When food spills leak, pop, or bubble out into the oven, your oven racks can become an encrusted mess that even the self-cleaning cycle can’t completely fix. If your oven racks are layered with grime, grease, and baked-on gunk, it’s time to give them some special attention. You can always hire a professional or try a store-bought oven cleaner, but if you’d prefer to save money or avoid the harsh chemicals found in oven sprays, here are three smart alternatives for cleaning your oven racks.
What’s the Best Way to Clean Oven Racks?
Just like how to clean an oven, there isn’t one best way to clean an oven rack. Luckily, there are several proven methods that can work for you. Here are three good methods we like:
1. The Merry Maids Method
The professionals at Merry Maids® recommend this tip using a large, plastic kitchen trash bag and a spray degreaser to clean oven racks. You can also use ammonia before sealing the racks inside the trash bag.
2. The Soaking Method
Maybe your oven racks need a bath. That’s right, you can use your bathtub to help with this kitchen chore. Just place the dirty oven racks in the bathtub, then use dishwasher detergent (powdered or liquid) and hot water. Let the racks soak for several hours or overnight. Be sure to put towels or an old shower curtain liner in the bathtub first to prevent the racks from scratching the tub’s surface. You can also use a homemade oven-cleaning solution of ammonia and warm water in the bathtub instead of dishwasher detergent.
3. Natural Oven Rack Cleaning Methods
For those of us who like to avoid harsh chemical cleaners, here are a few of the best natural oven rack cleaning methods:
Sprinkle household baking soda on the oven racks, followed by a coating of vinegar. When the solution stops foaming, cover the racks in hot water and let them sit overnight. You also can do this method in the bathtub. For heavily soiled oven racks, you can then use salt and a scrubber to remove any stubborn stains.
Another natural method to try is a simple paste of three parts baking soda to one-part warm water. Apply the paste with a paintbrush or pastry brush, and let the mixture sit on the racks to work for about 20 minutes. Remove with a sponge and warm water or use a plastic spatula or scraper if the paste has dried.
If water and baking soda aren’t enough to clean extra-grimy oven racks, try mixing some concentrated dish soap along with a half-cup of kosher salt into the baking soda paste. Spread this mixture on the racks and let them sit overnight. The next day, rinse with warm water and use a little distilled vinegar if there’s any residue to remove.
What if You Can't Get Your Oven Racks Clean?
If your oven racks simply won’t come clean, or if they have become warped or damaged, you may want to consider an American Home Shield home warranty plan that includes appliances.