Cookie sheets are thin enough to bake soft and delicious cookies, but they're also great at baking pizzas, nachos, and even roasting vegetables. Cookie sheets are versatile baking tools, but as they're used so often, grease and burnt food can build upon them over time. If this sounds familiar, you're in the right place! We've covered some of the best ways to clean cookie sheets. Whether you're dealing with steel, non-stick, or aluminum cookie sheets, we’ve got the method to make cookies sheets look new again.
How To Clean Sheet Pans
All the methods below can be used for steel cookie sheets. However, if you're dealing with non-stick or aluminum cookie sheets, you need to be careful, as certain chemicals can degrade their finish.
We'll state which process works with each pan type before each method.
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Baking Soda & Peroxide Method
This method should only be used on steel cookie sheets.
The process is simple, but it will take time, as the two substances need a few hours to attack the grime and food particles.
First, mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to create a paste.
Spread this paste over your pan, concentrating on any greasy, caked-on areas.
Leave the pans for 2-3 hours, then wipe them with damp paper towels.
Scrub any leftover residue off the pan, then rinse with soap and water to remove any remaining paste.
Baking Soda And Vinegar Method
You can use this method on steel and aluminum pans, but not on non-stick ones.
First, gather ¼ cup of vinegar and ¼ cup of baking soda.
Spread the baking soda across the tray, creating an even layer.
Next, pour the vinegar onto the tray, monitoring the bubbles as you do so.
Fill a sink with hot water, then place the tray into it.
Leave the sheet in the water for up to an hour.
Take the sheet out of the sink and use a scouring pad to scrub any leftover dirt off of the sheet.
Rinse the tray with soap and water to remove any final residue.
Ammonia works very well at removing dirt and food stains, but ammonia is a very potent chemical.
Always wear protective eyewear and gloves when proceeding with this method.
Only use ammonia on aluminized steel sheets, never on aluminum or nonstick ones.
This method will take a lot of time, so don't rush the steps.
Place your sheets inside a strong plastic bag, like a garbage bag.
Pour half a cup of ammonia into the bag, then seal it closed.
Leave the bag outside for a whole day. As it sits out in the sun, the ammonia will react with grease, tough stains, and dirt.
Now, you'll need to open the bag and take out the sheets. Make sure you do this outside to avoid breathing in the ammonia.
Use steel wool to scrub the pans, then wash them with water, making sure all traces of ammonia are gone.
Washing Soda & Cream Of Tartar
You can use this method on all three types of cookie sheets, including aluminized steel, aluminum, and non-stick pans.
Pour washing soda and cream of tartar onto your cookie sheet.
Pour a little hot water onto the sheet. You only need a small amount of water at this stage.
Mix the substances to create a paste, then spread in an even layer over your pan.
Leave the sheet for 15 minutes so the paste can get to work.
Use a non-abrasive scrubbing pad to remove any stains.
Use soap and water to wash the paste and dirt away, then rinse thoroughly.
Baking Soda & Water
You can use this method on all three kinds of cookie sheets.
The ingredients are gentle enough for non-stick sheets, but strong enough for aluminized steel and aluminum ones.
- Gather ¼ cup of vinegar and ¼ cup of baking soda.
- Spread the baking soda in an even layer across the sheet.
- Gently pour the vinegar onto the tray and monitor the reaction.
- Place the tray into a sink of hot water, then leave for up to an hour.
- Take the sheet out of the sink, then use a scouring pad to clean the dirt off of it.
- Once done, use soap and water to clean the sheet again, then rinse thoroughly.
How To Clean Discolored Aluminum Baking Sheets
The methods above can clean cookie sheets well, but sometimes, baked-on grease can be very hard to remove.
We'll cover the best methods to remove baked-on grease for each type of cookie sheet.
Aluminized Steel Cookie Sheets
- Pour some water onto your cookie sheet, then add a little dish soap into it.
- Place on the stove and bring the water to a light boil.
- Let it heat up for five minutes.
- Let the water cool down, then use a stainless steel pad to clean the grease away.
Aluminum Cookie Sheets
- Pour cream of tartar in an even layer across your cookie sheet.
- Pour in some water, then place the pan on the stove.
- Bring the water to a gentle boil for 5 minutes.
- The reaction should clean the grease from the pan. Rinse away any residue then leave it to dry.
Non-Stick Cookie Sheets
- Pour an even layer of baking soda over the sheet.
- Add vinegar so the substance starts bubbling, then leave for half an hour.
- Use a non-abrasive pad to remove any residue.
- Rinse with water then leave to dry.
Tips On Preventing Grease Build Up
The Following Tips Can Help You Prolong Your Cookie Sheet's Lifespan
- Always line your pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil when you bake. This can prevent big spills which need to be cleaned later.
- If you want to avoid rust, lightly coat your cookie sheet with a small amount of oil.
- Once you clean your cookie sheet, dry them with a dish towel straight away (see also 'How To Fold Towels To Save Space'). This will prevent bacteria and rust from occurring.
- Try to clean your cookie sheets soon after using them.
Top Non-Stick Cookie Sheets Of 2022
- Amazon Commercial Baking Pan
- Wilton Easy Layers Sheet Pan
- Joho Baking Cookie Sheet Set
- Gorilla Grip Non Stick Cookie Sheet
- Premium Non Stick Baking Sheets Set of 3
Frequently Asked Questions
No! The high heat could warp the baking sheet or remove the finish on the dirty pan, compromising its performance later on.
By combining distilled water with either pure lemon juice or white vinegar, and then gently agitating the corroded area with a mild scrubbing pad, most mild cases of aluminum corrosion can be removed
Uncoated aluminum baking sheets can get stained by oil or burnt foods that were overheated on the pan and left a burned residue.
This usually happens when olive oil is used—it has a low smoke point, but is often cooked with food in a hot oven for a long period of time such as with roasted vegetables.
If your surface just does not hold the non-sticking power that it used to, it's time to get rid of it.
The same goes for enamel-coated baking surfaces, too. In the case that you find any coating particles in your food you should throw out your pan immediately.
Cookie sheets are great to have within your kitchen, but they can easily harbor grease and dirt.
The methods above can help you clean tough stains, but be wary if you have an aluminum or a non-stick pan.
These materials will need gentle cleaning methods, like baking soda and water, instead of harsh chemicals.
Simple maintenance can help you avoid these situations, so always try and clean your cookie sheet soon after use.
Using foil or parchment paper is another inexpensive solution that prevents grease build-up from occurring.