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How to Clean Sheet Pans 4 Different Ways

Learning how to clean sheet pans will ensure your baking pans stay looking and performing good as new

A dirty sheet pan is a sad sheet pan. The more you place your baking pan in the oven without properly cleaning it between uses, the harder it is to maintain a consistent baking surface on which your food can evenly cook.

Putting in a small amount of time to keep your sheet pan clean after each and every use will save you time and money in the long run. It’s a great habit to get into that will make your food cook (and taste) better as well!

made in sheet pan on white background

Can I place my sheet pans in the dishwasher?

We want to note right off the bat that using a dishwasher to clean your sheet pan is not recommended, as detergents can dull or stain the finish of the pan. 

Caring for sheet pans

Before using your sheet pan for the first time, remove all labels and wash thoroughly with hot, soapy water. If any label adhesive remains on your pan, wipe it off with the help of WD-40 and some elbow grease before washing with hot, soapy water.

After using your sheet pan, allow it to cool before cleaning.

Salt solutions, disinfectants, bleaches, and acidic foods like tomatoes can all corrode aluminum. Do not leave these items in your sheet pan for extended periods of time.

How to clean sheet pans

As far as cleaning your sheet pan goes, there are a number of tried and true ways to get the job done.

The soap and water method

Recommended for: Light messes

To clean, fill your sheet pan with hot, soapy water and allow it to soak. This will loosen any residue, enabling it to be more easily removed. Many prefer to soak their pan while the meal is being served to cut down on cleaning time.

After your pan has soaked, wash it with hot, soapy water, rinse it thoroughly, and allow it to fully dry before storing.

The soap and scour method

Recommended for: Harder-to-clean messes

Clean your sheet pan using a soft, abrasive scouring pad (not steel wool, which could scratch your pan) in tandem with hot water and a dish soap specially formulated to remove grease and stuck-on food. As always, allow your pan to fully dry before storing.

A popular addition to this method involves the use of dryer sheets. Many home cooks swear by soaking their sheet pan with a dryer sheet inside for 30 minutes before they soap and scour, as they claim it helps the food release from the pan.

made in sheet pans stacked

The Made In Sheet Pan

The powdered cleaner method

Recommended for: Very-hard-to-clean messes

Have our stainless steel cleaner or some Bar Keepers Friend sitting around? These are great for cleaning your cookie sheets, sheet pans, and more (as long as they are not non stick).

Simply follow the instructions on the bottle and your cookware will look good as new.

The baking soda and vinegar method

Recommended for: Caked-on messes

It’s like a science experiment in your kitchen! This method involves using equal parts baking soda and white vinegar to clean baking sheets.

Simply plug up your kitchen sink drain, place your sheet pan in the sink, mix ½ cup of baking soda and ½ cup of white vinegar inside your pan, and then add enough hot water into your sink basin until the sheet pan is fully submerged. Stir everything around until you have one well-mixed cleaning solution and then allow to soak for one hour.

Afterwards, drain your sink, use the soap and scour method, and you’re all done!

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