Ovenex Starburst Baking Pans

Feel free to make fun of my current baking pan obsession, but I can’t help myself. Have you seen these old Ovenex baking pans that are imprinted with a starburst pattern? I would have never thought a pan could be beautiful, but these certainly are. I’ve been slowly building up my collection, although I think a few of mine are too dirty to use for food. Does anybody have cleaning tips for removing rust and icky black stuff from baking pans? I tried baking soda and scrubbing really hard with a wire scrubber. That just made my arm tired, and I’m pretty sure the pans were laughing at me. I might just turn them into planters. Who’s laughing now?

vintage ovenex starburst baking pans


  1. Stormie

    Oh my goodness! Love! I too have a obsession with baking pans and dishes. Great idea to turn them into planters! I’ll be on the lookout now for one for my kitchen windowsill to hold herbs.

  2. Kari

    Maybe soak in white vinegar, or use a water/baking soda paste? Those are basically my go-to gotta-clean-something-nasty ingredients. Cute pans! Hope you get to use them.

    1. wit & whistle Post author

      Oh yeah, vinegar might work. Maybe I’ll mix vinegar and baking soda, because that’s always fun! :)


      The best way to clean this type of pan is – DON’T!, if you do, and make it all shiny and pretty, things will just tend to stick, scorch and cook unevenly. Just scour off (gently!) the loose rust and debris, then season them. In other words, treat them exactly like you would a cast iron frying pan.

    3. Melissa

      I purchased two of the starburst pie tins. They were tarnished and some rust.
      Other than that good shape. I used the liquid cleaner, barkeepers friend. It completely brought all of the rust and stains off. Looks like a totally different pan. This cleanser I found at Walmart. Large bottle for $2.47. cheap.

  3. lydia daugherty

    I wouldn’t soak them for long…they can rust. I have a few of these too and think they are so pretty.

    I tried using a bread tin to hold mail, but it filled up so quickly I just use itfor baking now. Good luck!

  4. Anna

    I just found two of the jelly roll pans, 14 and 16 inch sizes. I didn’t know anything about them but LOVED the design. Mine are dark in color now from being well used but I don’t think I would want to try to clean them up. I would rather them look old/used, give them more character. Your pics are so pretty!

    1. Cindy

      I’ve been searching for a baking sheet to match my Grandma’s- which is very dark and well seasoned. It is our FAVORITE cookie sheet! Just wash it up gently after I use it.

  5. Anna

    Oh and I think I will be using mine as either a pretty tray or I might use them as a magnetic board. Hmmm, I’m seeing my idea turn into a nice blog post. Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. jenny cain

    There’s this stuff called “Zud” that I got for hard water spots on my windows (hard water is a major problem in AZ). It’s amazing! It’s my go-to for anything tough now. It even has pictures of pots and pans on it, so it’s safe for that. It’s a powder, like comet, and you make a paste out of it. I got mine at Ace Hardware, but I don’t think those are out east.

    1. wit & whistle Post author

      Thanks Jenny! We do have Ace Hardware in NC, so I’ll see if I can find Zud.

  7. LizP

    Have you thought about oven cleaner (use outside!)??? It’s sort of hard core but I figure whatever is baked on those pans is the same type of stuff that gets baked on in an oven.

  8. Phoebe

    you can try mineral spirits or soaking in vinegar. Adding baking soda just decreases the effectiveness of either the vinegar or the baking soda, although it’s a popular “green” cleaning tip.

  9. OCD Karin

    Well, vinegar may start causing oxidation. Believe it or not try oxi clean on a corner of the pan, or fall back to the past… my grandmother used oven cleaner. I would just try that on a small area to see if it would work. Good luck!

  10. Rachel

    My mom always told me to use a brillo pad. I’d try soaking it for a while in hot, hot water, and then using a brillo pad and maybe vinegar?
    Anyway, they’re super cute! :]

  11. wit & whistle Post author

    Thanks for all the cleaning suggestions! I will try them all, and hopefully you’ll see my shiny clean pans in future recipe posts. :)

  12. Erica Midkiff | Dearingford

    These are so beautiful! I don’t have any cleaning suggestions (looks like that has been taken care of anyway), but I love the idea of using one or two as planters anyway. We have a similar pan (minus awesome pattern) on our hearth holding pinecones. :)

  13. Vintage SO.IL

    Just bought a pair of eight inch cake pans in this pattern(for $.10!!) . I stumbled upon this blog looking for company history. Mine were filthy and oven cleaner shined them right up. I think I’ll start collecting for use in my postwar vintage kitchen.

    1. Rhonda

      Yes! BAR KEEPERS FRIEND is the way to go! It will take care of rust as well as the grease. Super great product!!

  14. kristine asta

    i just saw these on pinterest and immediately recognized them… my family has some from my great-grandmother and we still use them. i’ve even used them (the bottoms) to do some printmaking-by-hand! (if you like, you can see one example on my website http://kristineasta.com/ if you click on “works on paper” and scroll down a bit.) anyway, i have always wanted to get my hands on more and now i can thanks to your post with the name! i’ll be keeping an eye out for these. thank you!

  15. Barb Welch

    I just cleaned 2 Ovenex bread pans that were absolutely black with baked on grease from years of (seasoning haha), they are now sparkling. I used spray on oven cleaner, and a stained scrubber. I did this 2 times, it was the easiest thing that I have ever done. Now I want to buy more Ovenex pans.

  16. Jacquelyn

    My family has a wonderful tradition of making peanut brittle, and we always use my grandma’s old ovenex jelly roll pan with the starburst pattern!! Id love to find a replacement pan (as the original has a hole in it), can you tell me where you found your ovenex?

  17. Liz

    Just bought two loaf pans at a yard sale for $1/both and didn’t know anything @ Ovenex or if safe to bake–so glad I found your site and love these pans!! maybe the beginning of another collection!!! love the site and fellow enthusiasts!!

  18. Tanya

    Wow! Just bought a 14 x 9 Ovenex pan with starburst pattern at a flea market. It was pretty grungy, but I was afraid I’d ruin it with certain cleaning products. Tried the oven cleaner for 10 mins. Then I used a toothbrush and magic eraser. After rinsing, it looks fantastic! Can’t believe the difference! Thanks for the tip! P. S. Recommend doing this outside because of the fumes, and using rubber gloves.
    Love this pan!!

  19. Kathy Downing

    I have two of the Ovenex starburst pattern bread pans that I “borrowed” from my parents when I went to college in the early 1970s. My mother baked almost all of our bread for years. I’m sure she had these pans since the ’50s and most likely she got them shortly after WWII. I still bake bread in them regularly.

  20. Sherry

    To clean the rusty areas use aluminum foil folded over several times & rub the rusty areas off. It also shines it a little. Wash the pan & dry it well before you use it for baking. *also works for rusty chrome

  21. Maria In Arizona

    Wow, other crazy collectors like me! I love these pans and just bought my first 3 at an estate sale for $10! (a cookie sheet, a 13″ long loaf pan, and a small rectangle cookie-type sheet with curved corners (Ovenex starburst pattern but manufactured & stamped Ekco).

    I have a friend who spray painted one of the cookie sheets turquoise and uses it for magnets. It looks great!

    I love the natural silver tone and would like to keep some “patina”, but mine are a bit grungy and I’m wondering how much (if any) of the natural patina remains after the various cleaning methods you have all described.

    Thanks for any info, and happy collecting!

  22. Liz Smith

    I have a small loaf pan that I think was my grandmother’s. It’s in fairly good shape and I still use it to bake!



    Thnaks for all the cleaning ideas..I cried when I thought I had lost Gramma’s pans. Vinegar and hot water has helped.

  24. Kathy Lambert

    I have one of the Ovenex Starburst pans. A 10″ tube pan. I was wondering about the age of it as I recall it always being in our house when I was growing up. It might have arrived with my paternal grandmother as she moved in with us when I was around 6 or 7 which would have been 1958 or so. As I type this my husband is greasing & flouring it in preparation of the annual Christmas applesauce cake.

  25. Kathy

    Hi, just realized I should look to see about these pans, I too took mine from my mother. and I make banana bread in it all the time,,,
    Try Awesome cleaner from the Dollar store or 99cent store,,, soak in a plastic bag and let sit, amazing what grease comes off.

  26. Hannah

    i have found a steelwool scrubby (the ones with the dried soap already inside) work the best for cleaning out grimy pans and getting rid of rust, i use them in our cast iron and on metal baking dishes

  27. trent smith

    Hi, Question. I have two Ovenex pans. On one it says Ovenex, the new baking metal. Looks like tin but is just a tiny bit grayer.
    Does anyone know if it may be toxic?
    Thanks, Trent

  28. Janet Souder

    My Ovenex pans do not say The New Baking Metal and my mother set up a home in 1945 so am assuming my pans may be an earlier version. My round 8″ cake pans have a moveable lever that releases the cake and I love them. However, after baking a cake in them and doing fine, I cleaned off the rust again and used as a backup pan for stuffing/covered with foil to transport to son’s home on Thanksgiving. Two days later that had reacted to the metal and foil bits were all over the top of the stuffing. The bottom of the stuffing was black and appeared rancid. So I believe my pans are no longer useable. Ideas??

    1. DeeJay

      The Ovenex pans are great for baking, but not so great for storing…however, you seem to be saying your pan was lined with aluminum foil. Aluminum foil reacts to various foods all by itself; example would be aluminum foil over a lasagne or other acidic food. You could line the pan with parchment instead.

  29. Connie

    You might try Googone. This is my “go-to.” Had an impossibly stopped up drain in my kitchen sink. Water standing in the sink, I had been working on it. Poured probably 1/4 cup of Googone, nothing else. About 10 minutes the sink drain went “Glug” and it has not been stopped up since. Don’t think it would hurt the surface which would be a shame. I love mine, too!

  30. DeeJay

    I think these pans would be awesome for making Soap, or hand-made paper—two things I’ve never taken the time to try—although I have some soap from a hobby shop that I might tint and mold in a bread pan, or OMG, a MUFFIN pan. A certain level of darkening in these pans is kind of like ‘patina’—but there is a level of crud that goes beyond Quaint.

  31. Lorraine

    I just cleaned them with Dawn and use them anyway even with the blackened grooves. It’s not going to kill me, the 350-400 degree oven temperature kills off anything bad.

  32. cindy

    I have a starburst ovenex cake pan that got rustier after soaking it,with vinegar,etc. I will try barkeepers friend and oven cleaner now,but is it safe to use pan for baking afterwards?

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      I was never able to get mine clean, so I just use them around the house for decorative storage instead of baking. I get to look at them more often that way anyway. ;)

  33. Cheryle Demmon

    Just bought an Ovenex starburst cake pan for a quarter. Does anyone know what these are made of? Steel or tin?

  34. Linda Traub

    I was cleaning out my mom’s [deceased] cabinets for give away and came across an ovenex starburst. I soaked it in warm water for about 5 minutes and cleaned it with a Scotch Brite green scouring square and a little bit of Dawn. It came out so shiny and pretty that I just couldn’t give it away. I wanted to know more about it and that is how I ended up on this site.

  35. Debbi

    I just found one of these Ovenex muffin pans in my Mom’s stuff when she died and it was covered in the brown and black baked on stuff so I used peroxide and baking soda and within 15 minutes with a toothbrush, it looks almost new.

  36. meme holod

    Another idea for using the cake pans is for putting pretty perfume bottles in it. perfume won’t stain furniture this way

  37. pam long

    about how to remove the nasty black baked on gunk i saw on rehab adict nicole put cabinet hard ware in a crock pot with soapy water and cooked it fgor a few hrs and it came clean . so i took my old ovenex pie pan that had gross baked on grease that i got no where trying to scrb and i put it in my big crab pot with a dish washer tab and a drop or two of dish soap and put it on simmer for and hour or two and WOW super clean just acouple tiny spots i got off with a cooper wire brush. try it it beats hrs of hand scrubbing . thanks nicole on rehab addict.

  38. Sharon Burke

    I have an 11″ rectangle ovenex pan. My husband worked in a factory and took it there and had it sand blasted. Looks great! I baked cornbread in it last night. I oiled it well then poured in the batter and baked it. The cornbread came out easy. I saw on another web site where they used oven cleaner and it worked well.


    To clean them just brush on some paint stripper (I like Soy Gel since it’s non-toxic) leave for an hour or so and wash. Takes care of all the gunk.

  40. Nancy

    Simple! Just take them outside, put down newspaper & lay them on the newspaper. Put on rubber gloves. Spray them with OVEN CLEANER. Let then sit for a bit, carefully wipe off with paper towel so you don’t get oven cleaner on your skin. Take inside, wash with soap & water then dry. Mine look great!

  41. Cindy

    I love these pans and looking at a couple myself. Do you know what metal Ovenex used to make their pans? I agree try vinegar and baking soda always works for me or a magic eraser pad.

  42. Michelle Carver

    My hubby put my OvenEx pan with years of dark brown seasoning stains built on it in his etank (cast iron collectors do this) and it came out spanking new and shiny! No elbow rubbing or anything. All an etank is a water tank with arm and hammer powder laundry detergent and a battery charger hooked up to stainless steel rods. Ran it overnight in the tank and tada new! If they are all over dark gray that is just the metal and it won’t make it shiny but if it’s anything other then that it should work

  43. Brian

    I just bought 2 bread pans at Goodwill that were totally trashed with years of baked on grease! I sprayed dollar store oven cleaner on them and in almost no time, most all of the grime came off. Resprayed them again and they are now like new. They match pieces I already had. Not bad for .49 each!

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