Clean Pans

I have some good half sheet pans that were given to me as wedding shower gifts. Over the years they’ve gotten that ugly yellow look that everyone’s cookie sheets seem to get with time and use. I’ve tried all sorts of things to get them clean-looking again but the only thing that got me somewhat close was my good, old stand-by; baking soda and vinegar. Even that took lots of work and still didn’t render very clean pans. I’ve kind of surrendered to the idea that my pans will never look anywhere near new ever again.

Then yesterday I was looking at Pinterest and came across something my cousin’s wife pinned. Short of buying new pans I didn’t believe anything could make my pans looks nice again but I thought I’d see what this pin had to offer. The lady who posted about it had used some cleaner I’d never heard of and it had really worked! As I read on I wondered where I’d have to go to find it and how much it would cost me. Near the end of her post, though, she mentioned the ingredients in the cleaner consisted of tea tree oil and liquid castile soap and that while doing some digging found other people had had the same success with just those two things.

While I don’t have the actual cleaner she used I do have Dr. Bronner’s castile soap and tea tree oil on hand so I thought I’d give it a try. To my utter surprise it worked! I used a tough scrubber with it and it cleaned my pan right up. It’s not absolutely perfect and there are still a few stubborn spots in the corners where I can’t scrub very well but everything else has come off with a little elbow grease! I’m seriously amazed.

The front. There are still visible scratches since it’s an oft used pan but I expected that. The “before” pan doesn’t look as bad as the “after” pan used to look but you get the idea. I should have taken a before picture of the cleaned pan. It really was shocking.

clean pans

The back.

clean pans

ODD, while just as surprised at how clean the pan looked, was not thrilled with the cleaning combo. The castile soap I have is the peppermint kind. That, combined with the strong scent of tea tree oil, was too strong a scent for him but, personally, I like both smells and rather enjoyed sniffing it while scrubbing. If you’re sensitive to smells, though, you might want to do this outside when it’s warmer.

Now I just need to do the other sheet pan, then give it a try on my saucepans. I’m excited to have nice, shiny pans again.

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