Recycling Mystery: Nonstick Pots & Pans

Make Your Pans Last Longer

Tips for Care

Although nonstick pans are designed to last for many years, you should be careful how you treat your cookware. If you are, it's possible to extend it's life and avoid the need for a recycling solution.

DuPont, the maker of Teflon cookware, suggests avoiding cleaning nonstick pans with rough sponges, using sharp utensils and heating the pans above 500 degrees. All of these things harm the nonstick coating and can leave your cookware unusable.

With any pots and pans, regardless of whether they have PTFE coating, it's important to care for them properly. A little extra effort ahead of time will make all items in your kitchen last longer.

Reuse Damaged Pans

If you're attached to your damaged nonstick pots and pans and don't want to get rid of them, there are some unique ideas you can try to "repair" them. One suggestion is to take your pot or pan to a sand-blasting company and have them remove the PTFE coating for you. Once the coating is gone, the pan will function just like any other untreated metal pan. This process, however, will most likely cost you some money.


To make recycling easier in the future, choose cookware that you know will be easy to recycle in your area or select a company that will recycle your old pans for you, such as Calphalon, whose pans are made from 40% recycled aluminum.

Other cookware companies such as Ecolution offer eco-friendly pots and pans, as well as plenty of information about what to do with your cookware when it gets old.

Have other items in your kitchen you don't know how to recycle? Check Out: 10 Things in Your Kitchen You Didn't Know You Could Reuse or Recycle