We can all agree that the smell of freshly baked treats is practically heaven on earth, right? Sadly, batch after batch of cookies has left your baking sheets covered in gross, rust-colored patches. But wait! Before you splurge on something new at the store, there’s an easier way to make your trusty cookie sheets look brand new again—and the secret is probably sitting in your pantry right now.
Simply scrubbing your baking sheet with baking soda and a layer of hydrogen peroxide can finally get the stains gone for good, according to PureWow.Mix ½ cup baking soda and ½ cup white vinegar with hot water in the sink. (We prefer Heinz white vinegar and Arm and Hammer baking soda, but this will work with any brands really.) It will bubble up like a school science project, but that reaction is what helps loosen the residue. Make sure your sink is plugged so they stay submerged, and let it soak for 30 minutes to an hour before scrubbing away with a scouring pad, the scrubby side of your sponge, or steel wool. Although steel wool is most likely to scratch your pans, it’s okay. You want them to look well-worn and used, but scrub in even circular motions to make the lines less noticeable.
Best of all, taking your sheets from “blah” to beautiful couldn’t be easier. Start by sprinkling a layer of baking soda onto the baking sheet. Then, pour a small dose of hydrogen peroxide on top and add more making soda on top of that. After leaving the mixture to sit for at least two hours, wipe it away with a sponge or rag.
Voilà! You can officially bid “bon voyage” to those pesky stains. If you’re concerned that the chemicals might damage your sheets, test it out on a small spot on the back. You’ll wish you knew these brilliant kitchen shortcuts sooner, too.
Don’t just take our word for it, though. Blogger Jillee of One Good Thing calls this method is a “Miracle Cleaner.” After leaving the mixture on her baking sheet while she went out for breakfast, she was clearly impressed with the result. “When we got home, I rubbed a little of the cleaner off and was actually quite astonished to see MOST of the gunk came right off,” she wrote on her blog. “Minimal rubbing with my fingers was required.”
Ready to try this trick for yourself? Here’s the upside: You now have a great excuse to bake another batch of cookies. Happy baking!