HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >

I've roasted on a rack in my aluminum sheet pan...and now the pan is stained and sticky: cleaning suggestions?

rheostaticsfan Oct 31, 2012 05:59 AM

The title says it all. I've ruined one pan by washing it with Bar Keepers Friend. It turned all dull and dark gunmetal grey and rough.

Is there a similar "miracle cleaner" that's ok for aluminum?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. dcrb RE: rheostaticsfan Oct 31, 2012 06:51 AM

    Supposedly, Dawn Power Dissolve is safe for aluminum. When roasting on aluminum, I have always place some water in the pan to prevent burn in of drippings.

    1. Chemicalkinetics RE: rheostaticsfan Oct 31, 2012 07:56 AM

      Turning sticky is not a good thing. I would just scrub it off. However, I won't worry about it too much about the gray and dull color. It is actually NOT a bad thing what it turned dull and gray. For iron based materials (like steel or cast iron), oxidation is often in the form of rust. In short, rust is unstable, and will subsequently fall off from the rest of the metal. Aluminum oxide, on the other hand, is physically and chemical stable. So having a layer of aluminum oxide on your aluminum pan is not a bad thing. Yes, it may look old, but it is good.

      1. g
        GH1618 RE: rheostaticsfan Oct 31, 2012 08:17 AM

        You might be able to restore your "ruined" pan by soaking it in white vinegar for a few days.

        1 Reply
        1. re: GH1618
          Chemicalkinetics RE: GH1618 Oct 31, 2012 08:30 AM

          I have a feeling that it will make it more dull and gray. It reminds me of forced patina.

        2. r
          rexster314 RE: rheostaticsfan Oct 31, 2012 09:24 AM

          The sticky residue can be taken off with an application of WD-40 in copious amounts. Spray on, let it set, and use a hard plastic scraper on the stuff. Barkeeper's Friend used as a followup will restore the pan afterwards

          4 Replies
          1. re: rexster314
            pinehurst RE: rexster314 Oct 31, 2012 09:40 AM

            I'm not sure I'd be comfy about using WD40 on a surface I'd later put food on, but that might be me being stupidly squeamish.

            1. re: pinehurst
              jljohn RE: pinehurst Oct 31, 2012 12:16 PM

              My gut agrees with your sentiment, but the thought that immediately came to mind is, "do you ever get anything like WD-40 on your hands?" As I ponder this, I wonder how many of us will allow all kinds of things to touch our hands (which we use to prepare and eat our food), but would never, ever, let the same things touch our cookware. Surely our hands are more porous and have many more nooks and crannies than just about any metal cookware! Plus, I'd imagine that any metal cookware has had much more caustic and dangerous chemicals in contact with it in the manufacturing process. Maybe we overthink the whole thing. (I'm just musing here.)

              1. re: jljohn
                wekick RE: jljohn Nov 1, 2012 10:20 PM

                There can also be transdermal absorption. I would still be hesitant to apply it to cookware.

            2. re: rexster314
              Chemicalkinetics RE: rexster314 Nov 1, 2012 10:41 PM

              Just use any regular cooking oil will do.

            3. meatn3 RE: rheostaticsfan Oct 31, 2012 06:20 PM

              I've had good luck with some of the citrus based cleaners.

              1. k
                Kontxesi RE: rheostaticsfan Nov 1, 2012 05:21 AM

                I just use a Brillo pad.... Some times it takes a little elbow grease, though, so maybe using it in conjunction with one of the cleaners others have mentioned?

                Of course, the pad is going to turn it dull after a while. But it's used in the kitchen, not the table, so who really cares?

                1. wekick RE: rheostaticsfan Nov 1, 2012 10:24 PM

                  I might try to buff it out with a buffing pad on a drill.

                  Show Hidden Posts