How To Clean Baking Sheets

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It doesn’t take long for your pristine new baking sheets to start turning brown and looking well-used. Although general discoloration and browning over time isn’t harmful, burned-on gook can be annoying and difficult to clean.

If you like those cookie sheets to look clean and shiny, there is a simple method you can use to renew them that won’t scratch or damage them.

In this guide, you will learn how to clean your cookie sheets to help bring them back to life.

How To Clean Sheet Pans

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Time To Complete: 45mins

What You Need

  • Baking Soda
  • Cream of Tartar
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Warm Water
  • Kitchen sponge (non-abrasive)
  • Dish soap


  1. Sprinkle a layer of baking soda and cream of tartar over the surface of the baking sheet.
  2. Spray hydrogen peroxide over the above ingredients to make a paste.
  3. Spread the paste out across the pan’s entire surface
  4. Leave the pan sitting for 15 minutes
  5. Scrub the tray with a kitchen sponge
  6. Rinse the paste off the pan and gently clean with warm water and dish soap.

To get perfectly clean pans and get those really stubborn stains out, you may need to repeat the process.

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Flat baking pans and cookie sheets are generally made of either aluminum or a non-stick composite. Baked on grease and food, burn stains and general grime can be quite difficult to remove, as you can’t use a coarse sponge on these surfaces.

Depending on how serious your stains are, it may take a few tries to remove the brown residue entirely from your metal sheets.

We’ve found the best method for restoring the vitality of those baking sheets using simple household ingredients. It works wonders on both aluminum and non-stick sheets.

Cleaning Airbake Baking Pans

A point about Airbake baking pans and flat cookie sheets should be considered.

These two-layered aluminum pans are built with an insulating layer of air to protect baked goods from getting too dark on the bottom.

Try not to submerge an Airbake cookie sheet. Water will get between the layers of aluminum and make the sheet unusable until you can get the water out.

If water does get into the air pocket, place the pan upside down into an oven at 250 degrees for 30 minutes to evaporate any moisture trapped inside.

Before washing, use a plastic spatula to scrape off any stuck-on food.

The best way to wash an Airbake pan is to use a soapy sponge with hot water on the inner surface (make sure it’s non-scratch) and simply wipe the outside. Then rinse and allow it to air dry.

How To Get Burnt Food Off Pans

Soap, soaking, and scrubbing is the best combination to remove burnt-on food from your baking dishes.

If the pan is large enough and deep enough to sit on its own, fill it to the brim with hot, soapy water and set it aside. Let the soap work on the grease and the water soften the burnt-on food.

When you’re ready to scrub, pour out the old water and add just a bit of fresh warm water and soap.

Cleaning baking sheets can also be done on the stove top, though the size and depth of your dish may make this impossible.

If the dish is deep enough and not too large, add water and a squirt of soap to the dish, then simmering it for no more than 20 minutes. Let the water cook, then scrape with a wooden scraper to break up the burned food.

SEE ALSO: How To Remove Burnt Food Smell

When To Learn To Live With It

There are a lot of stains that won’t have any impact on the flavor of your food. If you’re struggling to figure out how to clean baking sheets so they look new, you may spend a lot of time, energy and soap on a project that doesn’t make much of an impact.

Hot water, soap, time and some scrubbing can clean up a lot of burned and stained bakeware. You may not return your dish to new condition, but you can certainly put it back to work in your kitchen!

Written By Tara Williams

Tara is a food writer that has been editing and authoring articles for KitchenSanity since its founding. Her writing offers personal experience from experimentation with food and recipe creation. If you’re looking for simple tips, she will make your journey in the kitchen straightforward with a dash of fun.