How To Clean Baking Sheets

how to clean cookie sheets

Whether your baking pans and cookie sheets have one batch of burned-on gook or have browned with time, cleaning them is touchy.

Glass and stainless steel can tolerate pumice-based cleansers and some scrubbing; aluminum cookie sheets can be damaged by this treatment.

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

How To Clean Baking Sheets Discolored By Baking Sprays

Metal Pans

Flat baking pans and cookie sheets are generally made of either stainless or aluminum. Pumice-based cleansers are not a good choice for cleaning aluminum pans. It may take a few tries to remove the brown residue from your metal sheets.

Kitchen experts at Thrifty Fun recommend a mild chemical treatment.

  • For starters, lay the pan in the sink with a small amount of water and sprinkle baking soda over the entire surface.
  • Add peroxide to the baking soda, and let the bubbles work for you.
  • Leave the pan alone for an hour, then scrub and rinse to see how much of the brown residue is left.​

How To Clean Aluminum Pans:

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.

Do not soak an Airbake cookie sheet!

Water will get between the layers of aluminum and make the sheet unusable until you can get the water out. Wash them in hot, soapy water and air dry.​

Glass Bakeware

Most glass bakeware is fairly durable. Per clean-up experts at Home Ec 101 a pumice-based cleanser like Barkeeper's Friend and a Brillo pad can do a great job of removing the burnt, sticky over-spray that comes with non-stick baking sprays like Pam.

SEE ALSO: How To Remove Burnt Food Smell

Baking sprays are thermoset polymers. They protect your bakeware by binding to the food in the pan and releasing easily from the glass.

However, if the spray doesn't have food to bind to, it bakes onto the glass and forms a brown film that's tacky to the touch and hard to remove.

Other chemical options include spraying oven cleaner directly on the stains, or using a de-greasing soap like Dawn.

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.

  • For glass baking dishes, you can use the edge of a teaspoon to break away particularly stubborn bits of food.
  • Metal baking dishes will scratch under the edge of a spoon, but a wooden tool will work in that instance.

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, cleaning experts at TheKitchn.com suggest adding 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 Brillo pad or wooden scraper to break up the burned food.​

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.

However, if the brown residue on your cookie sheets really bothers you, make your own scrubbing powder. Whip up a paste of 1/4 cup of Dawn dish soap, 1/2 cup salt and 1/4 cup baking soda. It may take a lot of scrubbing, but you won't scratch the sheet.

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!​

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