Originally Posted by designerobsessed
... I love them but there are a few things to keep in mind. Never put them in the dishwasher. Just hot soapy water and rinse - they'll still feel greasy but that's because of the silicone - the nature of the beast. Never cut on them. ...
There was a big discussion about silicone baking mats on the FoodTV board about a year ago. It was mainly about the cost effectiveness of silicone mats VS parchment paper. But, in researching them I did discover some interesting things:
CLEANING: All mats were the same in one respect, as designer noted, Never Wash Them In The Dishwasher!
But, depending on the brand - the cleaning instruction fell into one of three catagories:
1. Only wipe clean with a DRY cloth, never use soap or water on them.
2. Only wipe clean with a damp cloth, never use soap on them.
3. Clean with warm soapy water and rinse with warm water.
STORAGE: Again, depending on the brand:
1. Store flat - do not roll up.
2. May be stored rolled up - be it's recommended they be stored flat.
3. May be stored rolled up - but not too tightly. If I remember right, most of them that said you can store rolled up recommended about a 4-6 inch diameter as the minimum.
MAX TEMPERATURE: This also varies by brands/models - some as low as 325-350 F - on up to about 450 F. Since food grade silicone utensils have evolved over the past year or so there may be some that can handle higher baking temps ... I don't know.
This is why when someone asks about cleaning, storing or temperatures I always say, "Read the instructions that came with your mat."
I'm not just being lazy. They're not all the same!
FWIW, as for the price thing (based on the prices about a year ago) ... silicone mats generally average out to 0.7 - 1.2 cents per use based on where you get them and how many uses you get out of them (some $10 mats are good for only 1,000 - 1,500 uses - while the more expensive mats in the $25-$35 range are good for 3,500 to 4,000 uses). Parchment paper will generally run you 3-15 cents per sheet - again depending on where you buy it and in what quantity. Buying it in bulk from a restaurant or bakery supply might be about 3-5 cents per sheet, buying the small rolls from the grocery store will generally run in the 12-15 cent per sheet range. So, compared to a $25 silicone mat that you can reuse 3,500 times .... 3,500 sheets of parchment paper in bluk will run you about $105-$175, and the small rolls of parchment paper from the grocery store will run you about $420-$525!