03/05/2015 11:22 am ET Updated May 05, 2015

How to Treat Your Nonstick Skillet Right

Matt Duckor

By Anna Stockwell, Epicurious

A nonstick skillet can last a lifetime if you treat it right.

Got a new nonstick skillet? Great! Now you need to know how to care for it. Here's how to keep it performing at the top of its game, no matter what type of nonstick you own.

1. Don't let your nonstick skillet get too hot, especially if it's empty.

2. While many nonstick skillets claim to be dishwasher safe, we recommend hand washing all nonstick cookware to extend its lifespan.

3. Wash your pan with soap and water every time. Even though your nonstick skillet might look clean after a quick wipe with a paper towel, you need to give it a real wash with soap and hot water to remove food residue. If you don't, the next time you use your skillet any leftover food residue will burn on the pan, creating a film of burnt stuff over the nonstick surface. Just be careful not to scrub the surface with anything that'd scratch it, like steel wool.

4. Protect the surface of your pan when storing it. If you stack anything on top of it, protect the surface by lining it with a piece of paper towel or a dish rag to prevent scratching and denting.

5. Don't abuse it. Seriously. Be nice. No banging, no scratching, no hitting, okay? And when possible, avoid metal utensils, though many new nonstick skillets claim to be impervious to metal utensils.

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