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One of the most important factors in caring for any cookware set is proper cleaning and maintenance. The right cleaning processes can really boost the longevity of your cookware and the overall performance. This article summarises how best to clean your ceramic cookware.
Ceramic cookware is a popular, safe and attractive type of cookware many people favor as their go-to non-stick cookware surface. It does take a few careful steps in order to keep it spic and span, but a little care does go a long way.
Below you’ll find some easy and useful tips for cleaning your ceramic cookware. We explore how to deal with burnt food, how to choose the right scrubbing brush and whether or not to throw them into the dishwasher.
For a general clean
After using your ceramic pots and pans, leave them to cool down before you get onto washing them. If you plunge ceramic pots and pans into the water when they’re still hot from the stove, they might get “thermal shock”. This can cause the pans to lose their flat, even surface and end up a little warped and wobbly.
It can also compromise the coating on ceramic-coated cookware. Just get your other dishes out of the way first, and your ceramic cookware should be cool enough by the time you get around to it.
Once the pan or pot is cool, wash it in hot, soapy dishwater with a soft dish brush or sponge. The nature of the ceramic interior surface should make general clean-up easy, with just a light scrub or wipe to get it clear and fresh. Leave it on the rack to allow the majority of the water to drain away for drying and putting away.
For stuck-on food
Sometimes we can’t avoid making a bit of a mess of our pots and pans, especially with sticky or drying foods. Before you get the heavy-duty tools out, try soaking the pan first. Fill the pot or pan with hot water and a dash of detergent and leave to soak for a few hours.
Soaking the pan will allow the stuck-on food to become soft and eventually loosen from the pan’s surface. Now you can easily remove it with a brush or a plastic spatula. Don’t use a metal utensil or harsh scrubbing brush, it will damage the surface.
For badly burnt food or oil
When the cooking disaster goes beyond a spot of stuck-on food, you may need to employ a more comprehensive method. This is when it’s time to get the vinegar out of the cupboard.
Vinegar is an all-around cleaning hero, and that includes cleaning ceramic cookware. Pour about half a cup of distilled white vinegar into your soiled pot or pan and add some water, about a cup.
Place the pot or pan over a low-medium heat and bring to a simmer for about half an hour. Pour the vinegar and water out of the pan and use a soft brush or sponge with a rough side to remove the mess.
If the burnt oil or food still remains, you can use baking soda. Wet the bottom of the pan or pot and sprinkle the surface with baking soda to make a paste. Leave to soak for a few hours and then clean as normal.
It’s important that you do remove all burnt-on oil and food from your ceramic cookware as built-up grime can reduce the non-stick quality.
Once the non-stick has left the building, your ceramic cookware becomes far less user-friendly and you’ll just find yourself adding more and more oil to combat the stickiness.
What kind of brushes to use?
Most ceramic cookware brands stress that only soft brushes and sponges can be used, to prevent scratching. One of the downsides to ceramic cookware is that it is a little more delicate than sturdier, heavier cookware. It just means that you have to be a little softer with your utensils and cleaning tools.
To better ensure the quality and longevity of your ceramic cookware, try to avoid anything abrasive for cleaning and cooking. Get yourself a sponge with a textured, non-metal side to help with tougher stains without risking scratching or damage.
Use wooden spoons and plastic fish slices when cooking. Because of the non-stick surface, you shouldn’t have to use harsh tools and vigorous methods to flip and toss food anyway.
To remove hard stains and burnt food, always use moisture to soften the mess as opposed to abrasive tools to forcefully shift it. Then employ your soft brush or sponge to remove the softened food.
What about the dishwasher?
Even if the manual does state that your ceramic cookware pots and pans are dishwasher safe…I would err on the side of caution. Dishwashers can cause ceramic cookware to chip or even warp. You also risk the handle becoming filled with water which will eventually leak out. As often as you can, stick with the traditional hand-washing method.
Air dry or towel dry?
Air drying is easier and more thorough than simply using a tea towel to dry your cookware. If you’ve got the space, pop your washed cookware onto a rack or benchtop and allow it to air dry.
You can use a tea towel to dry any excess drops before packing the cookware away. If you use a tea towel on a very wet pot or pan you risk leaving it damp or simply smearing the water without properly drying.
The key to cleaning ceramic cookware is to be gentle but thorough and stick to traditional cleaning methods. Wash your pots and pans with normal dishwater and a soft brush.
Give stuck-on or burnt foods a good soak to soften the hardened foods. And when worse comes to worst, get out the vinegar and baking soda. Remember to use a low-medium heat when cooking with your ceramic pots and pans, and allow them to cool before washing.