How To Clean Your Cookie Sheets

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The Problem

If you love to bake, you probably use your cookie sheets quite often. And if you are an avid cook, you probably use them for more than just cookie gifts. One day you’ll look and find that the sheets that were so shiny when brand new are now marred in black or stick gook. Do you have to throw them out? No way! You can clean them with a little ingenuity.

The Classic 'Soak'

First, if your pan is non stick, you can try soaking it in warm water and dish detergent. But most likely you have already tried that. You can use Dawn Power Dissolver or another heavy duty dish cleaner. Look in the dish detergent aisle for a dissolving cleaner you can soak your pans in.

Don’t try using steel wool or any Brillo type product. You’ll ruin the finish of the non stick coating. But even if you can’t get that goo that’s left from cooking spray that got overheated, you don’t have to throw your expensive pan out. You can still use it even if it’s not as pretty as it once was. It won’t affect the taste or baking of your gourmet cookies.

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Use Oven Cleaner

Now, if you have aluminum pans, that’s a different story. You can attack them with oven cleaner. Because aluminum pans are often used to bake other savory foods and not just cookies, you may have ended up with burnt on, crusty edges or blackness from carbon burning. You have two options. One is to spray the pans with oven cleaner. Let them sit for half an hour in the sink. Then, using rubber gloves, go ahead and wipe the residue off with a damp sponge. All the black stains should come right off. If they don’t, you can spray them again and leave them to sit a little longer. You won’t hurt the pans by letting them sit with the spray on them.

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Use Your Oven's Self-Clean

You might think that your choices are limited, however your other option for aluminum cookie sheet stains is to put them in your oven, without any food in it, and turn the oven to its self clean cycle.

The door will lock and for the next few hours your oven will perform its own high temperature self clean.

When it’s done and the door unlocks, your pans will come out clean and looking like new.

You will still need to wash them in soap and water to get the rest of the residue off, however you will have a brand new looking set of cookie sheets!

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Use Household Products

One thing you should be aware of is that you should never use products not designed for food use on a baking sheet. Don’t run out to the garage and grab a grease or grime removal product that’s designed for cars or engines. It might be tempting because the bottle says it can take off any stain, but it’s not safe to then use the pans for food. They’ll be clean, but you won’t be able to use them anymore.

See how it's done

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If All Else Fails

Remember, just because a pan has a few stains on it doesn’t mean you have to throw it out. A carbonized black residue will look ugly, but once your cookies are done, who cares? Just store it away where you don’t have to look at it. It would be a shame to have to get rid of good quality cookie sheets because of a few unsightly stains.

Try all the things mentioned here, and your pans should look great for years.

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Comments 10 comments

faythef profile image

faythef 3 years ago from USA

All great ideas..I think I will put thenm in the oven clean cycle..next cleaning day.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Useful tips. Voted up and thanks for sharing.


lemonkerdz profile image

lemonkerdz 3 years ago from TRUJILLO, PERU

Great ideas for cleaning that baking sheet, this has been one of my hates for a long time.........until........i discovered the Teflon baking sheet paper, it´s re-usable, easy to wash, you can grab it with your hand direct from the oven and not get burned and best of all, no need to scrub that baking sheet again. I included to amazon link on my ginger snap hub. It´s no gimmick it really works.


sapphire99336 profile image

sapphire99336 4 years ago from Kennewick, WA

Thanks for the tips! I have long been wondering how to get my cookie sheets cleaner.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

Excellent ideas. I'll forward these to the family cook for new options in cleaning. Voting this Up and Useful.


Sinea Pies profile image

Sinea Pies 5 years ago from Northeastern United States

Sometimes I will pour some cooking oil on the stuck-on food and let it sit. When I return, first I use hot soapy water. If it still doesn't come clean, a little Orange cleaners (degreaser) will do the trick. Then I pop it in the diswasher for another cleaning.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, mine are so old so these ideas are great! I must admit that I do hide them away when not using them! cheers nell


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

The ones from my grandmother's day are darkened with age but have a lot of character and with that they carry memories. As you say, it really doesn't matter if they remain bright and shiny to serve their purpose. Here's to that next cookie baked! Rated useful.


janices7 profile image

janices7 5 years ago

Great tips!


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Thanks for the tips! I have not tried oven cleaner or using the self clean function on the oven. I do use my cookie sheets regularly and should clean them more than I do.

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