A dirty oven can quickly accumulate. If you use the appliance at all, baked-on grease, clingy grime, and burnt bits are likely to build up. Naturally, many people today own a self-cleaning oven, which is great for getting rid of interior gunk but might harm the racks.
Normal operating temperatures for the self-cleaning function are double or triple those for cooking. The coating that makes it possible for racks to slide in and out with ease can be damaged if the racks are left in place during self-cleaning. This can also cause the metal to lose its shine and turn a dull color.
The best course of action is to remove the racks and clean them the old-fashioned way, whether your oven is self-cleaning or not. Thankfully, any of the ensuing techniques can complete the task quickly and with the least amount of hassle.
Why You Should Clean Your Oven Racks?
Oven rack cleaning can take a while, especially if it has been a while since you last did it. We all have to do it, or at the very least, we should, even though no one likes to scrub burnt-on food stains.
Your oven racks will sparkle like new ones in no time using these straightforward and useful methods. Oven racks can be cleaned in a variety of other ways, but these are the ones that require the least amount of effort from you. Oven rack cleaning is a neglected and messy task, but by using these methods, you can easily restore them to their former luster.
How Often Should Oven Racks Be Cleaned?
Unfortunately, oven racks quickly acquire a sticky and dirty surface. “Baked-on grease, grime, and burnt bits are likely to accumulate over time, especially if you’re someone who bakes frequently or makes most meals at home, which makes it more difficult to clean as time goes on,” explains At GE Appliances, Amelia Hensley is the director of cooking systems. “Regular cleaning can also aid in reducing odors caused by food that has burned onto the racks during cooking.”
It varies on how frequently oven racks should be cleaned. “Once or twice a year is good for most homes, especially if major spills are cleaned up right away,” says Hensley. “After significant spills or after preparing a substantial meal (i.e. after a party, holiday, etc.).” Cleaning the oven more frequently—four to five times a year, if you cook the majority of your meals at home—is advised. Hensley also suggests cleaning the racks right away after cooking something directly on them (like a pizza).
How To Clean Oven Racks？
1. With Dishwasher Detergent
According to Sabrina Fierman of the upscale cleaning company Little Elves in New York, you should clean oven racks using dishwasher detergent while bathing. “First, line the tub with an old towel to avoid scratching it, then place racks on top and cover with hot water and a ½ cup of dish soap,” she says. “Make sure no one will need to use the bathtub during the 12-hour period that the racks will be submerged in the soapy water solution.” Utilizing an old rag or an abrasive dish sponge, scrub the grates and then thoroughly rinse. Fierman points out that although this method is straightforward, it probably won’t work on very soiled grates.
2. With Baking Soda
Baking soda makes a great oven cleaner. It is inexpensive, won’t corrode metal surfaces, and has powerful cleaning abilities without using dangerous chemicals.
- Fill the tub with several inches of hot water.
- Add 1-3 cups of baking soda depending on the size of the tub. Swirl to dissolve.
- Place racks in the tub.
- Soak the racks in the baking soda solution for at least 8 hours
- Wipe the racks with a clean rag, sponge, or stainless steel pad.
- Rinse and dry before replacing in the oven.
3. With Orange Essential Oil
- Make a paste of baking soda, vinegar, and a few drops of orange essential oil in a small glass bowl. This organic oil smells like citrus and has potent terpenes, which are antimicrobial substances.
- Apply the paste to the oven racks while hunched over a sink. After allowing it to sit for 6 to 8 hours, lightly scrub the area to get rid of the grease and grime. Replace after a thorough rinse.
4. With Bar Keeper’s Friend
- Make a paste in a small bowl using water and Bar Keeper’s Friend, the first powdered cleaner made of oxalic acid, surfactant, and a water-softening agent.
- Place the oven racks in the sink and give it a quick watering. To get rid of grease, grime, and residue, apply the paste with a scrubber sponge or pad and scrub gently. Replace the racks after rinsing them.
5. With Dryer Sheets
Applying enough dryer sheets on top of your old towel at the bottom of the bathtub, adding the rack(s), and then covering the rack(s) with additional dryer sheets will help you clean your oven racks. “Then add ½ cup of dishwasher detergent and warm water to cover, let sit for 12 hours, then drain the solution, throw away the dryer sheets, and sponge clean with an abrasive sponge,” suggests Fierman. “Rinse and dry well.”
Although this method does indeed work in some cases, Fierman actually dislikes it the least. “For grates that are very dirty, it is less effective.” Additionally, Hensley does not advise using this technique because her team has not tested it on oven racks and is unable to confirm performance or what might happen to the finish of the rack.
Using this necessary appliance shouldn’t be hindered by the thought of dirty oven racks. Using the methods mentioned above, you can clean those racks with hardly any effort on your part.
6. In The Bathtub
- The oven racks should be positioned on top of an old towel that has been laid in the tub’s bottom. Pour up to 1/2 cup of dishwashing soap (or up to 3/4 cup of laundry detergent) into the very hot water that has been added to cover the oven racks. Let sit overnight.
- If you have plenty of baking soda but not enough detergent, sprinkle it over the oven racks instead before soaking them in distilled white vinegar. Once the foaming stops, fill the tub with extremely hot water, bury the racks, and leave it to sit overnight.
- To get rid of grease and grime, scrub the racks in the morning using an old dish towel. To remove any tenacious baked-on mess, use an old toothbrush. To make the brushing more abrasive for really tough bits, add salt. Finally, thoroughly rinse the racks before putting them back in the oven.