So you've pan-fried something in oil in your non-stick pan. But then you didn't have time to clean the pan right away. Now it has a super-sticky mess all over it, and it doesn't come off by scrubbing with soap. What can you do?
Luckily, all is not lost! You don't have to throw it away and get a new pan. Here's a simple way to get the sticky oil residue out of the pan, using water and a bit of vinegar.
Put the pan on the largest burner on the stove. Fill it with water, all the way to the top. Add a teaspoon of vinegar. Turn the heat on high and bring it to a boil.
Let it boil for about five minutes. The bubbles will clean off the oil residue in the bottom of the pan. The vinegar helps spread the bubbles more evenly in the pan, including to the walls.
If there was a lot of oil residue, you will probably see some foam form on the water surface.
Turn off the heat and discard the water. Be careful not to let any foam stick back to the wall of the pan - try to pour it out.
At this point the bottom of the pan should be completely clean.
Immediately wipe the walls of the pan with a paper towel. You want to do this before the pan cools and the oil residue hardens back up. If you're fast, you should be able to remove it all.
If it's a large pan and you didn't get all of the oil residue off the walls the first time, just do it again. Wipe firmly. The key is to remove it before the pan cools.