Just like humans, cookware gets old. But rather than stiff knee joints, the all-important joint between a pan’s phenolic or bakelite (i.e. plastic) handle and the pan’s sidewall can become loose with age if it is attached wi
th a screw. The hot/cold cycling of cookware can cause, over time, the screw to become loose. The result is a less than firm feel when using the pan, whether when cooking or washing. There’s an easy remedy however. Just grab a screwdriver out of the garage and look under the handle. You’ll see the screw. Give it a clockwise turn to snug it up. If it loosens up again in a day or two, go to your local hardware or automotive store and ask for a tube of a substance called “Loctite”. This is stuff used in automotive and aircraft applications to keep screws tight for almost forever. Choose the “blue” version which will keep the screw in place but not so tight that it can’t be moved. Take the screw out and coat the threads with the Loctite. That should provide a pretty permanent fix. However, if your handle is riveted…i.e. attached with something with bumps on it that look like screw heads on the inside of the pan…and it is loose, it’s time to go cookware shopping. If rivets loosen up (a real rarity), they can’t really be readily tightened by the average cook.