How to Effectively Clean Oven Racks

Ovens are a great investment that make cooking fast and enjoyable. However, nobody likes to spend hours scrubbing stains and food residue from oven racks. We spend effort in ensuring we have the right oven mitts and thermometers, but most people forget about the oven racks.

While some ovens have a self-cleaning feature, it is not recommended to use the feature on the racks. Luckily, there are many easy ways to clean oven racks to give them their original sparkle.

Below are ways on how you can effectively clean oven racks with minimum effort.

1. Baking Soda Paste

If you are after a more natural way of cleaning your oven, then using baking soda is a great solution. Here is how to clean oven racks with baking soda:

  • Mix ½ cup of baking soda with 2 to 3 tablespoons of water to make a paste.
  • Use a pastry brush or paintbrush to apply the paste to the oven walls. If the oven is not very dirty, you can allow the paste to sit for at least an hour. However, you can let it sit overnight for a more thorough cleaning.
  • Then, use a sponge and warm water to remove the paste. If the paste has dried, a scraper or plastic spatula will do.

2. Dish Soap and Kosher Salt Mixture

If you are not able to clean your over racks with the baking soda paste, make a mixture of dish soap and kosher salt. Add this mixture to the baking soda paste and apply to the racks. Let them sit overnight and rinse with warm water the next day. If there is still reside, a using a little vinegar will help.

3. Sprinkle Baking Soda and Vinegar

You can also clean oven racks with vinegar and baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda on the oven racks followed by vinegar. Doing this will cause foam to build up. When the foaming stops, place the racks in hot water and let them sit overnight.

Use an old towel or an old toothbrush to get rid of grease and grime on the racks. For stubborn stains that require more abrasive scrubbing, use a toothbrush and salt. Once clean, rinse the racks with clean water.

4. Aluminum Foil and Dishwasher Tablet

Another hack to make your oven racks shiny again is by using aluminum foil. For this method, you will an aluminum foil, a dishwasher tablet, and a bathtub.

Here is how to clean oven racks with foil and dishwasher tablet:

  • Remove the oven racks completely from the oven and wrap each in aluminum foil.
  • Next, fill a bathtub with hot water and submerge the foil-wrapped racks.
  • Then, place a dishwasher tablet on each rack and let them sit for about 2 hours.

The chemical reaction between the aluminum foil and the dishwasher tablet will remove the grease and grime effectively.

5. Dryer Sheets and Dishwasher Liquid

For this method, you will need dryer sheets and dishwasher liquid. Here is how to clean your oven racks with dryer sheets and dishwasher liquid:

  • Line your bathtub with dryer sheets and lay the oven racks on top.
  • Fill the tub with warm water and add half a cup of dish soap.
  • Let it sit overnight and drain the tub the next morning.
  • Use the dryer sheet to remove the residue and stains on the racks.

6. Ammonia Trash Bags

You can use the ammonia trash bag method if you are looking for an easy way to clean oven racks with no mess. However, you should take note that this method can be dangerous and should be done with caution.

For this method, you will need ammonia, trash bag, and a trash bin. Here are ways on how to clean oven racks with ammonia and trash bags:

  • Completely remove the oven racks from the oven and place them in a trash bag.
  • Put half-quart of ammonia before tying the bag and placing in a garbage bin outside.
  • Allow them to sit overnight as the ammonia works through the racks to clean them.
  • Remove them from the bags in the morning and ensure that you don’t inhale the fumes from the bag. It is advisable to use safety goggles and gloves.
  • Connect a water hose to a nearby faucet and spray on the racks.
  • After rinsing, allow them to dry before placing back in the oven.

7. Commercial Cleaners

There are numerous commercial cleaners in the market that you can use to clean your oven racks. While most produce toxic fumes, there are non-toxic and eco-friendly brands that you can try.

Once you find a suitable cleaner, place the oven racks in a single layer and spray a generous amount of the cleaner. Allow it to sit for about 10 minutes then scrub with a toothbrush or old rag. Afterward, rinse with garden hose before placing them back.

Before using the cleaners, make sure that the area is well-ventilated. Also, cover the work area with old newspapers or sheet plastic, and make sure to wear gloves.


Just like baking and cooking sheets, your ovens racks also need a lot of attention. These are some of the methods that you can use to give your oven racks a sparkling shine once again. You can try each of these methods until you find the best way to clean oven racks with little effort.

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