Get rid of that gunk!
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Close up of edge of used dirty glass oven dish showing burnt sides
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It's hard to imagine cooking without at least one versatile Pyrex baking dish in your cabinet. They make corral casseroles, chicken, even roasted vegetables. Their classic appeal also means you can take them from the oven right to the table for any meal.

But Pyrex dishes are vulnerable to an unsightly buildup of sticky brown glaze and yellow grease stains that come from regular use. Here are some tips and tricks to keep that gunk at bay.

How to Prevent Greasy Gunk on Pyrex

Wash by hand. Dishwasher detergents can etch the glass and turn it cloudy. The hot drying cycle can bake the stains onto the piece, making them even harder to remove. Try to hand wash the dish as soon as possible, because the longer the dirty dish sits, the harder it is to clean. If immediate washing isn't practical, let the dish soak in hot, soapy water until you can get to it.

Limit the spray. The gummy yellow and brown residue is an accumulation of grease and oils, so although nonstick spray can be our friend in the kitchen, it can be the enemy of glass bakeware. Use no more than necessary to do the job, often only a light mist.

How to Get Rid of Dark Spots on Pyrex

If the stains have been on the dish for a while, you'll need some stronger cleaning techniques. Consider one of these:

Baking Soda and Dish Soap

When trying to remove or lighten stains that are already set on your Pyrex dish, a combination of a gentle abrasive cleanser and a little elbow grease with a plastic or nylon scrubby (never steel wool) can work wonders.

Try moistening baking soda with a degreasing dish liquid, or shake on a generous sprinkle of a non-scratching scouring powder, such as Bon Ami or Bar Keepers Friend. It might take more than one round of scrubbing to make headway on old stains.

Magic Eraser

A damp Magic Eraser can serve as both cleaner and sponge. There are several styles of these erasers on the market, so read the labels to find one that's recommended for grease-caked bakeware. Wash the dish with soap after you've cleaned it, and be sure to rinse well.

Stronger Dish Soap

For light to moderate gunk, try a power wash dish soap.

For thicker and even more stubborn messes, try a stronger power dissolving gel that can cut through greasy residue, removing or at least lightening old stains and buildup. Be sure to follow the package directions carefully.

Can You Use Oven Cleaner on Bakeware?

Yes, oven cleaner can help tackle old Pyrex stains, but you need to be cautious. Spray it only on the stained areas, let sit for about 30 seconds, then wipe away with paper towels or a soft cloth. Be sure to follow all safety precautions on the package.

A word of caution: These ideas are for everyday Pyrex, not our delicate vintage Pyrex pieces that are quite vulnerable to scratches, etching, and fading. When it comes to caring for those dear pieces, it's best to do nothing more than wash them by hand with gentle, clear, unscented dish soap and dry them with a soft cloth.

You can find other tips for caring for vintage Pyrex on the Corning Museum of Glass website.The site also offers instructions for using lye to salvage badly stained Pyrex, but only as a last resort because of the safety precautions required to use household lye.