We have Calphalon non-stick cookware and it seems, after 5 years, not to want to get clean. Even the best scrubbing leaves kind of a hazy look on them. Additionally, the exterior of our most used pan is darkly stained, kind of like a well-seasoned cast iron pan. Is that okay, or do I need to clean it better too?

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    @Jay - please consider refining the question a bit. There are many varieties of Calphalon cookware, ranging from Teflon-coated to stainless steel and more, and the care instructions will vary pretty greatly depending on which set you mean. You can find info about product lines on their site if you're not sure - calphalon.com/Category/Pages/CalphalonProductLines.aspx Commented Sep 7, 2010 at 20:50
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    We have questions on how to clean: anodized, unanodized aluminum, non-stick, cast-iron, stainless, and brown spots. This is a duplicate of one or all of them.
    – hobodave
    Commented Sep 8, 2010 at 1:11
  • @hobodave: I couldn't find the non-stick question, although I could have sworn there was one - if you know where it is, could you link to it? (and maybe also add the [cleaning] tag...)
    – Shog9
    Commented Sep 8, 2010 at 2:22
  • added 'non-stick'; unsure whether that is the same as 'anodized'
    – Jay
    Commented Sep 8, 2010 at 3:17
  • @stephenmcdonald: thanks for the link, I believe it to be 'Simply Calphalon Nonstick': store.calphalon.com/productline/simply-calphalon-nonstick/…
    – Jay
    Commented Sep 8, 2010 at 3:27

4 Answers 4


I'm gonna assume you're talking about pans with a hard anodized exterior and non-stick interior...

The anodized exterior will pick up stains over time, and you probably shouldn't worry too much about trying to get them back to factory condition. That said, you can find some tips on How should I clean anodised cookware? - I use baking soda and elbow grease for routine jobs, and occasionally resort to Ajax (scouring powder) for touch-up around the handle.

The non-stick interior is probably just wearing out. AFAIK, some Calphalon non-stick pans have a texture to them that is supposed to improve browning, but over time even smooth non-stick surfaces develop pits and scratches that create opportunity for residue to hold on to. I use a bit of baking soda and a bit of salt to scrub these clean, but once something gets stuck on to the point where serious scouring is necessary to remove it you'll just have to give up (since that would take the non-stick coating with it). Non-stick pans - even well-made ones - do tend wear out faster than ordinary pans, and there's no getting around that.

  • Sweet, thanks Knives (trying to figure out how to make a joke about Knives being the enemy of my pots, but here you are offering assistance...ya know)
    – Jay
    Commented Sep 8, 2010 at 3:20

In my opinion, water spots, lecithin, sometimes burnt oils, and micro scratches can affect the non-stick surface reducing its non-stick ability.

I have found that a bit of elbow grease with some brown heavy paper (like a piece of a paper bag) can do wonders to regain much of the non-stick properties. I normally do this with a bit of water and a few pieces of paper bag. In a swirling and rubbing manner, reversing directions a few times, scrub the surface with a couple of fingers and good pressure. With time you will notice that the water will start beading again! The color may be restored or not, but if the water beads again it will also be non-stick.

I used to use 1200+ grit sand paper with light pressure, but that only works for a while until it actaully wears away the ptfe. The paper of the bag has very fine clay in it that is abrasive enough to remove the food particles, lime, lecithin, etc. but is quite gentle to the ptfe. After cleaning I usually let it cool and use another piece of the paper with a bit of veg oil or clarified butter to scrub in some oil into any remaining scratches.

Hope someone else finds this useful. I've saved more than a couple of old pans from the trash.


Clean your pans before they cool.


I recently purchased the Calphalon premiere space saving hard anodized non-stick cookware set. Sorry to say, it is going back! While nice to cook in, and a great space saver - the shape of the handle and more importantly the front handle, name plate, whatever is impossible to clean, It is 3D, textured, scalloped and collects residue in every spot. After one week it looked very bad. I scrubbed with a toothbrush and could not get into every crevice. The bottoms also stain easily. Going back to my good stainless steel, and medium priced (disposable) non-stick pans.

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    You are not answering the question.
    – user34961
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 12:38
  • This is a comment, not an answer. Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 14:18

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