Simplify the Season : How to Clean Baking Sheets + Pans in 5 Minutes

How to Clean Baking Pans in 5 Minutes via Clean Mama

I’m gearing up for some major baking this month, if you are too, this post is for you.  I took inventory of my baking sheets and pans and realized that my baking pans looked pretty pitiful.  Lots of baked on stains – they’re clean, but the stainless steel was nothing close to appetizing.  I tried a couple solutions I found online and nothing worked, so I came up with my own simple ‘remedy’ to clean them.  Two ingredients and a little elbow grease cleaned them up in a couple minutes.  Easy peasy.  (Please note: this is NOT for coated or non-stick baking sheets and pans.)

Here’s what you need to clean your baking sheets and pans:

  • Bon Ami powder (you can try baking soda too, but the Bon Ami worked a little more quickly and effectively for my icky pans)
  • Aluminum Foil – crumpled up (I use aluminum foil to clean glass baking dishes with caked on food, so I thought it might be a workable fix and it is!)
  • Paper towels
  • Water to make a paste

Gather your ingredients and follow these super simple steps:

Simple Steps to Clean Baking Pans via Clean Mama

Wash thoroughly with soap and water and repeat if necessary and start baking!

Wash with Soap + Water via Clean Mama

And because everyone loves a good before and after….

Baking Pans Before + After via Clean Mama

This post is part of a series designed to help you Simplify the Season. You can see all the posts here.

Simplify the Season via Clean Mama



  1. I’ve had pretty good luck with a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. I’ve left it longer than five minutes, but I’m not sure if that makes a difference. And I’ve used a plastic scrubber.

    • Ellen is smart to use a plastic scrubber because it will scratch less than alum. foil. The fewer the scratches the better, more evenly things bake and the less food will stick.

    • I tried the baking soda paste and peroxide…..didn’t work. I tried baking soda and vinegar…..didn’t work. I have used the foil, steel wool, and plastic scrubber. I cannot get the stain from baking off my bakeware.

      • Might be time to replace the bakeware 🙁

      • I’ve used spray on oven cleaner on my stainless steel pans. Wash and Rinse AND run thru the dish washer.

        • Brent Wambold says:

          If the pans are warm from the oven and then sprayed… kept warm in the freshly turned off oven and then pulled out and washed… the warm pan with oven cleaner allows the greasy stains and grime to loosen come off easier…

      • Patricia Weigand says:

        Have you tried Bar Keepers Friend? It is sold by the Bon Ami and Comet Cleanser. You can use Bar Keepers Friend powder cleanser on just about anything. I use it on my glass top stove all the time to keep it looking brand new.

        • Not only Bar Keeper’s Friend but add unpasteurized vinegar-Braggs – is what I used, and it was miraculous. A bit of more of the scouring powder, a tish of elbow grease, and voila, 50+ years of baked on junk was nearly completely removed! Another dose, and it should be almost like new. Thank you for the suggestion.

          • Paul Hairopoulos says:

            Bar Keep is the best!!!

            Another solution is to lay some laundry softener sheets on the tray and cover with water and let it set for awhile. I have no idea how someone discovered this method. It goes work.

      • Vinegar and cream of tartar work for me

        • How did you use the Cream of Tartar and vinegar? Paste, spray? Thank you. Have used the peroxide/soda mixture with reasonable results, but would like something that works, and quickly.

  2. Omg this is great I must try this!

  3. Um. This just changed my life. Thank you!

  4. I’m a big fan of soaking in hot water and napi-san, it takes nearly zero elbow grease but you need to be able to soak for a few hours.

  5. Thanks! I have a pan I need to clean. Going to try it right now, although I only have baking soda.

  6. Becky in Georgia says:

    Thank you! I will try this. I didn’t want to volunteer to bring my pans to our guild luncheon because they look so bad. Hopefully this will do the job.

  7. AgnesHejna says:

    Doesn’t that scratch the finish on the pan?I found once the finish is scratched on the pan it doesn’t bake very well.

  8. Rather than aluminum foil (bit wasteful, eh?) a green scrubby thing you find in the hardware isle is fabulous!! You can find scotch guard scrubbers in the household isle, but I like to get the heavy duty ones in a hardware isle. I cut one into thirds and that really lasts a long time. Pair that with Bon Ami and your steels will look like new. My Cuisinart stainless steel pots and pans look as good as the day I opened the box, many many years ago. I’ve burnt the heck out of some pots too, but this cleaning method ALWAYS brings them back to life.

    • I just reuse aluminum foil that’s been on a pan 🙂

    • Becky I too am a fan of Bon Ami. I like your thinking Laura. Another way to be “green” is to use Scott Brite green scrubbers made (partially) of recycled agave plants (after used for making tequila or other uses). They do not scratch. I wouldn’t mind using the aluminum on old metal baking sheets but I’d use the S.B. scrubbers.

  9. Will this get rid of rust?? My pans got left outside by someone grilling and they have some rust on them.

    • It might, I haven’t tried that specifically.

    • Bar Keepers Friend removes rust if this doesn’t.

    • Rust comes off by using “Bar Keepers Friend” it’s a gold shaker bottle, it comes in the same isle as comet or Bon Ami. The key ingredient is oxalic acid. Removed rust like a CHAMP!! once you try it you will be a believer too!

    • Bar Keepers Friend will remove rust. I use it all the time. It works wonders on rust spots and gray spots on Corelle dishes.

    • Bar Keepers Friend will remove rust. I use it all the time. It works wonders on rust spots and gray spots on Corelle dishes too.

  10. Thank you so much for this post! I have been looking at my baking sheets for weeks trying to figure out how I was going to clean them up!

  11. Any idea for cleaning the same mess off coated baking pans?

  12. This never works for me and I have left the mixture on overnight. I wished it had worked!

  13. John griffis says:

    Does this work on aluminum baking pans?

  14. I tried this and it didn’t work….I am waiting to try the peroxide

  15. If you want to significantly cut back on the elbow grease, then BEFORE following the steps given here, place a couple of drier sheets in your baking pan, cover with boiling water and let sit until room temperature. It will amaze you how easily baked-on crud comes loose!

  16. Great idea!! Now that you have it clean, use parchment paper to line the pan before baking. Nana baked almost every day and that is what she used. Her pans were spotless!

  17. I like using Brillo pads myself. You can get a box of generic ones at Walmart for $1.

  18. I always put my stainless steel pans in the oven when I clean it and they come out looking brand new.

  19. I put my stainless steel pans in the oven when I clean it and they come out looking new.

  20. Will this work on Kitchen Aid baking sheets? The reason I ask is because they are darker in color. Thanks

  21. Linda Yip says:

    Thanks. I wish I saw this before throwing away 2 baking trays months ago.

  22. Jenny Mathews says:

    I think I’ll go the peroxide/bicarb routem (Someone suggested 1/4 cup bicarb and add peroxide till you get a paste consistency)Here in South Africa we can get peroxide at different ‘strengths’. Say 4% or 6% etcetera. What strength do you think I should use?

  23. I found this on Pinterest. Thank you! It worked. I think my baking sheets had layers and layers of baked-on cooking spray all around the edges. The foil did leave scratches, but that is WAY better than cooked on gunk.
    I love the before and after pictures. That is always what sells me, lol.

  24. Emogene Thomas says:

    When nothing else works use some ajax or commet or whatever powder you have. Wet pan, put ajax powder and rub it in then use fine grit of sand paper, it will come out clean and sparkle. Also oven cleaner on nasty baked on glass dish will come out super clean.

  25. I have new Bakers Secret Cooking sheet and well I have been making cookies and I am starting to get discoloration to it. I want to clean it but I don’t want to lose the bakers secret film off it either. Can you suggest something I have tried a plastic square scrub pad but it doesn’t work to well.

    • Try a sponge with a non-scratch scrubbing side….and dish soap. That’s about all you can use on the Baker’s Secret to maintain the warranty and finish.

  26. Only had foil and baking soda. Worked like a charm

  27. Easy no scrub method, soak pans in hot water, add powder , or gel pack, dishwasher soap. Let sit overnight. Rinse. Should remove most stubb Irn caked on rud.

  28. I have a shower stall that has thick blue green skuz from water dripping for years – is there any way to clean it? or do I just replace it?

    • Hi Shirl- Do you know what the blue/green skuz is? I would try cleaning it – maybe vinegar and elbow grease?

    • Zud. You can buy it at some grocery stores, or at the hardware store. It’s a thick white liquid similar to the liquid Comet. You need to follow the directions on the back, and may need a lot of elbow grease, but it WORKS. It’s like magic!

  29. Sunlight soap + steel wool + elbow grease = shiny pans

  30. I bought some nice quality stainless steel pans with copper bottoms from a garage sale. They were nasty with greese. I cleaned up the stainless steel but cannot get the copper bottom clean. Any ideas?

    • I cut a lemon in half, place the cut side down on the copper and sprinkle with salt. Make circular motions with the lemon. The acid in the lemon will clean it as well as the salt being a safe abrasive. I have also used Bar Keepers Friend on copper.

  31. I found this out by accident I turned on the cleaning cycle on my oven to clean it and left a pan inside. When it was all done the pan was spotless like the oven. Love this, so easy!

  32. I have found that these stains are most likely baked on shortening when a recipe calls for greasing the pan. simple fix would be to use parchment paper instead. those pans stay a lot cleaner and you don’t have to work so hard to clean them. plus you are not adding that fat to your pan to continually bake into it.

  33. Worked as a magic for me! Thanks for sharing!

  34. I just put mine in the oven on clean cycle… take them out, wipe then off… good to go.

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