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What Is the Best Way to Clean Oven Racks?

Hello! Welcome to my article on the best way to clean oven racks. Oven cleaning is probably one of my least favorites of cleaning tasks, and for good reason.Self cleaning ovens have made it somewhat easier, but most oven racks don’t get cleaned during the self cleaning process due to the heat not reaching the racks effectively.

Maintaining a clean oven is just as important as keeping anything in your home clean. Cleaning up burnt food and splattered grease is not only safer, but the quality of your food cooks and tastes better.

In this article I’ll show you the exact process I use to clean my ovens that i have used for years in professional cleaning. So whether you’re dealing with a few crunchy crumbs, or a whole war zone, I have you covered. 

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

  • Cleaning Tools & Supples Needed
  • Preparing your oven racks before cleaning
  • Cleaning Your Oven Racks (Step-By-Step)
  • Extra Tips & Tricks

When it comes down to detail cleaning, or cleaning with precision, other than your hands your tools are the most important. 

The best way to use these tools are interchangeably, using each tool when you need. Here’s a detailed list:

Cleaning Cloth– Feel free to choose any type of cleaning cloth you want, But I recommend using two different cleaning cloths for different tasks. 

  1. Terry Cloth Towels– Use terry cloth for wiping, scrubbing, and cleaning up grease and grime. This is the cloth I use to clean the oven and racks.
  2. Microfiber – use a microfiber cloth for a lint-free drying solution. It also helps remove any remaining debris that may be left on racks after washing. 

Dish Soap– Dish soap has been used as an all purpose cleaner for years. It will help cut the grease that you may have on your racks. And no dish soap beats dawn in my opinion.  

Scrub pad(Non Scratch)– a non-scratch pad will be necessary for removing any stuck on debris. Some popular choices are Scrub Daddy,and Scotch Bright.

SOS pad- SOS pads are made out of steel wool and comes with a soapy cleaner built right in them. SOS pads may and probably will scratch up your rack. So if that’s something you’re concerned about, you may want to stick to the scrubbing methods above. 

Pumice sticks– Pumice sticks are one of my favorite cleaning tools. This tool is perfect for any stubborn burnt grease that’s just not wanting to come off. When all fails, use the pumice stick. 

Baking soda & Vinegar (optional) Baking soda is great for odor control, but it also works good as an abrasive cleaner. You can either mix baking soda up with water or vinegar to make a paste and apply to the entire rack. You can also dip your sponge or cloth in it to spot treat and scrub any areas on the rack you need to.

Before we roll up our sleeves and start scrubbing, we’ll need to prep the oven racks first. Preparing your racks for cleaning may seem like a job inside of a job. But it really does help make your cleaning task a little easier. 

There’s probably a few different ways you can do this, but we’re going to focus on pre soaking the racks, as it’s the easiest option. 

Soaking the racks will allow the debris to loosen so that it’s easier to scrub off. You may still have to put a little elbow grease into it. But this step definitely helps and shouldnt be ignored. 

How to Pre-Soak Your Oven Racks

  1. Fill your kitchen sink or a large basin with warm soapy water 
  2. Remove your oven rack from the oven and place them in the sink. If your oven rack don’t fit just continue rotating them until all or most of the rack has been soaked . Do not soak your oven racks in your bathtub!
  3. Allow them to soak for 30 minutes to an hour making sure you rotate them every 15 minutes or so. 

Step 1: Set Up Your Cleaning Stage .

Place racks on kitchen counter, or a surface where you can easily move around them, 

Step 2: Decide what tools to start with

Now, it’s decision time. Light gunk? Go for a microfiber or terry cloth towel soaked in soapy water. More stubborn stuff? Grab a non-scratch pad or an SOS pad. Start at one end of the rack and scrub each wire, front and back. Flip the rack over to get both sides nice and clean. 

Step 3: Removing hard grease splatter

If you’re trying to remove hard grease splatter from your racks, the SOS pad or pumice stick is the way to go. Making sure the pumice stone is wet, gently rub it on those stubborn areas, making sure to go around each and every bar. 

Note that that pumice stick breaks down easily., having a few sticks on hand will make sure you complete the job.  

Step 4: Rinse Them Down- 

After all that scrubbing, give the racks a good rinse. Wash off all that soap and any grime you’ve loosened up. Don’t forget to flip them and rinse the other side too.

Step 5: Dry and Return- 

Dry off the racks with a clean towel or let them air dry. Once they’re completely dry, slide them back into the oven, ready for your next culinary adventure.

Use The Baking Soda & Vinegar Combo: For an extra kick, sprinkle baking soda on the racks before soaking them. Then, add vinegar to the soaking water. You’ll see some fizzy science magic that helps break down the grime.

Try Overnight Soaking: If you’ve got time, let those racks soak overnight. It makes the scrubbing part way easier.

Keep an Aluminum Foil Ball: Crumple up a ball of aluminum foil and use it as a scrubber for the oven interior. It’s especially handy for getting rid of those tough, baked-on spots.

Conduct Regular Wipe-downs: Wipe down the oven interior regularly with a vinegar and water solution. This keeps the big cleaning jobs from getting too overwhelming.

Use Protective Liners: Consider using oven liners or foil at the bottom of your oven to catch drips in the future. Just make sure they’re safe for your oven type.

And that’s a wrap on getting those oven racks and trays shining like new! Cleaning your oven is one thing, but having to scrub your oven racks clean is a whole other task completely. 

The steps that I’ve mentioned are tried and true, and have helped me clean the filthiest of ovens. Whether you are a cleaner looking for professional cleaning guidance, or a lovely homemaker, these steps will get you where you need to be. Remember, a little effort goes a long way in keeping your oven in tip-top shape. So, next time you’re faced with a bit of kitchen mess, just grab your tools, pick a method, and get to it. Happy cleaning, and even happier cooking in your sparkling clean oven! 

How do I get my oven racks clean and shiny again?

To get those oven racks sparkling like new, soak them in hot soapy water, try a baking soda and vinegar paste, or use a commercial cleaner. Got tough stains? A wire brush, pumice stone, or SOS pad can work wonders.

Do dryer sheets really clean oven racks?

Dryer sheets can be a neat trick to soften grease on oven racks, especially when it comes to minor messes. They’re okay for a quick fix but might not cut it for serious gunk. They’re good to have in your cleaning kit but don’t rely on them alone for super dirty racks.

How do you get baked-on grease off oven trays?

To tackle that stubborn baked-on grease, soak your trays in hot soapy water, use a paste of baking soda and water, or go for a commercial cleaner. If you need to scrub, a wire brush, pumice stone, or SOS pad can do the job. Choose your tools based on the level of debris.

Does vinegar clean oven racks?

Yep, vinegar can help clean oven racks, especially when teamed up with baking soda. This combo can help break down the gunk. But, vinegar on its own might not be the heavyweight champ against tough stains. It’s great for a more natural, chemical-free clean though.

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