How To Safely Reuse Parchment Paper [Plus Storage Tips!]

In this day and age, most people have two goals: save money and reduce waste. And while plenty of individuals are doing the basics like recycling, cutting down on food waste, and switching from bottled water, one idea that might be overlooked is reusing parchment paper.

But can parchment paper really be reused, and if so, how?

Parchment paper can be reused as long as it is in good condition and not used initially to bake meat or fish as there may be lingering bacteria. All you need to do is clean it, let it air dry, and store it until you’re ready to use it again. Once it becomes overly greasy or messy, emits an odd odor, or becomes burned, it will need to be thrown out.

Are you considering reusing your parchment paper? Then you need to know the facts.

This article teaches when and when not to use parchment paper, as well as other handy info such as how to clean and properly store this item. 

Can You Reuse Parchment Paper?

For the most part, you can reuse parchment paper safely and efficiently.

This is good news, considering parchment paper is not recyclable due to the nonstick coating and typical presence of stuck-on food, grease, and grime.

There are certain caveats, though, the main one being that you should not reuse parchment paper used to cook meat.

There may be some leftover, lingering bacteria on the parchment paper that is not eliminated during the cooking process – and that’s the last thing you want in your fresh batch of cookies.

You should also avoid reusing parchment paper exposed to fresh dairy. Cooked dairy is okay.

For example, cookies and scones that contain butter, milk, etc. As long as it’s cooked, it’s fine, as bacteria from dairy is destroyed at temperatures beyond 212F.

Therefore, you shouldn’t risk it if there’s fresh dairy, as bacteria can be present.

Last but not least, avoid reusing any parchment paper that is overly messy or falling apart.

For one, the parchment paper won’t be able to do its job efficiently. Secondly, it can affect the final flavor of your baked treat. 

Can You Reuse Parchment Paper for Cookies?

Generally speaking, you can reuse parchment paper for cookies. In fact, it’s one of the more common ways to reuse parchment paper. 

cookies on Parchment Paper

That’s because most people don’t stop at a single batch of cookies. There’s at least one additional batch, and if you’re baking in large quantities, even more.

Don’t worry about using a fresh piece of parchment paper in-between cookie batches. Use the same one until it’s no longer able to handle the “heat” – literally.

Can You Reuse Parchment Paper When Baking?

You can reuse parchment paper when baking, as long as it’s not riddled with grease or stuck-on messes.

For example, if you bake a pie and the ooey-gooey filling comes out and sticks to the parchment paper, you might think twice before reusing it.

You don’t want it to burn during round two.

Can You Reuse Parchment Paper for Cakes?

Much like cookies and other baked treats, parchment paper can be reused for cakes – as long as it’s clean and ready to tackle the next baking project.

Cakes in Parchment Paper

How to Reuse Parchment Paper

When you’re done baking, look over the parchment paper. Is it overly burned or in good condition?

Is it excessively greasy, or just a few grease spots? If the parchment paper is still in good condition, you can reuse it. Here’s how.

1.Wait for it to cool

Your parchment paper will be relatively hot right out of the oven. Let it cool before handling.

2.Clean it

Cleaning the parchment paper is critical. To do so, simply brush off the crumbs, wipe them down with a damp towel, and let them air dry (detailed how-to guide below).

3.Use as normal

There’s nothing special or fancy about reusing parchment paper. Simply use it as you would use a fresh, brand new piece of parchment paper and enjoy!

How to Clean Parchment Paper

If you’re going to reuse your parchment paper, you more than likely need to clean it – especially if you baked something that can leave behind grease, crumbs, and other materials, like cookies and brownies. 

Cleaning parchment paper is a cinch, especially when used properly. Cleaning can be done in three simple steps: brush off crumbs, wipe down with a damp towel, and air dry. 

1.Brush Off Crumbs

The first step is to wipe off any leftover crumbs in the trashcan or sink. For some recipes, this will be the only necessary step.

For example, bagels won’t leave behind too much residue. But if you make a recipe such as everything bagel, you might have seeds lingering on the parchment paper.

2.Wipe Down 

The next step is to wipe down the parchment paper. You can use a damp paper towel or a damp clean cloth.

Don’t use too much water. The towel should be damp, not drenched. Otherwise, this could lead to damaged parchment paper that can’t be reused.

3.Air Dry

Last but not least, let the parchment paper air dry. This will allow it to return to “normal,” ready to be used again (and again, and again).

4.Bonus: Cut Off Burnt Pieces

If you clean your parchment paper and notice some small burnt areas, you can cut them off.

Keep in mind the locations you disposed of when you go to use the parchment paper again.

If the burnt portion is too large, it might be best to toss it and start with a fresh piece.

How to Properly Store Used Parchment Paper

Used parchment paper can be stored almost anywhere. As long as it is cleaned and thoroughly dried, you can store it any way you please.

However, here are a few top recommendations:

On Top of Baking Sheets

One handy location for used parchment paper is on top of your favorite baking sheets.

That way, you won’t forget about your reusable parchment paper the next time you go to bake.

In an Airtight Container

Some people prefer something more rigid and aesthetically pleasing.

If that’s you, purchase an airtight container and stow your reusable parchment paper in the pantry or kitchen cabinet.

Plastic bag

If you have plastic bags large enough to accommodate your used parchment paper, you can also place them here.

This will protect it from the elements while also being a convenient, compact storage option.

Can Certain Brands of Parchment Paper Be Reused More Than Others?

If you’re looking to reuse parchment paper, you might wonder if there’s a specific brand you should seek out.

While you can’t go wrong with high-quality companies like Wilton or Paperchef, certain brands have taken the next step to make actual reusable parchment paper products.

Two of the top choices for reusable parchment paper are Regency Wraps and Navaris.

They have pre-cut parchment paper pieces and rolls for those who prefer to cut their own parchment paper.

Regardless of the style, these reusable options are known for being a breeze to clean and reuse for all of your baking projects.

Now, you don’t necessarily need parchment paper specifically designed for multiple uses – but it will make the task far more manageable.

If you have a few extra bucks to spend, it is recommended to buy the reusable type.

Do You Need to Grease Parchment Paper?

Parchment paper does not need to be greased, regardless of what you are baking.

However, some people may want to add an extra layer of non-stick protection and grease their parchment paper anyway.

The issue is that extra greasing will cause the parchment paper to become overly dirty and brittle rapidly, rendering it unable to be reused.

Avoid greasing your parchment paper if you plan to reuse it multiple times.

Can You Reuse Wax Paper?

Wax paper looks and feels the same as parchment paper. The two are pretty similar, except for the fact that the wax coating on wax paper is not heat resistant.

That said, can you reuse wax paper like you can parchment paper?

You can successfully reuse wax paper. Simply brush off the crumbs, wipe them down, and air dry them before using them again – just like you would for your parchment paper.

Wax PaperYesNo
Parchment PaperYesYes (Up to 450F)

Can You Reuse Parchment Paper for Perler Beads?

In case you were wondering about reusing parchment paper for Perler beads, the answer is yes, you can reuse parchment paper for this purpose.

This is especially true since Perler beads will not leave behind any stuck-on mess or greasy grime. 

Final Words

Parchment paper is reusable. Just wash it and store it in between uses by brushing off the crumbs, wiping it with a damp towel, and allowing it to air dry.

Once the parchment paper has become overrun by grease, mess, burned portions, or is emitting an off odor, it’s time to toss it and start with a fresh piece of parchment paper.

Never reuse parchment paper used to cook meat.

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