a 998057ffb9ff  20151109 150352
Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 3 years ago

Sorry Diana. No snark intended. I misunderstood your post.

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added about 3 years ago

i'd use a stainless steel soap pad like Brillo or, even better, Bar Keeper Friend a very inexpensive Cookware cleanser & polish (since 1882). I think the grease is trapped in the deposits on the cookware. You need to remove the deposits: food, water stains, tarnish and then you'll remove the trapped grease. Directions for use are on back of Bar Keepers Friend.

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23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 3 years ago

Wow, this is great, thank you so much Madeline!

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amysarah

amysarah is a trusted home cook.

added about 3 years ago

There's a product called Dawn Power Scrubber that does a good job on built up grease on the bottom of pans and the like. NOT regular Dawn dish detergent - this comes in a blue spray bottle, and for some reason, it's only available at my hardware store, not at my supermarket (no idea if that's generally the case.)

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730e314f caf5 438f 9a9a 998057ffb9ff  20151109 150352
Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 3 years ago

I have heard of and have been looking for this product. I never thought to look at the hardware store.

84baef1b 1614 4c3d a895 e859c9d40bd1  chris in oslo
Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added about 3 years ago

I buy it on line, and it does do a great job.

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Kristen W.

Kristen W. is a trusted home cook.

added about 3 years ago

I second the Barkeeper's Friend suggestion. I don't know what's in that stuff, but it works like a charm. It works so well I always expect it to have some off-putting chemical smell like other powerful cleaners and degreasers often do, but there's none (an added plus).

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23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 3 years ago

I learned here, and have used many time with ease, the trick of heating up peroxide with baking soda. No real elbow grease needed.. I love it.
For this pan I would place inside a larger pan to heat up and leave it simmering for 10/20 minutes. All my pans now shine!

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