6 Easy Ways To Clean Your Pans

Washing sheet pans may be the bane of my existence. As much as I scrub and soak- my cookie sheets are always dirty (especially in the hard to reach corners). From soaking it in an overnight bath of hot water and dish soap to working the burnt pan with steel wool, it seemed that my baking pans would be dirty until the day I decided to dump them. It doesn't even matter if it's non-stick or stainless steel, I just couldn't find a good way how to clean my dirty sheet pans.

But there is always a solution. Yes, thanks to the internet I was able to come up with a few cleaning life hacks that will save your scorched pans and dirty pots. Here are six of the best cleaning hacks I came across for how to clean your dirty sheet pans.

1. Baking Soda and Vinegar

This tried and true method is the easiest cleaning hack to start off with. I mean, everyone has to have some baking soda and white vinegar in the cupboard. To begin, wash the dirty baking sheet as you normally would to remove all the baked on gunk and large pieces of who-knows-what.

Once the pan is somewhat clean, make a paste of baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl. It should be the texture of a creamy salad dressing or something of that nature. Spread the mixture all over the pan, making sure to get into the corners. Let sit for ten to twenty minutes then scrub the pan with the coarse side of a sponge.

If it seems that gunk is still piled on, repeat the coating, waiting and scrubbing once more. Hand wash with soap after to remove the baking soda and vinegar smell and taste.

2. Dryer Sheets

When I heard about this cleaning tip I was more than skeptical. How on earth could a laundry dryer sheet clean off my burnt, cooked-on food dirty sheet pans?

Believe it or not, it actually works wonders.

Start off by taking your scorched pan and adding soap, one or two dryer sheets and a little bit of dish washing soap. Fill the pan with warm water and walk away for two to three hours.

Once you come back, the water should be pretty grimy. Dispose of the dryer sheets and water and scrub with soap and water if there are any bits still stuck on. This easy trick will be the end of all burnt pot conundrums.

3. The Oven's Self-Clean Cycle


When it seems that nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, will clean your dirty sheet pans, it's time to turn to a blast of heat. While we do not recommend this for all baked-on gunk, it works beautifully for commercial-grade aluminum sheet pans.

Arrange your sheet pans in the oven and press self-clean. After a few hours at a heat of 500ºF, the grim will incinerate to a white dust which is easily cleaned off.

Check your oven before trying this cleaning hack. Some ovens require you to remove the racks before performing the cleaning cycle.

4. Bar Keepers Friend and Aluminum Foil

This next cleaning hack will be your new best friend. A mild abrasive and made with oxalic acid, Bar Keepers Friend is your solution to burnt remnants that just won't budge.

According to the package, there are two ways to use the product. You can either wet a washcloth or dish towel and sprinkle it with BKF or for more stubborn grime, make a paste using a bit of water and spread the paste of the affected area. Let sit for a few minutes before busting out that elbow grease and wiping the dirty sheet pan clean with a wad of aluminum foil.

5. Baking Soda and Peroxide 

Some housekeeping bloggers swear by this combo to tackle stubborn stains on their cookware. The secret to this method is a bit of time for the combination to work. And boy, does it work wonders.

Sprinkle a bit of baking soda on the pan followed by a bit of hydrogen peroxide and then topped with a healthy sprinkling of baking soda. Walk away for two to three hours then scrub the pan with a sponge. It'll come off in a flash and look as good as new.

6. Ketchup

As silly as it may seem, the acid in ketchup has the ability to break down burnt on grease and grime. Spread the ketchup on the pan and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Once time has passed, use a scrubber and a little bit of muscle to clean baking sheets.

This article was originally published on May 17, 2019.

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