6 Easy Ways to Clean Your Baking Sheets

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Discover the best and easiest ways to rid sheet pans of baked-on gunk. Follow these steps to make them look brand new.

When it comes to baking, sheet pans are often an essential part of the process. Whether you’re whipping up a sheet pan supper for the family or carefully crafting an apple-cranberry slab pie, a chef’s cookie sheet is likely to see plenty of wear and tear. Before you throw away a favorite pan because of baked-on cooking grime, try one of these easy ways to clean baking sheets, rimmed or unrimmed. (Or, you can try Taste of Home‘s nonstick baking sheets to keep the grime away in the first place!)

How to Clean a Baking Sheet with Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda

dirty baking sheet next to a sponge, hydrogen peroxide bottle, and baking soda box on wood butcher block backgroundTaste of Home

You’ll need:

Step 1: Add the cleaners

Sprinkle some baking soda on the baking pan or sheet. Follow that up with hydrogen peroxide. Top it off with another sprinkling of baking soda. The cleaner needs time to work, so we suggest letting it sit for at least 2 hours. Because the chemicals could be too harsh for some pans’ material or coating, do a test run before cleaning the entire cookie sheet, especially if it is made of a specialized material or has a coating of any kind.

(This is just one of the clever ways to clean with baking soda.)

Step 2: Wipe off the baking sheet

Use a sponge or rag to wipe away the homemade cleaner. No hard scrubbing is usually required, but if stains remain, you could do a second application, use a non-scratch scrubber—or both. All you need is a little patience!

(How dirty is that sponge you used? Here’s how to clean a sponge.)

Step 3: Keep it clean

Now that your baking sheet and pans are back to looking brand new, you’ll want to keep them that way. Do as our Test Kitchen does and place a sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil on the pan before you add any food. That’s it! The baking sheets will stay gunk free.

How to Clean a Baking Sheet with Baking Soda and Foil

dirty baking sheet next to a box of baking soda and aluminum foil on wood butcher block backgroundTaste of Home

You’ll need:

Step 1: Rinse the dirty sheet pan

You want the surface of your baking sheet to be wet when you sprinkle on the baking soda next.

Step 2: Make a paste

Add enough water to add a paste (you don’t want it to be too runny!), depending on how much baking soda you sprinkle on the pan.

Step 3: Scrub with aluminum foil

Crumple your aluminum foil into the size of a golf ball. Use it to scrub at the burnt debris on the baking sheet. The baking soda paste combined with the scrubbing should take the debris right off! Once you’re satisfied with the results, rinse off the paste and loosened food scraps with soapy water and you’re set to go.

How to Clean a Baking Sheet with Baking Soda and Vinegar

Dirty Baking Sheet next to box of baking soda, bottle of white vinegar, and steel wool on wood butcher block backgroundTaste of Home

You’ll need:

Step 1: Prepare the soaking mixture

Fill your sink with hot water, and add baking soda and white vinegar. You’ll want to use equal parts baking soda and white vinegar (about a 1/2 cup of each) depending on how much you fill up your sink. Your water will bubble up!

Step 2: Let the pan soak

Submerge your pan in the mixture, and let it soak. Let the baking sheet soak in the mixture for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how much grime you’ve got on the sheet pan.

Step 3: Scrub your pan

Pull the baking sheet out of your sink and scrub at the grime with steel wool or a nylon pad. When you’re done scrubbing, wash the sheet with soap and water to get rid of the vinegar smell.

How to Clean a Baking Sheet with Oven Cleaner

Dirty Baking Sheet next to steel wool and Easy Off Oven Cleaner on wood butcher block backgroundTaste of Home

You’ll need:

Step 1: Spray the sheet pan

Spray your baking sheet evenly with Easy-Off. However, this method uses the harshest chemicals to clean your sheet pan, so you’ll likely want to test it on a corner of your pan before you spray the entire sheet.

Step 2: Let it sit

After you’ve sprayed your pan, stash it the garage, outside or even in your oven to keep the fumes from spreading in your home. Then let the Easy-Off work its magic for about 15 minutes.

Step 3: Scrub away the gunk

Use the steel wool to scrub at the toughest stains. Make sure to rinse with soapy water when you’re done!

Editor’s Tip: Some home cooks claim that this method works best for stainless steel sheet pans compared to aluminum. Why? Because stainless steel is more durable than aluminum, and the steel wool combined with the chemicals in Easy-Off can potentially cause pitting on your baking sheet, and potentially, scratches—so you’ll want to play it safe rather than be sorry with an aluminum pan.

How to Clean a Baking Sheet with Cream of Tartar and Vinegar

Dirty Baking Sheet next to cream of tartar, white vinegar, and a rag on wood butcher block backgroundTaste of Home

You’ll need:

Step 1: Make a paste

Combine cream of tartar with white vinegar to make a paste. Use enough of each of the cream of tartar and white vinegar to make a paste (about equal parts).

Step 2: Spread it on

With the sponge, spread the paste on the stained parts of your pan. You’ll want to let it sit for anywhere from 1 hour to overnight, or just until it’s dry.

Step 3: Scrub away the grime

With warm water, take the same sponge that you used to apply the paste to the pan and remove the dried cream of tartar paste. The burned-on food should come off easily!

How to Clean a Baking Sheet with a Dishwasher Tablet

Dirty Baking Sheet next to Finish Powerball Deep Clean Dishwasher Tabs on wood butcher block backgroundTaste of Home

You’ll need:

Step 1: Wet the baking sheet

This viral oven-cleaning hack works on sheet pans, too! In order for the dishwasher tabs to work, the pan needs to rinsed with hot water.

Step 2: Scrub the baking sheet

Grab a few dishwasher tabs. Scrub your baking sheet with the plastic coating still on the tabs, because the coating will keep the tablet from dissolving in your hands too quickly.

Step 3: Rinse with warm water

Since you’re essentially using soap on your baking sheet already, you only need warm water to rinse it off. That’s it!

When to Replace Your Baking Sheet

In terms of baked-on food scraps, the better you take care of your baking sheets, the longer they will last—but there are a few telltale signs that help determine when to replace your baking sheet. If your pan is warped and doesn’t lay flat on the counter, it’s time. Or, if you have a nonstick baking sheet and the coating is starting to peel, it’s definitely time to get a new one, as you don’t want the finish flaking off into your food.

Once you’ve decided it’s time to get a new baking sheet, read our baking sheet buying guide to learn about everything you should consider when choosing your next trusty pan. Aluminum? Stainless steel? Nonstick? We break down what to look for. If you need a place to start, check out our Test Kitchen’s guide to the best sheet pans!

Our Favorite Sheet Pans

Next, make sure you know the difference between baking sheets, cookie sheets and jelly roll pans. Or, learn this surprising use for a sheet pan!

Sheet Pan Suppers for Busy Nights
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Lauren Rearick
Lauren Rearick is a freelance writer/editor based out Pittsburgh, specalizing in arts, entertainment, music, health and wellness as well as lifestyle writing. Her work has appeared in CNN Opinions, The Huffington Post, Reader's Digest, Teen Vogue, Travel + Leisure, the Pittsburgh City Paper, Vinyl Me Please, Hello Giggles and more.

She founded the music blog, The Grey Estates, which was selected as one of the top 100 indie music blogs by Style of Sound. In 2016, she was recognized with a Keystone State Press Award for a personality profile.
Lauren Pahmeier
Lauren is an associate editor at Taste of Home, focusing on search engine optimization. When she’s not making sure readers can find TOH’s recipes on Google, she’s practicing her food photography, consistently finding new recipes to try and hunting down the most indulgent treats in the Twin Cities.