Using Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide To Easily Clean Baking Sheets Review – Does it Work?

2 out of 5 leaves

2 out of 5 leaves

Over time, most any well-used metal baking sheets tend to develop a patina of copper colored gunk.  Some consider  this a good seasoning that develops over time, or a record of your kitchen history.  Others feel that it is a sign that you are not cleaning your pans well enough.  A quick web (or Pinterest) search suggests that a soak in hydrogen peroxide plus baking soda will eliminate the bakeware staining with virtually no effort.  Can hydrogen peroxide and baking soda easily remove the baked on stains?

The Good

  • Better for you – no yucky chemicals in contact with your skin or cookware
  • Better for the earth – no yucky chemicals entering the waste stream
  • Saves money – peroxide and bicarb are cheap, and probably in your cupboard right now
  • Easy (?) – this method is supposed to be virtually scrub free

The Bad

  • Did not work – staining did not magically wipe away

My Experience

I came across this nifty (and practically magical) trick on Pinterest.  The pin linked to one of my favorite DIY sites One Good Thing By Jillee.  It seems that Jillee had sprinkled baking soda and peroxide on her yucky baking sheets, waited an hour or two, and then easily wiped away the grime.  Look at how promising this photo is!

This is what I was looking forward to. Photo by Jillee.

I followed the directions as closely as I could from the description I found.  Sprinkled baking soda on.  Wet it with peroxide, sprinkled more baking soda.  After a couple hours I wiped it away, and…..  nothing!  See for yourself — I could just barely make out which half had the treatment, and which didn’t:

Yes, the right half is slightly cleaner, but I expected an obvious improvement!

A Green Idea Fail!  How disappointing!!  I don’t know what I did wrong.  Perhaps I needed more of all the good stuff?  Perhaps my tray just wasn’t dirty enough?  Or maybe this really takes a little more elbow grease than just a magically quick wipe down?  I’m not sure, but I will certainly be adding to the list of green ideas to try again one day (ala Mythbusters Revisited).

UPDATE:  My husband used some steel wool and his strong muscles to make these sheets as shiny as a mirror! No baking soda or peroxide required!

Have you ever tried this trick to clean your baking sheets?  Did it work for you?  Or do you even care if your trays looks like this?

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42 Responses to Using Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide To Easily Clean Baking Sheets Review – Does it Work?

  1. I found your blog through Better Mom Monday! I found your link-up intriguing so I clicked on over to say hi! Thanks for sharing your “fail”. I’ve used vinegar and baking soda since it’s an item I can buy cheaply, but not peroxide. Very interesting. Just goes to show that lots of stuff pinned or online are NOT true.

  2. Tara Bilbao says:

    I tried this with no results as well. The thing that worked for me was soaking them in ammonia for a few hours covered with plastic wrap to reduce the smell. I then took some steel wool and they cleaned up beautifully. It is a harsh chemical method, but I haven’t found a gentle way that works.

    • Victoria says:

      Hmmmm…. I think I’d pick the brown trays over ammonia soaking.

      • Laura says:

        i’ve heard that you actually don’t need to have ammonia cover the surface. You can place an item in a plastic bag with some ammonia (in a dish) for 24 hours — tightly sealed — and the “ick” will wipe off easily. No, ammonia isn’t pleasant to smell but it does break down quickly in the environment.

  3. Dennise Ziaja says:

    I was also inspired by this idea. I was equally disappointed. I even scrubbed the dickens outta those pans! I will try the ammonia method when my courage is peaked and I am again disgusted by my pans, lol!

    My best idea to not think about the pans is to use parchment paper when I use them. Lazy way to make me feel better!

  4. How sad that it didn’t work! I just started using parchment paper for everything. I know, it is the lazy way out but I just got lazy!

    Thanks for sharing on Natural Living Monday! I am excited to see what you have to share this week.

  5. Mary Frankenfield says:

    Hi Victoria! I have tried this too, with the same (lack of) results. I have read in a few different places that Cream of Tarter works well for this type of thing? I haven’t tried it yet…and I am not sure if you have to use the Cream of Tarter with peroxide or vinegar….I personally hate my pans looking like this…

  6. Bee says:

    Okay folks, I understand the need to save, recycle, go green, etc. I love all the ideas shared on these blogs; I use a lot of them :) In this case, my best advice would be to replace the pans with new ones – I just purchased a sun oven and it came with new baking pans. I thought it would be nice to have a new cookie sheet – inexpensive and oh so nice. The old one will be recycled under my worm compost bin to catch drippings. Use the money you spend on cleaning supplies trying to restore old worn out items and treat yourself to something new.

  7. Yolanda says:

    Do this ~ put your baking pan inside a plastic bag with a small container, or rag soaked in ammonia. Close tightly and let it sit all night. The next morning you can easily scrub off (using a stainless or copper scrubber) the good on your pans.

    • Evelyn Mero says:

      I did this trick on the burner grates in my gas stove. This worked PERFECT! It really was like magic! I used an old toothbrush to “scrub” any cracks/crevices. Even there, scrubbing was barely needed. I used to use TONS of elbow grease to scrub those things clean with Soft Scrub. Now, I will always use the ammonia trick (only in summer so I can put it outdoors overnight). When I did use the Soft Scrub, some of the spots still did not come off but with ammonia soak overnight, ALL spots came off! I was amazed!! I used an old 9×13 pan as my burner grate thins would not fit into a large zip lock bag. Then I covered it with plastic wrap for the over night soak (the one I had heard required a 1/4 cup of the ammonia). It kind of wrecked my 9×13 pan so I only use that one for my burner soak. I could put 2 of the burner grates in the pan at one time. So, it took 2 full days to get all 4 burners done.

  8. Pingback: Removing Yellow Armpit Stains from Clothing with Dish Soap, Peroxide and Baking Soda Review – Does it Work? | Green Idea Reviews

  9. Sarah smith says:

    doing this right now but i’m going to let mine sit overnight and see how they come out. will let you know tomorrow

  10. I also tried this combination on my kitchen sink and didn’t find it the miracle worker, as written about on One Good Thing (the same site you read). It left a pasty white residue which I had to repeatedly rinse. I finally ended up spraying my sink with Windex to get it shiny again. I also tried using the baking soda and peroxide mixture to clean the grout in my shower, no luck there either. :(

    • cinny says:

      i dont think baking soda is for tuff stains. i use it to clean the sink and toilet all the time, but not for stains. i think i used cream of tarter and peroxide on the tub once; it helped. it is not a miracle worker, it is a non toxic cleaner that can be used for cleaning if things havent gotten too bad:)

  11. Diane Ruffner says:

    I tried it this morning and found that it did work. All I could remember was baking soda and peroxide, not the instructions. So I made a thick paste of the two and spread it on the cookie sheet. (Should have taken before/after photos) I walked away. Had to scrub a bit, but it all came off. I was pleased with the results.

  12. Pingback: Revive Old Cookie Sheets with Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda | DIY Project Network

  13. James says:

    So reading through the posts I have yet to try this but I have used plain old vinegar and plain old lemon juice in the past to clean brown stains off stainless stoves things like that but the key to them working without scrubbing was heat. Since the instructions to this pretty much say this just wipes off, well from experience heat makes the vinegar and lemon juice work a hundred times better, so what I want you all to try is to stick the pan in the oven once you have got the major junk off with elbow grease and the paste if it does work you should put on and stains should pop right off hek if that dont work heat it up in oven throw some vinegar on the hot pan and brown stains should dissapear or lemon juice :)

  14. Barb says:

    I just tried it and it didn’t seem to be working. I made a search for how to do it correctly and found this. Too bad that I didn’t search first. I guess I wasted my time. Next time I’ll try the lemon juice and vinegar instead.

  15. Jenice says:

    This green cleaner was all the talk at my garage sale yesterday where I had ALL my baking pans at 50 cents each, however no one had ever tried it. Mine did not sell, they will go to charity and I will buy new with my sale $$… after 20+ years of use I think ‘I’ deserve it, and it is always nice to know that someone may benefit from my purge!

  16. Phyl says:

    I tried it, too. No such luck. A friend sent me here to see that I was not alone! I took pictures for my FB site; I, too, worried that I had failed to follow some invisible instruction. I started using parchment paper a few years back, so I haven’t been as worried about the brown stains on my pans, but whenever I see a recipe for success posted on my FB site, and it costs me nothing but time to try, well, I’ll try nearly anything once!
    Thanks, Victoria, for this site, and thanks, ladies (and any gentlemen I may have missed), for sharing your experiences so I don’t feel such the dolt! Regards!!

  17. Laura Joseph says:

    I had tried all these ideas at one time or another. My Dad came over and said ” you need to pay as much attention to your tools as to the food you cook on or in them. Clean them as if you mean it every time you use them it will only take 5 minutes and you will never be ashamed of your kitchen.” I have followed his advice I’m 63 and have had some of my pans over 40 years. Each time I clean my pans my Dad is still with me in my kitchen. His advice well taken

  18. tasha says:

    Lack of working as well. Baking soda and vinegar works to a degree but not enough to really notice.

  19. mrsgreendreams says:

    Try the baking soda and vinegar two or three times. I really like this combo.

    Will try the cream of tartar, though and see if that is faster.

    Just found you through mnn.com. Can’t wait to see more of your site!1

  20. McLovin says:

    No joy for me either. I let it sit and bubble for hours but nothing. I was really hoping it would work too. If it’s listed on Pinterest, it’s gotta be true, right? LOL

  21. Gabby says:

    I decided to give it a try. I made a paste out of the baking soda and hydrogen peroxide and then spread it on a few of my 30 year old stainless steel pots. On the roaster I let it sit for 15 minutes (or more) and then used a sponge with the green scrubby on the back to take it off. A little bit of elbow grease worked wonders. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10201563403664016&set=pcb.10201563412784244&type=1&theater

    • Gabby says:

      Forgot to say that on the pot I didn’t let it sit, just used the paste straight on the sponge and it basically wiped off.

  22. Robert Sharp says:

    Heat is the missing ingredient. It may be tough to do this on something that doesn’t itself contain water. I had a big pot with half a centimeter of burnt drippings from steamed sweet potato (never let your water boil away when steaming). I poured in a pint of hydrogen peroxide, sprinkled half a handful of baking soda in it, and turned on the heat. I just let it simmer for about ten minutes, stirring every minute or two, letting the spoon rub/scrape on the bottom of the pot (no scrubbing or elbow grease required). I had to do it a second time, but after that all that remains is some tiny black specks on the bottom. I’ll have to do it one more time when I get more peroxide.

  23. Iris Jones says:

    Having read all of these comments I decided to try a remedy of my own. I used washing soda (sodium carbonate), dishwashing detergent (I used Sunlight), and very hot, but not boiling, water. I soaked the muffin tins with baked-on grease in this mixture for about 2 hours. Then the brown grease was easy to remove with a scouring pad. Now my pans are nice and clean again. Buying new pans is not an option for me, as mine are quite old and are a much smaller size than modern muffin pans. That size is no longer available in North America.

  24. Iris Jones says:

    Thank you, Robert. My pans belonged to my grandmother, and they are now close to 100 years old, so definitely not non-stick. I also bought an old muffin tin at the thrift store to try out my remedy, just in case it damaged the pan. And yes, don’t use abrasive cleaners on non-stick pans!

  25. Linda says:

    While searching for a way to protect my stove range hood (the underside), I was dreading the task of cleaning. I wanted a suggestion to never have to go through what I was about to face. Then I discovered the baking soda/hydrogen peroxide paste. I tried it, just now. WOW!!! The grease came off, with very little elbow grease. Thank You!!! It took little time, & looks great!!!

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  27. Michael Wall says:

    I think it must depend on what kind of grime is on them. I used some old pots for outdoor open fire cooking and I’m in the middle of using the baking soda peroxide paste on them and it seems to be working very well, even though it hasn’t set even a good 20 minutes.

  28. cinny says:

    i let it sit over nite and used a steel scrubbie, the steel wool or SOS was too fine for this baked on grease. it worked pretty well.

  29. Julie says:

    I have great luck with variations of this, and scrubbing is rarely required. They are all cheaper than Dawn Power Dissolver and work better for me.

    For most stains and stuck/burned on food, I just sprinkle on baking soda, cover with a wet paper towel, and return in 15 minutes to wipe it clean.

    For food that’s really burnt on, I make a slurry of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and liquid dish detergent. Washing soda is even stronger than baking soda, but it isn’t compatible with all surfaces (Don’t use it on aluminum). After applying the mixture, cover it with plastic wrap so it won’t dry out. That step is very important. Depending on the stain, leave it for a few minutes to overnight. The stain will wipe away easily (you may need to use a little pressure, but I’ve never really had to scrub).

    For very thick charred on stuff, you can repeat the process. Or you can start by boiling hydrogen peroxide and baking soda for 10 minutes (the heat is important), letting it sit for 15 minutes, and then gently scrubbing to reduce the crud.

    The same mix works on laundry stains (leave it on and keep it wet for a couple of hours). My family generates its fair share of tough stains, and this has been a miracle cleaner for me.

    • Julie says:

      I forgot to mention that I use the slurry of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and Dawn for the baked-on grime that accumulates on baking pans. I leave it on for 2 hours to overnight, making sure to keep it wet, and it works great.

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