How to Clean Oven Racks Naturally

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How to Clean Oven Racks

Oven racks can be one of the most stubborn and frustrating items to clean in the home. At times, it can feel impossible to keep them free from burnt-on grease and food stains; you might spend hours scrubbing away at them only for them to appear filthy again after just one use!

It’s extremely frustrating, but there might be a method of how to clean oven racks that you haven’t yet tried. This natural approach could enable you to clean your oven racks much more efficiently.

Here, we’re going to talk you through our favorite oven rack cleaning method that uses only all-natural products and ingredients and can be done with minimal hard work and as often as you like, leaving your oven racks sparkling clean each time and without damaging the surface of the racks.

How to Clean Oven Racks

What You Will Need:

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Products, Equipment, and Methods to Avoid

There are lots of different methods and tools you could use when learning how to clean oven racks naturally, and everyone will have their own preferred technique.

However, there are some ingredients and methods that you should avoid if you want to prevent any damage to your oven racks and want them to end up looking shiny and clean without hours of endless scrubbing.

  • Wire scourers or brushes are too abrasive to use on stainless steel and will scratch or damage the surface of the racks. Avoid these and instead opt for a non-abrasive plastic bristle brush or gentle scrubbing sponge.
  • Harsh, chemical ingredients – We all know that toxic chemical cleaning agents are bad not only for the environment but also for us and anyone else within our household. This is especially true in areas where food is prepared or served, so avoid these and instead use our all-natural product list for an effective but safe clean.
  • Your oven’s self-cleaning cycle – If you’re oven has one, the self-cleaning cycle is meant purely to clean the interior of the oven and will not work on the wire oven racks, in fact, you’re likely to end up damaging the racks as a result of the extreme heat and could also cause damage to the interior of the oven. Instead, remove any racks from inside the oven and use the following method to clean them separately.

Related: How to Remove Rust from Knives with Baking Soda (and Other Natural Remedies)

Step 1: Pre-Clean/Spot Treat the Racks

In your spray bottle, mix equal parts of water and white vinegar. White vinegar is excellent at cutting through grease and grime and breaking down stubborn dirt. Spritz the mixture all over the oven rack and then take your cleaning brush or sponge and scrub the mixture all over the oven rack, using an old toothbrush for any corners or stubborn spots.

Once you have done this, give the oven rack one more spritz with the white vinegar and water solution. Leave this to soak for around ten minutes to continue breaking down stubborn stains or burnt-on food residue.

Step 2: Soak in Baking Soda and Water

Next up, fill a bathtub, sink, or large container with hot water and around half a cup of your chosen natural dish detergent or liquid soap then sprinkle in one to two cups of baking soda.

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Dr. Bronner’s - Pure-Castile Liquid Soap (Peppermint)
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Eco Me Dish SoapEco Me Dish Soap
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Better Life Sulfate Free Dish Soap (Pomegranate)Better Life Sulfate Free Dish Soap (Pomegranate)
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Place your oven racks into the mixture and leave them to soak here for around eight hours or overnight. If you’re using a bathtub or ceramic sink, it might be a good idea to lay the oven racks on some old towels to prevent them from scratching or chipping the surface of the tub.

Baking soda is another great, all-natural cleaning agent that works to break down grease and dirt and has also been found to enhance the effectiveness of other dish soaps.

Leaving the racks to soak for an extended period of time gives the mixture plenty of time to really cut through any dirt and break down stubborn grease.

Step 3: Scrub the Racks

After soaking the oven racks, go back in with your cleaning sponge or brush and give them another good scrub. You should find that all of the dirt, stains, and grease slide right off the oven racks. Again, you can use an old toothbrush to get into any small gaps or corners.

Step 4: Rinse and Dry

To finish, simply rinse the oven racks off using some warm water and then dry them using a towel or microfiber cloth.

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If you want your oven racks to really sparkle, you could also go back in with the white vinegar and water solution and spritz this over the oven rack once again.

Finish by polishing the rack with a clean, dry microfiber cloth and you should have sparkling clean oven racks that are free from any watermarks and can now be easily and quickly spot cleaned after each use to keep them looking pristine. Follow these easy steps in How to Clean Oven Racks Naturally every time your oven racks start to get gunky and gross.

How to Clean Oven Racks: FAQs

How often should I clean my oven racks?

Depending on how often you use your oven, you might need to clean your oven racks every one to six weeks. Cleaning them after every use will prevent the need for periodic deep-cleaning, but this might not be realistic if you have a busy schedule. We recommend simply keeping an eye on your oven racks and giving them a good clean whenever dirt begins to build up. The earlier you can get rid of burnt-on food and grease, the easier it will be to clean.  

Can oven racks be cleaned in the dishwasher?

Most standard oven racks are made from stainless steel and are dishwasher safe (although, be sure to check this with your manufacturer’s guidelines. But you might find that they don’t actually fit in your dishwasher. The dishwasher also might not effectively remove all of the grease and dirt effectively, so this probably isn’t the best option.

Is it possible to spot clean oven racks?

Yes! To spot clean your oven racks, take your old toothbrush and dampen it before saturating it with baking soda. Scrub the affected area and leave to soak if necessary before removing the baking soda and water with a clean cloth and then sprits with your white vinegar solution and dry off for a sparkling clean oven rack in no time!

Final Thoughts on How to Clean Oven Racks Naturally

By utilizing the products and tips highlighted in this article, you can thoroughly clean your oven racks, removing any grease, grime, or dirt and leaving them shiny and clean without spending endless hours hunched over the sink scrubbing away at them only to end up with sore hands, a bad back, and oven racks that are still covered in black stains.

All-natural products with excellent cleaning powers are your best friend when it comes to cleaning stubborn oven racks, and will also prevent any damage to the racks or your oven and won’t be harmful to you or anyone else in your household.

Cleaning your oven racks might not be your favorite task when it comes to cleaning your kitchen, but it doesn’t have to be the extremely laborious, frustrating task that so many believe it to be. If you use effective tools and products and clean your oven racks regularly and follow the steps listed above on How to Clean Oven Racks Naturally, there is no reason that you can’t keep them looking sparkling clean at all times!