I cooked some ribs and used a baking sheet under my rack.

Later I cleaned the greasy bits by soaking the baking sheet and rack in a baking soda solution until the water was gone. Then I added vinegar and scrubbed it. The rack is stainless steel and is doing great.

The sheet seems to be aluminum and has visible baking soda stains on it(even minimal powdering). I added more vinegar and scrubbed it but it persists.

Is there a way to clean the baking soda stains?

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1 Answer 1


Aluminum is attacked by alkalies - while lye (typically from automatic dishwasher detergent) is the more common issue, baking soda is a weak alkali and will have the same issue.

Other than re-polishing (to physically remove the corroded layer on the surface), I don't think you can "remove" the stain. You can choose to live with the staining (it's only cosmetic.)

  • 2
    The point about it being only cosmetic is a good one. Short of doing some really crazy stuff, pretty much any aluminum compounds you manage to produce on the surface of a pan in your kitchen are going to be both non-reactive and relatively strongly bound to the pan, even at typical cooking temperatures. It takes really nasty stuff (like elemental mercury for example) to damage aluminum in a way that’s more than just cosmetic. Commented Aug 29, 2022 at 16:53

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