How To Clean Oven Trays (Don't Throw Them Away!)

How To Clean Oven Trays (Don't Throw Them Away!)

Keeping your kitchen items clean and sparkly is a top priority! Often enough, baking trays or oven trays can be a real pain to clean. Since you use these items regularly — and they tend to collect grease — you might find it hard to get them looking as good as new. It's a Catch-22 scenario. The longer you leave them, the worse the cleaning process will be.

If you're wondering how to clean oven trays, you've come to the right place. Within this guide, we will take a look at some of the ways that you can shift that grease. You don't need to be an expert cleaner to get this right, so read our guide and get started now.

1. How to clean greasy oven trays 

When it comes to dirty oven trays, one of the biggest problems will always be grease. Let's not beat around the bush — greasy oven trays can be hard to clean. However, when cooking, you could find that the fat accumulates faster than you imagine.

Whether we're talking about meat fats, olive oil, or other types of oil, all of the above can be hard to shift. Worse still, if you allow the grease to build up over time, you will find that the trays look challenging to clean. Luckily, there is a simple approach you can use that will help you break down the grease and rescue the baking trays. So here's what to do next.

You will need the following:

  • Paper towels
  • Hot water
  • Soap or washing-up liquid
  • Scratch-free scourer

Steps to take:

  1. First, grab the paper towels and start soaking up as much grease as possible. You should use a dabbing method here. Place the paper towels down firmly on the tray, and you will see the oil soaking up when you do so. Be sure to get into the corners!
  2. Soak the entire tray in the sink for 40 minutes to an hour. You should fill the sink with hot water and then add the soap of your choice. Washing-up liquid tends to work well, but you can use any gentle soap you have handy. The longer you choose to leave the baking tray, the better.
  3. Check the water for grease bubbles! When the washing-up liquid or soap starts to cut through the grease, you will see it in the water. You might even find that there are tiny bubbles of grease. That's how you know you're ready for the next cleaning step.
  4. Get the scratch-free scourer out and get to work. First, take the oven tray out of the water and then use the scourer to remove any grease you can still see. You may need to use some elbow grease when cleaning this part of the tray.
  5. Rinse the tray thoroughly. If you find that there is still grease on the oven tray, you may want to repeat the whole process from start to finish. Then, you can make it sparkle!

2. Clean your oven tray with a coin

Next, look at an alternative way to clean your oven tray. The next tip became popular when Mrs Hinch shared it with her fans. When it comes to cleaning your baking tray, the truth of the matter is that you don't need a load of fancy oven tray cleaner. Instead, you can use things you can easily find lying around your home. Here's how.

You will need the following:

  • Washing up liquid
  • Hot water
  • 2p coin
  • Cloth
  • Dishwasher (optional!)

Steps to take:

  1. To get started with this cleaning hack, you should cover the whole tray with hot, soapy water. Once again, you can use either washing-up liquid or any other type of soap. Make sure that the water covers all of the greasy marks and stains. Leave it for 30 minutes.
  2. Next up, grab a 2p coin and use it to clean the tray's surface. Use a circular motion with the coin to remove the marks. You don't want to press too hard here. Since you are using metal, there's a chance that you can scratch the base of the oven tray. Take care!
  3. Rinse the baking tray thoroughly. You might want to use a mixture of hot water and washing-up liquid again. You can also use a clean cloth to eliminate any excess here.
  4. As an optional step, you might want to pop the baking tray in the dishwasher for a final clean. This will not always be necessary, but it can help to get the final marks or grease off. When you have done that, give the baking tray a clean with a cloth, and you are finished.

3. Use baking soda and vinegar

If you don't have any cleaning products at home and want to get the job done, never fear. One of the best ways to clean oven trays is to use things you probably already have in your kitchen cupboards. Rummage around and see if you can find some baking soda and some white wine vinegar. Once you've got them, you can quickly follow this step-by-step.

You will need the following:

  • Baking soda
  • White wine vinegar
  • Hot water
  • Cool water
  • Cloth
  • Scratch-free scouring pad

Steps to follow:

  1. Fill the sink with hot water. When you have done that, add half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of white wine vinegar. Mix the solution well.
  2. Submerge the oven tray in the water. Ideally, you should leave the baking tray in the cleaning solution for an hour. However, if you are in a rush and only have 30-40 minutes, that could work too. Once again, you should be looking for the grease in the water.
  3. Drain the sink and then use the scratch-free scouring pad to scrub the tray. You will need to be relatively gentle when doing this part of the cleaning process. The last thing you want is to scratch the base of your baking tray by accident.
  4. Rinse the oven tray thoroughly. First, you want to ensure that all the baking soda and white wine vinegar solution is gone. When you have done that, you can use a clean, dry cloth to dry the baking tray. You should find that this process removes any spots or marks.

Learning how to clean oven trays takes less time than you might imagine. If you are new to this process, our simple guide should have given you all the necessary information. This article has covered three of the best ways to clean your oven trays.


Did we miss something important? If you still have a burning question, don't panic. Instead, let's look at the answers to some of the frequently asked questions here.

How do I clean a burnt roasting tray?

Did you burn the roast? If you have a burned oven tray, you may think you have to throw it away. That is not the case. Instead, make a paste using some baking soda and water. Smear the solution onto the tray — particularly the burnt parts — and leave it for 30-40 minutes. Then rinse and use a scratch-free scouring pad to clean the rest of the tray.

Can toothpaste clean a burnt oven tray?

You might have heard rumours that toothpaste can help clean a burnt oven tray. Unfortunately, the evidence supporting this hack is mainly anecdotal. However, there is no harm in trying it for yourself. You can use the toothpaste directly on the burnt parts of the oven tray. Leave the solution to sit for a while, rinse, and then clean it with a scratch-free scouring pad.

Is it bad to clean a pot when it's hot?

If you want to make your kitchenware stand the test of time, you should take care when cleaning it. One of the tricks to remember is that your pots, pans, and trays must be 100% cool when you wash them. This means you won't risk bending or breaking your items when they are warm (and the metal is malleable!).

Does boiling water in a pan clean it?

The short answer is yes! If you are trying to get rid of stubborn marks or stains, you can put some water in the pan and bring it to a boil. Allow the water to boil for a few minutes before cooling it down and cleaning it. You may find that the heat and steam makes it easier to remove some of the trickier stains!

Have we helped you save your baking trays? Let us know in the comments below!

Joanne A


Expert in finding beautiful solutions for small and rented spaces. Would happily spend the rest of my life shopping for homewares and watching Disney movies - I only wish I had Cinderella's army of mice to help me clean!

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