5 Proven Effective Ways To Clean Oven Racks Yourself

Last updated Sep 26, 2021 | Cleaning | 5 comments

How To Easily Clean Your Dirty Oven Racks

When you frequently use your oven to bake, roast, grill or heat food, you will need to clean the oven and the oven racks in order to remove debris and baked-on food. While most folks put off oven-cleaning, the fact is that cleaning it keeps it in good condition for a longer period of time.
Placing a cookie sheet under the food you are baking might catch any drips that bubble over. If your oven racks are black already, cleaning them will not just eliminate the mess but will let you soak the racks for a few hours, which will reduce the necessary time it will take to scrub away the charred, black build-up.
Since most ovens these days come with a self-cleaning feature, it is not really that hard to clean ovens. If you love getting your oven racks to remaining shiny and looking new, you will need to take them out of your oven before you begin the process of self-cleaning. Keep in mind that having an oven that has overly-charred, black racks can be more of a fire hazard since charred racks full of debris may catch fire easily. There are more than a few methods of getting your oven racks to look brand new, clean and shiny.


Check out the these 5 different, easy ways to clean oven racks:

Method #1 – Self-Cleaning Method

If your oven happens to have a self-cleaning feature, leave the racks in your oven and turn this feature on. Keep in mind that over time, this feature may cause the racks’ texture to become rough and for them to lose their shine. Take some salad oil and rub these on the racks to get these to easily slide once more.

Method #2 – Using an Oven-Cleaner

On your driveway, lay your racks on an old towel or rag. On each rack, spray oven cleaner and let this soak overnight. The next day, rinse the racks with a garden hose and scrub off any stubborn bits.

Method #3 – The Bathtub Method

From the oven, remove the racks and place them in your tub. You might want to lay the racks on an old towel inside the tub to keep the tub from getting scratched. Next, fill the tub with hot water in such a way that the racks are submerged. Add granular or liquid dishwashing soap and let this soak for ten hours. Next, use a washcloth to scrub the racks clean. You might also want to consider adding dryer sheets into the mix. It may sound strange but believe it or not, dryer sheets help loosen food particles and dirt that are stuck on the racks. There are even some recommendations from folks with a lot of oven rack-cleaning experience behind them to rest each rack on dryer sheets, which saves you from having to rest them on sponges or towels. At the same time, others simply toss a few sheets into the soap and water. You can even use dryer sheets that already come from the dryer as these will work just as well. Once the dirt on the racks has been loosened, you can then scrub the racks using the same dryer sheets and voila—you get clean, shiny racks that smell great.


Method #4 – Using Ammonia

Any scorched food or built-up grease can be removed easily when you use ammonia. Plus, this does not smell as pungent as commercial cleaners for ovens. To do this, the first thing you need to do is to open your home windows in order for your room to become ventilated. Next, pre-heat your oven to one hundred degrees Fahrenheit. Boil a pot of water on the stove-top and at the same time, turn the oven off after it becomes pre-heated. To a heat-safe bowl, add a half-cup of ammonia. On the top oven rack, place the ammonia. On the oven’s bottom rack, place the pot of boiling water. Leave the water and ammonia to sit overnight and remember to close the oven door. The next day, remove the water and ammonia. Remove the oven racks. In a sink filled with soapy, warm water, wash each rack of your oven. Scrape away debris with an abrasive sponge. Use garbage bags to clean heavily soiled racks with ammonia. To do this, pour a half-cup of ammonia on each rack, tightly tie the bag and place this outside for 3 hours. After the elapsed time has passed, remove each rack and wash these in the sink until they are squeaky clean. Use a washcloth to wipe them dry.

Method #5 – Using a Power Washer

If you happen to have access to a power washer, you can give your racks a good power wash in the driveway. This spares you from having to clean using your bathtub, ammonia and garbage bags which you need to clean up after. Your power washer will get your oven racks squeaky clean in hardly any time at all. Plus, you can do all the dirty work involved in the garage, which adds to the convenience.

The Benefits of Having a Clean Oven and Clean Oven Racks

Remember that more than just looking great, there are many benefits that come from having a clean oven. Clean ovens distribute heat much more efficiently which means that you won’t need as much fuel or energy for the oven to work. Food also gets cooked more evenly when you have an oven that operates at maximum efficiency. Clean oven racks are particularly necessary as these are the closest thing to your food. Having clean oven racks will help your food remain hygienic and at the same time, keep your oven from accumulating germs, bacteria and debris. Remember that over time, high temperatures plus a build-up of grime, grease, fat and burnt food can result in a highly unpleasant odor. You ensure a better smelling kitchen plus more hygienic food when you keep your oven clean.


  1. Thank you! This trick worked better than anything else I tried. I’m so glad I learned this. Who says you can’t teach an “old” dog new tricks!

    • which trick?

    • Claudia, It will dull the shine on the racks and make them rough, better to clean them by hand.

    • Leaving the racks in a self-cleaning oven is a horrible suggestion unless you have a feature that allows you to put water on the bottom of the oven which more or less steams everything


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