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How to clean baking trays

Baking trays are inevitably going to get dirty, the trick is knowing how to get them clean again! Find out what to do by reading our simple guide.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

how to clean the oven

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 and use the right cleaning product for the job. Sunlight dishwashing products make it easy to tackle tough grease and burnt-on food, making your job easier (and saving you spending too much time scrubbing!).

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.

  • Using a paper towel, 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.

  • Fill the kitchen sink with hot water, and add a small amount of Sunlight Dishwashing Liquid. 

  • Soak the tray for at least one hour, allowing 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.

  • 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 non-stick, then go wild. Grab a scouring pad and let loose.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Boil some water in the kettle, and pour it into your sink. Add a good cupful of bicarbonate of 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

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Originally published