How To Clean Oven Racks?

How To Clean Oven Racks

You may save a lot of time by learning how to clean oven racks properly. Every home’s kitchen is its beating heart. And the oven is its star performer. You bake cookies for loved ones and prepare favourite dishes in the oven. 

Even though the inside of the oven isn’t properly visible to the naked eye, it’s critical to keep it clean. Grease and grime will accumulate on your oven racks over time. And a fast wipe down won’t be enough to remove all the gunk in a filthy oven.

How To Clean Oven Racks: 5 Easy Methods To Follow

It only takes a few minutes for an oven to get filthy. Baked-on grease, sticky filth, and charred bits are likely to accumulate if you use it regularly. Of course, many people these days have a self-cleaning oven. The self-cleaning feature is fantastic for getting rid of the crud on the inside. However, it can be detrimental to the racks.

Methods To Clean Oven Racks

Typically, the self-cleaning feature uses temperatures that are double or triple those used for cooking. Hence, leaving the racks in place during self-cleaning can discolour the metal and dull the surface. Furthermore, it can harm the coating that makes it easy for racks to glide in and out.

However, self-cleaning or not, you need to remove the oven racks and clean them manually. Fortunately, following the five methods listed below, you can complete the cleaning task swiftly and efficiently.

1. How To Clean Oven Racks With Baking Soda & Vinegar

You will be using your bathtub for this procedure. Place the racks in the tub with no water in it. Sprinkle a good amount of baking soda over the racks once they are in place. Baking soda functions as a cleanser and deodorizer.

Next, you need to douse the racks with vinegar. You can hope to see a foaming effect due to baking powder racing with vinegar solution. After the foaming has subsided, fill the tub with hot water until the racks are completely covered. Let the racks sit overnight in the mixture. 

In the morning, scrub the racks with an old dish towel to remove the grease and grime. Remove any remaining baked-on crud with an old toothbrush or a brush with firm bristles.

Consequently, you can add kosher salt to produce a more abrasive scrubbing technique for tough stains. After that, thoroughly rinse the racks and dry pat them with a towel before reinstalling.

2. How To Clean Oven Racks With Drying Sheets & Dishwashing Liquid

Line your bathtub with dryer sheets to make cleaning your oven racks a breeze. Place the oven racks on top of the sheets and add a half-cup of dish soap to the tub. Before that, make sure you filled the tub with just enough warm water to cover the racks.

Allow everything to sit for at least one night. In the morning, drain the tub and wipe the racks clean with moistened dryer sheets.

How To Clean Oven Racks With Drying Sheets & Dishwashing Liquid

The antistatic properties of dryer sheets help to detach the food from the racks by weakening the bond. 

Furthermore, the fabric softening chemicals present in the dryer sheets soften the baked-on food. As this process takes place in the bathtub, it creates no mess. The after clean-up of the bathtub is simple once the oven racks are clean.

3. How To Clean Oven Racks With Barkeeper’s Friend

Make a thick paste with water and barkeeper’s Friend in a small bowl. Barkeeper’s Friend is the original powder cleanser with mineral abrasive, oxalic acid, surfactant. It also contains a water-softening agent.

How To Clean Oven Racks With Barkeeper’s Friend

Spray the oven racks lightly with water in the kitchen sink. Apply the paste with a scrubbing sponge or pad. Let the paste sit for a few minutes. It would be best if you scoured gently to remove grease, filth, and residue. Rinse the racks and give a little elbow grease to remove the softened gunk. Finally, dry pat the racks with a towel and place them back in the oven.

4. How To Clean Oven Racks Using Dishwashing Soap In The Bathtub

A bathtub, dishwashing granules, old towels, and a few old sponges are all you need for this method. Place old towels in your bathtub for this simple solution. Alternatively, you can place a few old sponges in the corners to prevent the oven racks from scratching or damaging your tub. Carefully place the oven racks on top of the towel or sponges in your bathtub. 

Next, fill your tub halfway with hot water, just enough to cover the racks. After that, pour in a cup of dishwasher powder. Soak the racks overnight. Rinse the racks in the morning. With a firm rub of a sponge or clean cloth, most spots will come right off. If the marks continue despite following this advice, try a different approach. Try something more abrasive, such as dish scourer.  

If you’re cleaning an enamel oven rack, be careful not to put too much pressure on it. Also, avoid allowing the product to remain in touch with the racks for a lengthy amount of time. Consequently, scrubbing into the corners could help in totally eliminating old burn marks. Using an old toothbrush could be beneficial for this method. Finally, after your oven racks are as good as new, rinse them thoroughly. Next, you have to dry them and then put them back in the oven. 

5. How To Clean Oven Racks With Foil & Dishwasher Tablets

It is the final but the most popular method for cleaning oven racks. Wrap the oven rack rungs in aluminium foil and place them in a tub of boiling water.
Put a dishwasher tablet in the water. Then the foil will react with the cleansing agent of the dishwashing tablet.

How To Clean Oven Racks With Foil & Dishwasher Tablets

You can drain the tub after two hours of the oven racks sitting in the mixture. Consequently, remove the foil, and the grease and filth should wipe away easily. Replace the racks after rinsing and dry patting them. 

Oven Racks Cleaning Method You Should Skip

The internet is filled with the weirdest DIY techniques that can be harmful to you and your surroundings. You might be putting your family members at risks unknowingly by opting for these techniques. For instance, many people swear by the formula of ammonia and hot water to clean oven racks. 

Oven Racks Cleaning Method You Should Skip

However, it is one of the most dangerous techniques. Because, the fumes of ammonia remain trapped inside your house for a long time, causing fatal health issues. 

Hence, do not fall for everything the online world shows you. It is best to do research on your own first. Learn about the repercussions of using an acidic substance to clean oven racks. Besides, some popular yet dangerous methods you should never try are discussed in the below section. 

Using The Self Cleaning Oven Cycles With Oven Racks Inside

A self-cleaning oven is an oven that cleans itself. This feature is not advised for cleaning oven racks. All oven racks should be removed before self-cleaning, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Because the severe oven temperatures during the cleaning cycle burn food off the oven’s interior. 

Using The Self Cleaning Oven Cycles With Oven Racks Inside

Oven racks are built of a variety of materials that are susceptible to heat damage. If the racks are left in touch with the walls during self-cleaning, the interior of the oven may be damaged. So, make sure you take out the racks before pushing the self-cleaning button.

Cleaning Oven Racks Using Ammonia & Rubbish Bag Technique

Ammonia emissions are toxic to the respiratory system. Furthermore, inhaling ammonia emission can be fatal to human health! You should opt for this cleaning technique only if you are outside in a well-ventilated area. 

Open yard and abundance of ventilation are necessary to avoid inhaling the hazardous toxins. It would prevent the fume and toxic air from entering your home. Gloves, safety goggles, and old clothes that you don’t mind staining or ruining are also recommended when handling ammonia.

Despite all the precaution measures, anything could happen due to a slight oversight. Hence, it would be best if you try natural cleaning techniques instead of this one.

Cleaning Oven Racks With Commercial Oven Cleaners

A warning beforehand, this cleaning approach should be avoided for various reasons. Oven cleaners sold in stores emit toxic odours. To avoid inhaling harmful fumes, cleaning should only be done outside in a well-ventilated location. Furthermore, wearing gloves and safety goggles is a must.

You need to wear old clothes that you don’t mind staining or damaging when applying oven cleanser. Using an oven cleaner is costly. Consequently, it would be best if you were cautious not to make any skin contact with the cleanser. Because the commercial oven cleaners contain harmful chemicals that might be irritants to the skin. Furthermore, the pH of most oven cleaners stands at 14.

The intense alkaline properties can lead to burns if the product is swallowed. Burn symptoms vary depending on the location of the burn. A burn on the lips, for example, might result in swelling and blistering. Consequently, a chemical burn to the throat can be fatal because it causes swelling. The swelling of the throat might close up the windpipe. Drooling can also occur when the throat is burned and the person is unable to swallow. A skin burn can result in redness, peeling and blistering.

Hence, using commercial oven cleaner can be one of the most dangerous methods anybody can use. The toxicity of the chemicals used in the cleaners is life-threatening.

How To Remove Discolouration From Oven Racks?

Often times, even after cleaning off the charred bits and the gunk, your oven racks look faded. Furthermore, when steel comes in contact with another steel or air, rust begins to form. Even if your oven racks are stainless steel, they may still be subject to discolouration and corrosion. 

So, how to clean oven racks while bringing back the brand-new shine to them? Read on to learn about the step by step effective method.

How To Remove Discolouration From Oven Racks

  • Take a large rubbish bag and place the oven rack in the bag with care. You should make sure there are no holes in the bag.
  • Place the sack on the ground in a sunny area of the yard. It is very important that you try this method on a bright sunny day for getting the maximum result.
  • When laying flat on the ground, fill the bag with enough water to completely cover the oven rack.
  • Close the bag with a tie or packing tape.
  • Allow the bag to sit for 24 hours in the yard. The water will be heated by the sun. The heated water can mimic the temperature of the oven, which will aid in the breakdown of any grease on the oven rack. Discolouration can be caused by grease.
  • Rinse the rack after 24 hours. You can use a yard hose, pour water over it, or wipe it down with a wet cloth.
  • Make a paste of baking soda and water if any discolouration remains. Apply it to the discoloured areas.
  • Rub the paste onto the racks and seal the applied areas using pieces of aluminium foil for some time.
  • Using a paper towel, wipe the surface clean.

Baking soda and water is the ultimate combo for achieving the good as a new look for your oven racks.


Almost everybody dreads cleaning their oven racks. But, we hope these tips make it nice and easy for you to enjoy the process of cleaning. How many times your oven racks need cleaning completely depends on the number of usage. 

Besides, you can cover your oven racks with aluminium foils to avoid spillovers. It will save you the hassle of getting rid of stubborn food stains like bubbly cheese.

Don’t let the prospect of soiled oven racks deter you from utilizing this necessary appliance! With the procedures discussed above and a little elbow grease on your part, you can clean those racks in no time.

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