Making a delicious cheesy casserole or a lasagna is great for your stomach but tough on your casserole dish. Food can get baked on the dish, and once it cools, it can be difficult to remove. The sooner you can soak the casserole dish and loosen the food, the better.
Baking Soda and Dish Soap
The best way to clean oven dishes is baking soda and liquid dish soap. This is one of the easiest and least expensive cleaning methods. The Kitchn recommends trying to remove as much caked-on food as possible with a plastic spatula. Clean the dish with water, then add baking soda and liquid dish soap. Dawn is great for greasy messes. If possible, use a clear soap free of dyes.
Fill the dish with hot water and soak it for at least 15 minutes to loosen the food. You can even let it soak overnight. Next, use the spatula again to scrape off any softened food with the cleaning mixture still in the pan. Rinse out the dish. Spot treat any stubborn stains with baking soda. Put a small amount of liquid dish soap on a sponge and scrub the spots. Repeat if needed until all the stubborn spots are gone.
Use Some Household Cleaners
Magic Erasers are great for heavy-duty cleaning on a lot of household surfaces. Soak the pan first to loosen the food. Once it has soaked for at least 15 minutes, Good Housekeeping suggests using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and some muscle power to scrub away baked-on food. It may take some time to remove all the stains.
Barkeepers Friend can be used on many surfaces to remove stubborn stains. It works especially well on Pyrex. Taste of Home recommends putting some Bar Keepers Friend on a wet Pyrex dish and scrubbing until the cleaning powder mixes with the water to form a paste-like consistency. Coat the dish in the mixture and allow it to soak for 20 minutes or more. Fill up the dish with more water and scrub until all the food comes off. Rinse it off with soap and water.
Clean Dishes With Dryer Sheets
A surprising home remedy is using dryer sheets. According to Taste of Home, it works because laundry dryer sheets have conditioning agents that can loosen and soften baked-on food, making it easier to clean your casserole dish. Put a fresh, never used, dryer sheet in the dish. Fill it with hot water and allow it to soak for 15 minutes or more.
Pour out the water and dryer sheet and scrub the dish clean. The stains should come off much more easily. Once the stains are gone, wash it out with liquid dish soap and water to remove any leftover chemicals.
Oven Cleaner Gets Results
This method also works great for cleaning Pyrex casserole dishes. Put a small amount of oven cleaner on any stubborn food stains and let it set for 30 seconds. Clean off the oven cleaner with a paper towel.
If the stain does not come off initially, The Kitchn recommends upping the ante by mixing equal parts white vinegar and water and baking it in the oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the dish is no longer hot to the touch, clean out the Pyrex with soap and water to remove any residual cleaning products.
Cleaning Glass Dishes With Vinegar
For Pyrex dishes, The Kitchn recommends cleaning glass dishes with vinegar and cornstarch. This homemade cleaner works especially well to get rid of grease. Mix 1 teaspoon of cornstarch with equal amounts of water and vinegar. Use a mesh or nylon scrubber and some elbow grease to remove those difficult stains.
Try Teeth Cleaning Products
Denture cleaner works well for glass Pyrex, according to The Kitchn. Fill the dish with hot water and add two or three denture dissolve tablets. Allow it to soak for a few hours or even until the next morning, depending on the severity of the stains. Rinse the dish with soap and water to remove the denture cleaner.
Toothpaste also works great on glass Pyrex, particularly for yellow stains that won't budge. Scrub it with a toothbrush until the stain is gone. Rinse the toothpaste off with liquid soap and water.
You can restore your casserole dishes to their former glory with these cleaning methods.
Meg Scanlon earned a Masters from Johns Hopkins University. Her writing can be found on Hunker, Cuteness, Funny or Die, BarkPost, Taste of Home, LoveTV and ALittleBitFunny.com.