With use, your oven’s racks will collect drips, spills and overflows from your various pans and baking sheets. The high heat level in the oven causes these food remnants to bake on the racks.
When this happens, the remnants will harden and become incredibly difficult to remove. As the remnants remain, however, they can slowly burn and create unpleasant smells in your home. Several strategies are available to clean your oven racks.
How Often Should You Clean Oven Racks?
If you bake dishes and treats in your oven regularly, your racks may quickly get dirty. In some homes, the racks need to be cleaned every few weeks. However, if you do not bake food in the oven often, you may be able to go several months or longer before cleaning them.
A self-cleaning oven uses intense heat to eliminate the accumulation of food from the oven racks, but there are downsides to this method. For example, the high level of heat used causes discoloration and damages the racks’ protective coating. This coating allows easy sliding of the racks in and out of the oven.
What are the other methods to clean your oven racks?
Cleaning Oven Racks Using:
Given the size of oven racks, cleaning them in the bathtub is one of the easier methods available.
Before placing the racks in the bathtub, place a clean, old towel across the bottom of the tub. Then, put the racks in the tub and add hot water. The bathtub only needs to be full enough to cover the racks. Add ¾ cup of your preferred laundry detergent or ½ cup of liquid dish soap to the water.
Allow the racks to sit in the soapy water for several hours. Then, scrub the racks with a scrubbing brush. If any spots remain, scrub them with table salt. Rinse the racks, and place them back in the oven.
Dryer Sheets and Dishwashing Liquid
A variation of the previous method is to add dryer sheets to the bathtub. This method works best when the bathtub is initially filled with liquid dish soap and water.
Toss in several dryer sheets, and run them through the water several times. Then, allow the dryer sheets to sit in the water for a few hours. With this method to clean your oven racks, you should not need to scrub them. Instead, simply rinse them off before putting them in the oven.
You could also clean your oven racks with your usual dishwasher detergent. Place the racks on a towel in the bathtub. Add a ½ cup of detergent and hot water. The racks should soak in the soapy water for 12 hours. Drain the water from the tub, and scrub the food remnants off of the racks with a scrubber or rag. When they are clean, rinse them off with clean water before returning them to the oven.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
Baking soda and vinegar are also effective products for eliminating baked-on grime on oven racks. Using the tub method, place the racks on a towel in the bathtub. Cover them completely with baking soda. Then, pour white vinegar over the oven racks.
When the baking soda and vinegar start foaming, add a thin layer of hot water to the tub so that the racks are completely immersed. After allowing the racks to sit in the solution for a few hours, scrub them down. When they are clean, rinse them and put them back in the oven.
Steel Wool and Soapy Water
Another option is to fill your kitchen sink with soapy water and allow the racks to sit in the water for an hour or two. If your sink is small, you may only be able to immerse half of the rack at a time. After a few hours, use steel wool to scrub off the food remnants from the side that has been soaking. You can then flip the rack over and repeat the process for the other half of the rack.
Ammonia is a powerful cleaning agent, but the fumes are strong.
To clean oven racks with ammonia, put the racks in a large trash bag. Pour a pint of vinegar over the racks, and seal the back. The following day, pull out the racks and thoroughly rinse them with clean water. Scrubbing is not usually required when cleaning with ammonia. The easiest ways to do this are in the shower or with a garden hose. You can then return them to the oven.
How to Clean Oven Racks with Ready-to-Use Oven Cleaners
Clean Oven Racks with Bar Keepers Friend
Bar Keepers Friend is a powerful cleaning aid that you may already have in your cleaning supplies, and it works wonders on oven racks.
Put your oven racks in your sink and get them wet with the spray nozzle. Make a paste using the powder version of Bar Keepers Friend and water. Add this paste to a scrub brush, and start scrubbing the oven racks. You may need to add more paste to the scrub brush periodically until the job is done. You can then rinse the racks and put them back in place.
Easy-Off Oven Cleaner
When using Easy-Off Oven Cleaner, the racks remain in the oven. This cleaner has toxic fumes, so wear a face mask when spraying the racks in the oven. If the sides of your oven are also dirty, spray them as well.
You can then follow the instructions on the can regarding the heat setting for the oven and the time required. After the heating process, allow the oven to cool down. Then, pull the racks out of the oven, and scrub them down in the sink.
If you also used Easy-Off inside the oven, wipe down the oven’s interior. Then, use clean water and a rag to rinse the surface. After everything is rinsed, you can replace the rags.
The self-cleaning feature on your oven can be used to clean oven racks. While it will remove the baked-on debris, this method can deteriorate the sheen of metal racks and damage the protective coating.
What is the easiest way to clean oven racks?
The easiest methods for cleaning oven racks are those that require no scrubbing. These methods include the dryer sheets and dish soap method as well as the ammonia method.
What is the best way to clean the baking rack?
The best way to clean a baking rack depends on the supplies available in your home as well as the space available. For example, the use of ammonia and commercial oven sprays should be done outdoors. If you live in an apartment, these methods are impractical. If your bathtub is suitable for the project, using dryer sheets and dish soap is the only method without scrubbing that can be done inside the home.
How to clean oven racks with aluminum foil?
When cleaning your oven racks with aluminum foil, they should be completely covered with aluminum foil and placed in a bathtub full of hot water. Add a dishwasher pod to the water. The soap in the pod will chemically react with the foil to loosen the baked-on food on the rack. After a few hours, uncover the racks. You may be able to rinse them clean at this point, or you may only need to scrub them lightly to remove stubborn spots. When the soap and grime have been rinsed off, place the oven racks in the dishwasher.
Cleaning oven racks is just one of the many deep cleaning projects that require your attention. Our professional house cleaners in Boston can tackle both your routine cleaning chores and your deep cleaning projects. Contact us today for a quote.