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How to clean oven and baking trays

Oven & baking trays can get greasy or accumulate burnt food, but these tips will make it easy to clean your baking trays and your oven trays!

Updated

baking tray with gingerbread men

Some people say that a blackened oven tray is the sign of a good cook, but when your baking trays start to become sticky, it’s time to do something about it. Knowing how to clean oven trays in the best way can be quite difficult, as the most effective cleaning method will depend on whether the main problem with your trays is burnt-on foods and juices, or whether it’s the oily, greasy residue that’s formed a thin layer across the pan.

To clean a sticky or greasy baking tray, it’s a good idea to soak it in hot water with a good quality dishwashing detergent.

You will need:

  • Paper towel
  • Soft sponge or cloth (for non-stick trays)
  • Scouring pad
  • Dishwasher
  • A kettle
  • Cif Perfect Finish Oven and Grill spray
  • Hot water
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Baking soda

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How to clean a baking tray that’s greasy

A mistake many of us make is assuming that a dishwasher will do all the work for us. While these appliances are a welcome addition to any kitchen, they can’t replace the sort of focused cleaning power of washing up manually. When you’re dealing with a greasy baking tray, the best way to clean it is, sadly, to use a bit of elbow grease. How much elbow grease will largely depend on whether your trays are non-stick or not. It’s a good idea to wear rubber gloves when cleaning baking trays to protect your hands from grease and grime.

  1. Use a paper towel and Cif Perfect Finish Oven and Grill spray to wipe away any grease

    Using a paper towel and Cif Perfect Finish Oven and Grill spray wipe away as much grease as you can from the baking tray. Don’t spend hours trying to get it all off, just remove any big clumps that have accumulated in the corners.

  2. Fill a sink with hot water and dishwashing liquid

    Fill the kitchen sink with hot water, and add a small amount of dishwashing liquid.

  3. Soak the tray for at least one hour

    Allow the soap to cut through the remaining oils and grease. If your tray doesn’t fit into the sink completely, you’ll want to turn it over at the one hour mark and allow the other side to soak.

  4. Use a soft sponge or cloth and wipe away the remaining grease

    Now’s where the elbow grease comes in. If you’ve got a non-stick tray, use a soft sponge or cloth and wipe away the remaining grease – you should find that it glides off relatively easily. If you’ve not gone for non-stick, then you can use a harder scrubbing technique. Grab a scouring pad and let loose.

  5. Pop in the dishwasher

    Now the moment you’ve been waiting for – pop it in the dishwasher for a final all-over clean.

How to clean a burnt oven tray

If your baking trays aren’t particularly greasy, but are covered in a thick coating of burnt-on foods and meat juices, then the best way of cleaning the trays is a little bit different. The beauty of using soap or detergent for greasy trays is that they’re specifically designed to break down oils, so these products may not be as effective at removing burnt residues.

  1. Use a paper towel to remove any loose residue

    Once again, you’ll want to begin by using a paper towel to remove anything that’s loose. There’s no point picking and scraping at this point (and it could damage your tray), so just keep it gentle.

  2. Put hot water and baking soda into a sink. Add the tray and leave to soak for about an hour

    Boil some water in the kettle, and pour it into your sink. Add a good cupful of baking soda, and watch as it bubbles up. Pop your tray in, and leave it to soak. Again, about an hour should be long enough for the solution to soften the burnt-on stains.

  3. Drain the water and use a cloth or sponge to wipe any burnt residue

    After an hour, drain the water and use a cloth or sponge to wipe away the now-softened crust. It should come away quite easily as the reaction between the hot water and the baking soda essentially eats away at the coating, breaking it down.

  4. Repeat the steps if the tray is too large

    If your tray is too large to fit entirely in the sink, then it’s a good idea to repeat the steps for the other part of the tray.

  5. Put in a dishwasher or wash with dishwashing liquid

    To make sure your baking tray is as clean as it can be, pop it in the dishwasher for a quick once-over, or wash in the sink with dishwashing liquid.

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How to have clean baking trays all the time

Lining your baking trays with kitchen foil or baking paper is an excellent way to keep your baking trays clean and hygienic, just be careful when using kitchen foil with acidic foods, as it could make them taste a bit off (tomatoes are the worst offenders). Some people swear by disposable roasting tins, but these aren’t particularly environmentally friendly. You can also buy reusable tray liners from the supermarkets these days, which are very effective.

Originally published