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Really cleaning stainless baking sheets

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I've tried all sourts of products, and my baking sheets still have brown blotches. Products tried: baking soda, Bar Tender's Friend, Brillo, lemon juice, ad infinitem. What really works?

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  1. I let all my baking sheets get a nice brown patina to them, things brown on them much better when they do. In fact, I had a pizza pan that had gotten just wonderfully seasoned when my father came to visit and scrubbed it bare with SOS. I had to throw it out.

    1 Reply
    1. re: escondido123

      I do to! All my baking sheets look almost like seasoned cast iron and they are essentially nonstick as well. There was a time when I thought about tossing them in the oven when I set it on self-clean, which I'm sure would restore them to original state (or melt them) but then I thought about how hard they would be to clean.

      I have people to wash them gently and then just wiped them down or they go to town with the brillo pad. But honestly I don't thing brillo would even make a dent in their coating now.

    2. Brillo, scouring powder and elbow grease.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ThreeGigs

        Yep, that's what my dad used and it took him a good half hour to make it shine, sort of ;)

        1. re: ThreeGigs

          Elbow grease is the most important ingredient; scrub long and hard!

        2. This is actually a rather important question. We all have stainless steel stuff: bakeware, pots and pans, and so forth. Contrary to popular belief, stainless steel can become stained. The question is: what happens when ordinary cleaning does not get you back to that pristine, shiny, finish?
          My suggestion: fuggedaboutit. It is a chemical reaction that will not affect the cooking or sanitary qualities of your food.
          You can try something called 'barkeepers friend', but the effort is hardly worth it. Get used to using SS cook/bake-ware that is not totally pristine.

          1. What works for me is covering my baking sheets with foil, parchment, or a silpat. The big blotches bug me, too, and I haven't found an effective way to get them shiny-clean either. By covering them up I'm not bothered by the stains and I just throw them in the dishwasher when they're dirty (though I can't say any of mine are stainless -- they're aluminum or non-stick). At any rate, using foil/parchment/silpat makes cleanup easier and reduces staining.

            1. Oven cleaner can take off uneven seasoning on cast iron, don't see why it wouldn't work for your problem.

              spray it down, put it in a trash bag or whatever you can wrap it up in over night, then rinse and scrub.

              5 Replies
              1. re: j8715

                You can also try putting your baking pans on and old towel in the bathtub face up. Sprinkle with powdred dish washer detergent and run the hottest water from the tap to cover. Wait about 20 minutes that scrub with course sponge or a scrub brush that will not scratch the bakeware. If this doesn't work try oven cleaner. I cleaned my BBQ and smoker grates with oven cleaner and they cleaned up quite nice. Dishwasher soap works quite well on stainless steel pots as well.

                1. re: 02putt

                  I'd go for the oven cleaner. The dish detergent probably has sodium hyroxide (caustic soda) in it; not sure about the oven cleaner now that they only seem to be the "fume free" version. Both are basically doing the same thing. If you're willing to wait, the oven cleaner will take it right off, no scrubbie required.

                  I'm not sure about using it on the grates from the BBQ/smoker though, mainly if they're carbon steel or cast iron without a coating. Just because you're taking the seasoning off, which may lead to rust if you don't spray on some oil or use them for meat soon. That said, I haven't found a perfect cleaning method. The best thing for grill grates is to keep using them and keep them brushed off. For the smoker, I've tried burning them off on the gas grill (huge mess). Now I get out the pressure washer and knock everything off with that, which doesn't take off the seasoning.

                2. re: j8715

                  This should work.

                  1. re: taos

                    Why use harsh chemicals to "clean" baking sheet pans; ever notice the pans in an Artisan Bakery? As Escondido123 mentioned in a previous post, let them develop a nice seasoned surface. Simple detergent and warm water is as far as I go. My kitchen is not a Williams Sonoma shop.

                    1. re: ospreycove

                      That is the other reason I let them become "seasoned." I don't like the idea of those kind of chemicals coming close to one another and unless you get you get it completely clean like a brand new surface I would presume some of those chemicals are still in there.

                3. I use an industrial-strength cleaner for brewery equipment. With elbow grease it gets grease off like nothing else. My husband swears it is nontoxic.