When you look at this pan, do you think it's dirty? Maybe you're being generous and you think it's a well-loved pan at the end of its life expectancy and destined for the dump.
In fact, it's likely in the prime of its life.
If your initial thought was "Ew, yes, dirty!" then psst. Come here. You got baking to do this week for the holidays? You might have even bought an annual allotment of shiny new non-stick cookie sheets and bread pans.
Let me let you in on a little secret… you should try to never wash your metal bakeware, even the non-stick. Ever. Well, OK, at least not after that first hot and soapy hand-wash when you have just bought it.
Dishwasher detergent contains harsh abrasive particles that don’t dissolve well (that’s how it gets tough food off). Unfortunately the downside is that it also causes fine scratches in the surface of some of your pans, killing its non-stick goodness rather quickly.
No problem. Hand-wash only, right?
You should also try to never wash with soap, if you can help it. Here’s why:
Similar to cast iron, non-stick bake ware can begin to develop a kind of seasoning with extended use, a patina of oil that begins to polymerize (that yellow stain stuff). No, don't scrape it off with an SOS pad! Let it stay. Over time you’ll find that, even with loaves of bread, you’ll have to add less additional oil or butter to keep things from sticking.
Between bakings, wipe whatever does stick off with a dry paper towel. If something is really stuck hard, let the pan soak in hot water before wiping it down.
Obviously, there will be some sticky messes that call for soap! But they should be very few and far between, and when you do have to break out the soap, make sure you wash by hand with something gentle.
Because of the seasoning, they won’t be pristine ultra-clean pretty after a while, and may even start looking like the photo. But they will last longer and perform better. Trust me… when it comes to bake-ware, you don’t want it to be immaculate!
Who knew that too-clean was a possibility?