How to Clean Oven Racks – 6 Effective Methods

When it comes to kitchen cleaning, the last thing that comes to mind are oven racks. However, they’re actually one of the dirtiest parts of your oven and can quickly accumulate burnt bits, and baked-on grime. Not only will your oven racks look messy and unappealing, but it can even affect the taste of your food.

If you dread the task of cleaning your dirty oven racks, you’re not alone. Most people struggle to get their oven racks looking good as new and sometimes resort to putting them in the dishwasher. But before you go this route, consider these oven rack cleaning hacks for a quick, thorough clean:


Cleaning Racks – The Vinegar and Baking Soda Method


Vinegar and baking soda are powerful cleaning agents on their own, but their effects are amplified when combined. They create a fizzy solution that can cut through even the toughest built-up grime and even help remove limescale. Let’s go over the following cleaning steps using natural ingredients:


Step 1

Mix some vinegar with baking soda until you have a paste. Ideally, you’ll want a consistency similar to toothpaste, except thinner.


Step 2

Apply the paste to your oven racks with either a brush or an old toothbrush, and let it sit for at least an hour. The longer you wait, the more it will be able to penetrate dirt and grime.

Step 3

Once grime has been softened from your paste, use a microfiber cloth, sponge or brush to scrub away the gunk. Rinse afterwards and remove any excess residue with a dry cloth.

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How to Clean Oven Racks – The Bathtub Method

You’ll be surprised at how versatile a bathtub can be, especially when it comes to cleaning oven racks. If you have a bathtub or any other container that’s large enough for your oven rack, try this cleaning solution:

Step 1

Begin by placing a towel or a handful of dryer sheets in your bathtub. This will act as a cushion for your oven rack and prevent it scratching the tub.


Step 2

Next, fill your bathtub with warm water and add a cup of dishwasher detergent. Work the liquid into a lather and submerge your oven racks. Let them soak overnight.


Step 3

Take your oven racks out of the soapy water and begin scrubbing them clean with your dryer sheets or a sponge. You can also use a brush or an old toothbrush to scrub off challenging food pieces. Conclude by rinsing your oven racks with water and wipe away any remains.


Cleaning Oven Racks with Ammonia


Ammonia is highly effective because it helps to emulsify fat and grease buildup on your rack, making it easier to wipe away. However, it should be used with caution as the chemical can be harmful if inhaled.

Follow these steps for safe oven rack cleaning:


Step 1

Place your oven racks in a clean trash bag (heavy-duty is best) and pour one pint of ammonia inside. Ensure your oven racks are fully covered with ammonia.


Step 2

Seal the trash bag and let it sit for 24 hours in a well-ventilated area. Ventilation is essential as ammonia fumes will slowly spread and dissipate.


Step 3

After 24 hours, open the trash bag and remove your oven racks. Rinse them thoroughly until all the black grime and grease is gone. If your oven racks have been soaked long enough, no scrubbing will be necessary to make them clean.


Can a Commercial Oven Rack Cleaner do the Job?


Commercial oven cleaners are very effective at providing a deep clean. Just be sure to clean your racks outside the oven in a well-ventilated area, as your oven rack cleaner could pose some risks if the fumes are inhaled. Follow these steps to safely clean your oven racks using commercial products:


Step 1

Begin by wearing rubber gloves and protective goggles when cleaning your oven racks with a commercial cleaner.


Step 2

Place some newspaper on your countertop and lay your oven racks on top. If you have a lot of racks to clean, spread them out so they don’t touch each other.


Step 3

Spray your oven racks and wait 10 to 15 minutes for them to soak in. Your oven rack cleaner is highly efficient, so waiting 10 minutes may be sufficient. Always check the product’s instructions for reference.


Step 4

Use a brush to scrub off any large pieces of dirt or caked on food particles. You can also use an old toothbrush for more delicate areas, such as the sides of your oven racks. Rinse with water thoroughly to remove any excess cleaner and wipe them dry.


How to Clean Oven Racks with Aluminum Foil

While it may take a bit longer than our other recommended cleaning solutions, it works every time. Follow these steps to give your oven racks the deep clean they need:


Step 1

Wrap each individual rung with your aluminium foil and place them in a container or bathtub with hot, clean water.


Step 2

Add a dishwasher tablet into the water and let your racks sit in the tub for several hours. For best results, let it sit overnight, as this will give ample time for your foil to react with the tablet’s cleaning agent.


Step 3

Drain your tub, and remove the foil. You’ll quickly notice all excess grime and baked-on food debris has softened. Wipe away with a clean cloth or microfiber cloth and rinse.


How to Clean Oven Racks – The Dishwasher Method


Provided your dishwasher is large enough to accommodate your oven racks, this method should be relatively straightforward. However, unlike the other methods, a dishwasher cannot penetrate sticky grime and tough stains, so you’ll need to give them a good scrub down after taking them out:


Step 1

If you can, ensure your dishwasher has no dishes or cutlery inside when cleaning your oven racks: the fewer items you have in your dishwasher to clean, the better.


Step 2

Place your oven racks inside and fill your dishwasher with warm water.  Load it with dishwasher detergent as you usually would.


Step 3

Take out your oven racks and give them a good scrub to remove all excess grime. This may take a bit of elbow grease, but the results are well worth it.


Cleaning Oven Racks – An FAQ


How often do you have to clean an oven?


If cooked food tends to slip onto your oven racks while cooking, you may want to check them for any burnt on food regularly.

Besides cleaning leftover baked-on food, you’ll want to deep clean your oven racks 4-5 times a year. Cleaning frequency will depend on how often you cook and the type of food you tend to prepare. For busy households, you should do deep cleaning every three months.


How do you clean discolored oven racks?


Your oven racks can quickly show discoloration from charcoaled food. If your oven racks aren’t as shiny as you need them to be, making a paste of white vinegar and baking soda should do the trick. Apply your paste, wait 10 minutes and scrub with a toothbrush or bristle brush.


What is the easiest way to clean oven racks?


All of the methods listed above are relatively straightforward and require minimal effort. But for people without commercial cleaners or who aren’t keen on natural cleaning ingredients, use the bathtub method. It’s easy to figure out and requires minimal cleanup, making it perhaps the best way to clean oven racks.


How do I make my oven racks shiny again?


A thorough clean using one of the above methods should leave your oven racks looking shiny and new again.


What is the fastest way to clean oven racks?


Commercial oven cleaners are the most efficient and will get the job done in minutes. Just be sure to apply them in a well-ventilated area.


Establish a Regular Cleaning Schedule with Calibre Cleaning


In addition to the oven, your household’s other appliances like the microwave, washing machine, and bbq also need regular cleaning. Not to mention your countertops, floors, windows, doors and everything in between.

If you don’t have the time to clean your home, let Calibre Cleaning can help! Our team of expert cleaners can clean all aspects of your home. We also offer a wide variety of services, whether it’s a one-time deep clean to remove tough stains in hard-to-reach areas or a regular clean to keep your home looking fresh all year round. We provide professional services for house cleaning in AdelaideBrisbaneCanberraGold CoastHobartMelbournePerth, and Sydney. We also offer End of lease or bond cleaning in AdelaideBrisbaneCanberraGold Coast, HobartMelbourne, Perth, and Sydney.

To arrange a cleaning session, contact us at 1300 991 368 or book one on our booking page.