Oven racks are by far the most inconvenient items in the kitchen to clean! Cleaning them requires a certain level of delicacy because they are prone to damage, and the wires can send soap flying everywhere.
However, because they tend to get dirty when excess grease from your roast dinner ends up as hardened masses in the crevices, cleaning oven racks also requires a bit of elbow grease. They also tend to be larger than the typical kitchen sink, making the task of getting them clean even more challenging.
Delaying the task just makes it harder, so if you are wondering what the easiest and most convenient ways to get your oven racks shining again, we have a few tips to help you. Here are some of the best ways to clean your oven racks.
Clean Your Oven Racks in a Bathtub
As mentioned before, kitchen sinks aren’t typically large enough to allow you to clean your oven racks, so you can use your bathtub instead. You can use a range of cleaning agents for this method. Follow these steps to get your oven racks clean in the bathtub:
- Place an old towel at the bottom of the bathtub and place your oven racks on top of them
- Next, fill up the bathtub with hot water until the oven racks are covered completely
- Add half a cup of dish soap or laundry detergent. Alternatively, you can add baking soda and vinegar to the bathtub to help remove the grease
- Allow the oven racks to sit overnight
- After you have let the racks sit for a minimum of eight hours, use a toothbrush and salt for abrasion to help remove any stubborn residue that may be left behind
- Rinse, dry, place them back in your oven
While you don’t need any special chemicals for this method, it does involve more elbow grease than other methods, which is something to keep in mind.
Use a Commercial Oven Cleaning Agent
Commercial over cleaners are specially designed to get to work on tough grease found in ovens. However, it is essential to note that these chemicals often have toxic fumes, so it is best to use them in a well-ventilated area. Protect your hands from chemical damage by wearing gloves whenever working with oven cleaning agents and avoid inhaling any toxic fumes.
- Choose an outdoor surface like a table and cover it with newspaper and plastic to protect it from being damaged
- Place the oven racks on the surface in a single layer
- Spray the oven cleaner on your oven racks and allow them to sit for about 10 minutes, or as specified by the manufacturer
- Next, use a toothbrush and salt to scrub the grease off the racks
- Rinse, dry, and use!
This method involves considerably less elbow grease and generally takes less time than the bathtub method.
Bar Keeper’s Friend Method
The Bar Keeper’s method is one of the most effective methods for cleaning oven racks. Bar Keeper’s Friend is an American cleaning agent available in powder form and has proven to be incredibly effective at getting rid of grease and mineral deposits. Be sure to use gloves when working with this cleaning agent.
- Prepare a paste using Bar Keeper’s Friend and water. The consistency of the paste should be thick, but spreadable
- Lay your oven racks on a prepared surface covered in newspaper and plastic
- Use a toothbrush or a basting brush to brush the paste on the oven racks, making sure to apply the paste to the back and the front of the racks
- Let the oven racks sit for about an hour
- Using a toothbrush or a sponge and some soapy water, scrub the racks to remove any stubborn grease
- Rinse and allow the racks to dry, and they are ready to use
Cleaning Oven Racks with Ammonia
You can also clean your oven racks using ammonia and a trash bag. It is important to note that ammonia emits toxic fumes that can irritate the eyes and respiratory tract, so you should always perform this cleaning outdoors. Follow the steps below to get your oven racks squeaky clean again.
- Place your oven racks in a trash bag, ensuring that your trash bag does not have any holes or the ammonia will leak out
- Pour in 20 ounces of ammonia and seal the trash bag
- Allow the racks to sit overnight
- When removing them from the trash bag, be sure to wear gloves and avoid breathing in the fumes
- Rinse them thoroughly before putting them back into the oven
A More Natural Approach
If you prefer not to use hazardous chemicals and cleaning agents, you can use orange essential oil, vinegar, and baking soda to clean your oven racks.
- Make a paste with the baking soda and vinegar
- Add a few drops of orange essential oil to the paste
- In a sink or bathtub, apply to paste to the racks using a sponge
- Allow the paste to sit overnight
- Use a toothbrush to scrub off any debris and rinse well
Orange essential oil has antibacterial properties and leaves your oven with a great smell. Baking soda and vinegar are also great cleaning agents because they dissolve grease and dirt.
Now You Know How to Clean Your Oven Racks!
If you have been putting off cleaning your oven racks because it is such a challenging task, you are not alone! However, with the know-how, you can get stubborn grease off your oven racks in a few simple steps. You can use one of the methods mentioned above to make the task a lot less daunting and get those oven racks shining again.
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