This Is The Best Way To Clean A Silicone Baking Mat

A single silicone baking mat can take the place of countless sheets of parchment paper or aluminum foil, protecting your baking sheet in a more sustainable way. While there are certain cases where you may want a material that's more easily disposable, for your daily cooking, a silicone baking mat can be a total game changer. There's only one downside — unlike other materials, which you can just ball up and toss in the trash after you're done using them, a silicone baking mat needs to be washed after use so that it's fresh and ready to go for your next culinary creation.

Luckily, the best way to clean your silicone baking mat isn't too difficult — all you really need is some type of gentle soap or a DIY cleaning solution, as Food & Wine explains. For a cleaning solution right out of the bottle, simply use something like mild dish soap, selecting a solution that features neutral pH balances and minimal added fragrances, according to Chelsea David at silicone mat company Silpat. Looking for a DIY alternative? Lemon juice and baking soda should do the trick, allowing you to scrub off anything stuck onto the baking mat while helping keep any unpleasant odors at bay.

A few more tips to keep your silicone baking mats fresh

One of the biggest tips when it comes to cleaning your silicone baking mats is to not let them sit for too long, soaking in all the byproducts of whatever you've made. Instead, as the manager of culinary content at Sur La Table, Meredith Abbott, suggests clean the mats right after you use them (via Food & Wine). Another thing to be aware of is how delicate the mats can be. On the one hand, they're sturdy enough to be reused time and time again. However, on the other hand, you don't want to use anything too abrasive while scrubbing the mats, as it can potentially damage the material. 

You'll also want to be careful about placing them in the dishwasher — hand washing is by far the preferred method for getting the mats clean, but if you absolutely must send them through the dishwasher for a cycle, make sure you position them in a way that they're not folded, and stick to gentle detergent choices. Finally, don't drive yourself crazy trying to scrub off every little stain. Unless you're solely baking the types of dishes that don't create much mess, chances are, your silicone baking mat won't look how it did when you first purchased it for very long — and that's okay. They'll get a little discolored with time, but the gentle cleaning solutions will ensure they're always free from any grease or unpleasant odors.