I love to cook with non-stick cookware. The clean-up is so easy! Throughout my life I have purchased many different brands of non-stick pans of various different qualities and brand names, and I have loved some pans more than others. The one thing that I found was consistent in all of the pans that I have owned is that they unfortunately do not last as long as my pans that do not have non-stick coating. This is sad to me because pans are expensive. Over the years, I have found a few ways to keep my favorite non-stick cookware in new or near-new condition. This way, I save money and I do not have to replace my pans every year when the coating gets chipped!

The first step is treating your new pan as soon as you buy it. Get some regular olive oil or even cooking oil and place a few drops in your new non-stick pan. With a soft paper towel, rub the oil into the surface and let it sit for about a day.

My real savior for my pans has been my utensils. I started using only silicone spatulas and whisks, and now I never get chips in the Teflon coating of my pans. These spatulas can be found in most stores now, and I have found them to be great for all cookware.

When cooking with non-stick pans, try not to overheat them. If your recipe calls for something to be sautéed on high heat, consider turning the setting to medium high to avoid your food from burning and sticking to the surface of your pan. This will help with clean up, and save your surface from rough scrubbing.

When you remove your pan from a heating surface, do not run cold water into it. Your Teflon will start to crack and chip if it goes from one temperature extreme to another. I often run some hot water into the pan with a little dish soap and let it sit for a few minutes before cleaning it.

The only sponges I use to clean my non-stick pans are Dobie pads. They are coarse enough to remove food, but will not scratch the Teflon. These pads can also be found at most supermarkets in the sponge isle.

If you are soaking your pan before cleaning it, make sure that you do not put other items in it like forks, spoons or knives. These will scratch the Teflon.

Dry your pans with a soft cloth to avoid scratches as well. Never put your pans in the dishwasher, the detergent and the spray are just too tough for the Teflon surface.

I hope that this has helped someone save some of expensive non-stick cookware. I follow all of these steps and I have made $15 pans last for years!