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How to Clean Your Sheet Pan

Keep your baking sheets clean so they look as good as new and performs just as well.

By Team Made In
Oct 15, 2020
sheet pan in oven
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Wear and tear can be a sign of a well-loved piece of cookware, but if you use your pans regularly without giving them a proper clean, you run the risk of damaging their surface.

Unlike Carbon Steel or Cast Iron, you’re not trying to build up a patina on your aluminium Sheet Pan. Investing a small amount of time into cleaning your Sheet Pan after each use will allow you to continue using it for  longer. Not only is it a good habit to get into but it will also help your food cook and even taste better.

Here are a  few basics about Sheet Pans before we break down cleaning methods. First, lining your pan with parchment paper, aluminum foil, or a silicone baking mat will help reduce clean-up, however this is not applicable to all recipes. Second, like most of our cookware, we do not recommend putting them in the dishwasher. Detergent can cause stains or dulling of the metal to occur. For the same reason, harsh products such as bleach, disinfectant or salt solutions can corrode the aluminum, so refrain from leaving any of these things on your Sheet Pan for too long.

Before you use your Sheet Pan for the first time, remove all labels and wash it thoroughly with hot, soapy water. If there is any residual grease from the label’s adhesive, use a little Bar Keeper’s Friend and a non abrasive sponge to remove, then wash again.

Check out these other methods of cleaning your sheet pan for when you have a specific problem to tackle.

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The Soap and Water Method

This is the most basic way to clean your Sheet Pan. First, make sure that your Sheet Pan is cool before you clean it. Depending on the mess, your Sheet Pan may just need a wash with hot, soapy water. If that is not enough, allow the Pan to soak, which will help loosen any residue that’s difficult to remove. We recommend doing this while you’re eating to speed up the cleaning process post-meal and keep residue from drying on.

After you’ve allowed the Pan to soak, hand wash again with hot, soapy water, rinse it and allow it to dry fully before storing it.

Recommended For: light messes like residual oil from roasting vegetables

The Soap and Scour Method

Start by cleaning your Sheet Pan with a soft, lightly abrasive scouring pad (sorry steel wool, you’re still not welcome here) along with the hot water and dish soap. You can also use a more heavy-duty soap that is specially formulated for removing grease.

Depending on the nature of the mess, your Pan may also benefit from a soak here as well. Allowing it to sit in water for up to 30 minutes may lessen the amount of elbow grease needed for scouring.

Recommended For: harder-to-clean messes involving more residue

The Powdered Cleaner Method

As long as you’re not using the non-stick version of our Sheet Pan, Bar Keeper’s Friend or our own stainless steel cleaner is great for the times that the soap and scour method isn’t cutting it.

Simply follow the instructions on the package (usually involving a soak and a scour with the powder, repeating as many times as necessary) and watch as your Sheet Pan returns to its former glory

Recommended For: messes involving burnt food or sticky things

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The Baking Soda and Vinegar Method

When all else fails, it’s time to turn to science. First, plug your sink and place your Pan inside. Mix ½ cup each baking soda and vinegar onto the Pan’s surface, then add enough warm water to submerge it. Give everything  a good stir and let it rest for an hour.

When the pan has finished soaking, drain the sink and proceed with the soap and scour method from above.

Recommended For: fully burnt, caked on messes

The next time you’re baking cookies or roasting vegetables, cook with confidence, knowing that a dirty sheet tray is an obstacle you can easily tackle with these four methods.

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