The Best (and Easiest!) Way to Clean a Dirty Pie Dish

published Nov 21, 2021
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Right off the bat, I should tell you I’m not much of a baker — but I like to think I’m a considerate person. So when a friend graciously drops by with baked goods, I’ll always return the dish in sparkling shape, even if that means digging for creative ways to do it. (I mean, it’s the least I can do!) Case in point: My neighbor, Drew, baked me an apple pie this week, and after my family nibbled away at the crumbly deliciousness, I found myself Googling “How to remove baked-on gunk from a pie dish.” 

After doing a thorough internet search, I cobbled together a method that I was sure would result in an easy and effective job. Luckily I had all of the supplies I needed on hand: a spatula, baking soda, a dish brush, and, most importantly, Dawn Powerwash. (If you haven’t tried this dishwashing foam yet, what are you waiting for? Kitchn editors and writers have been raving about how it works wonders!)

I cleaned the dish right after my husband ate the very last slice, so there were still big chunks stuck to the pie dish. With a spatula, I worked off the bigger baked-on bits. But I knew it was time to call in some help when my spatula couldn’t scrape off anymore stuck-on pie.

Credit: Ashley Abramson
Soapy cleaning solution doing its thing!

Here’s what I did: First, I rinsed the dish so it was damp. Then, I generously coated it with a heavy sprinkling of baking soda over the whole surface before I sprayed plenty of Dawn Powerwash over the abrasive powder. Next, I filled the dish with warm water. I wanted to give the cleaning mixture time to do its thing, so I set a timer for 20 minutes. Once the timer went off, I swirled the pie dish around a bit, then dumped the baking soda, water, and soap mixture. Lots of burned-on gunk slid right off, so things were definitely working! There was a little bit of soapy baking soda left on the dish, so I used the spatula to scrape it away.

Credit: Ashley Abramson
Presto! In a matter of minutes, this pie dish is ready for more pie!

Of course, the cleanup wasn’t over when I cleared the dish of the sticky pie bits. I still had to wash it as normal. I didn’t want to wait for the dishwasher, so I hand washed it with a little more Dawn Powerwash and a sturdy brush — with way less frustration and effort than I would have experienced had I skipped the deep-clean. After that, I let my neighbor’s pie dish dry, and it was as good as new!

From start to finish (not including wait time), the whole process took about five minutes. The combination of Powerwash and baking soda was the key! I’ll definitely be using this method again throughout delicious pie season. It’s the perfect excuse to eat more pies!

How do you get your baked-on pie dish clean? Share your stories in the comments below.