The 6 Common Mistakes Ruining Your Frying Pan

Teen Independently Cooking a Healthy Breakfast at Home.
Teen Independently Cooking a Healthy Breakfast at Home.

Teen Independently Cooking a Healthy Breakfast at Home.

’Tis the season for tasty crepes ― and we couldn’t be gladder to hear it, TBH. 

But the base of your beloved frying pan might be a little less glad to hear about the upcoming starchy celebrations. 

M&S Home insider James Rotheram warns that “lots of pans may be left with burnt-on batter and not in the best shape” after the big day.

So, we thought we’d share his tips and tricks to keep your frying pan in good nick no matter what you’ve put it through ― whether it’s pancake mix or any other cooking quest.

1) Don’t rinse with cold water 

Though that under-the-tap “tssss” is satisfying, Rotheram warns you should avoid using cold water on a hot pan. 

Once you’ve removed the saucepan from the heat and served the food, give the pan a quick rinse,” he says. 

“Avoid using any cold or mild water for this part - especially if your pan is still cooling down. Rinsing a hot steel saucepan or 
frying pan with cold water can impact the steel and leave stains on the surface. Instead, give the pan a quick rinse with hot water before leaving it to soak.”

2) Yes, you should soak the pan

If your flatmate accuses you of copping out of chores when you let your frying pan soak, you might be able to smile a smug grin of righteousness. 

Rotheram advises you“Let your pans sit in hot soapy water for at least 30-40 minutes before giving them a scrub. This will help to break down any food residue with ease rather than applying too much pressure to the pan surface.”

3) Avoid harsh cleaning brushes 

This is why the soaking is important ― it’s much better to use soft cloths to remove dirt from your pan than harsh scourers. 

As durable as pans are, they can become scratched prematurely and lose their non-stick if the wrong cleaning tools are used,” Rotheram says. 

“To keep your pans in pristine condition for much longer, use soft cleaning pads or sponges. Having already left the pans to soak, this process shouldn’t require too much pressure.”

4) Don’t be afraid to DIY some cleaning solutions

Your nan might have been onto something with her at-home detergents, Rotheram says. 

If your pot and pan set has become discoloured after lots of use, DIY cleaning solutions can be a great option – but always refer to the instructions of the manufacturer and if in doubt, test on a small spot before,” he says. 

“White vinegar is a popular choice as its natural acidity can tackle the best of stains and discolouration on kitchenware. Keep the solution fairly dilute at around a 1:6 ratio and gently rub at the stains. Once done and the stains have lifted, rinse immediately.”

And “as for burnt-on food, baking soda is a good choice. In the same way, mix together with warm water and scrub gently before rinsing.”

5) Dry your pan immediately after washing it

OK, I’m definitely guilty of making this mistake ― but it turns out to be more damaging than I’d thought to leave your frying pan on the drying rack. 

Once cleaned, if you’re looking to restore its original shine you should always dry the pans immediately rather than letting them sit to dry,” Rotheram explains.

“Pesky water spots can appear on your cookware if the drying process is delayed resulting in dull-looking pans. Use a tea towel to dry and then quickly buff it with a dry microfibre cloth for the ultimate shiny finish.”

6) Stack your pans neatly 

This feels like another personal attack ― but Rotheram warns that a cluttered cupboard can spell disaster for your pans. 

“It may be simple but ensuring your pots and pans are organised neatly can help keep them looking in good condition for longer. This is one of the best benefits of buying a pot and pan set as they will typically sit neatly together, helping protect them from damage,” he says.

“If you have a lot of pans stacked in a smaller space, consider using tea towels in between them to keep the non-stick surfaces intact.”

Don’t mind me, just off to reorganise my entire kitchen...