Help removing baked on grease from baking sheets?

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LynetteO

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👋🏻 Hello Everyone, I am looking for a tried & true way to remove serious baked on grease from old sheet pans. A church group is looking to spruce up old sheet pans due to limited funds to purchase more. The pans have had the greasy leftovers baked on again & again. Does anyone know of a way to remove such baked on goop. Lots of elbow grease, “bar tenders friend” & a wire brush did basically nothing to remove the grime.
 

Zany_in_CO

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So often these days I run into problems like this and I'm telling you, right now, I always find an answer that works on YouTube. This time I searched "How to remove baked on grease from sheet pans" and found this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6R0Ndz_7Ls

Go to the 2 minute mark to avoid all the yada yada from Mike before he gets down to business. 😁
 

Catscankim

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Oddly enough, I just bought some easy off, so I just looked at the ingredients. The main ingredient is lye. I have a pot that I thought was stainless steel, and as it turned out, I guess it's aluminum. I left it in the sink with my soapy dishes (still with lye) and it completely destroyed it.

However, I have some pans that are definitely stainless steel, so I am going to try it
 

LynetteO

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So often these days I run into problems like this and I'm telling you, right now, I always find an answer that works on YouTube. This time I searched "How to remove baked on grease from sheet pans" and found this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6R0Ndz_7Ls

Go to the 2 minute mark to avoid all the yada yada from Mike before he gets down to business. 😁
😸I don’t know why I simply can’t seem to use YouTube as the tool it apparently is. Thanks! 👏 🏆 😊
 

Mobjack Bay

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Thanks @Zany_in_CO ❤ I have four large pans that I bought at a yard sale about 40 years ago. In my younger days I kept them very clean using Brillo pads. I’ve been a lot less diligent over the last decade.

Some time ago I searched YT for a way to refresh my black composite sink and learned about wiping it down with a little mineral oil. It works!
 

earlene

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I usually run them through the self-cleaning oven cycle when cleaning my self cleaning oven and that gets turns all the baked-on stuff to ash, which then washes off very easily. They don't end up shining like on that video, but they are good and clean. Not an option if the pans are teflon coated, but it works with steel and aluminum pans as well. I have not tried it on my copper baking sheet, however, but it doesn't get baked-on greasiness, so I can't say how it would work with the copper baking sheets.
 

Zany_in_CO

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usually run them through the self-cleaning oven cycle when cleaning my self cleaning oven and that gets turns all the baked-on stuff to ash, which then washes off very easily.
Reminds me of this video I recently had need of...

Here's a practically effortless way to clean an electric oven: First, turn the oven on, let it warm to 150°F (65°C), and then turn it off. Place a small bowl containing 1/2 cup ammonia on the top shelf and a large pan of boiling water on the bottom shelf. Close the oven door, and let it sit overnight.
 

ResolvableOwl

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Though it might sound audacious to mention this in a soap making forum: have you tried … soap?
Like in laundry soap, heavy-duty/intentionally lye-heavy LS, blends with washing soda, or a combination thereof. A weak solution of NaOH is in reach for soapmakers as well. (Zany's ammonia sauna has a similar rationale – shift the pH into the alkaline, to ease attack of water and/or strong anionic surfactants like soap).

With a bit more magic applied, I had some decent success on bottom sides of pans and the oven door with soaking the gummy soot with soap FFAs (precipitated from dissolved bar soap with citric acid). After a while, throw an excess of washing soda onto them, that converts into soap within the dirt, greatly easing/reducing the need for mechanical scrubbing.
As always, there is a trade-off between mechanical work, dosage/brisance of chemical agents, and time.

The downside of scouring/abrasive cleaning, as great as it works, it damages the surface (even if uncoated), and the next “generation” of dirt will adhere all the better then. In Mike's video, you don't really get an idea how much of the cleansing is due to his wonder detergent, and how much just sponge + elbow grease.
 

LynetteO

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Though it might sound audacious to mention this in a soap making forum: have you tried … soap?
Like in laundry soap, heavy-duty/intentionally lye-heavy LS, blends with washing soda, or a combination thereof. A weak solution of NaOH is in reach for soapmakers as well. (Zany's ammonia sauna has a similar rationale – shift the pH into the alkaline, to ease attack of water and/or strong anionic surfactants like soap).

With a bit more magic applied, I had some decent success on bottom sides of pans and the oven door with soaking the gummy soot with soap FFAs (precipitated from dissolved bar soap with citric acid). After a while, throw an excess of washing soda onto them, that converts into soap within the dirt, greatly easing/reducing the need for mechanical scrubbing.
As always, there is a trade-off between mechanical work, dosage/brisance of chemical agents, and time.

The downside of scouring/abrasive cleaning, as great as it works, it damages the surface (even if uncoated), and the next “generation” of dirt will adhere all the better then. In Mike's video, you don't really get an idea how much of the cleansing is due to his wonder detergent, and how much just sponge + elbow grease.
No, but I will. I remembered seeing photo (on SMF) of an oven window clean as a whistle & thought it was reportedly due to an acronym (FFA) but didn’t know how to ask that nor did I remember term. 😝 I have a pan of mine that’s deplorable & no oven cleaner on hand but a heck yes to lye heavy soap & soda. Gonna give it a whirl. Thanks! 😊
 

105Carmen

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have you tried S.O.S. Steel wool pads? They require some el is freest and maybe more than one but it should help. Good luck!
 

ResolvableOwl

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an acronym (FFA) but didn’t know how to ask that nor did I remember term.
Sorry, it seems like I suck at remembering to be more descriptive, too 😂
 

Zany_in_CO

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Even tried some other metal scowering thingy that took off flesh but not the grease.
Save the scouring until after @earlene's advice in post #6 to put the baking sheets in the oven, combined with my oven cleaner in #7. My oven was a mess after a recipe spilled all over. It got my oven clean and sparkly without any scrubbing. Just wiped clean the next AM. :thumbs:
 

artemis

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I have always heard that ammonia is good for removing the baked on grease:

See "Method 3"
 

johnnyusa

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Cleaning anything is just a matter of finding the correct solvent and maybe heat + pressure.

So soap, alcohol, baking soda, vinegar or ammonia, and/or bleach, but cognizant of harmful fumes from (bleach or/and baking soda)+ (vinegar or ammonia) = basically chlorine gas.
Don't mix the baking soda or bleach w the ammonia, and avoid temptation to use baking soda, vinegar, and bleach.
I like soap, baking soda, rubbing alcohol, and a little tiny bit of vinegar maybe w a brillo pad n leave it in the sunshine for awhile in August.
I like that recipe for a pot of ammonia and a pot of water in a hot oven, if it works
but if you can use lye on ss baking sheets do that, glad to know that now
if it's cheap aluminum that's trash bro
 
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