This Smart Cleaning Hack Will Save Your Cookie Sheets

There's something so satisfying about cooking or baking with a brand new cookie sheet; the shiny metal invites ideas of warm chocolate chip cookies and deliciously-roasted vegetables. But it barely takes a few uses for these sheets to build up that familiar brown, greasy, crusty film, even when we try out best to scrub and clean them between each use. The thing is, many recipes call for using an unlined baking sheet, so without the protection of wax paper or aluminum foil, the oils and fats of whatever we are cooking bake right onto the metal, and even soap, water, and a good sponge don't seem to remove the baked-on mess completely. 


Fortunately, there are some cleaning methods you may not have tried that can restore your cookie sheets to cleaner, shiner versions of themselves! Please note, however, that these tips are for aluminum, raw-metal cookie sheets. If you are using ones made of another material or coated in non-stick or other sealant, you should stick to gentle soap and water so as not to damage your cookie sheets (via One Good Thing). 

How to get your cookie sheets to look new again

One method for removing the grime and grease from your baking sheets is to use the good old science fair standbys of peroxide and baking soda (via Taste of Home). Simply sprinkle the baking soda onto the cookie sheet, then pour on a thin layer of peroxide. Follow with another sprinkling of baking soda. Watch the foaming action go to work breaking down the grime, and then let it sit for about two hours before wiping clean and rinsing off. 


You can do something similar with cream of tartar (which comes in powder form) and white vinegar (via One Good Thing). Sprinkle the powdered cream of tartar over the sheet as evenly as you can, and then using a spray bottle filled with white vinegar, spray just enough vinegar onto the pan to wet the cream of tartar. Then, as counterintuitive as it might seem, allow this combination to dry for at least eight hours (overnight might be easiest if it will be in your way otherwise). Then use hot water and a scrubby sponge or a scrub brush to thoroughly scour the sheet. This should take care of most of the baked-on mess!