How to Clean Baking Sheets So They Look Brand New

Whether you run your pots and pans through a dishwasher or hand wash them, sometimes your cookware needs an extra boost to get clean. Cleaning pots and pans with baking soda can provide this boost. The baking soda adds a gentle scrubbing effect to get rid of stuck-on food and tough stains.

Here’s what you need to know about using baking soda to clean cookware and bakeware.

Non-stick pans are designed to prevent food and other materials from adhering to a cooking surface. They facilitate easy kitchen cleanup and make the cooking process more convenient, saving your staff valuable time in the kitchen. To keep your non-stick cookware in good shape, it’s important to stay up to date on proper cleaning and maintenance techniques. Below, we’ll investigate the best ways to clean your non-stick pans.

Baking pans and cookie sheets take a lot of heat as they work to deliver meals and sweet treats. But even the most attentive cook can’t prevent occasional burnt-on messes, greasy splatters, and sticky sugars. And these stains and scorch marks add up over time. At some point, it will be time to toss your old sheet pan and replace it, but often, all it needs is a little TLC to get it looking like new. If your sheet pan still has some life in it, read on for our tips for cleaning baking sheets with natural ingredients. Before you start, note that non-stick baking pans require different care than their uncoated counterparts.

These methods show you how to clean baking sheets with DIY cleaning solutions starring baking soda, vinegar, and peroxide. Plus, learn which store-bought cleaners and tools work best.

Non stick pans are a popular option for those looking for easy cleanup or a stick-free cooking surface. But even non stick has its limits—no cookware is immune to burnt-on messes.

For those facing this scenario now—don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Our team put together a guide to cleaning a burnt non stick pan, so that you can restore your pan to its former easy-to-use glory.

Why Does Non Stick Burn?

There are two ways non stick pans can get burnt: dry heating and overheating.

Dry heating occurs when you expose your pan to heat for extended periods of time with nothing in it. To avoid dry heating, always add cooking fat or other ingredients to your pan before turning the heat on.

Overheating occurs when you leave your non stick cookware over very high heat for too long. To protect and preserve your pan’s non stick surface, treat it gently—if you need truly rugged cookware that can handle intensely high heat for extended periods, we advise sticking to carbon steel. We recommend cooking over medium-high heat, maximum. Made In’s Non Stick Collection features an Award-Winning Stainless Clad core, meaning it offers a superior sear, even at lower temperatures.

How to Clean a Burnt Non Stick Pan

Method One: Soap and Water

The first way to restore a burnt pan is to simply wash the surface of your non stick pan with dish soap, hot water, and a dish sponge.

Step 1: Rinse

If food has been burnt on the surface of your pan, it’s likely dried out. As anyone who’s ever done the dishes knows, it’s impossible to clean when pieces of food have hardened on any surface. Simply letting the pan soak in hot water for 10 to 15 minutes will help solve this issue.

Step 2: Soap

Once the pan has soaked, dump the water and add dish soap to both your dish sponge and the pan. The dish soap will help break down oil, grease, and pieces of burnt food.

Step 3: Sponge

Using the rough side of your dish sponge, scrub the burnt areas of your pan clean. Steer clear of anything more abrasive, like chain mail, steel wool, or heavy-duty scrubbing brushes—these can scratch and damage the delicate coating on your pan.

Method Two: Vinegar and Baking Soda

If your non stick pan is visibly charred, a mixture of white vinegar, water, and baking soda should help loosen and remove any black residue.

Step 1: Create the Mixture

Create a slurry  of white vinegar, water, and baking soda directly in your non stick pan. Pour enough water to cover the bottom of the pan, along with 2 tablespoons of both white vinegar and baking soda.

Step 2: Boil

Bring the above mixture to a boil and stir to dissolve using a silicone or Wooden Spoon. Continue stirring for 5 minutes to encourage any burnt residue to loosen.

Allow the mixture to cool completely after boiling. Discard vinegar solution and rinse the pan with warm water and continue with steps two and three of the first method, above.

If you’ve tried both methods of cleaning and the burnt food or residue still remains stuck to the surface of your pan, it may be time to replace it. Once the non stick coating of the pan has started to break down, it will only continue to do so, making it easier and easier for food to stick to its surface. In some cases, the non stick coating may also begin to flake off during cooking.

Additional Non Stick Care Tips

Tip 1: Use Low Heat

The primary reason that food burns is because it was cooked on high heat. While many new home cooks turn to high heat because it seems more efficient, it often leads to burnt, overcooked food–and cookware. Fortunately, high-quality Non Stick like Made In’s is capable of doing more with less heat.

Tip 2: Avoid Metal Utensils

We love metal spatulas, whisks, and spoons, but not while using non stick. Metal utensils have the potential to scrape the non stick coating off, so we recommend sticking with wood or other non stick-friendly utensils.

Tip 3: Keep Watch

Not just for non stick pans, but a good rule of thumb regardless of what cookware you’re using is to watch your food the entire time it’s cooking. While it can be tempting to leave your meal on the stove unattended for just one second, resist the urge, as it only takes a minute or two for your dish to go from perfectly seared to a smoky mess.

Ready to Cook?

When it comes to convenience in cookware, there’s nothing that quite measures up to a humble Non Stick pot or pan. The best versions offer a high-quality PTFE (non stick) coating, which creates a near frictionless cooking surface and promises minimal cleanup.

Even with workhorse construction, Non Stick Cookware still requires care in order to help it perform its best and last as long as possible. Since most Non Stick lines are generally not dishwasher-safe, you’ll need to know how to properly hand wash without damaging or warping the coating.

Here, we’ll cover some of the do’s and don’ts of cleaning your favorite Non Stick pot or pan, along with tips for tackling different degrees of mess.

Dirty Pans

If your Non Stick pot or pan is relatively new and/or you’ve done a good job of maintaining it, you probably won’t need to do much to get (and keep) it clean. That’s especially true for pans that are just slightly dirty from regular use—i.e., pans that still have just a bit of leftover oil or food residue on them.

Step One: Let it Cool

This is a crucial step—wait for your pan to cool down before you try to clean it. Running a hot pan under cool water can cause thermal shock, which can warp your pan and create an uneven cooking surface and potentially damage the Non Stick coating.

Step Two: Wipe it Down

Rinse your pan with warm water and wipe with a soft, dry sponge or dish brush to remove as much food and oil residue as possible before scrubbing.

Step Three: Scrub Gently

Apply a few drops of a gentle dish soap to the sponge or brush, then carefully scrub the inside of the pan to remove any lingering food, grease, or oil.

Step Four: Dry and Put Away

Dry your pan with a paper towel or clean dish towel before putting it away. If you choose to stack your pans, make sure to place a dish towel, napkin, or other non-abrasive cloth in between them to prevent scratching.

Burnt Pans

When cleaning burnt pans, you’ll need to be a little more hands-on. A burnt pan is one that has either been overheated (meaning that it’s been left over high heat for too long with food or oil in it) or one that has been dry heated (meaning that it’s been left on the heat for extended periods of time without anything in it).

Cleaning burnt Non Stick pans is a tad trickier than cleaning regular dirty pans, but you can usually get the job done just as fast with a solution of water, baking soda, and vinegar.

Step One: Mix and Heat Your Solution

Once you’ve wiped out your pan, add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan, along with two tablespoons each of baking soda and vinegar. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring gently with a Wooden Spoon or other Non Stick-friendly utensil.

Step Two: Scrape Gently

Allow the mixture to boil for about five minutes. While it’s boiling, use your non-metal utensil of choice to carefully scrape along the bottom and sides of the pan. This should remove all or most of the burnt-on bits.

Step Three: Cool and Rinse

Allow your pan to cool down completely before dumping out the liquid. Wash with warm soapy water, then dry completely before putting away.

Discolored Pans

All pans will start to develop some slight discoloration over time, which is an indication that it’s well-used and is generally nothing to worry about. However, serious discoloration could indicate that the Non Stick coating has begun to break down, and your pan won’t be able to do its job properly.

You can try removing some of the discoloration using the water, vinegar, and baking soda solution mentioned above—if this doesn’t work, it might be time to invest in a new pan.

Additional Tips for Maintaining Non Stick Cookware

Now that you’ve got the basics down, here are a few extra tips for safely and easily cleaning your Non Stick Pots and Pans.

Use Soft Utensils

Like we mentioned above, it’s important to only use non-abrasive tools when cleaning or cooking with your Non Stick Cookware. This is because the PTFE coating that allows your omelets and fish filets to slip around with ease also has a tendency to scratch. Surface-level scratches are nothing to worry about, but deeper ones can expose the metal underneath and cause permanent damage to the pan’s Non Stick capacity.

Avoid scratching by using tools made of wood, nylon, or silicone on your Non Stick Cookware, and avoid anything made of metal.

Clean After Using

Another important part of caring for your Non Stick Cookware involves cleaning it quickly after you cook with it. Food is more likely to stick if it sits in the pan for a long period of time, which can cause the Non Stick coating to quickly degrade.

While most Non Stick Cookware is hand wash-only, some brands claim that their Non Stick Cookware is dishwasher-safe. Make sure to only put your Cookware in the dishwasher if it’s recommended by the manufacturer—though we’d still recommend hand washing to prolong the life of your Cookware.

Ready to Shop?

While Non Stick Cookware isn’t designed to last quite as long as Cast Iron or Stainless Clad, that doesn’t mean it should be treated as disposable. With regular care and cleaning, your pots and pans can serve you well in the kitchen for years—especially if they feature our 5-Ply Stainless Clad construction.

Made In’s line of Non Stick Cookware begins with our Award-Winning Stainless Clad, and is improved with 2 layers of professional-grade Non Stick coating. It’s a high-performing and incredibly durable addition to your kitchen—maybe now you can work on nailing that perfect French omelet.

Nonstick pans have very specific rules when it comes to cooking, cleaning and storing. To break down the proper way to use, clean and store nonstick cookware, we tapped experts Wendy Dyer, a product director at All-Clad, and Nate Collier, the director of marketing communications for Le Creuset, who explained the do’s and don’ts of caring for nonstick surfaces.

Nonstick pans do require special care to ensure they last a long time. There are cooking tools that are safe for use on a nonstick surface, and it’s important to know what they are. Similarly, when cleaning a nonstick cooking surface, certain cleaning agents and tools are to be avoided. And lastly, correctly storing a nonstick pan is crucial to avoiding damage. These cooking, cleaning and storage products are the right ones to use with nonstick pans.

Palmolive Essential Clean Liquid Dish Soap

Both Dyer and Collier recommend washing nonstick cookware by hand rather than in the dishwasher — even if the pan is dishwasher-safe. “To maximize the life of your nonstick,” Dyer says, “avoid using a dishwasher because of the harsh detergents, high temperatures and residue left afterward.”

Scotch-Brite Non-Scratch Scrub Sponges

When washing nonstick cookware, be sure to use a sponge that is safe for the material and won’t cause scratching or degradation of the nonstick surface. Avoid using harsh scouring pads, and never use steel wool on a nonstick surface.

Flour Sack Dish Towels

After washing a nonstick pan, dry it thoroughly using a lint-free dish towel before storing. Flour sack dish towels can also be used to protect nonstick pans while being stored; simply place the towel in the pan before stacking another pan on top.

Reeqmont Heavy-Duty Pot Rack Organizer

A pot rack organizer can help to protect nonstick cooking surfaces while in storage. Never stack pots and pans directly inside a nonstick pan to avoid damaging the surface.

Step 1: After cooking, clean shortly afterward once the pan is cool to the touch.

Step 2: If there is significant residue in the pan, soak in warm water and dish detergent for a few minutes before going in with a sponge. If not, simply wash the pan with a sponge and hot, soapy water.

Step 3: Wipe the pan clean with a sponge or dishcloth.

Step 4: Rinse with warm water.

Step 5: Dry with a soft towel.

To remove heavy residue, Dyer recommends two methods for deep cleaning a nonstick pan:

Method 1: Boil a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water in the pan while carefully using a wooden spoon to remove stuck-on bits. From there, soak the pan in hot, soapy water to help release the food.

Method 2: Make a paste of baking soda and water, and use a Dobie Pad to scour the nonstick surface. Dyer notes that this method should be used sparingly: “This should only be used on rare occasions as maintenance and not for everyday cleaning.”

“Before first use,” Collier says, “you should remove all packaging and labels. Wash the pan in hot, soapy water before rinsing and drying thoroughly. Condition the interior nonstick cooking surface by rubbing a film of vegetable or corn oil over the entire cooking surface with a paper towel. Rinse the pan with hot water and dry thoroughly. The pan is now ready for use.”

  • Use low or medium heat when cooking on a nonstick surface, as nonstick coatings are more delicate than raw metal surfaces. The pan should never be used on the highest heat setting for either preheating or cooking. Excessive surface temperatures will damage the nonstick cooking surface.
  • Add a small amount of oil or fat to the cooking surface before heating begins to improve the flavor and browning of foods.
  • If the oil or fat becomes hot enough to smoke, cool the pan before proceeding. If oil or fat is smoking, it’s a sign that your pan is too hot.
  • For fat-free cooking, preheat the pan on a medium heat setting for approximately two minutes before adding the food.
  • Never use cooking sprays; they leave a residue that permanently adheres to the nonstick coating, reducing its stick resistance.
  • Always use wood, silicone or nylon utensils while cooking on a nonstick surface; generally, it is best to avoid the use of metal utensils.
  • Metal tools, spoons or balloon whisks may be used with care, but should not be used harshly or scraped over the nonstick surface.
  • Do not knock utensils on the top rim of the pan.
  • Knives or other utensils with sharp edges should never be used to cut foods on the nonstick surface.
  • Handheld electric or battery-operated beaters should not be used on the nonstick surface.
  • Do not use any metal or abrasive pads.
  • Do not use abrasive cleaning agents.
  • Clean thoroughly between uses. Dyer notes that “pans may look clean but actually have oil residue which can build over time and lessen the release of your nonstick.”
  • If the pan is regularly washed in the dishwasher, Collier says, “Some darkening of the rivets and outer ring of the base may occur, or a powdery white deposit may form. This is normal and will not affect the performance of the pan. The surface dulling or white deposits can be removed by carefully cleaning the affected areas with a gentle nylon pad and detergent. After cleaning, rinse and dry thoroughly.”
  • When cleaning a nonstick pan in the dishwasher, Collier recommends reconditioning the cooking surface with vegetable or corn oil before the next use.
  • Use a pot rack instead of stacking to avoid metal-to-metal scratching.
  • If you must stack, use a towel or pan protector between each piece of cookware.

Photo: Marguerite Preston

Any well-used baking sheet will develop a dark patina of baked-on oils over time, and the internet is full of ideas for getting it off. The tips range from boiling dryer sheets to drenching your pan in ketchup, but I have bad news: There’s no good way to restore your baking sheets’ shine without a fair amount of hard scrubbing. I also have good news: Your dingy baking sheets are actually fine—maybe even better—just the way they are.

That doesn’t mean you don’t need to clean the regular grime off of your baking sheets—you definitely do, and we’ll teach you how. But before you scrub everything away, know that a well-seasoned baking sheet has benefits. You don’t really have to scrub it back to bare metal (but if you really want to, we’ll walk you through that, too).

A dirty pan vs. a seasoned pan

It’s important to distinguish between grime and seasoning. Grease, burnt-on bits of food, and basically any kind of debris left on your baking sheet after cooking count as grime that should be washed off. Seasoning is the same thing as seasoning on a cast-iron pan: layers of hard, polymerized oil baked onto the pan over time.

Seasoning accumulates when you bake things long and hot or when you put your pan in the oven with a little residual oil on it from last time you used it (this is why the sides, corners, and underside of your sheet pan may get darker than the surface, since those are the areas that get neglected in washing).

A well-seasoned baking sheet is great for a few reasons. Seasoning helps aluminum—a very sticky metal—be less sticky, in the same way it helps cast iron pans release eggs or cornbread. It also helps protect from corrosion that’s caused by acidic foods like tomatoes. And finally, the darker surface (even if it’s just the underside of the pan) absorbs heat better than reflective bare aluminum, leading to more browning (here’s a great video by cooking instructor Helen Rennie showing the difference). That extra browning is great for roasting things like vegetables or meat.

Yes, there are some times when you might want less browning––when baking delicate cookies, for example. For those times, I suggest you keep a couple dedicated baking sheets clean (and always use parchment paper when baking cookies). But if you have a bunch of seasoned pans, you could also scrub a couple back to their original finish.

What you need

  • Dish soap: Whatever you usually use will do, as long as it’s good at cutting through grease. We like the pleasantly unscented Seventh Generation Free & Clear Dish Soap.
  • A sponge with a scouring side: Using a good, sturdy scouring pad like the green side of a Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Scrub Sponge will make cutting through stuck-on messes easier. The soft side of the sponge is great for wiping off any stubborn grease.
  • A dish brush (optional): A good nylon scrubber like the OXO Good Grips Dish Brush will quickly loosen crusty foods after you’ve given your pan a good soak.
  • Bar Keepers Friend or baking soda (optional): Should you decide to try to remove some of the seasoning that’s accumulated on your pan, these are two of the most effective and accessible cleaning agents you can use. Bar Keepers Friend did marginally better when we tried them side by side.

How long will this take to clean?

If nothing is too stuck to your pan, it should just take a few minutes to wash thoroughly by hand. For tougher, stuck-on food and grease, add an extra 30 minutes to let your pan soak.

If you decide to tackle the baked-on coating of oil on a well-used pan, you’ll need to let the pan sit with a coating of baking soda or Barkeepers Friend and water for 30 minutes to an hour. After that, you’ll have to spend at least 15 to 20 minutes scrubbing, and you still might not get everything off. Again, you really don’t need to do this.

How to clean baking sheets

Everything below applies mainly to bare aluminum baking sheets, which are what we recommend. It should also hold true for steel or aluminized steel baking sheets, which are less common. Don’t use these techniques to clean a nonstick baking sheet—you’ll destroy the nonstick coating.

Everyday cleanup (even for tough messes)

If your baking sheet is just a little greasy or nothing is too stuck to it, wash it thoroughly by hand with hot water and dish soap. If you’re hoping to minimize the buildup of seasoning, be careful to get all the grease out of the corners of the pan, and don’t forget to wash the underside of the pan thoroughly.

For tougher, stuck-on messes, fill the pan with hot water, drizzle in a little dish soap, and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Then tackle those crusty spots with a dish brush or the scouring side of a sponge. After a good soak, most gunk should lift off pretty easily with just a quick scrubbing. Finish with a rinse, a final once-over with a soapy sponge, and one more rinse in hot water.

It’s most effective to hand-wash your baking sheets. Plus, a trip through the dishwasher will tarnish the bare aluminum, though it won’t ruin your pans. Nordic Ware, the maker of our favorite baking sheet, says the tarnish “is merely cosmetic and will not affect baking properties or safety of the pan.”

Getting back to bare metal (if you really want to)

Marguerite Preston is a senior editor covering kitchen gear and appliances at Wirecutter, and has written guides to baking equipment, meal kit delivery services, and more. She previously worked as an editor for Eater New York and as a freelance food writer. Before that, she learned her way around professional kitchens as a pastry cook in New York.

Mentioned above

A no-scrub solution is one of the easiest and best ways to clean baking sheets.

  • Mix Boiling Water with Baking Soda
    This method from Kitchen Living With Coryanne uses baking soda ($1, Target) to clean cookie sheets. Start by pouring boiling water onto the pan and add a few tablespoons of baking soda.
  • Wipe and Wash
    Once the solution stops bubbling, allow it to sit for an hour before wiping away the burned-on debris with a soft cloth ($16 for 10, Amazon). Finish the job by hand-washing the sheet pan with mild dish soap.
  • Soak with Solution
    If the scorch marks or burned-on messes are stubborn, tap into the abrasive nature of baking soda with this no-scrub method from Melissa Maker of Clean My Space. Soak the sheet pan with a mixture of 1 Tbsp. baking soda, a few drops of dish soap, and hot water for one hour to overnight. After soaking, you should be able to scrub away any debris or stains.

    For non-stick pans, avoid heavy-duty or abrasive scrubbing. Maker says this combination works well thanks to the abrasion from the baking soda and the grease-lifting power of dish soap.

How to Clean Nonstick Frying Pans

Nonstick frying pans can benefit from a mixture of baking soda and water to remove lingering food smells and flavors. Baking soda also works as a mild abrasive to help clean stubborn stains and scorched oil.

The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

  • Create a Paste
    Cover the bottom of the pan with a layer of water. Sprinkle baking soda liberally over the water to create a thin paste.

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

  • Rest, Rinse, and Wash
    Let the pan sit for several hours, and then rinse and wash the pan.

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

  • Remove Stubborn Stains
    Remove stubborn stains on nonstick pans by boiling a solution of 4 tablespoons baking soda and 1/2 cup water in the pan. Let the pan cool. Then rinse, and scrub the stain with straight baking soda and a nonstick-safe nylon scrubbing brush.

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

Or Try a “Cleaning Cocktail”

Cookware company Farberware recommends combatting cooked-on schmutz and stains with a “cleaning cocktail.” To do so, add ½ cup water and 1 ½ cups water to your nonstick pan. Then, cook the mixture over medium heat for 5-10 minutes to remove stuck-on food particles. Let the mixture cool naturally, then wash with warm, soapy water and a gentle sponge or brush. Rinse the pan and let it dry.

Skip the Dishwasher

We know: It’s a bit of a hassle to wash by hand. But it’s worth the few extra seconds to have a beautiful, longer-lasting pan.

“Read your manufacturer’s care instructions, as many nonstick pans are made from different materials,” Weeden says. “But I don’t think any pan should go in the dishwasher. They last much longer when cleaned by hand.”

The slippery coating that helps your seared salmon slide right out with ease can deteriorate quicker under the high heat and harsh conditions of the hands-off appliance.

“Even if your nonstick pan says ‘dishwasher-safe,’ hot temperatures and harsh detergents will break down the surface,” Reichert says.

Clean Immediately With Hot, Soapy Water

The best way to clean a nonstick pan is by washing it immediately (without burning yourself on a hot pan, of course). “If you clean the pans right away, most debris will rinse right off,” Reichert says.

The nonstick quality that prevents most food from adhering will also keep the majority of debris from doing so — if you address it immediately. The longer a pan sits out, the easier it will be for food to really cling to it.

“Use a gentle dish soap made to cut grease. Wash the entire inside and outside of the pan with soap, water, and a microfiber cloth,” Reichert adds.

How to Clean Copper Bottoms on Pots and Pans

Return the copper bottoms of your pots and pans to their shiny selves using baking soda, vinegar, and a half lemon.

  • Cover the Bottom
    Turn the pan upside down, and sprinkle baking soda all over the copper bottom. Pour vinegar over the bottom of the pan.
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  • Scrub With a Lemon
    Use a half lemon as a “scrub brush” to scrub all over the bottom of the pan. Scrub up along the sides, too, as needed.
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida
  • Rinse and Dry
    Rinse the pan thoroughly, and then dry it with a cloth.
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

How to Clean Roasting Pans

Clean any roasting pan with stuck-on food using baking soda, water, and vinegar.

  • Sprinkle the Surface
    Sprinkle the surface generously with baking soda.

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

  • Combine 1 cup of hot water and 1/3 cup of vinegar, and pour the solution into the pan. The baking soda and vinegar will fizz for a moment.

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

  • Soak and Scrape
    Let the pan soak for a few hours. Then, scrape the surface with a spatula or other suitable scraper, and continue to soak.

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

  • Wash and Rinse
    Wash the pan with straight baking soda and a scrubbing brush, and then rinse.

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

Avoid Abrasive and Metal Pads

Steel wool and even those slightly-less-strong plastic scouring pads can do a number on your pan’s nonstick coating, too.

“Avoid using anything metal on nonstick surfaces. I like using Skoy cloths and Skoy pads instead,” Reichert says.

Shop Non Stick Cookware

If you find yourself with a burnt non stick pan, one of the two methods above should allow you to restore it to its original condition. However, if you find yourself in need of a replacement pan, be sure to take a look at our collection of high-performance Non Stick Cookware, featuring a double coating of 100% non-toxic PTFE and Award-Winning 5-Ply Stainless Clad construction.

How to Clean Baking Sheets with Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is hardly reserved for the medicine cabinet. Keep a bottle in your cleaning caddy and break it out to clean cookie sheets along with baking soda.

  • Soak the Baking Sheet
  • Rinse and Repeat (If Needed)
    Wipe the mixture off with a sponge. If needed, repeat the process for tough stains. Once finished, rinse the baking sheet well and wash it with mild dish soap.

    Maker cautions that peroxide can have a bleaching effect and is not a food-grade product. If you choose to use it, first test the peroxide on an inconspicuous spot. Be sure to thoroughly rinse and wash the sheet pan after you complete the stain treatment. There are plenty of ways to clean baking sheets without hydrogen peroxide, so start with one of our other methods first.

Frequently Asked Questions

For an extra tough mess, use baking soda and vinegar to clean baking sheets. Baking soda is a great lifter, and vinegar is a natural acid, says Leslie Reichert, the Green Cleaning Coach and author of The Joy of Green Cleaning ($15, Amazon). Reichert recommends this simple method to clean cookie sheets with baking soda and vinegar.

  • Fill Sink with Cleaning Mixture
    Fill your kitchen sink with hot water and pour in equal parts baking soda and vinegar (approximately a half cup each). Place the cookie sheet in the sink and let it soak for 30-60 minutes.
  • Scrub Clean and Dry
    Scrub with the abrasive side of a basic kitchen sponge ($5 for 6, Walmart). After you’ve cleaned off the baked-on residue, wash the pan with mild dish soap and dry.

    For non-stick sheet pans, you’ll want to skip any vigorous scrubbing to protect the coating. However, baking soda and vinegar can also be used to clean a non-stick baking sheet. Cover the baking pan with 2 tsp. baking soda and 1 cup vinegar and let the mixture sit for 30 minutes. This will release stuck-on food so that it can be wiped away. Once the mess is gone, wash the pan with mild dish soap.


  • Add vinegar and water: Begin by adding a mixture of vinegar and water to the pan. For the best results, it’s recommended that you use one part vinegar to two parts water.
  • Simmer: Once the mixture is added, put your pan on the stove and bring it to a simmer.
  • Cool down: Once the residue appears to be gone, remove the pan from heat and allow it to cool down.
  • Wash: Pour out the mixture of water and vinegar and wash the pan using soap and warm water.
  • Rinse: Rinse with warm water to remove any excess residue.
  • Dry: Place the pan on a drying rack or towel to dry.

How to Clean Baking Sheets with a Scouring Tool or Product

Another option is to roll up your sleeves and clean old baking sheets with scouring tools.

How to Clean Burned Pans

Anyone who has ever burned a pan knows how hard it is to clean off scorch marks. Next time this happens, cook off the burn with baking soda and water.

  • Make a Paste
    Cover the bottom of the pan with baking soda, and add water to make a thin pasty solution.
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  • Heat the Pan
    Heat the pan on the stove until it comes to a boil, and then remove it from the heat. (You don’t want to burn it again!)
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  • Wait and Wipe
    Wait for the solution to cool, and wipe or scrub the pot to remove the burned-on food.
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

It doesn’t take long for new cookie sheets to start looking old with brown stains that don’t come off no matter how hard you scrub. Return your cookie sheets to gleaming perfection with a thick paste with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.

  • Mix Baking Soda With Hydrogen Peroxide
    Mix baking soda with a small amount of ordinary household hydrogen peroxide to create a thick paste.
    The Spruce / Almar Creative
  • Apply the paste all over the stained area of the cookie sheet.
    The Spruce / Almar Creative
  • Wait two hours.
    The Spruce / Almar Creative
  • Rub Off the Paste With a Cloth or Sponge
    No heavy scrubbing is necessary. If any stain remains, rub it with your fingers; it should come right off.
    The Spruce / Almar Creative
  • Flip and Repeat
    Flip the cookie sheet over, and repeat the process on the bottom side. 
    The Spruce / Almar Creative
  • Wash and Dry
    Wash and dry the cookie sheet as usual.
    The Spruce / Almar Creative

How to Clean Baking Sheets in a Self-Cleaning Oven

If your attempts to salvage a scorched baking sheet aren’t successful, it might be time to purchase new pans. This is especially true if they are scratched, warped, or the non-stick coating is peeling, scratched, or worn away.

Dry Thoroughly

After oiling your pan, dry it completely and store it safely. If you’re stacking the nonstick pan among others, layer a dry, clean washcloth, dish towel, or reusable paper towel between each to avoid scratching and surface damage.

How Often to Clean Pots and Pans With Baking Soda

Because baking soda isn’t abrasive, you can use it anytime your pots and pans need a thorough cleaning. This can be as often as every time you use them, or you can reserve this method for the most stubborn, stuck-on food and stain situations.

How to Clean Pots and Pans With Baking Soda

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Lemon

There are two different methods for cleaning burn marks off of non-stick pans. One simply requires soap and water, while the other requires vinegar and baking soda. Below, we’ve included instructions for each method:

How to Clean Non Stick Pans with Soap and Water

  • Rinse: Use soap and warm water to remove leftover food from the surface.
  • Scrub: Using hot water and a non-abrasive sponge or cloth, scrub the surface of the pan to remove burnt food remains.
  • Rinse again: After scrubbing, rinse the pan to remove any leftover soap or food particles.
  • Dry: Once it’s been cleaned, allow the pan to dry.

How to Clean Non Stick Pans with Vinegar and Baking Soda

  • Mix solution: Mix of two tablespoons white vinegar, baking soda, and a small amount of water in the pan.
  • Heat: Place the pan on your stove and apply heat.
  • Boil: Let the mixture boil for up to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Cool down: After five minutes, remove the pan from heat and allow it to cool.
  • Rinse: Rinse the pan with warm water and wash it out using a sponge and dish soap.
  • Dry: Allow the pan to dry.

How to Clean a Non Stick Pan

  • Cool down: Before you begin cleaning, allow the pan to cool completely. Rinsing the pan while it is still warm or hot can warp it and cause damage.
  • Rinse: Using soap and warm water, rinse the pan to remove leftover food particles.
  • Scrub: Using a sponge or washcloth, scrub the surface of the pan to remove any remaining food particles.
  • Rinse again: Once the pan has been scrubbed, rinse it again.
  • Dry: Using a clean towel, dry the surface of the pan.

Tips to Keep Your Pots and Pans Clean Longer

  • You should always allow pots and pans to cool before washing them; particularly hot stainless steel cookware can warp if submerged or splashed with cold water.
  • Avoid using steel wool, scouring pads, oven cleaners, bleach, or strong abrasive cleaners—all of these can scratch your cookware.
  • Thoroughly dry your pans immediately after cleaning them to prevent water spots and white dried calcium spots from developing.

Oil Up

Similar to the Tin Man, your cooking tools improve with a little lubrication.

“You don’t need to season like cast iron, but a rub of oil before and after using a nonstick pan can help protect the surface,” Weeden says.

A teaspoon to half-tablespoon per dose should do the trick.

Remove Cooked-On Grime With Baking Soda

As an alternative to harsh household cleaners (like Comet) that contain corrosive acids, try an all-natural option.

“Mix baking soda with water or olive oil until it reaches the consistency of toothpaste. This works great as a green cleaning option and even works to remove burnt-on grease,” Reichert says.

How to Clean Enameled Pots

Porcelain-enameled cast-iron cookware, such as Le Creuset, has a seemingly bulletproof, relatively nonstick surface, but it can get crusty like any other type of pan. The secret to removing stubborn buildup is boiling water with baking soda.

  • Add Baking Soda
    Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda, and then stir with a wooden spoon. Let the mixture simmer for several minutes.
    The Spruce / Almar Creative
  • Scrape the Pan
    Dump out the pot and rinse the pan with warm water, and then dry.
    The Spruce / Almar Creative

Non Stick Pan FAQ

Keeping track of the key details about non-stick pans can be difficult, especially when there are so many different types of equipment in a kitchen. Whether you’re new to foodservice or have been in the industry for years, it’s essential that you stay informed on key details. To help, we’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions about non-stick pans:

How Do Non Stick Pans Work?

Non-stick pans consist of a metal base coated in Teflon. Also known as polytetrafluoroethylene (PFTE), a Teflon coating provides pans with a nonstick, frictionless surface. For the best results, some manufacturers suggest adding a light coating of vegetable oil to your non-stick pan before cooking.

What Is the Best Material for Non Stick Pans?

In general, there are three base materials for non-stick pans. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. These materials are:

  • Aluminum: These pans come in several different varieties and are the most affordable option. They excel at conducting heat, but can easily be warped and are easier to damage.
  • Hard-anodized aluminum: These non-stick pans are more durable than their counterparts, easily resisting scratches and other damage. However, they come with a higher price tag and are typically heavier than other pans.
  • Stainless steel: Stainless steel pans heat up quickly and are highly versatile. However, they are also more expensive and require regular maintenance to stay in good shape.

What to Avoid in Non Stick Pans

  • Active burners: Avoid putting empty pans on burners that are already turned on.
  • Heat above 500 degrees Fahrenheit: Refrain from heating non-stick pans above 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Metal utensils: These can scratch the coating of the pan. Consider using wood or silicone utensils instead.
  • Aerosol cooking sprays: Many aerosol cooking sprays contain additives that can ruin the non-stick coating of your pans. Consider using butter or oil instead.
  • Rinsing with cold water: Rinsing a hot nonstick pan with cold water can cause the pan to warp, ruining its shape.
  • Putting non-stick cookware in the dishwasher: It’s best to wash your non-stick pans by hand. Putting them in the dishwasher can warp your pans and strip away their non-stick coating, causing permanent damage.

Are Non Stick Pans Safe When Scratched?

If your non-stick pan was made after 2013, then it is likely safe to use if scratched. However, if it was made before 2013, it may not be safe to use if scratched. Before 2013, the Teflon used to coat non-stick pans contained a substance called Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a carboxylic acid that can cause harmful side effects. Thankfully, non-stick products no longer contain PFOA, meaning that pans made in recent years are safe to use when scratched.

How Often to Replace Non Stick Pans

In general, it’s best to replace your non-stick pans every five years. Over time, most pans will start to warp or become discolored. In some cases, the coating can scratch or peel. The more this coating is damaged, the less effective your stainless steel cookware will be. For that reason, it’s ideal to replace them with new pans over time.

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Properly cleaning your non-stick pans is essential to extending their lifespan. By adhering to the information above, you’ll be able to keep your equipment in good condition, reduce replacement costs, and maintain a successful kitchen space.

By Jason Kurtz

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