I Tried the Old-School Scrubber That’s Said to Be Better than Steel Wool

published Mar 8, 2021
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Someone holding copper scouring pad.
Credit: Sarah Crowley

We all have that one baking sheet — you know, the one with a patina that we’ve decided to just live with. Today, I decided that enough was enough and I set out to give my blackened baking sheet one last chance before tossing it. My tool of choice? The Chore Boy Ultimate Copper Scrubber

I’d read a lot about Chore Boy scrubbers, which happen to be fairly old-school. They’re a lot like steel wool, only they’re made of copper and they won’t rust or splinter, which lots of people say make them even better. I’d read that they’re super-great at removing baked-on food and grease, and that intrigued me. I was also intrigued because you can use them on a wide array of surfaces: In addition to glass, copper, aluminum, and multi-clad pans, you can also use the scouring pads to clean stainless steel (which is a no-no with steel wool). 

The overwhelmingly positive Amazon reviews — 75 percent of all the reviews are five-star ratings — hyped me up even more. Scrolling through customer comments, I found even more uses for the scrubbers. One reviewer uses them to remove the top layer of grease and burnt bits from cast iron (just make sure to use a light touch to avoid removing your seasoning; if you’re worried about it, Kitchn editors swear by this brush). Another person uses them to stave off soap scum from her shower and build-up from bathroom tile. One thing all the Chore Boy reviews I read had in common, despite the use: Most people agreed cleaning with the scrubber requires very little elbow grease. 

Credit: Ashley Abramson

Reader, they’re right! After wetting my copper scrubber under the sink, I went to town on the beat-up cookie sheet. Immediately, without much effort, I saw the top layer of grease and baked-on black bits lift. After a good rinse, there was still some baked-on gunk in the corners, so I got back in there. It was incredibly easy to squeeze the copper between my fingers and get the scrubber into the corners. After two quick scrubs, most of the gunk was gone. I added a few drops of Dawn at the end to get the last of the grease, then rinsed. The sheet still looks old, but I don’t suspect I’ll have any more smelly batches of cookies!

Credit: Ashley Abramson

Next, I opened my oven to remove burned-on pizza from the bottom. I was surprised how easily and quickly the copper scrubber totally erased the burnt spots — no soap or oven cleaner needed! I’m excited to try this copper scrubber on my oven racks next.

My verdict: I’m definitely keeping these guys around for future cleaning jobs. Hopefully, I won’t let my baking sheets get quite so dirty, but I know that I can fix them if need be. Tonight, I’m going to make a lasagna or a meatloaf and I’m already planning to use my Chore Boy to scrub out the baked-on cheese or meat — the Amazon reviewers say they work like magic.

Do you use Chore Boy scrubbers? Tell us what you use them for in the comments below!