How to Properly Care for All of Your Silicone Bakeware
These nonstick surfaces need to be handled the right way.
Silicone bakeware is a powerhouse tool when it comes to making cookies, brownies, muffins, and even small loaves of quick breads. From a basic silicone baking mat to more detailed silicone bakeware molds, these nonstick items certainly come in handy. After all, there's nothing worse than when cookies or cakes stick to the pan, leaving you with a crumbly mess. However, they do need to be cleaned and cared for properly in order to offer you years of service. "First, it's important to note that not all silicone is created equal and every brand and product is different, so I would suggest checking with each manufacturer for specific cleaning tips for your various bakeware and cookware. That said, for most silicone products, a solid cleaning tip is to give it a good soak with warm soap and water," says Shannon Morgan Stearns, vice president of marketing for Stasher.
How to Clean Silicone Bakeware
To clean silicone bakeware, wipe each piece with a damp soft sponge and rinse with clean water. You may need to use a mild detergent or soap to get rid of any larger stains or messes, such as residual butter grease from a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Once the bakeware is thoroughly cleaned, dry it on a flat surface or in an oven set to 200 degrees for two to three minutes. If there is persistent stuck-on food, let it soak in warm, soapy water for 10 to 15 minutes, which should help it to release. Stearns also recommends creating a paste with baking soda and water and using a good sponge or bottle brush to scrub tougher stains. All Stasher bags are dishwasher safe—making for an easy clean.
How to Store Silicone Bakeware
According to Brandon Iacometta, marketing manager of Silpat, many home cooks tend to store their silicone baking mats and other bakeware in the drawer under the oven. "Most people think it's just a storage drawer, but for most ovens, it is actually a warming drawer. If you store the mat with other metal pans in there, it may accidentally melt or damage the Silpat," says Iacometta. Instead, store it in a cool, dry cabinet. To save space, roll up silicone baking mats and secure them with Silpat storage bands ($4.25, amazon.com).
How to Dispose of Silicone
A few signs that your silicone products are past their peak are if they are torn, punctured, or otherwise compromised somehow. If you want to get rid of silicone bakeware or reusable bags, Stearns recommends checking with the product manufacturer or brand, as many have repurposing programs in partnership with companies like TerraCycle. For example, Stasher bags can be sent to TerraCycle and upcycled into entirely new and useful products such as a playground or track surfaces. "You can also use damaged Stasher bags to store toys, gym clothes, or keep essential documents together in the glove box of your car," says Stearns.