Ugh, is there anything worse than a dirty oven?
If you use the appliance at all, chances are that baked-on grease, sticky grime, and burnt bits are going to accumulate-maybe not today or tomorrow, but someday.
While many homeowners are lucky enough to enjoy a self-cleaning oven, that convenience comes with a consequence. Over time, the self-cleaning functionality ends up damaging the racks.
To prolong their life, it's recommended that, when possible, you clean oven racks the old-fashioned way.
Fortunately, by using any of the following methods for how to clean oven racks, you can get the job done quickly and with a minimum of hassle.
- Fill the tub with very hot water, just enough to cover the oven racks. Add up to 1/2 cup of dishwashing soap (or up to 3/4 cup laundry detergent). Let sit overnight.
- Alternatively: sprinkle baking soda over the oven racks, then douse them with vinegar. Once the foaming stops, submerge the racks in a tub of hot water and let sit overnight.
- In the morning, scrub the racks with an old dish towel to remove grease and grime, and use an old toothbrush to dislodge any baked-on grime. For really stubborn bits, add salt to the toothbrush to make the scrubbing more abrasive. Afterwards, rinse the racks thoroughly before returning them to the oven.
- Place oven racks into an unused trash bag. Add 1/2 quart of ammonia. Seal the bag and let sit overnight.
- Open the bag in the morning-and, while you're at it, open a window, too. Extra ventilation is needed for the ammonia fumes leftover from a night of cleaning oven racks. Rinse the racks thoroughly and replace.
- Because many commercial cleansers produce toxic fumes, clean oven racks outside if you plan on using one. Try a product like Carbona Biodegradable Oven Cleaner if you'd prefer using something non-toxic and eco-friendly.
- Cover a work surface with sheet plastic or newspaper. Lay down the oven racks in a single layer.
- Put on rubber gloves, then spray oven cleaner generously onto the racks. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
- Scrub the racks either with a rag or an old toothbrush. Rinse thoroughly with a garden hose before replacing.
It's a dirty job, but if in your household, you are the person responsible for the task of cleaning oven racks, take heart: It requires only a few common household items, several hours of soaking, and a little bit of elbow grease to get the job done.