A baking sheet or sheet pan is one of the most commonly used kitchen items. You will rarely find a baking sheet without brown stains in anyone’s kitchen. The pan typically develops a weathered, blackened hue overnight.
Baking sheets take a lot of heat when used to prepare meals and sweet delights. However, the occasional burnt-on messes, oily splatters, and sticky sugars cannot be avoided, even by the most careful cook. In addition, over time, these stains and burn marks accumulate.
Compared to their uncoated counterparts, non-stick baking pans need to be handled differently. It will eventually be necessary to replace your old sheet pan, but frequently all it requires is a little tender loving care to restore its pristine appearance. This article offers some recommendations for cleaning baking sheets with all-natural cleaners.
What Causes Baking Sheets to Brown?
When you use oil to roast food on a baking sheet or if the food you are cooking already contains fat, the oils and fats polymerize onto the pan’s surface. This same polymerization takes place when you season a cast iron pan.
When heated, those fatty acids chemically bond with the metal of the pan; that’s why ordinary dish soap and scrubbing won’t be able to remove it.
You need to forcefully scrape it away to get that layer off your pan. Fortunately, you can remove that layer by using certain common household ingredients, which greatly simplifies the scrubbing process.
Methods of Cleaning Baking Sheets
Each technique below involves smearing some form of cleaner or cleaning agent on the pan, letting it sit for a while, and then scraping it off. Scrubbing may be necessary depending on your technique, how long you let it sit, and how unclean the pan is.
1. Using Baking Soda
One of the best and simplest ways to clean baking sheets is with a no-scrub solution. Add a couple of tablespoons of baking soda to the pan before pouring hot water. After the solution stops bubbling, let it sit for an hour before using a soft cloth to remove the burned-on particles.
Wash the sheet pan with dish soap to complete the task. If the burn marks or burned-on messes are hard to remove, use this no-scrub technique to take advantage of baking soda’s abrasive properties.
For one hour to overnight, soak the sheet pan in a solution of one tablespoon of baking soda, a few drops of dish soap, and hot water. You should be able to scrub any dirt or stains away after soaking.
Avoid using abrasive or heavy-duty cleaning methods on non-stick pans. Because of the baking soda’s abrasive properties and dish soap’s ability to remove grease, this combination works nicely.
2. By Baking Soda and Vinegar
Baking soda and vinegar can be used to clean baking sheets of particularly tough messes. Vinegar is a natural acid, and baking soda is an excellent lifter. Pour equal parts baking soda and vinegar into your kitchen sink after filling it with hot water (approximately a half cup each).
The cookie sheet should soak in the sink for 30 to 60 minutes. Next, scrape with a simple kitchen sponge’s rough side. Once the baked-on residue has been removed, wash the pan with mild dish soap, then dry.
Avoid abrasive cleaning methods to preserve the coating on non-stick sheet pans. A non-stick baking sheet can also be cleaned using baking soda and vinegar. 2 teaspoons of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar should be spread over the baking pan, and the mixture should settle for 30 minutes.
This will break apart any food that has become caught on so it can be cleaned off. Wash the pan with mild dish soap after the mess has been cleaned up.
3. By a Scouring Tool and Products
Additionally, you can use scouring tools to clean soiled baking sheets by getting dirty. To remove burnt-on stains, grab a copper cloth or even a sheet of aluminum foil that has been folded up.
A used sheet pan is invulnerable to granular detergent and rough cleaning. Your used baking pans will look brand new with a bit of elbow grease in no time.
When cleaning non-stick cookware, avoid using scouring equipment and substances. When used with an abrasive cleanser or cleaning equipment like a steel wool sponge, the silicone polyester coating can be damaged but is effective at preventing food from sticking.
4. Using Hydrogen Peroxide
It’s unlikely that hydrogen peroxide is only used in medicine cabinets. Baking soda should be sprinkled over a burned skillet before hydrogen peroxide and another coating of baking soda is applied.
Leave the mixture to rest on the pan for up to two hours. Utilize a sponge to remove the mix. For stubborn stains, repeat the procedure as necessary. Once you’re done, thoroughly rinse the baking sheet and wash it with gentle dish soap.
5. Using a Self-Cleansing Oven
To use this technique, put your damaged baking sheet in the oven and start the self-cleaning cycle. Use the self-cleaning feature of the oven according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Your sheet pans should be washed with mild soap when the process is over and they have cooled.
6. Using Cream of Tartar and Vinegar
To use this technique:
- Make a paste of cream of tartar and white vinegar using the appropriate amounts of each (about equal parts).
- Apply the paste to the areas of your pan that are discolored with the sponge. You should leave it to sit for anywhere between an hour and a whole night or until it is dry.
- Take the sponge you used to spread the paste on the pan and wash it with warm water to remove the dried cream of tartar paste.
- It should remove the burned-on food.
7. Using Ammonia and Garbage Bag
To utilize this technique, you must fill your pan with home ammonia, which is a water solution diluted with 5–10% ammonia. This technique won’t work if your pan doesn’t have rims because the liquid will simply spill off.
Fill your pan with the ammonia solution, put it in a big garbage bag, secure the bag, and leave it overnight. Drain, wash, and scrape the area with a copper or steel scrubber before rinsing with warm water and soap. Use this technique in a well-ventilated environment only.
8. Using Ketchup
Even though using a condiment to clean your cookware may sound absurd, it actually works. The acid in ketchup helps release the dirt, while the thickness of the sauce keeps it in place so the acid can do its magic.
Apply ketchup throughout the pan, paying attention to the corners and edges. After letting it sit for the night, wash, rinse, and dry it, then behold your spotless baking sheet.
9. Using Dishwasher Tablet
Use this popular oven cleaning method to clean your baking sheet. The pan needs to be rinsed in hot water for the dishwasher tabs to work. Pull out a few dishwasher tabs.
The plastic coating will prevent the tablet from too quickly dissolving in your hands, so scrub the baking sheet while it is still attached to the tabs. Simply rinsing it off with hot water will suffice because your baking sheet is already practically soap-free.
Tips For Cleaning Baking Sheets
When selecting the finest cleaning method for your sheet pans, remember a few things.
1) Avoiding Messes
A lined baking sheet is one of the simplest ways to avoid stains while preparing meals or cookies on a sheet pan. Although they might be challenging to clean, silicone baking mats are a great reusable solution. Other practical options include parchment paper or aluminum foil.
2) Handle Carefully
If your baking sheet is non-stick, do not scratch the coating when cleaning it. To remove stubborn stains, you can scrub aluminized steel with a ball of aluminum foil; however, doing so would seriously harm non-stick surfaces.
Instead, you can start cleaning with a milder substance like baking soda and hot water. Always test your cleaning products on a small patch of the sheet before using them all over it.
3) Time vs. Effort
If a thorough scrub doesn’t remove the stains from your grubby baking sheet, think about soaking it again for a longer time. Even though it takes longer, soaking might save you time.