The modern day consumer is often a person with a busy and hectic life who after a hard day at work enjoys the experience of cooking. However, once all the cooking is finished no one likes to spend too much time cleaning the pots and pans. Having an easy-to-clean cookware utensil not only lessens the stress in cooking for a consumer, but also maintains and prolongs its quality.
Popular materials for cookware include stainless steel, cast iron, copper and aluminum, but while each of these does have significant advantages for cooking, they also have particular disadvantages for cleaning.
Stainless steel cookware
Easy to clean? Difficult: because there is no natural or artificial coating on the surface, food tends to stick easily, making cleaning quite hard.
- Stainless steel is prone to stains from heat and hard water. To remove them, the consumer should apply white vinegar with a soft cloth and rub.
- Stainless steel always needs to be dried thoroughly after washing to prevent a film from forming.
- Occasionally stainless steel may exhibit a rainbow-like discoloration; lemon juice should be used to remove this.
Easy to clean? Difficult: avoid using the dishwasher, soap or steel wool, as these may strip the pan’s seasoning.
- Rust; this can be removed with steel wool or by rubbing it with half a raw potato and a sprinkle of baking soda
Easy to clean? Very difficult: copper cookware should be cleaned regularly, inside and out, to retain the cooking properties and looks of the shiny copper.
- Abrasive materials or scouring pads cannot be used as they will scratch the lining on the copper. Copper is toxic, so copper pans are lined with a metal to prevent the food touching it. Scratching the lining off can be harmful to your health.
Anodized aluminum cookware
Easy to clean? Moderate: some consumers have complained that after a certain amount of use dark ‘blotches’ appear on the bottom and are very difficult to remove.
- Anodized aluminum cookware is generally not dishwasher-safe, and steel wool and other hard abrasives cannot be used on the surface.
PTFE Non-stick cookware
Easy to clean? At first yes, but over time it becomes more difficult as the non-stick coating begins to fade and food begins to stick on it.
- It is important to wash pans thoroughly after each use.
- Steel wool and other abrasive cleansers cannot be used when cleaning non-stick cookware.
As is demonstrated above, the main materials for cookware in the market today all have significant problems with cleaning; none of them, apart from non-stick coatings when still new, is easy-to-clean. One of the important benefits of Lotus Rock cookware is that it is very easy to clean. The nano-silica coating on Lotus Rock pans, like a Lotus leaf, is hydrophobic – it repels water.
The Lotus Effect
Although the surface of the Lotus plant looks smooth, it is in fact very rough and is covered in micro-lumps and bumps of protruding epidermal cells, which in turn are covered by wax crystals. These wax crystals are hydrophobic (water-hating), which means that the water only makes contact with the leaf at the top of the lumps. This forces the water into spherical droplets (as the picture below shows). At even a slight angle these droplets roll and tumble taking dirt particles along with them. This self-cleaning process is called the Lotus Effect.
Using the same technique ETAC has developed its own patented technology, called Lotus Rock, which can be applied on cookware and bakeware surfaces. Sauces or other liquids that are added during the cooking process cannot permeate the lotus leaf-like surface. A thin layer of nano-silica acts like the wax crystals above and prevents these substances from entering the surface of the cookware. This self-cleaning ability
(the Lotus Effect) helps the consumer clean their cookware both more easily and
Because there is no protective layer on the surface it is very easy for food to stick to stainless steel and copper cookware, so the consumer needs to scrub the food off quite vigorously. Large blotches have been known to appear on both the interior and exterior of anodized aluminum pans, which have been difficult for consumers to remove. Lotus Rock, however, is very easy to clean because of its hydrophobic nano-silica coating, and neither hard scrubbing nor use of a dishwasher should be necessary.
When cleaning cast iron cookware, consumers have to be careful not to rub off the seasoning which protects the pan from rust. Lotus Rock’s hard ceramic interior and its nano-silica coating are steel wool-resistant and difficult to scratch or damage while cleaning.
PTFE non-stick coatings do provide a great surface for easy cleaning, but with intensive use the coating will gradually lose its non-stick release and food will stick on it, thus making it harder to clean. Lotus Rock in contrast has a durable non-stick release which will not fade over time, because the nano-silica coating is not only hydrophobic but also lipophilic – fat loving. Each time the consumer adds cooking oil to a Lotus Rock pan (as shown below) the coating’s non-stick release will renew itself.