Silicone baking mats are essential pieces of cookware you typically see in restaurants or commercial kitchens, but they're convenient tools for home chefs, too. Appropriate for both desserts and savory recipes, these mats can be used in the oven up to 3,000 times before they even need to be replaced. In order to ensure you're taking the best care of your product, we asked the experts how to clean these nonstick baking mats.
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How Do You Clean a Silicone Baking Mat?
Gentle soaps and/or simple DIY cleaning solutions are the way to go. "Always hand wash with mild dish soap and hot water immediately after use," Meredith Abbott, manager of culinary content at Sur La Table, recommends. As for the best kind of dish soap, Silpat's Chelsea David suggests sticking to options with neutral pH balances and minimal added fragrances. Once you start washing your mat, make sure you only use soft sponges or a dry dish towel to scrub it. "Nothing too abrasive," David adds. "You don't want to tear the silicone coating."
When you're caring for your mat, remember that some wear and tear is nothing to worry about. "Discoloration is normal and expected with any silicone-based product, especially Silpat," David says. "Cleaning your mat will not 'restore' it to when it first came out of the packaging but can help with any loose debris, greasy texture, and lingering odors."
Is There an All-Natural Way to Clean a Silicone Baking Mat?
Whether you've run out of soap or are looking to go completely natural, try using a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda. "Soaking the mats in hot water with a squeeze of lemon will help break up any residual grease left on the mat," suggests Crate and Barrel's Sophia Kvochak, brand buyer for kitchen utility, bakeware, and food. "You can also rinse off the mat, sprinkle it with some baking soda, and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, scrub with a sponge." David says that the lemon juice is especially helpful for getting rid of any remaining odors from your recipe.
What About Especially Sticky Residue?
The good news is that silicone baking mats are nonstick products, so you shouldn't encounter too many tough stains. "If you keep your mats clean after each bake, removing sticky residue is really easy as it should just peel off," says Vanessa Burrow, founder of silicone baking mat company Kitzini. "But this can be much trickier if there is a bit of residue that you miss, and then it gets re-baked on."
In these instances, Abbott suggests either soaking your mat in boiling water for 10 minutes or placing it on a wire rack in a preheated 450°F oven for 20 minutes. After your mat has soaked or baked, Abbott says to "scrub it with grease-fighting dish soap and hot water."
Are Silicone Baking Mats Dishwasher Safe?
These baking mats are dishwasher safe, but there are differing opinions about whether or not that's the best way to clean them. David says the dishwasher is an effective method, but make sure you use a gentle detergent. "Some detergents and pods include bleach which is too corrosive and will accelerate the deterioration of the silicone," David explains. "We recommend Cascade's Free & Clear ($20.99 for 16, target.com), which is formulated without bleach, perfumes, and dyes."
How you place your mats in the dishwasher is important, too. "I tend to gently position them over two racks in a 'U' shape, avoiding folding them," Burrow recommends. However, Burrow also says you may want to stick to the sink: "In my experience, the dishwasher doesn't always clean them as well as you can by hand." Along these same lines, Kvochak only recommends hand washing the mats. But at the end of the day, which method you choose is up to you.