How to Clean Oven Racks in 3 Steps

a kitchen with a clean oven
Studio McGee

Cooking and baking are highly rewarding activities: either you get to enjoy the results of your hard work firsthand or everyone at the office is now at least a little bit in love with you. Cleaning the oven racks, on the other hand, is a thankless task. However, it’s essential for reducing toxins and grime in a critical (and often overlooked) food prep zone. While the thought of cleaning oven racks may be daunting, this essential to-do list is far easier and less labor-intensive than you may think.

Read on to learn how to quickly clean oven racks using only natural ingredients.

1. Soak Overnight

While there are several ways to clean oven racks, the easiest and the most effective is to clean them in a large tub of water. Fill the tub about halfway with very hot water. Don’t be shy about temperature—the hotter, the better. The depth of the water should be just enough to cover the oven racks, so fill the tub accordingly.

Next, remove the racks from the oven, and knock any excess residue into the trash. Then submerge the oven racks in the water. Add either one cup of laundry detergent or a half-cup of dishwashing liquid, and then allow the racks to soak overnight.

2. Scrub Clean

In the morning, grab your favorite cleaning tool. Recommended options include old toothbrushes, flexible loofahs, and roughly textured dishcloths. Get to work scrubbing the surface of the metal. You can also sprinkle salt over the surface of the oven racks for extra traction. Focus on areas of intense residue (the center of the oven racks tend to see the most buildup), and rinse the cloth or brush periodically.

3. Rinse

Once the oven racks are cleared of debris and feel smooth to the touch, it’s time to rinse them off. Flush the grease by running them under water, allowing them to rinse fully. As soon as the water runs clear, remove the oven racks, and use a clean, dry dishtowel to wipe them down.

Up next, see how to clean an oven in just seven steps.

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