PAN Final 2

11 Ways to Clean a Cookie Sheet

**Update: I found a way that WORKED completely for me – check here. Hooray! :)

With the 800,000 ways to “get your cookie sheet GLEAMING NEW!!!” on Pinterest, I decided I needed to try it.

After all……..

This is my friend, the cookie sheet:

And, yes, “THE” is singular. We were given probably seven cookie sheets when we were first married. We gave several of them away to other people, left some at different places, and now have ended up with only two left. One of them I don’t like because it tends to burn things on the bottom, so really we only have one.

That one cookie sheet looked good for years. Until I ended up baking olive oil onto it at a very high temperature. And baking bacon in the oven without lining it first with parchment paper. Yeah. That all happened in the past year. We’ve had the cookie sheet for almost nine.

I found an idea on Pinterest that claimed to get your cookie sheets looking like new with no pain! Sounds great! But, it didn’t work. At all. This, unfortunately (fortunately?) led me on a maniacal quest to find a way to get the silly thing gleaming and new again. If someone is able to get a clean cookie sheet, certainly I could too!

Here is what it looks like now:

A big improvement. Not perfect, but it still surprises me when I see it out of the corner of my eye – it is so shiny! Minus the stubborn stains, it looks new. I just tell myself that the stains left on the cookie sheet are its battle scars and prove that it has lived to see many a hot oven and make many a good meal. And, gauging from the stains left and the hours I put into cleaning my faithful cookie sheet, I am the master of leaving stains that are practically impossible to get rid of. This is “The Cookie Sheet that Lived!” (think Harry Potter).

As my gift to you, here is a rundown of pretty much everything the web had to offer on how to clean a cookie sheet – what worked, what had potential, and what didn’t seem to hold much promise. This way, you can know where to start you own obsessive quests to clean off your cookie sheets. :)

What worked (FINALLY):

1. Baking Soda + Peroxide – this was the first thing that I tried. And one of the last things too. The author said that she just smeared it on with her hands. This did not work at all. I wish I hadn’t read the “hands only” part because that would have saved me hours of searching. BUT, it finally did work (hours later) when I came around and tried it again scrubbing with steel wool using all of my might. You could also just use baking soda, but I found that the two together really did work best – you just make a paste from them. Wear gloves too – it started turning my fingers white when I first tried the “hands only” method.

2. Bar Keeper’s Friend (from a comment string) – this was the first thing in the beginning that “budged” my stains with only using a sponge to scrub, but it didn’t do much to the big stains. HOWEVER, once I used Bar Keeper’s Friend AND steel wool, it got even more off than the baking soda + peroxide + steel wool. I just felt like I had to wash it 500 times afterward to make sure the chemicals were all gone.

Worked Somewhat or Had Potential (could be used for the right stains):

3. Cream of Tartar + Vinegar – this left my cookie sheet GLEAMING, but otherwise the stubborn spots were still there. And Cream of Tartar is definitely more expensive than baking soda.

4. Oven Cleaner - this particular article mentioned leaving it on for 20 minutes. By the time I got around to trying this one, it did not to a lot for me. It seems like it should work in theory, but it didn’t work on the heavy stains. I also tried later to leave it on for 2 hours – DON’T. It left a funny residue on my pan.

5. Ginger Ale – It actually recommended cola soda, but ginger ale is what I had on hand. This one was interesting. After I poured it on and it had settled down a bit, I noticed that there were places where the carbonation was congregating – right around the big stains. I had hoped this would mean it would take them off, but it did not. It did, however, get the funny residue off that had been left by the oven cleaner. And it was quite shiny.

6. Sol-U-Mel – this is a fantastic cleaner, and was what the original pinned person said made their pans perfect and new again. It didn’t budge anything, but by the time I got around to trying the Sol-U-Mel, I may have gotten all of the easy stuff off. I tried full-strength even. No help there.

What did NOT work (but may have a chance if you have the right stain):

7. Magic Eraser (from a comment string) – this did not work AT ALL.

8. Goo Gone (from a comment string) – didn’t work either.

9. Washing Soda + Vinegar – this was my creation. I had thought that maybe since washing soda has a higher pH than baking soda, maybe it would be better at taking off the grime than baking soda alone was. Turns out that vinegar turns Washing Soda into a clumpy solid, and it is very hard to smear on the cookie sheet. When I did get it to smear on there, it turned grayish, but didn’t do much else. Same with Washing Soda and water.

10. Boiling Baking Soda in water, and dumping it on the pan (reader comment) – didn’t do much either

11. Borax (reader comment) – this also did not work for me at all.

There you have it. A rundown of pretty much everything I could find on the web. Let me know if you try or have tried any of these things – I’d love to hear how they work for you!

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8 Comments

  1. We bought a set of 2 cookie sheets from Sam’s right after we were married. They are the kind that mom has had forever. I think it was $9 for the set of 2 and they are wonderful, if you’re in the market for any new ones. We were also given one high-end non-stick pan and we HATE it. It bakes everything browner and nastier than the other pans do. That has nothing to do with cleaning, but just my opinions on cookie sheets.

  2. LOL – I had thought about that halfway through trying to get the silly cookie sheet clean – it’s not like they are necessarily that expensive. At that point, it was more of stubbornness kicking in. :) I wonder if we have a similar high-end non-stick pan – that is cookie sheet #2 for us, and I won’t use it for baking because it scorches everything too.

  3. You’re amazing! Way to try everything. I’ve been wondering if those “miracle” cleaning tips on pinterest actually work and I’ve been meaning to attack my cookie sheets for a while (they’re looking pretty bad…). Thanks for the tips and for being so thorough!

    • Hopefully your cookie sheet stains are more amenable to being removed than mine were! :) Let me know how it goes, and what works for you.

    • So true Jackie – I was a little late in learning that trick! Aluminum foil is great as well – makes for super easy clean up!

  4. I recently used a few dryer sheets submerged in water left to soak in my cookie sheet overnight. Mind you, my cookie sheets were old, decrepit hand-me-downs that had a THICK layer of black crap that couldn’t be washed off with regular soap, water, and scrub brush. They worked amazingly well! I used the drier sheets and my fingernails to scrub the crud off. What a difference!

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