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topic 34155p2

Removing Teflon non-stick coating from pots & pans

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A discussion started in 2001 but continuing through 2019

1998 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. Hi,

I am looking for a way to remove teflon coating from 304 stainless steel without heating it to over 400 °F.

If anyone can help, I would appreciate it.


Paul Wisniewski
a machine tool company - S. Windham Connecticut


A. Paul,

Teflon can be effectively removed by abrasive blasting with aluminum oxide blast media. I trust that your part is able to withstand the rigors of abrasive blasting.

Dan Penford
- Sarnia, Ontario, Canada


A. Paul As Dan said, you can do it by gritblasting with aluminium oxide, but depending on the thickness it will deform the substrate. You can use a plastic media to do it like "aerolite" is the abrasive that is used for the airplanes paint stripping. If your Teflon is a thin coating, you can try with n-methyl-pyrrolidon solvent.

Jordi Pujol
- Barcelona


A. Paul I have used the chemical method to remove Teflon from lock nuts.

Tim Wright
- Woodstock, Ontario


Hi, Tim. Are you sure it was Teflon that you removed from those locknuts? All of the locknuts that I've seen are "Nyloc" (nylon). Although they might sometimes look similar, nylon dissolves in acids but Teflon does not.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

January 21, 2008 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. Need to remove teflon coating from steel without damaging the integrity of the metal.

Mark Rubin
buyer - Las Vegas, Nevada

January 22, 2008

A. It's going to depend on the details of your situation, Mark: The quantity in question, what you are going to do with the parts after teflon removal, their size and shape, whether abrasives can get to the recesses, etc. We appended your inquiry to a thread where you will find details and recommendations for the three different approaches of abrasive removal, solvent removal, and burn-off. Or, if you can describe the parts and quantities, someone may be able to suggest which of the three methods sounds most promising for your case. Good luck.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

August 16, 2012

A. My husband removed the teflon from our stainless steel frypan with great success. If I am allowed to post the website where I have given these instructions then you can read how to do it successfully.

We removed ours about 8 weeks ago and have used this s/steel pan with success ever since.

This is the link to learn how to remove teflon ...

On second thought I will just post the name of article: "buying a new frypan which to buy scan pan stonedine or flavorstone"

I hope this will help anyone looking to do this. Thanks, Eileen.

Eileen hughes
pensioner - Australia

Ed. note, Dec. 2013: that link is now broken.
Update, May 2016: there is no anymore, and google doesn't seem to find any article with that title. But you can go to and plug in that URL to try to find an archived copy.

August 2012

Hi Eileen. It's true that we don't much like to post such links because 90+% break in very short order, leaving our readers having read a paragraph of introduction about where to go to read an answer, only to find that the link doesn't work and they never get the answer :-)

Your answer on the page that you suggested is one sentence of 13 words. Wouldn't it be better to simply post your single sentence here, rather than the link & title which was more words? :-)


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

September 11, 2014

If you go to this website it tells step by step how to remove teflon coating:

mary talley
- avon park

Ed. note, Sept. 2016: That link now redirects to
Update, July 2018: Now the newer link doesn't work either. But you can go to The Internet Archive ( and plug in that URL to look for it.

September 2014

thumbs up signThanks Mary. In case that link also breaks, it tells us to scrub the teflon coating off with steel wool and soapy water.

It also claims "Scientists have researched effects of cooking with Teflon ... Due to these negative findings, they recommend that you not use Teflon products ... Removing the Teflon from your cookware is essential to maintaining your health." Yes, there are probably scientists who say that (no matter what can be said, someone will say it, and they are welcome to their opinion), but the implication that most scientists feel that removing Teflon is essential to maintaining your health is rather ridiculous.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

January 12, 2016

Q. I have a large electric pressure cooker made by Cook's Essentials. I believe it is a product of QVC (think, probably made in China, who knows what is in it). I used to love it until the coating began peeling off in large sections, like a bad sunburn. I have searched online, heard I can send it in for replacement. But, I am trying to get away from non-stick coatings.

I don't know what the metal is underneath, I assume it is aluminium. Can I just hand sand or Dremel off the non-stick coating and continue to use the pot for pressure cooking? I know about acids and aluminium reacting. Any special concern with combining aluminium, acidic foods (tomato or citrus based foods), and high pressure. Will more aluminium leach out into the food or should I have less worry since the food is cooked for shorter a period? Also, if I sand off the coating, I would plan to wear a mask. Any other suggestions for DIY non-stick removal? Thanks for the thread Q & A!

Genifer Michel
- DFW, Texas, USA

May 3, 2016

A. PTFE Coatings can be burned off to a certain extent. Takes about 800 - 1000 °F for a good while depending on the mass of the object you are removing it from. As mentioned previously, the fumes and particles that are produced from the burn-off are toxic, so make sure your oven is ventilated. Common practice for us is to burn off then blast, but generally we are re-coating afterwards.

Jeremy Rivera
- Chicago, Illinois, USA

September 12, 2016

Why are all these answers so complicated? Is it because this unusually EASY METHOD Posted doesn't work?

Teflon-coated frying pan
Steel wool
Denatured alcohol
Plastic 5 gallon bucket
Liquid dish soap
Vegetable oil
Safety glasses
Rubber gloves

Scrub the Teflon-coated surface of the frying pan with steel wool. Use enough pressure to loosen the coating without scratching the metal underneath. Wipe the loose flakes of Teflon away with a clean rag.

Terry Jackson
- Punta Gorda, Charlotte County, Florida

September 2016

thumbs up signHi Terry. Those steps you posted are from -- one of the three previously mentioned, already broken 'instructions' sites. But have you actually tried it? -- because beyond simply telling you to rub off the Teflon with steel wool, I doubt that it has any actual usefulness!

Please remember that the authors of those kinds of article usually aren't widely versed in their subject -- they work for sites that are in the business of scanning for widely used internet search terms, writing brief articles that will be found when people google those popular search terms, and earning money from clicks on the ads on the page they wrote. And if the topic that was drawing a lot of searches starts fading in popularity, they just let the page die rather than maintaining it as we repeatedly see above :-)

I understand this because I earn my living from ads on our pages as well :-) ...
... but I like to hope that the lively public participation here, my 50-year career in the focus of the site (metal finishing), being on line for over 20 years, and our constant effort to not let anything break despite no longer being a trending topic, makes us at least a tiny bit different :-)


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading

Ed. note: That page is no longer on line, but if you go to and plug in that URL you might be able to find an archived copy of it.

December 18, 2017

A. I found out how to remove it by accident. Left some high acid homemade tomato soup and forgot it a week in the refrigerator. Now I gotta do it again because it didn't get rid of all of it because it was only half full. Hopefully I can redo the recipe; it was crushed tomatoes in a can cooked down with water and lots of tomato is all I know because my husband made it.

Jayme J Jacobson
- Sparta, Wisconsin usa

Removing Teflon Coating from a Frying Pan

January 4, 2018

thumbs up sign I have a 14 inch Rachel Ray heavy duty aluminium skillet. I cook for a large family and almost need this size to cook with, and I love the pan. The Teflon coating on it has slowly been worn off and burnt off at high temps. IT looks HORRIBLE on the inside but the pan and handle are still in terrific condition. I really have appreciated reading all of your suggestions. I'm worried about putting it in super high heat because it can discolor the aluminum, and it has a silicone handle which takes high temps but probably not that high. So beings most of its gone already, I'm going to try to sand it off using a mouse sander...and then polishing it. Thanks to all. I'll update this when I'm done to give the results.

Teresa Abell
- Highland, California

July 24, 2018



October 19, 2018

!! To everyone who is still reading this thread- google "firefighter sues Dupont" to see WHY we all need to STOP USING TEFLON. All Americans are included in this lawsuit.

Teflon NEVER was safe to use for cooking or any application that released it into the environment.

No matter which method you use to remove it it's going to be a hazard to you and everyone else. Sandblasting will release it as a toxic dust. Chemical removal will add more hazardous material to it making it an even worse problem.

There is no easy solution.

Which is more important- your $1,500 pans or your health?

brad creacey
retired firefighter - nashville, Tennessee, usa

March 1, 2019

Q. Hi Ted,
I enjoy your enlightening comments on the subject and need some advise regarding my extremely expensive Fissler frying pan. I removed the Teflon by abrasive means and polished it until the stainless steel bottom was shining.
Through that shining bottom I can still see, with a magnifier glass, microscopic dark spots which are not found on other parts of the pan.
My question: could it be eventually unsafe for health?
Thanks in advance,
Rodrigo (Portugal)

Rodrigo Marim
- Albufeira Portugal

March 2019

A. Hi Rodrigo. Thanks for the kind words. I am just the curator of this website, not an epidemiologist nor an epicurean :-)

At high enough magnification all surfaces are rough, and I suspect that your polishing dug deep enough to level out most of the surface but not the very deepest pits. I suppose it might be possible to re-polish deeper to get to the black spots. Still, a general way of looking at things is: if you can't remove something when you're trying quite hard to remove it, the idea that it's spontaneously going to come off into your food by itself seems awfully unlikely.

I am not qualified to comment on the safety of Teflon, but in a world of risks everywhere, I continue to use it myself. And if those black spots which you can only see with a magnifying glass are in fact Teflon rather than pits, and if it were in fact dangerous in any way, the remaining amount seems so minuscule that you're ten thousand times safer than the rest of us :-)
Be well.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading

March 1, 2019

thumbs up sign Hi Ted,
Thanks for your words.
I think you are right. The spots are probably the result of intensive use, being myself a retired chef. I think the inside structure changed the bottom and has nothing to do with Teflon because I polish it very accurately!
I will visit your site regularly in the future.
Greetings from sunny Algarve,

Rodrigo Marim
- Albufeira, Portugal

March 1, 2019

opinion! I would like to comment on the safety of Teflon, and the hysteria surrounding it. And I'm gonna be blunt.

Teflon, or PTFE, is SAFE SAFE SAFE. It (along with a few other related fluoropolymers) is FDA approved for use in medical applications, both implantable and peripheral.

I have a tank of 640 gallons of the stuff used for Type III hardcoat impregnation sitting outside my office and it's the safest thing in the shop. Yup, I had it tested in 2016 for residual PFAS content (full suite) just to get ahead of the inevitable customer questions re: safety, and it came out virtually clean, with a blip for PFOA just below the reportable detection limit of A FIFTH OF A PART PER BILLION. This is not much higher than the current allowable level for drinking water. Not that I'd drink the tank; it smells like cat piss and looks like spoilt milk, but the PFOA is not what I'd be concerned about in there lol.

Just because a 'firefighter sued DuPont' does not mean that PTFE, the chemical compound, as a finished product, has ANYTHING to do with this! That statement, without context, doesn't add to the discussion; rather, it adds to the hysteria. I'm going to try to sort it out:

There is an ENORMOUS difference between PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) and PFOA (polyfluorooctanoic acid) and other chemicals in THAT family (generalized as 'PFAS'), used as surfactants in the chemical reactors that produce the final Teflon polymer. This chemical family also includes surfactants used in firefighting foam, and there are multiple lawsuits and drinking water contamination violations making the news (Westfield MA airfield is an example) caused by a PFA used in airport and gas station firefighting foam -- NOT FREAKING TEFLON.

Where Teflon IS related to drinking water contamination, it's not because it's necessarily being applied or molded or milled as a finished product- these are sites where the chemical reaction that produces it to begin with were or are located! Remember, PFOA is used in the chemical reaction that builds the PTFE molecule. It's not the end product. An example of this was indeed a DuPont factory in the 1980s. PFAS were found in the blood or urine (can't remember which) of some workers in the 1970s, and drinking water in the 1980s.

Another environmental source of these compounds is again due to their surfactant qualities- they are found in some electroplating additives as fume suppressants, and ironically, were pushed as a solution by the EPA itself, in an effort to reduce mists coming off of chromium containing baths. What we know now that we didn't know then, right?

The PFAS also are used- not as Teflon, but as their own not-so-sweet selves- in GoreTex and ScotchGuard, among other things. So if you're REALLY worried about PFAS, please DO NOT EAT your raincoat or stain resistant carpeting. This is a public service announcement.

Your FOOD GRADE Teflon pans are safe. The amount of residual PFOA from the reaction is undetectable. If you decide to sandblast the Teflon off your pan, it's not going to release a bunch of toxic dust. Wear a dust mask as if you were doing drywall. Though honestly, it's safer than inhaling plaster dust.

There are a lot of uninformed people out there, with just enough knowledge (or just information of dubious origin) to be exceedingly annoying, if not outright dangerous (see also: anti-vaxxers), and it makes me nuts!

As an environmental contaminant, there's no trivializing PFAS: They are persistent, highly mobile, and bioaccumulate in much the same way as PCBs. Look THERE for hazards. Not at that poor maligned skillet on your stove. As a cooking implement, nonstick pans will never hold a candle to a good crusty cast iron or raw non-stainless steel monstrosity that has never seen soap, and has been cleansed only in bacon grease and a handful of sand from the backyard. But I digress ...

Once you understand the life cycle of Teflon and its precursor chemicals, you'll see where they are TRULY hazardous- and where they are medical-implant safe!

Okay that's it for now, thank you for coming to my Ted Talk :)


Rachel Mackintosh
Plating Solutions Control Specialist / Industrial Metals Waste Treatment - Brattleboro, Vermont

March 28, 2019

! In 2008 I had 8 little birds in a cage in a room 50 feet from my kitchen. One night we forgot a Teflon coated cast iron enamel frying pan on the stove on low heat. In the morning all 8 birds were dead. The vet declared they died of Teflon poisoning. The canary in the coal mine! At that point I junked all my Teflon cooking utensils. Lately I watched on Netflix a documentary called "The Devil we Know", and I am horrified that DuPont again is allowed to sell Teflon and the new nonstick GEN-X. Watch that video and judge for yourself.

R. Pacini
Retired - Golden Colorado, USA is possible thanks to our supporting advertisers, including this one:


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