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If you are a grown-up who likes cooking then you know how big a task cleaning an oven can become. And if you are like me who loves cooking too much then it is even more of a task because choosing a day when you won’t be using your oven for more than 12 hours at length can be difficult.
However, we also know how important it is to clean your oven racks in addition to cleaning the oven. So be it your spring cleaning or cleaning for the holidays don’t forget to give your oven rack a good clean too as delaying the cleaning will only make it harder to clean afterward.
All you need for giving your oven racks a proper clean is a cleaning agent (general or commercial), many hours of soaking, and a little elbow grease.
Why is it Important to Clean Your Oven Racks?
Overtime oven racks get covered in grime, burnt food, and grease. This will happen even if you don’t use your oven often. If you continue using our oven with dirty oven racks it will decrease the efficiency of the oven over time. That is why you need to keep your oven racks clean.
Does the Self-clean Function clean the Oven Racks Properly?
A lot of ovens nowadays come with a built-in self-clean function and yes oven racks also get cleaned when you use this function. However, many repair companies are warning people against using it. The self-clean function works by raising the temperature of the oven to an extremely high level.
Over time the use of this function can damage the internal circuit of the oven and also damage the oven racks. Also, such high temperatures can result in damage to the chrome finish of your oven.
8 Ways to Clean Oven Racks
1. Bathtub and Detergent:
This method is my personal favorite and the easiest way to clean oven racks.
All you have to do is place a long piece of clothing, like an old towel, and place it in the bathtub.
Then place your oven rack on the clothing and fill the tub with hot water until it reaches the level of the rack.
Then add a mixture of one cup detergent powder and hot water to the water stored in the tub.
You can also sprinkle some detergent power on the rack and it will eventually get mixed with the water.
Then leave it for 10-12 hours and after that, you can simply take your oven rack out and let it dry and then you will definitely have beautiful and clean oven racks.
2. Dishwashing Liquid:
If you don’t have much space or a bathtub, then you can totally opt for this method.
All you need to do is place the oven rack in your kitchen sink and put some dishwashing liquid all over it. Fill the sink with warm water and add the dishwashing liquid to it.
Then let it settle for about 30 min to an hour and then scrub it with the help of a sponge.
After scrubbing, wash it with warm water and you will have your oven racks clean.
3. Baking Soda and Ammonia Tub Bath
Materials: Baking soda, Tub, Vinegar, Old Toothbrush, Scrub, Kosher Salt
1. Plug the tub and lay the oven racks inside the tub.
2. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on them. Baking soda is a household staple. In this case, it works as a cleanser as well as a deodorizer.
3. Pour vinegar on top (using a spray bottle will make this part easier) and wait for the foaming caused by the reaction between baking soda and vinegar to stop.
4. Fill the tub with hot water. The water level should be several inches above the oven racks.
5. Leave the oven racks to soak in water for at least 4-5 hours.
6. Scrub the oven racks using the scrub or an old rag to get rid of any dirt and grease.
7. For stubborn stain, dip a toothbrush in kosher salt and focus on scrubbing the stained parts with it.
8. Give the oven racks a final rinse with water. Make sure the racks are completely dry before placing them back into the oven.
4. Using Commercial Cleaners
There are many such cleaners available online. If you choose to use one of these I would advise you to do the cleaning outside the house as these cleaners often produce toxic fumes. However, there are many eco-friendly options available as well.
1. Cover the area you choose to work in with plastic covers or newspapers.
2. Put on rubber/latex gloves and since cleaner generally comes in spray bottles, spray the cleaner over oven racks and let it sit for about 10-20 minutes.
3. Scrub off all the grime and grease using an old rag or scrub.
4. Give the oven racks a final rinse and dry completely before placing them back inside the oven.
5. Using Ammonia Trashbags
This is the best way to clean a trash bag if you don’t want to do it in your tub or you don’t own a bathtub.
Materials: Ammonia, Large Plastic Trashbags, a sturdy Bin
1. Fill a large plastic trash bag (the plastic bag should be large enough that after completely enveloping the oven racks enough space is left for the fumes to circulate) the with half-quart ammonia (you can adjust the amount but not by much).
2. Place your oven racks inside the trash bag and tie it tightly. Now place the trash bag in a bin and keep it outside. The fumes will circulate in due time so the racks can be set vertical inside the bin but better results are noticed when they are set flat.
3. Let the oven racks sit in ammonia for at least 6-7 hours (leaving them overnight is always preferable).
4. Wearing proper protective gear like gloves and goggles open the trash bag in a ventilated space (preferably backyard). Place the racks down and using a hose and strong water stream rinse them thoroughly. Wipe them with a rag, let them completely dry, and place them back inside the oven.
6. With Lemon and Baking soda cleanse
This is the easiest one of all and works best if you are a regular oven racks cleaner. All you need for this are some lemons and baking soda.
1. Lay down newspaper or plastic cover where you want to do the cleaning. Then lay over them the oven racks.
2. You can either mix up lemon juice and baking soda in a bowl and pour the mixture over the oven racks. Or you can first sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on the racks and then spray lemon juice over it.
3. Scrub with a wired mesh scrub and rinse with water. Again make sure they are completely dried before place them back in the oven.
1. Squeeze 2 lemons in an ovenproof bowl.
2. Place the bowl inside the oven and bake for 30 minutes at 250 degrees.
3. For stronger build – ups increase the time and the number of lemons.
4. Once the racks are cooled give them a final scrub.
7. Dryer Sheet Tub Bath
Materials: Dryer sheets, Tub, Scrub.
1. Plug the tub and cover the bottom of the tub with dryer sheets. Dryer sheets should cover the area of your oven racks. The anti-static properties of dryer sheets weaken the bonds between the oven racks and the stuck up food particles.
2. Fill the tub with hot water. The water level should be several inches above the oven racks.
3. If you think it needs something extra strong for getting rid of the grease and stain, then add to the tub 1/4 cup of liquid dish soap and give the water a stir to mix it well.
4. Leave the oven racks to soak for 4-5 hours at least. The more time you soak them for the lesser you would have to scrub.
5. Now scrub till the all the dirt and grime clears up. And there you go with your shining oven racks. Don’t forget to dry them completely before putting them in the oven.
8. Spray Method:
One more way to clean oven racks can be with the help of a spray and some detergent.
All you have to do is make a solution of hot or warm water and some detergent. You can also take dishwashing liquid if you want to.
Then put the solution in a spray bottle and spray the liquid all over the rack. Let it settle for some time and then clean it with warm water and a soft piece of clothing and you will see that the racks are cleaned.
Note: Make sure to not make direct hand contact with hot water as it may burn your skin. It is mandatory to use gloves for precaution.
Also, make sure to dry the oven racks before placing it in the oven as wet racks can create electrical shocks or can even cause a blast.
Therefore, it is mandatory to let the oven racks completely dry before placing them in the oven. You can also use a dry and soft piece of clothing to make the process faster.
Also, make sure to not wash your oven racks directly on the floor as it can create scratches on the floor. Make sure your place a towel beneath the oven racks before washing it or cleaning it.
So these were some basic hacks and precautions you need to know before cleaning your oven racks.
Pretty easy, right? I told you so in the beginning. Oven racks are not a nightmare anymore.
Make sure you follow these steps to clean the oven racks and do not forget to keep the precautions in mind. Once you follow it, you are going to fall in love with the end results.
So get up and get ready to get some action done with the clean and beautiful shining racks you always wanted and make your oven racks the Helen of your kitchen.