Do you enjoy cooking at home? Do you often use ovens for home cooking? If both answers for these questions are “YES”, you must have a silicone baking mat in your kitchen. It brings us a bunch of advantages when it comes to cooking at home. If you own one, I guess that there is a glimpse of a dirty or oily mat showing up in your mind. The article below will show you how to clean a silicone baking mat properly in the shortest time.
Why do we need to clean the mat? What if we don’t follow the cleaning instructions? The answer is: If you don’t clean your mat correctly, this can reduce the quality of the later baking products or even reduce the life expectancy of the mat in the long run.
As I have long been using silicone mat, I want to share some experience of cleaning it by the article here. Following are some cleaning tips that I have tried and achieved a desired result. Do as the instructions below and get your mat brand new again!
Here we go!
- Tips on how to clean a silicone baking mat
- When to use parchment paper or a silicone mat
- How to lengthen the life expectancy of a silicone mat
- Frequently asked questions
- Final thoughts
Tips On How To Clean A Silicone Baking Mat
What are needed for the washing process
- A silicone baking mat: Of course, because you are reading on how to clean it
- A dishwasher: It really helps in general. By a dishwasher, the cleaning for your silicone baking mat becomes effortless and so swift. However, if your mat surface is still greasy or smelly, you may need to use other kitchen gadgets below.
- Dishwashing detergent: This product can be easily found in every household due to its powerful cleaning effect.
- A soft sponge or a kitchen brush: This is for scrubbing stubborn residue on the mat
- A lemon and baking soda powder: This solution has a strong detergent property which gives your baking mat a deep clean.
- A pair of gloves (optional): If you care about your skin, you must have one in your kitchen. It will protect your hand skin from the harmful impacts of chemical substances in detergents.
Method 1: Clean silicone baking mat using a dishwasher
This is definitely the most effortless way to clean your kitchen gadgets when you have a dishwashing machine in your household. If your silicone mat is not too dirty and smelly, a dishwasher can totally help you to complete the challenge.
1. Roll your map up loosely, and put it on the top rack of the dishwasher. Remember not to roll it too tight. See the illustrating image below!
2. Place the rest of your dirty dishes into your dishwasher and run a normal cycle.
3. After the cycle finishes, take the mat out, wipe it with a dry clean towel if necessary and store it for later use.
You can see it works like a charm. That’s so quick and simple. If you are looking for the best drawer dishwasher, click here and you will find the most suitable one for your own.
On the condition that your mat is still oily or has hard-set residue, I recommend that you should try some other ways below.
Method 2: Clean silicone baking mat by detergents
If you don’t have a dishwasher, this method is one of the good alternatives. Washing detergents are strong enough to dispose of oil and annoying odors.
1. Dampening your mat with warm water.
2. Apply a sufficient amount of detergents on the mat surface.
3. Use a sponge to rub the mat until there is no residue left on the surface.
4. Rinse the mat under faucet water until the soapy water has been swept away.
Method 3: Clean silicone baking mat by scrubbing it in hot water
Hot water can help to soften the hard-set residue and deodorize pretty well. By this method, you are required to use your hand to scrub the sticky leftover residue.
1. Soak your mat in extremely hot water for about 15 minutes.
2. After the residue becomes softer, use a brush or a sponge to scrub the mat surface.
3. Flush the mat with clean water until there is no leftover food on the surface.
4. Use a dry and clean towel to wipe the stagnant water on its surface.
Method 4: Clean silicone baking mat using an oven
This method is quite similar to the one right above but it uses the heat from an oven to soften and detach the hard-set residue from the mat surface. Check top best ovens for baking!
1. Place the mat in an oven and choose a temperature of around 350°F in about 10 minutes.
2. Bring it out, submerge it in hot water and use a brush to scrub it.
3. Flush the mat with clean water until there is no leftover food on the surface.
4. Use a dry and clean towel to wipe the stagnant water on its surface.
Nowadays, silicone baking mats are usually made to be resistant to severe environments, including extremely high temperatures. However, to protect the mat’s life expectancy, you only need to bake it at a maximum of 350°F for cleaning purposes.
By heating up, you loosen the leftover bits and make it easier to scrub.
Method 5: Clean silicone baking mat using lemon juice and baking soda
This method is actually worth a try if yours smells a little funky. Lemon and baking soda are widely recognized for their exceptional ability to deodorize. Do as follow:
1. Squeeze fresh lemon juice into a container of hot water
2. Submerge your mat in the lemon juice solution
3. Pour a generous amount of baking soda on the surface of the mat
4. Leave it there in 10 minutes
5. Come back, and don’t forget to wear gloves when rubbing your baking mat until it becomes totally flawless
6. Use a dry towel to wipe the mat
Cleaning with lemon and baking soda is viewed as the optimal method. Whenever I baked dishes from fish, I had to recourse to this method. And the results were always satisfying. However, it would help if you remembered to wear a pair of gloves in order not to get your hands exposed to the lemon and baking soda solution. It has very strong detergent properties which will be harmful to your hand skin.
Still confused? You can check out this video on Youtube which will tell you what to do in more detail:
With the above tips, I’m sure that you will successfully get your dirty baking mat to look like a brand new one.
When To Use Parchment Paper Or Silicone Baking Mat
Both of these have non-stick surfaces. They are useful when you bake foods because they prevent your food sticking on the tray surface.
Parchment paper is covered by a very thin layer of silicone to create high-temperature proof and non-stick surface. You will find it very useful when lining cakes, baking biscuits and cookies. It can also catch water coming out from glazed or iced food. An advantage of parchment paper over a silicone mat is that users can tailor it to unusually shaped pans.
A parchment paper can be reused in 2 to 4 times depending on your cooking time and temperature. It is highly recommended that you should change another one when yours has been dirty or brittle even if it has just been used for one time.
Stores usually sell parchment paper in a whole box which costs much less than a silicone baking mat. Many people use baking paper for only a single time, and ultimately generates more waste. That’s why environmentalists opt for a silicone mat.
Warning: You should know that parchment paper is not the same with wax paper. Wax paper is covered with a wax layer which can easily melt or burn at high temperature in the microwave ovens. The melted wax, hence, can stick to your food and destroy your all effort.
- It is cheap
- It is lightweight
- It doesn’t require cleaning because it is disposable after 1 use
- You can change it shape by a pair of scissors to fit in the baking pan
- It has a short life span. Hence, it is not environment friendly
Silicone baking mat
Like parchment paper, a silicone baking mat has a non-stick surface which is made from high-quality food-grade silicone. There are different sizes and shapes to fit your baking pans. However, if you own one silicone baking mat, its size and shape are limited to a few common types of baking pans.
Silicone baking mat is considered a better choice for too hot and sticky dishes such as peanut brittle, toffee or caramel. Silicone mat is also well-suited for baking many savory foods such as salmon and chicken breast. Although parchment paper, as said, can be reused, these mats are usually much easier to clean compared to the former one.
You should bear in mind that using a knife or other types of sharp objects on the surface of a silicone mat is not sensible. As you puncture the mat, you will create tiny scratches on the mat surface. This will make it difficult for you to do the cleaning because food residue can get stuck in there and facilitate the development of bacteria and mould. The best way to clean a silicone mat is using warm and soapy water to wash it by a sponge, then wipe it with a dry towel.
To keep the silicone mat staying durable, you should not use it under a broiler. In general, most silicone mats can resist the temperature of up to 450°F. According to recent research, a silicone mat can be used 1000 times in the temperature of around 430°F. The life expectancy increases by over 50% with the temperature of 380°F. That means the lower the temperature is, the more durable your silicone mat can stay.
- It is reusable hundreds of times
- It is eco-friendly
- The price may be a bit higher than a box of parchment paper
- It is unchangeable regarding the shape
How To Lengthen The Life Expectancy Of Silicone Baking Mat
Clean it after using
After using the silicone baking mat, or at least after the meals, it is highly recommended that you carefully do the washing for it. If you left it dirty for too long, the leftover oil and residue could become greasy and sticky on the mat surface. This will make it hard for you to get the mat clean again.
Don’t use a sharp tool on its surface
The non-stick mats are made of fiberglass and food-grade silicone. Under no circumstances should you use sharp tools such as knives or pizza cutters because they may slice through the top layer and get the inner fiberglass exposed. As a result, not only does it become more difficult for you to clean but the anti-stick ability also dramatically decreased. Moreover, the damage can deteriorate over the time.
Don’t put it in too extreme environment
Silicone baking mats can resist oven temperatures of up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. If you regularly bake over its limit temp, your product may burn or give out harmful substances.
According to manufacturers, silicone baking mats are durable enough for you to reuse up to 3000 times. Actually, you should not use them under the broiler or directly on the surface of the oven. The lower the temperature is, the more durable your silicone mat can stay.
Don’t ever fold or bent the silicone mat when storing it
Strange as it may sound, I have witnessed a lot of housewives folding their silicone baking mat to save their space.
Folding is totally not good for your silicone mat because this will gradually tear the folded angle of the mat. It would be the best if you let it stay flat in your wardrobe. Or, you just have to simply roll it for space-saving storage.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to use silicone mat properly?
The tool is made for simple and convenient usage. Knowing how to use it properly will make your cooking experience get better. Please see the following steps to check if you are doing right or not.
- Step 1: Preheat your oven to the desired temperature
- Step 2: Place your mat on a cookie sheet or baking pan
- Step 3: Lay your food on the mat with spray or oil the mat surface
- Step 4: Put the cookie sheet/ baking pan in the oven
- Step 5: Set the cooking mode on your oven like normal. Keep in mind that the recommended temperature is below 450°F for silicone baking mats
Why does my mat get stinky when heated?
A few users report that their product smells or even smoke when they are baking. I assume that new silicon products usually smell annoying a little bit at first. If so, you should do the washing to deodorize it before starting to use it for baking food.
Another reason is that you may be baking it at too high temperature. Please make sure that you read the instructions attached with your product before using. Normally, silicone baking mats are heat resistant under the range from -30°F to 450°F. If you are baking it over its maximum temp, some problems may arise and destroy your food.
On the other hand, low-quality silicone mat can emit strange odors due to its composition from fillers which may pose threats to your health. Make sure that you buy the high-quality product from an authorised store. High-quality silicone baking mats have been approved by the FDA; therefore, you don’t need to worry about its qualitative matters anymore.
Are there any potentials that the melted silicone merges with our food?
No worries. The material Silicone has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the US. That means it passes all the safety benchmarks and is 100% unharmful to humans’ health. A lot of people assume that the silicone will be melted and incorporated with the baked food when it gets exposed to extremely high temperature in the oven. However, this notion is false.
Anyway, you should choose an authorised seller if you purchase a silicone mat so that you can avoid buying low-quality products which may cause detrimental effects on your health.
Is it dangerous to use silicone in cooking?
Below are some factors that you should take into account when you have decided to buy one silicone baking mat. Although there have not been any scientific results about these issues yet, safety should be of the top priority.
- There are some low-quality products deliberately blended into the market. Few of them have been found to contain a harmful filler substance. In order to test whether your silicone product contains fillers or not, you can squeeze it hard. If you see some white dots appear, it is possible that your product has fillers.
- Many people are afraid that silicone has oil inside. This is known to be potently toxic and have detrimental effects on consumers’ health. Also, it may merge with our food when heated at an extremely high temperature in the oven. Again, I suggest that you choose silicone products which have conformed to FDA and RoHS regulations.
- Silicone is said to give out terrible smell. I guess the odor is not to blame but the filler substance is.
Nowadays, high-quality silicone baking mats have fiberglass covered by a heat-resistant silicone layer outside. It is not sensible for you to cut the mat, otherwise the fiberglass will get exposed to and merge with your food.
Parchment paper or Silicone baking mat?
Both of them are used for the same purpose. However, each owns merits and demerits. Parchment papers can be customized flexibly to the shape of your baking pan. Also, its price is incredibly low; however, it is hardly reusable. When it comes to silicone baking mat, people choose it mainly because they seriously care about environmental issues.
Do I need to use oil to prevent stickiness?
The non-stick feature of the silicone mat allows you to bake without cover oil on its surface. Thereby, users will consume less fat and eat healthier. So, the answer to the question is NO.
What do I use silicone mat for?
As a baker, I can say that silicone baking mat has become an important part of my life due to its great convenience. You can put it directly on the oven shelf however it is not a very wise idea when you want to take it out after the oven has finished its duty. I suggest you place it on a solid baking tray or a cookie sheet. It is useful for many delicious dishes such as cookies, rolls, biscuits, pies, veggies, frozen items, brittles, and so on.
How long do I have to wait for my silicone mat to cool down?
Unlike metals, when the silicone mat is taken out of the oven, it starts to cool very fast. The estimated time for its temperature to return back to normal status is just under 2 minutes. Then, you can touch it with your bare hands.
We have discussed a lot of features and tips for a silicone baking mat. All of the above information is extracted from scientific reports and from real users’ experiences. We hope that you as readers will find it helpful to your daily life.
Cleaning a silicone baking mat is not a burden as you may imagine. Once you can make the most of your useful kitchen tools, the work will become much easier. Follow the instructions and see your result. If you have a new idea or questions about silicone baking mats, please don’t hesitate to write them in the comment section below!
Should you have any concerns about some other kitchen gadgets, we have listed and reviewed a bunch of useful products. Click here to see the best dishwashers under $600! Or if you are looking for the best frying pan, please see this post!
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