If baking is your passion, you probably rely on your silicone baking mat quite a bit. To keep this trusted kitchen tool in good shape, proper care is an absolute must. Cleaning is a major aspect of upkeep, as mats become quite sticky with food residue over time. To eliminate this residue without harming your mat, a nice soak in extremely hot water is an effective way to perform a deep, thorough clean.
To clean the mat, fill your sink with boiling water (silicone mats are designed to be exposed to very high temperatures, usually up to 480 degrees Fahrenheit) and deposit one teaspoon of dish soap into it. After swirling your gloved hand around the water to mix up the soap, submerge the mat in the water for up to an hour. At this point, remove the mat, drain the sink, and refill with hot water from the faucet. Apply mild dish soap to a soft sponge and use it to clean either side of the mat, then rinse away remaining soap residue.
Regular cleaning will keep the mat residue-free, for the most part. However, there's another method you can use when dealing with extremely sticky stains.
For Tough Stains, Give Baking Soda A Try
Along with being an essential ingredient in many types of baked goods, baking soda is also a highly effective cleaning agent. Baking soda is a natural product that lacks the harsh chemicals often found in storebought cleansers, yet it's still quite effective for breaking down sticky, greasy stains. Accordingly, it's great for cleaning silicone mats because it's capable of removing tough stains but won't damage the material like other cleansers might.
To get started, mix baking soda and water until they becomes a sticky paste. Next, apply the paste to the baking mat and rub it gently into the surface with a non-abrasive sponge using a circular pattern. Take the rest of your baking soda paste and apply it to the mat again, then allow the paste to rest on the mat for ten minutes or so.
When enough time has elapsed, rinse away any remaining residue, clean with mild dish detergent, and dry the mat thoroughly before putting it away.
Can Silicone Mats Be Cleaned In A Dishwasher?
Washing mats by hand is the best course of action if you want to keep them intact for as long as possible. However, silicone mats can also be cleaned in a dishwasher, provided you take the right approach. The first step is choosing the best detergent for the job, as traditional detergents containing bleach may be too harsh for silicone and cause it to break down prematurely. In this case, use a bleach-free gel detergent instead, as these products aren't quite as abrasive, although they still effectively clean kitchen items.
When putting the mat into dishwasher racks, be careful about folding it tightly. Silicone mats are designed to be pliable and bendy, but frequently folding them can cause the material to crack over time. Accordingly, you should gently position the mat so that it's curved as opposed to folded.
Keep in mind that a badly stained mat may not get fully cleaned in the dishwasher. That's why it's good to have a few techniques in your cleaning arsenal to ensure you get extended use out of this handy kitchen tool.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.