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How to Clean Your Pots, Pans, and Baking Sheets

How is your cookware looking these days? Shiny and sparkling or, like mine, tarnished by baked-on cooking spray and carbon build-up? Tackling our cookware is one of my projects for this winter and today’s post is all about how to clean your pots, pans, and baking sheets.

how to clean your pots

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How to Clean Your Pots, Pans, and Baking Sheets

While there are some powerful solvent cleansers on the market, this method is the best eco-friendly way I’ve found to restore dirty cookware to an almost new state.

  1. Place the piece you want to clean in an open sink or large tub.
  2. Liberally sprinkle baking soda over the stained parts of the pot, pan, or baking sheet.
  3. Lightly drizzle white vinegar over the baking soda and allow to sit for a minute or two.
  4. Use a nylon brush or scouring pad (I like ScotchBrite and ScrubDaddy) to work at removing the loosened residue.
  5. Repeat until all residue is gone.

Effectiveness: Great! Very pleased with how the cookie sheet came out. These are used frequently and had 20+ years of buildup on them. While there are some scratches on the surface, virtually all residue came off. The only remaining bits are on the reverse side where a thin trough runs around the outer perimeter of the pan.

Difficulty: Moderate. Multiple applications and a good amount of elbow grease were required to get this result. After cleaning this first baking sheet, I remembered that we had scrub brushes that attach to Natty Guy’s drill. Using this in combination with a ScotchBrite makes the work A LOT easier.

Time Commitment: Moderate. It took about 20 minutes to get this result, taking little breaks between applications. And remember, this was 20+ years of build-up. Now that I know this method works, I’ll be a lot more diligent about keeping up with the maintenance on all our cookware.

Because I Know Someone’s Wondering

Am guessing that someone out there is thinking, why not just buy new? Well, for me:

  • The cookware is still functional, it just looked bad.
  • It’s less wasteful. And the older I get, the more cognizant I am of our role in the excess waste problem of the US. Sure, it’s a little thing. But it’s a positive step I can take to be more mindful of what we both consume and throw away.
  • I had the time. Thanks, COVID! This project gave me something to do while watching a show and also taught me a great, new method for keeping ALL my cookware in better shape over the long run.

Until next time…keep cultivating a simple, stylish and satisfying life!

How is your cookware looking these days?  Today's post is all about how to clean your pots, pans, and baking sheets! #cleaningtips

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