How to Clean Oven Racks Properly

May 16th 2023 - Team

How to Clean Oven Racks Properly

Find out what methods the experts recommend for achieving a spotless shine on your oven racks. The kitchen is one room that requires consistent cleaning as well as periodic deep cleaning due to the presence of grease, food residue, and bacteria. Cleaning the oven racks is a duty that is easy to overlook, even if you are familiar with general kitchen cleaning procedures. Read on to find out more!

Method 1: Dryer sheets and Dishwashing Soap

In this method, you'll be using dryer sheets and Dawn dishwashing soap in a bathtub or basin large enough to accommodate the racks. This is one of the simplest methods for cleaning oven racks and here's how:

  • Immerse the racks in the tub, but don't let the water level reach the rim.
  • Put in a quarter cup of dish soap. This is the most effective in removing grime from baked-on foods.
  • Then, add a stack of wet dryer sheets on top of the racks to protect the surface.
  • Soak for a long period of time, preferably overnight.
  • After that, you can drain the water and squeeze the soapy water out of a few sheets. Sheets can be used as a sponge to thoroughly clean the shelves.
  • Put the racks back into the oven after they've been washed and dried.

Pro Tip: For baked treats, it should be easy to remove with a damp cloth. But if there's still foodstuff remaining, an exfoliating glove will let you slip your hands and fingers into those tight spaces in the shelves with ease.

The racks come out looking brand new after using this incredible approach.

Vulcan VC44GD-NG

Method 2: Aluminum Foil & Dishwasher Tablets

Using aluminum foil, hot water, and dishwasher tablets to clean oven racks quickly and easily. The aluminum foil will react with the dishwasher tablets, which aids in the cleaning process.

  • The oven racks are immersed in hot water, so you'll need to fill your bathtub first.
  • Wrap each rack in aluminum foil separately, then place them side by side in the boiling water, or in a stack.
  • Place a tablet on top of each rack, or two on top of two stacked racks, to help the dishwasher do its job more efficiently.
  • The next step is to let them soak for at least two hours in the liquid. The solution will work its way through the tin foil and the racks, so don't fret.
  • If you want your oven racks to look brand new afterward, all you have to do is wipe them off with a damp cloth. This strategy appears to be worthwhile because it reduces the amount of work required to complete the task.

TurboChef HHD-8104-3 Rack

Method 3: Using Baking Soda and Vinegar

This method is cost-effective and easy.

  • Instead of scrubbing the racks for hours, you can just sprinkle baking soda over the racks after dipping them in hot, soapy water.
  • The next step is to fill a spray bottle with vinegar and liberally apply it to the racks.
  • Continue soaking them in the hot, soapy water for a few hours after the foaming stops.
  • After that, you may easily wipe away the dirt with a damp sponge or cloth.
  • Remove them from the oven to wash and dry before putting them back in.

The baking soda and vinegar approach is widely practiced and appears to be a simple, chemical-free way to clean oven racks.

Method 4: Using Essential oils

A cleaning paste of baking soda, hot water, and essential oils can serve as a natural DIY oven cleaner. You can use this do-it-yourself recipe to disinfect the entire oven, including the racks. But if you find yourself needing more, you may easily make another batch.

  • One-and-a-half cups of baking soda and half a cup of boiling water, or more if necessary, should be mixed together to form a paste.
  • Put in ten drops of your preferred citrus oil and five drops of pine or tea tree oil. Citrus oils like lemon, orange, lime, or even grapefruit are great for removing baked-on grime and grease from ovens.
  • Take out the racks and fill a sink with hot, soapy water to soak while you scrub the oven's interior.
  • Keep the mixture fresh and at the appropriate consistency by stirring it at regular intervals while you work.
  • A toothbrush is great for thoroughly working the paste into the racks. White vinegar in a spray bottle will do the trick.
  • Cover the racks in the spray until you see foam rising from the baking soda and vinegar reaction.
  • After waiting an hour, use a sponge and some warm water to remove any leftover dirt or residue.
  • To prepare the racks for reinstallation, rinse them thoroughly and pat them dry.

Method 5: Using a Cleaning Solution

An all-purpose cleaning solution is an excellent product for many other uses around the house, including cleaning oven racks.

  • Start by wetting the rack and applying the cleanser to a damp sponge or toothbrush.
  • Spread it out so it covers the entire rack. The benefit of this technique is that the waiting time is minimal, typically only a minute or two.
  • After that, you can scrub them with a scouring pad and give them a good rinse.
  • Cleaning the racks to a gleaming shine shouldn't require much effort on your part.
  • No overnight soaking is required, making this one of the most convenient methods for cleaning oven racks.

Pro Tip: Powder cleaner can also be sprinkled over the damp racks, left for a minute, and then scrubbed clean. If you're concerned that something was missed on the first pass, feel free to do it again. If you want to be extra safe, you can "cook off" any lingering odors by placing the dish in a preheated oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes.

Method 6: Using Ammonia

You may use a large plastic garbage bag and a solution of ammonia and water to do this. Don't use more than half water, and if you don't want to dilute the ammonia, you can use it directly. Using undiluted ammonia and soaking racks for more than a day can cause discoloration; therefore, it is recommended that the solution be diluted.

If you must use a garbage bag, place the grimy oven racks inside and fill them with enough ammonia and water so that it completely covers the racks when they are lying flat.

Put them in a bag and tie them shut so none of the liquid can escape, then leave them outside to soak for at least a few hours, ideally overnight. You must keep the house well-ventilated to avoid bringing odors inside.

Use a sponge to quickly and easily remove any residue that remains. You won't have to scrub hard to remove the dried-on food after using ammonia. Make sure you give them a good wash and dry before using.

Method 7: Using Dishwasher Tablets

This approach differs slightly from the one with aluminum foil and dishwasher tablets. This technique appears to be widely used, and this foil-free variation appears to be effective as well.

  • First, you'll want to put out a bath towel in the tub or a large plastic bucket.
  • The next step is to place four or five dishwasher pods into the tub and stir them around with your hand under running water.
  • Overnight, or at least for five hours, let the racks soak in the water.
  • After that, you can clean them with a damp rag or sponge.
  • The racks should be easy to wipe down and disinfect by rinsing them in hot water.

Method 8: Using Laundry detergent

The two distinct cleaners work well together because each can dissolve the fat and dried-on meals that stick to oven racks like glue. This deposit is nearly impossible to remove without soaking them overnight, therefore nearly every method for cleaning them involves it. This will greatly simplify a task that most of us have a tendency to put off because of how much effort it requires.

  • Using half a cup of laundry or dishwasher detergent and a quarter of a cup of Dawn dish soap.
  • Put these two items into a bathtub filled with very hot water (approximately three inches).
  • Arrange the oven racks on top of a cloth. Soaps and water should be agitated by hand until the powder is mostly dissolved after being added.
  • Wait at least eight hours, preferably overnight, before removing the racks from the mixture.
  • The racks can then be cleaned with a scouring sponge or steel wool pad. Always give them a good scrub and dry them off before putting them back in the oven.

Method 9: Using Pumice Stone

A pumice stone can be used to effectively clean the oven and its racks. A pumice stone and some warm water are all that's required. These scouring sticks were developed solely for cleaning, and they are likely the most underappreciated weapon in your arsenal.

The versatility of these scouring stones will have you putting them to work on everything from dishes to silverware. Here's how:

  • Scrub the oven racks well with the pumice stone and a bowl of hot water, washing in between. As you work with it, you'll notice that it takes very little effort to shape into whatever form you require. Because of the potential for mess, this is best done in a sink or bathtub.
  • When you're done, rinse the racks with warm water and then spritz them down with vinegar using a spray bottle.
  • In addition, the stone can be used to scrub the interior of the oven without damaging the surface.

This is probably the quickest way to clean your oven racks is probably one of these solutions, so give this method a shot!