There’s really nothing quite like whipping up a batch of mom’s famous homemade chocolate chip cookies.
But once the fun of baking and noshing on one too many is over, it’s not uncommon to be stuck with baking sheets lined with grease. This can especially be true if you left the cookies in the oven a wee bit too long or, over the years, were a little lax about getting those pans spic and span.
Luckily, as with most cooking-related things, the internet is buzzing with tips and tricks to get your baking sheets looking brand-spankin’ new and shining like the top of the Chrysler building.
Also, known under the monikers ‘baking tray’ and ‘cookie sheet,’ these versatile kitchen workhorses are used for everything from roasting chicken and baking cookies to whipping up full sheet-pan dinners and chilling Ohio State Buckeyes in the fridge.
With so many uses, it’s really easy to see how these beloved baking sheets get dirty so fast. And while you might be tempted to cut ties with your favorite pan because you think it crossed the point of no return, pump the brakes for a hot second and keep reading.
We’ve scoured the internet and sorted through all the hacks to find what works and what doesn’t so we can teach you how to clean your baking sheets the right way.
Baking Sheet 101: How To Properly Clean Your Pans
If you hop on Google and search “How to clean baking sheets,” you’ll immediately be inundated with blog posts, videos, and ‘how-to’ articles. They all swear up and down that “This one particular magic cleaning trick” is all you need to turn your old baking sheets into new baking sheets.
And while letting your pans soak in ketchup or scrubbing the stains with hot water and dryer sheets seem to be trending hacks, we found that ketchup doesn’t really clean baking sheets and is much better on fries. Likewise, dryer sheets are no better than a handy-dandy sponge and are best for, well, the dryer.
That said, here are a few of the top cleaning hacks that actually do work to help turn your old baking sheets from drab to fab:
Hack # 1: Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide
Everyone knows what hydrogen peroxide is, a popular cleaning agent that can tackle anything from wine stains to blood stains and even icky pit stains. But what you may not have known is that when you combine hydrogen peroxide with the abrasive effects of baking soda, it makes one heck of a cleaning solution!
Yup, it’s true — all you have to do is sprinkle your dirty pan with a little baking soda and pour hydrogen peroxide over it, followed by another layer of baking soda.
Let the mixture sit for a couple of hours, or better yet, overnight. Use a sponge and hot water to remove the set-in mixture the following day. If needed, repeat the process for really tough stains.
Once finished, rinse your newly cleaned baking sheet and wash with mild dish soap.
Hack # 2: Baking Soda and Vinegar
When it comes to easy-to-access cleaning agents, baking soda and white vinegar are the GOAT. Just about everyone has these essential ingredients in their cupboard, making this a super simple hack to try before kicking your old baking sheets to the curb.
For this cleaning hack, simply fill your kitchen sink with hot water and pour in equal parts of baking soda and white vinegar. Place your dirty baking sheet in the sink, allowing it to soak for 30 to 60 minutes (if your sink isn’t big enough, you can sprinkle the ingredients directly over the pan to soak on your kitchen counter instead).
Next, use a nylon pad or steel wool to scrub away the grime. Wash again using warm soapy water and a little elbow grease before rinsing a final time and setting to the side to dry.
Hack # 3: Deluxe Grease Police Magic Degreaser
If hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and vinegar don’t do the trick, it’s time to call in reinforcements. And no, we’re not talking about dear old grams who would probably faint at the sight of your dirty baking sheets (although we’re sure she’s got a few tricks and tips up her sleeves, too).
What we’re talking about, however, is the Deluxe Grease Police Magic Degreaser from BulbHead.
How is this degreaser any different from all the other cleaners on the market, you ask? Well, for starters, Grease Police is biodegradable and non-toxic, which is pretty unheard of in the realm of cleaners.
But aside from being eco-friendly, its super-concentrated formula emulsifies dirt and grime on contact almost immediately and works on nearly all stubborn messes — even those that have been baked on for years!
And the best part? Grease Police is super easy to use. All you have to do is spray it on, give it a few minutes to work its magic, and wipe it off. No hard scrubbing, no scouring, no hard work.
In fact, if you ask us (and thousands of other Grease Police fans), it’s hands-down the easiest hack to clean your baking sheets, 100%.
How To Keep Your Baking Sheets in Tip-Top Shape
While Grease Police does make cleaning your baking sheets a breeze, no one actually enjoys cleaning their kitchenware.
That said, to prevent a build-up of food residue and grease from happening in the first place, consider these quick tips for cleaning and maintaining your baking sheets:
Tip #1: Always Line Your Baking Sheets Prior to Each Use
Whether you’re making a batch of cookies or roasting a colorful assortment of veggies, lining your baking sheet with either aluminum foil or parchment paper will save you a whole lot of time from having to scrape off any sticky bits.
Tip #2: Wash Your Baking Sheets After Every Use
Whatever you do, always wash your baking sheets after every use. Not every other use. Not once a month or every other year. And certainly not only when mom is coming to visit. But after every single use.
If you don’t wash your baking sheet right after using it, you’re giving the remaining pieces of food a chance to set in. And you know what happens when food sets in? It creates stains that will become much more challenging to remove the longer you go without washing them.
So, whenever you’re done using a baking sheet, simply soak it in warm soapy water and kiss those crusty unwelcomed stains goodbye.
Tip #3: Thoroughly Dry Your Baking Sheets After Washing
Make sure your baking sheets are bone dry prior to storing them to help keep bacteria and rust at bay.
And there you have it — everything you need to know to clean your baking sheets the right way.
Whether you try baking soda and vinegar or baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, with a little bit of elbow grease and a whole lot of patience, we know you’ll be able to breathe new life into your old, tired baking sheets in a matter of no time.
Want to avoid all the heavy scrubbing but don’t want to burn a hole in your pocket buying new baking sheets?
Head on over to BulbHead, where you’ll find the Deluxe Grease Police Magic Degreaser, the ultimate baking sheet cleaner. Where other non-toxic cleaning products fail, Grease Police succeeds. Biodegradable and super easy to use, you won’t believe how much your baking sheets sparkle after just one use.
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