I Tried This Viral Salt Hack to Save My Nonstick Pan
If food sticks in your nonstick pan, don't throw it away yet. Try this TikTok hack that may bring it back to life.
Nonstick pans are a popular item in American kitchens because they’re convenient. They don’t require the same maintenance as stainless steel or cast iron, and they fry up a meal nicely. You can cook so many things in a nonstick frying pan — bacon and eggs, stir-fry, fish.
But what happens when a nonstick pan gets scratched and loses its nonstick powers? It can be hard to know when to throw one away. But if yours isn’t too beat up, you might want to try this TikTok hack to restore it.
What’s the Salt Hack for Fixing Nonstick Pans?
TikTok creator Sophie Louise (@s_lou92), who posts helpful cleaning tips, shared a little-known salt hack for fixing nonstick pans. As of publication, the video received more than five million views and more than 600,000 likes. Louise began the clip by explaining a quick trick to solve a nonstick pan’s sticking habit.
“All you need to do is get some fairy liquid and a soft sponge — never use a scourer — give it a wash and dry it up,” Louise says. “Fairy liquid” refers generically to dish soap, so your go-to brand will do.
@s_lou92 Frying pan hack if it sticks. #LiftLockPop #moneysavingtips #cleaninghacks #deepclean #cleaningaccount #fryingpan #fyp #foryou #tablesalt ♬ original sound – Sophie Louise
After you’ve cleaned your pan, rinse and dry it off. Once it’s dry, place the pan on the stove and let it sit for a minute or so on high heat. Louise says it should get “very, very hot” before you put the salt in. Once it’s ready, pour enough table salt to cover the bottom of the frying pan and shake it so the salt is evenly distributed.
Let the salt cook in the pan for a couple of minutes until it gets, as Louise says, “a bit like brown sugar.” Once the color looks right, dump the salt into the sink or the trash; Louise notes it can be a helpful cleaning method for some sinks. Next, take a damp paper towel and wipe out the pan. Be careful if the pan is still hot.
Now that you’ve completed the hack, you’re ready to cook something. In the TikTok video, Louise cooks an egg with some oil to demonstrate the pan, which “used to stick,” doesn’t stick any longer.
I Tried It
I had a nonstick pan with scratches. Before trying this hack, I avoided using the pan for anything likely to stick, like eggs, fish or burger patties.
To begin, I washed and dried my pan as the clip instructed. I was skeptical that some hot table salt would do anything, but I went in with an open mind and heated my skillet.
I turned my burner on high and waited a few minutes for the pan to heat. I knew it was ready when I sprinkled a few water droplets into the pan and watched them quickly sizzle.
I poured a generous amount of salt into the bottom of my pan, then shook it until the salt looked even. As Louise mentioned in the video, it takes a few minutes for the salt to turn a golden brown. Then I removed the pan from the heat and disposed of the salt.
I didn’t want to wait for the pan to cool off, so I wiped it out with a thick wad of paper towels. You might want to let your pan sit a few minutes before doing this step.
Eggs used to be the worst food to cook in this pan, so I added a teaspoon or two of butter and cracked an egg to test it out. I thought the egg would still stick to the pan. It didn’t slide around while cooking, but I could easily lift it out of the pan once it was done.
Testing It Again
Later the same day, I cooked three burger patties, one Beyond Meat and two turkey patties. There was no doubt about it — the table salt hack worked! My pan was a pain to cook with; now it does its job. While I’m not going to say that the pan works perfectly every time, it’s better than before.
I don’t believe this salt hack will work for every stubborn nonstick pan out there. But if yours has mild to moderate scratches, give it a try and see if it helps!