How to Clean Dirty Sheet Pans

Learn the best ways to clean your sheet pans and remove stubborn stains.

If you're like me, sheet pans are probably some of your most well-loved and perpetually dirty kitchen items. No amount of scrubbing and soaking seems to get any of that burnt residue off. Sometimes it's time to set soap and water aside and look for new methods of cleaning stubborn stains and residue. So before you toss those dirty pans, give these methods of cleaning sheet pans a try.

Dirty Sheet Pan
Photo by Getty Images.

Try Baking Soda and Vinegar

This method uses items you'll already have in your cupboard to help loosen the residue and keep your pans clean.

  1. Fill a sink with hot water. Add equal parts baking soda and white vinegar (about half a cup of each).
  2. Submerge your pans in the mixture and allow them to soak for between 30 minutes to an hour.
  3. Use some elbow grease and give the pan a serious scrub, using the coarse side of a sponge. Scrub in a circular motion to avoid noticeable scratching (although some scratching may still occur).
  4. Once you've scrubbed to your heart's content, give the pan a good hand wash with soap and water to remove the vinegar smell, and dry immediately to avoid rust.

Try Dryer Sheets

Yes, you read that right. This laundry room staple can help lift caked-on gunk from sheet pans.

  1. Leave your sheet pan in the sink or on the counter. Add one or two dryer sheets and dish soap, and fill the pan with warm water. Let it sit for 2 to 3 hours, or overnight.
  2. When you return, throw out the dryer sheets and dump the water out of the pan. Wash with soap, water, and a sponge.

Try Peroxide and Baking Soda

Go scrounge up the hydrogen peroxide from your first aid supplies because this method makes cleaning dirty sheet pans a breeze. It should be noted that this method is likely too harsh for sheet pans with nonstick coatings.

  1. Start by mixing baking soda and hydrogen peroxide into a paste.
  2. Spread the mixture across the surface of the pan and allow it to sit for 2 to 3 hours.
  3. Use a sponge to wipe away the paste. No harsh scrubbing should be needed!

How to Keep Your Sheet Pans Clean?

Now that your pan is free of grime and gunk, let's keep it that way. The simplest way to keep your pans clean all the time is to use parchment paper or aluminum foil when cooking with them. And remember, scratches and stains are signs of your pans being put to good use, and that's not such a bad thing.


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