How to Clean and Store Baking Tools and Equipment

By A.J. Andrews

Mild dish soap and hot water clean most baking utensils and equipment as effectively as any cleaning product. Always line baking sheets with parchment paper before using; the black stains left by baked-in sugar won't scrub off. Some equipment, such as baking stones, pastry brushes and wood rolling pins, need a different approach. As a guideline, anything stainless steel can go in the dishwasher, or you can clean it with soap and water. Store baking equipment in a dry cupboard, and don't stack anything on a baking stone. Store baking utensils in a kitchen drawer or utensil holder.

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Rolling Pins

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A wooden rolling pin is the essence of a kitchen -- one look and you can tell if its owner bakes regularly. Wooden rolling pins season over time, absorbing the natural oils of the doughs they touch. Never wash a wood rolling pin with soap.

Scrape any dough from the pin using a wooden or plastic scraper, and wipe it down with hot water. Dry it with a towel. Rub down the pin with mineral once or twice a month, depending on use, for increased longevity. If you're concerned about bacteria, mix 1 teaspoon of bleach with 1 quart of water; wipe down the pin with the solution and let it air dry.

Baking Stones

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Stains are common on baking stones, and like other stoneware, they develop a layer of polymerized fat over time that creates a nonstick surface. First, staining is normal; you usually only need to scrape off debris and wipe it down with hot water.

For tougher cleaning jobs, use a wire-bristled brush and a little hot water. If the stone develops an uneven surface after a few years, lightly sand it with medium-grit sandpaper and wipe it clean.

Pastry Brushes

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Pastry brushes don't look like much, but their bristles have a surface area thousands of times larger than the brush itself. Wash pastry brushes in the dishwasher if you can -- it's the most effective method for removing oil and odor. If you don't have a dishwasher, wash the brush in hot soapy water several times and rinse. Soak the brush in a standard bleach solution for 15 minutes to sanitize it.