A good sheet pan can make quick and easy dinners, and they are an affordable piece of cookware that can seemingly last forever. But, when you use them and get them dirty, there are some stains that just won't come out --- no matter how hard you scrub.
But, you don't have to accept brown, burnt residue covering your sheet pan forever. Even though soap and water alone won't work to get rid of these stains, there are some easy solutions that can help you get your sheet pan shining again and looking almost new.
Start by plugging your sink and running hot water, then add one-half cup of baking soda and one-half cup of white vinegar. The combination will start to bubble up, and that chemical reaction will help loosen the residue on your pan.
If your sink is large enough, submerge your entire sheet pan and let it soak for at least thirty minutes (If you have a smaller sink you will have to flip the pan and soak each half separately). After you soak your pan, grab some dishwashing gloves and take a scouring pad and begin scrubbing away. This will take a bit of elbow grease, but once you start scrubbing, you will see the stains start to disappear.
After scrubbing, wash the pan with dish soap and water to finish up, and then immediately dry the pan so it won't rust.
There is also a bonus that comes with this method. When you drain the water, baking soda, and vinegar, it will clean out your sink drain.
If you don't have a sink that will easily accommodate your sheet pan, you can try this method with baking soda, vinegar, and salt. Start by sprinkling a layer of baking soda on your pan, followed by a layer of sea salt. Finally, spritz vinegar on the pan and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, start scrubbing and watch the gunk come off and your pan start to shine again.
If you only have table salt, you can use that. However, according to CNet, it doesn't work as well as sea salt.
First, get your sheet pan wet, and then sprinkle Bar Keepers Friend all over it. Next, ball up a piece of foil and use it to scrub the pan. This method will easily clean the stains, but if you don't have access to Bar Keepers Friend, you can substitute baking soda. The only difference is that you will have to keep applying the baking soda while you clean.
Both Bar Keepers Friend and baking soda work, but do not use this method with a pan that is painted or has a special coating because the foil will scratch it off.
A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is one of the best and easiest solutions when it comes to scrubbing away stains and grime. However, after using one for just a few minutes, it can start to fall apart. Which means, spending a dollar on each sponge can start to get a bit pricey. But the truth is, they aren't magic at all, and you can make one yourself for just pennies.
A Magic Eraser is a piece of melamine foam with a cleaning agent inside. A melamine sponge is denser than a regular sponge, and that material is what makes a Magic Eraser work like, well, magic.
You can buy melamine sponges in bulk online, and 100 sponges will cost you less than six dollars. Then, make your cleaning solution. For one sponge you will need:
First mix the Borax and Baking Soda together in a bowl and then add the water. Next, simply place your sponge in the bowl so it can absorb the cleaner. Then, start scrubbing away and watch the magic that you created do its thing.
With this method, you have 100 magic sponges to easily clean your sheet pan after every use.
You might be skeptical about using a condiment to clean the stains from your sheet pan, but the acid in ketchup does eat through stains and will make your stainless steel sheet pan look new. Plus, this method doesn't require soaking, and it only takes a little bit of scrubbing.
A great way to prevent stains on your sheet pan is to line it with aluminum foil or parchment paper before cooking. Not only will it prevent stains, but it also allows for easy clean-up after your meal. However, if you are broiling, parchment paper can catch fire, so be sure to use aluminum foil and cooking spray to prevent sticking.
Also, since every oven is different, get to know yours. Pay attention to whether your oven runs hot or cold, or if it has major hot spots. Knowing these things can help you avoid ruining a sheet pan dinner and staining your pan.
A cheap oven thermometer can help you figure out your oven's temperature issues (if any) and remembering to rotate your sheet pan halfway through cooking can help you get past the hot spots.