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Homekeeping · Cleaning · These Are The Most Effective Ways To Clean Baking Sheets
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These Are The Most Effective Ways To Clean Baking Sheets

Ready to make your old baking sheets look like new again? Find out which cleaning methods work best here!

It’s pretty amazing how quickly baking sheets can lose their brand-new shine and develop that infamous patina of brown, crusty, baked-on grease. And while there’s an argument to be made in favor of having that “well-used” look on your cookware and kitchen tools, baking sheets can easily get to the point where they just look… dirty.

But as most people (including myself) have discovered the hard way, that stubborn layer of grease isn’t easy to remove! It’s impervious to dish soap and water and most other standard cleaning methods, and many people have chosen to simply throw in the towel and say that it’s impossible to truly clean baking sheets.

But I always love a good challenge, especially one that involves solving a tricky cleaning problem! And after hours and hours of research, testing, and scrubbing, I’ve zeroed in on the three best methods for cleaning baking sheets, and I’ll be sharing those here with you today! 🙂

A Note About Baking Sheet Materials

This post is written with aluminum baking sheets in mind, and more specifically, raw or bare aluminum baking sheets. If your baking sheets have a non-stick coating (which many aluminized steel baking sheets do), it’s best to stick to gentler cleaners and avoid heavy duty tools like steel wool, which can easily ruin their delicate finish.

And if you’re not really sure which material your pans are made of, make sure to test any method or cleaner on a little patch of the pan first to make sure it won’t damage it.

How To Clean Baking Sheets: The 3 Best Methods

1. Baking Soda And Hydrogen Peroxide

Sprinkle the pan with baking soda to form an even layer. Pour some hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle (or screw a spray top directly onto the peroxide bottle) and use it to spray enough hydrogen peroxide to wet the baking soda.

Let the ingredients sit on the baking sheet for about two hours. After letting it sit, use a gloved hand or a sponge to scrub the baking sheet, and the baking soda mixture should quickly darken from all the loosened grease.

Rinse the baking soda mixture off of the baking sheet and check your progress on the stains. If it’s not quite clean yet, repeat the cleaning process again to remove the remaining grime.

Why It Works

Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide is one of my all-time favorite cleaning duos. (You can read all about this “miracle cleaner” and the various ways I’ve put it to good use in this post!)

It works equally well for cleaning grimy baking sheets, but I’ve found the most success when I’ve included a third ingredient: time. That baked-on gunk and grime may be stubborn, but giving the combination of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide time to do their thing really minimizes the amount of elbow grease you need to use to remove it!

2. Cream Of Tartar And White Vinegar

Sprinkle cream of tartar evenly across the surface of the baking sheet. Pour some white vinegar into a spray bottle, then add it to the cream of tartar by spraying it with enough vinegar to wet it.

Allow the tartar mixture to dry on the baking sheet for at least eight hours (overnight is perfect.) After the wait, use a bit of hot water and a sponge or scrub brush to scrub the baking sheet thoroughly.

After giving it some elbow grease, rinse the baking sheet with warm water and check your progress, then repeat the process if necessary.

Why It Works

While it may seem strange to sprinkle on cream of tartar as a cleaning ingredient, it’s not so surprising when you consider where it comes from! Cream of tartar is a powdery byproduct of the winemaking process, derived from the tartaric acid present in grapes.

By pairing cream of tartar with an acidic liquid like white vinegar (which contains acetic acid), you form a cleaning paste that can remove tarnish and grease from metals like aluminum, brass, and copper and restore their shine!

(Note: Some people make the mistake of using baking soda instead of cream of tartar in this method. Although mixing baking soda and vinegar will produce a reaction, the reaction is short lived and ultimately won’t be any more effective than soap and water.)

3. Bar Keepers Friend

And finally, there’s good old Bar Keepers Friend. Available as both a scouring powder and a cleaning paste, Bar Keepers Friend often succeeds at removing messes from metal where other cleaners fall short!

After donning a pair of cleaning gloves, simply apply a bit of Bar Keepers Friend to a grimy sheet pan and scrub with a sponge or brush. According to the directions on the container, you’re not supposed to leave this cleaner on a surface for more than a few minutes. The best way I’ve found is to clean smaller sections of the baking sheet one at a time, rinsing each section thoroughly with warm water after scrubbing.

Continue scrubbing your way around the baking sheet until the food stains are gone. Easy!

Why It Works

Bar Keepers Friend is another one of my top cleaners for tough tasks, because very few things work more effectively when it comes to cleaning aluminum, steel, ceramic, copper, and more. The secret to its success (which should come as no surprise at this point) is acid—oxalic acid, in this case.

Oxalic acid, which occurs naturally in plants like rhubarb, spinach, and sorrel, packs more of a punch than tartaric and acetic acids. It breaks down the molecular bonds that make tarnish, rust, and other tough stains so hard to remove, and it leaves behind an impressive shine too!

Because the oxalic acid and other ingredients are so strong, it’s especially important to be careful when using Bar Keepers Friend. Always wear gloves when cleaning with it, keep it away from your face, and be sure to rinse any surfaces it comes in contact with.

Bonus Tips For Keeping Baking Sheets Clean

  • Once you’ve cleaned up your baking sheets and restored their shine, ensure that your hard work doesn’t go to waste by using these tips to keep them clean:
  • When you know whatever you’re going to cook or bake will leave behind a mess, line your sheet pans with aluminum foil before using them. The mess will stay contained to the tin foil, and you can throw it out afterward!
  • Whenever possible, try to hand wash your baking sheets soon after using them. The less time a mess has to sit, the easier it will be to clean.
  • After washing your them with soap and water, dry your clean cookie sheets thoroughly to keep bacteria at bay and to avoid rusting.

How do you use your baking sheets at home?

How to Clean Baking Sheets (Step by Step)

Jill Nystul
Ready to make your old baking sheets look like new again? These three cleaning methods will have them sparkling in no time flat.
Prep Time 5 mins
Resting Time: 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 5 mins
Cost $5
Yield 1 spotless cookie sheet

Equipment

  • Dirty Baking Sheet

Ingredients
  

  • Baking Soda
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Cream of Tartar
  • White Vinegar
  • Bar Keeper's Friend

Instructions
 

Using Baking Soda And Hydrogen Peroxide

  • Sprinkle the pan with baking soda to form an even layer. Pour some hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle (or screw a spray top directly onto the peroxide bottle) and use it to spray enough hydrogen peroxide to wet the baking soda.
    Let the ingredients sit on the baking sheet for about two hours. After letting it sit, use a gloved hand or a sponge to scrub the baking sheet, and the baking soda mixture should quickly darken from all the loosened grease.
    Rinse the baking soda mixture off of the baking sheet and check your progress on the stains. If it’s not quite clean yet, repeat the cleaning process again to remove the remaining grime.

Using Cream Of Tartar And White Vinegar

  • Sprinkle cream of tartar evenly across the surface of the baking sheet. Pour some white vinegar into a spray bottle, then add it to the cream of tartar by spraying it with enough vinegar to wet it.
    Allow the tartar mixture to dry on the baking sheet for at least eight hours (overnight is perfect.) After the wait, use a bit of hot water and a sponge or scrub brush to scrub the baking sheet thoroughly.
    After giving it some elbow grease, rinse the baking sheet with warm water and check your progress, then repeat the process if necessary.

Using Bar Keeper's Friend

  • And finally, there’s good old Bar Keepers Friend. Available as both a scouring powder and a cleaning paste, Bar Keepers Friend often succeeds at removing messes from metal where other cleaners fall short!
    After donning a pair of cleaning gloves, simply apply a bit of Bar Keepers Friend to a grimy sheet pan and scrub with a sponge or brush. According to the directions on the container, you’re not supposed to leave this cleaner on a surface for more than a few minutes. The best way I’ve found is to clean smaller sections of the baking sheet one at a time, rinsing each section thoroughly with warm water after scrubbing.
    Continue scrubbing your way around the baking sheet until the food stains are gone. Easy!

  • I may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website. I always offer my own genuine recommendation. Learn more.


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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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