How To Clean Oven Racks [Guide]

By on 10th January 2019 (updated: 14th December 2020) in Cleaning Tips

Clean oven racks

Prolonged use in either baking or cooking can leave your oven racks filthy. Whether you’re sprinkling baking soda over them, dousing your oven racks in vinegar or submerging them in the bathtub – you’ll likely have to use a number of techniques to get rid of baked-on grime and get them sparkling clean again.

Cleaning Oven Racks

When you regularly use your oven for grilling, roasting and baking, your oven racks are usually the first thing to get covered in grease and grime. Although a professional oven clean can really make your oven racks look brand new in no time, it might be worth occasionally doing some DIY maintenance in-between professional cleans.

Cleaning oven grids yourself can be a bit of a chore – we recommend you factor in at least between 4-12 hours to finish this task, which includes the essential soaking time.

With decades of collective experience in oven cleaning, it wasn’t hard for us to put together a comprehensive list of methods for cleaning oven grids. Although varying in effort and results, the following methods are worth trying for removing stubborn grease and burnt-on foods.

What is the best way to clean oven racks?

The best way to clean oven racks will depend on your circumstances. Whilst some say that soaking oven racks in hot water with dishwasher soap or laundry detergent is the most effective method, this may be overkill in your case. Depending on how dirty your oven racks are, you may be better off with a less time-consuming method.

How do you clean stainless steel oven racks?

Clean stainless steel oven racks using a combination of chemical or non-chemical treatments, soaking and scrubbing. Avoid using steel wool or brushes, as these will create scratches that could lead to rust. Abrasive cleaning products can also dull stainless steel. Thoroughly dry your stainless steel oven racks after cleaning them to prevent leaving stains.

What is the best thing to clean oven shelves?

The best thing to clean oven shelves depends on the level of grime and grease that is on them. For example, oven shelves that are covered in baked-on grease may need a combination of baking soda, soaking and scrubbing with a toothbrush in order to be properly cleaned. Whereas a less soiled oven shelf may only require a warm wash with washing up liquid.

How to Clean Your Oven Racks with an Oven-Cleaning Bag

  1. Put on household gloves to protect yourself from the harsh chemical solutions.
  2. Place a maximum of two racks in the oven bag to soak overnight.
  3. Tilt the bag after two hours, so that the racks become recoated in cleaning fluids.
  4. The next day, wear household gloves again as you remove the racks from the bag and rinse them in hot soapy water.

Oven-cleaning bags are specifically designed for cleaning oven racks and grills. Read our comprehensive user manual for oven-cleaning bags.

How to Clean Your Oven Racks with Oven Cleaning Products

  1. Lay the racks on an old cloth or rag in an outside area, spray them with the cleaning product and leave them to soak overnight.
  2. The next day, rinse them with water.
  3. Rub off any stubborn bits as well as you can.
  4. Wipe the racks dry using a microfiber cloth.

Warning: the efficacy of this method depends on the product. Ovenu has reviewed six eco-friendly oven-cleaning products to help you make an informed choice.

How Clean Oven Racks in a Bathtub

  1. Protect your bathtub from scratching by placing towels or sponges underneath the corners of the racks.
  2. Fill the bath with just enough water to cover all of them.
  3. Crumble a dishwasher tablet into the water and leave the racks to soak overnight.
  4. The next day, rub off mild stains using a sponge and warm water.

Bathing oven racks in a hot bath with dishwasher powder might be the appropriate solution when they are only mildly soiled.

How to Clean Oven Racks with a Bicarbonate of Soda

  1. Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda on to the oven racks.
  2. Then drench them in vinegar in a large sink or in the bathtub (protecting your bathtub with towels).
  3. The chemical reaction between these two cupboard essentials will result in an eruption of bubbles and foam – once the reaction is over, the racks can be submerged in hot water and left overnight.
  4. The next day, scrubbing the racks clean will be easily done with a dishcloth or toothbrush.

Learn how to clean your oven with common products from your cupboards.

How Clean Oven Racks with a Rubbish Bags and Ammonia

  1. Wear household gloves to protect your hands.
  2. Put your oven racks in a rubbish bag and pour half a cup of ammonia over each.
  3. Tie the bag tightly, removing as much air as you can, and turn it several times to cover all the surfaces.
  4. Leave the bag outside for three hours.
  5. Wearing your household gloves for safety, remove the racks and wash them thoroughly with washing-up liquid.

Warning: You’ll need to perform this process outside or in a very well-ventilated room. Ovenu is not responsible for any damage caused by harsh chemicals. If your oven racks are very heavily soiled, the safest option is to arrange a visit from a professional oven cleaning company.

How to Clean Oven Racks with Self-Cleaning Oven Features

  1. Clean any loose debris or food from the oven.
  2. Open windows and close doors to rooms with soft furnishings.
  3. Set the oven to its self-cleaning cycle and leave for 2-4 hours, depending on your appliance.
  4. Once the cycle is complete, allow time for the oven to cool.
  5. Sweep out ash and any loose debris, then wipe down oven racks.

Although a self-cleaning oven doesn’t remove the need for a regular deep clean, it is very useful for increasing the lifespan of your oven by facilitating regular surface cleans. If you are looking to clean your oven racks, simply keep them in the oven when you turn on the self-cleaning feature.

How to Clean Greasy Oven Racks

  1. To clean greasy oven racks, first, fill a sink or bowl with hot water and washing up liquid.
  2. Take a non-scratch scourer and scrub the entirety of the racks using the soapy water.
  3. You may need to top up the water with more washing up liquid in order to get rid of all the grease.
  4. Once the grease has been removed, use a tea towel to dry the racks thoroughly.

Greasy oven racks don’t require any specific tools or method for cleaning, however, you will need to ensure that the water is hot and soapy enough to break down the grease that has adhered to them. You may want to wear washing up gloves to protect your hands from the hot water.

How to Remove Baked On Grease from Oven Racks

  1. To remove baked on grease from oven racks, liberally cover the affected areas in baking soda and then douse with vinegar to create a foaming reaction.
  2. Once the reaction has finished, place the oven racks in hot water and allow to soak overnight.
  3. The next day, scrub the racks with a non-scratch scourer to remove the loosed baked-on grease.
  4. You may need to repeat this process in order to remove all the baked on grease.

Baked on grease can be the toughest kind of dirt to remove from oven racks, as it can be difficult to get purchase on the grime with normal sponges or scourers. You can use a hard toothbrush to reach those difficult spots of grease once they’ve been loosened by the chemicals and hot water.

How to Clean Oven Racks Without Chemicals

  1. To clean oven racks without chemicals, fill a sink or tub with very hot water and add a ½ cup of washing up liquid.
  2. Leave the oven racks to soak in the hot water for as long as necessary to loosen grease and grime.
  3. Return to oven racks after a few hours and scrub away dirt with a non-scratch scourer or hard toothbrush.
  4. Repeat this process as necessary until the oven racks are clean.

It’s possible to clean oven racks without the use of chemicals, however, doing so will likely take a long time. Whilst household items such as fairy liquid can prove to be useful, they’re ultimately not quite as fit for the task as dedicated oven cleaning products.

How to Clean Oven Grill

Your oven’s grill component is just as susceptible to getting filthy as the oven racks, however, cleaning it properly comes with another set of challenges. The walls of an oven’s grills can attract dirt, just like an oven’s walls, but worse still, the grill’s elements are also a magnet for grease. Over time, grease build-up on the elements of your grills can lead to excessive smoking before it has even reached cooking temperature.

If you’re only concerned with cleaning the interior walls of the grill compartment of your oven, then you can follow the steps we’ve listed above. However, if you’re hoping to clean the grill’s elements then you’ll need a different tactic. You can try to burn off the dirt from the elements, by turning them up and letting them smoke for 10 minutes. After this, you’ll need to wait for the elements to cool down before wiping them down with detergent and a damp cloth.

Another method involves disassembling and removing the entire grill element, which allows you to access the entire component, but may not be practical depending on your DIY skills and access to tools. If both of these methods sound too difficult, then a professional oven cleaner should be able to clean the elements in your grill safely.

How do you clean your oven racks?

If you want to ensure your oven racks maintain their shine, call on your local oven cleaning service company to give your domestic oven a professional deep clean. Our experienced technicians know every bit of your oven inside and out, and use top-quality oven-cleaning products that are kind to your lungs and the environment!

Oven cleaning doesn’t have to be hard. Call 0800 140 9800 to receive a free quote today!

Rik Hellewell is the Founder & Managing Director of Ovenu and a member of the Approved Franchise Association. He established Ovenu in 1993, cleaning 4,000 ovens and proving his concept over five years before starting the franchise business. Since then he has helped over 200 franchisees achieve their dreams of running successful businesses of their own. Established for over 25 years, the Ovenu concept has proven successful across the UK, New Zealand, Australia and the USA.