What to Do with Old Frying Pans

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There are multiple things you can do with old frying pans, you can recycle, restore, repurpose and even resell them, but what’s the best option for you?

Keep reading to find out what you should do with your old frying pans.

How to dispose of old frying pans

The best way to dispose of old frying pans is to take them down to your local recycling plant, recycling plants are more than happy to take old frying pans, because they can recycle the metal and allow other companies to use it for their products. It’s not only an environmentally friendly way of disposing of them, but it’s the safest too.

When do I need to throw away my old frying pan?

Deciding whether to throw away an old frying pan can be a hard choice, especially if it’s an old cast iron frying pan with a built up patina on it.

That being said, there are some general guidelines to follow based on the material it’s made out of.

Cast iron – You should only throw away an old cast iron frying pan if it’s become pitted with rust. If it’s only surface rust, then you can remove it and restore it back to brand new.

Stainless steel – Stainless steel is the same as cast iron, if your old stainless steel frying pan has pitted rust, then throw it away, otherwise just remove the rust using steel wool and vinegar to restore it.

Nonstick – If you have an old nonstick frying pan like T-fal, then you should throw it away if the coating has been scratches or chipped, because the coating contains chemicals that can leach into your food. Unfortunately these old frying pans with a coating on cannot be restored.

Copper – old copper frying pans are great, but they can warp quite easily after long use, if yours has become warped, then it’s time to throw it away, as the performance will be drastically reduced by warping.

Aluminum – The same goes for aluminum as it does copper, if your old aluminum frying pan has become warped, then you need to throw it away.

Should I restore an old frying pan?

Determining whether you should restore an old frying pan can be tricky, it’s all dependant on the material used.

Generally speaking, I only restore old stainless steel and cast iron frying pans, simply because they are the easiest to restore, and can be restored to full health.

If your old stainless steel or cast iron frying pan is covered in surface rust, get out the steel wool and vinegar, and start restoring it, because you can bring it back to brand new.

If you are dealing with warping, then it’s a different story, and requires more effort than it’s worth. So if your old frying pans are warped, then don’t consider restoring them.

Repurpose your old frying pans

There are many ways you can repurpose old frying pans so you don’t let them go to waste. Here are some good examples of ways to repurpose them:

Cheese melter – Ever seen burger enthusiasts place a bowl over the cheese on top of a burger whilst it’s cooking to trap the heat and melt the cheese? Well if your old frying pan is small enough, then you can cut the handle off the old frying pan and use it for this purpose.

Bird feeder – That’s right, you can turn your old frying pan into a bird feeder, and it’s pretty simple. Just drill a hole in the frying pan, fill it with bird food, and hang it up on your garden, birds will love it!

Decorations – If you have kids, why not let them have some fun! Get yourself a DIY art kit, and let them get creative with your old frying pans. Fun for all the family!