Get Baked-On Grease off of Aluminum

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No matter how well you wash them, sooner or later, aluminum baking sheets turn gunky with baked-on grease. It’s not just that they’re unsightly. Since darker surfaces cook food more quickly, those greasy stains can affect your cooking times, too.

Plus, household pests like cockroaches are drawn to grease and other food residues. No one wants to put up with that!

Fortunately, you can get aluminum baking sheets shiny and clean again with minimal effort. Here’s how.

How To Get Grimy Baking Sheets Shiny Again

Roasted vegetables on grease stained tray

I try to use these awesome mats to line my cooking sheets but sometimes forget. My toaster oven tray has grown nasty over the years, too. Recently, it started smoking while my son was toasting a bagel, so I decided it was time to do something about the mess.

Baking Soda + Hydrogen Peroxide = Fail

A little research led me to a suggestion on Pinterest about how to get baked on grease off of aluminum. According to that Pin, all you need is baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Since I had both on hand, I decided to give it a try.

Grimy aluminum toaster oven tray

I followed the directions and liberally sprinkled baking soda on the tray, then sprayed hydrogen peroxide until a paste formed. As the Pin directs, I rubbed that in with my fingers and waited.

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Thirty minutes later, I scrubbed the tray with a scouring pad, washed it in hot, and soapy water. The grease was still there.

Pinterest fail!

See? Sure, it’s cleaner, but the main cooking surface is still grimy and hardly compares to the picture promising it would get baked on grease off of aluminum sheets. That’s when I decided to experiment on my own.

Aluminum baking sheet with baked-on grease

Cream of Tartar Works!

For this round, I decided to use cream of tartar. You may have seen a bottle of cream of tartar in your grandma’s spice cabinet and wondered about its use.

Pssst. Cream of tartar is the secret to making delicious low-calorie, low-fat, gluten-free Meringue Cookies.

What is Cream of Tartar?

Cream of tartar is a byproduct of wine-making and wine makes everything better, so I figured I’d give it a try. Plus, I know from experience that cream of tartar is fantastic at removing rust. It’s also the secret to really getting baked on grease off of aluminum, as I found out.

Added to the Mix, It Does the Trick

I sprinkled equal parts baking soda and cream of tartar powders on my toaster oven tray — about one tablespoon each. Next, I sprayed just enough hydrogen peroxide to make a paste with my fingers.

After about 15 minutes, I scrubbed the toaster oven tray with a kitchen sponge and, voila, a shiny tray!

Grimy aluminum tray is shiny again

Another round of cleaning would probably get rid of the stuff in the corners of the tray, but at least the cooking surface is finally clean.

So, there you have it: a mix of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and cream of tartar get baked-on grease off of aluminum sheets successfully.

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  1. Steven Bourn says:

    I have a Chambers Range aluminum griddle and was wondering how to clean the baked on grease from the griddle. Easy Off gets a lot of the griddle but it seams to discolor the griddle and some of the baked on areas are not dissolved no matter how much Easy Off I put on them.

    Easy Off is good for dissolving baked on cooking grime bit will pit plastic surfaces.

    What would your recommend for each surface cleaning?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I’d use the cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide paste on the griddle part. For the plastic, hot vinegar with a few drops of Dawn liquid dish detergent and a toothbrush.

  2. Christina says:

    2 dishwasher tabs.. leave over night and voilá the dirt is gone ?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I can see how that would work, but it could certainly get expensive!

  3. Esta Miller says:

    This worked so so. It required a super amount of scrubbing but still looked no where as near as good as your picture. Epic fail in my opinion.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I’m sorry you didn’t have the same success.

  4. Charlie Dubbels says:

    I have a Ronco EZ-Store Rotisserie Oven that I have had for 12 years. There is a curved piece of aluminum that the heat is deflected off when the heat coils are on to BBQ meats. It has become quite grungy looking over the years. I found your “How-To’s” online, tried the method you described but with little luck. I pulled out my Walmart Dishwasher Gel and liberally wiped it on both sides of the curved portion. Let it set for 30 minutes and using a Brillo pad, scrubbed, and 99% came off. I was pleasantly surprised how easy it came off (not that much elbow grease needed). I wish there was a Teflon coating on this piece and also the drip tray – both are bare aluminum.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I’m sorry my method didn’t work for you. Sounds like you came up with a good solution, though. I’ll have to give that a try!