As an avid from-scratch cooking and baking aficionado, I am constantly using my baking sheets, but the struggle is real when it comes to easily get baking sheets looking new again. And truth be told, even though I weirdly like to clean, I don’t like to spend a lot of time doing it. I have bigger fish to fry here at Sunny Side Up!
In our house, baking and cookie sheets come out at all times of the year. Although we definitely use them to bake treats during the holidays, they also get plenty of use to dry herbs, easily roast veggies like these, you name it.
Unfortunately, though, even with the use of a Silpat liner or parchment paper, there’s always that one cookie that spreads too much or juice from a tomato that leaks and gets charred. That pristine baking sheet quickly starts looking not so pretty. See exhibit A.
However, if you’ve been reading my blog for some time now, you know I am not the type to just run out and buy new things all the time. And I honestly don’t need one more pan around here, especially when the ones I have are of good quality from Calphalon.
How I Used to Clean Baking Sheets
I used to get pretty good results with clean-ingredient, non-toxic Barkeepers Friend or Bon Ami and a scouring pad instead of spray-on chemical products that seemingly melt gunk. In fact, I still swear by them on stainless steel saucepans. But I wasn’t very consistent with using those products on baking sheets. There were too many days where I baked cookies and just wanted to get the dishes done quickly. I’m sure you can relate, especially if, unlike me, you really hate to clean. So, before I knew it, those baking sheets were looking more than a little worse for wear.
The Easy Way to Like-New Baking Sheets
One of the things I love about cooking and baking is the science and chemistry that comes with a blend of ingredients. I like to think of myself as channeling my inner Harry Potter, conjuring up a good potion. And interestingly, cleaning is a lot like that. Sometimes you just need the right combination for the magic to happen.
You just need to grab a few things that you probably have on hand for this magic formula of sorts. That’s magic in and of itself, in my opinion!
- Baking soda
- White vinegar
- Spray bottle – I love this one with a silicone wrap from Grove.
- Sprinkle the baking soda all over the surface of your baking sheet.
- Fill your spray bottle with white vinegar and spray it on top of the baking soda. It will bubble!
- Put your baking sheet out of the reach of small kids and pets and ignore it (the best part!) for at least 3 hours or even overnight.
- Add a fresh spray of vinegar if the baking soda and vinegar solution has completely dried on the surface.
- Using a scrubbing sponge like this one, scrub in circles all over the surface to make a paste.
- Rinse. You may not be able to get the edges of the pan sparkling but the direct surface should clean up nicely.
- Re-wash your pan with soap and water to remove any baking soda residue that may be left.
It’s not perfect, but it’s so much better. All those yellow spots on the main surface are gone and all I really need to work at are the pan edges at this point.
Best of all, I love that, by using this method, I don’t have to use serious elbow grease and toxic chemicals to get the baked-on residue off my pans. If you give it a try, let me know how it works for you.
Do you have any kitchen cleaning secrets? I’d love to hear from you!