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How to clean oven racks the easy way. This method will take some time and elbow grease, but it’s mostly hands-off and the dirt will just fall right off!
I will admit it.
I have been dragging my feet on cleaning our oven racks. Have you ever made a whole chicken in your oven?
They taste amazing.
They look amazing.
They smell amazing.
But they leave your oven a mess!
I am a big fan of Barefoot Contessa and follow a lot of her recipes. How in the world does she keep her oven so dang clean with all that greasy cooking!?
I’m sure she has the pros come back in and clean it for her when necessary. Her oven racks are spotless!
Let us in on your secret, Ina!
I came home the other day and out of nowhere really started tackling the mess of the oven. And I’m embarrassed to admit it, but my oven was pretty diiiirrrty. And by dirty, I mean greasy.
The outside and stovetop were fine because I clean those parts pretty regularly. But the inside had grease caked on in a lot of places.
In the past, it was easy for me to just shut the door on the grease and delay cleaning it. I knew deep down this was going to be a beast to clean.
See my rack there? (that sounded terrible by the way). Ick!
If you are reading this post, my guess is that your racks don’t look much different.
But here’s the truth.
Cleaning them up wasn’t so bad. And I didn’t have to use the toxic commercial oven cleaners, either.
No Easy-Off Oven Cleaner (even the fume-free) for this gal.
Because the EWG rated Easy Off an F. With young kids in the house, I just don’t want to take the risk with a low rating like that.
I’ve also heard of this ammonia cleaning method and I’m sure you guys have to. Frankly, it scares the H-E-double hockey sticks- out of me.
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We have a gas oven and I don’t know enough about it to feel confident I’m not going to start a fire.
Plus, that smell. Thank you, Next.
What to Clean your Oven Racks with instead of Easy-Off Oven cleaner
Here’s what you should try using instead …
I bet you never thought you could clean your oven racks with dryer sheets. But it’s true.
You will also need a bathtub or some sort of tub where you can soak the racks in hot water.
I’m not going to lie, you have to give this method some time to work it’s magic (I’ll explain more below). This is not a QUICK cleaning method.
I also had to use a little bit of scrubbing power at the end. I had to clean some sections over and over again. But my oven racks are so clean and pretty now. Yay!
And I didn’t have to worry about toxic chemicals in the house around my kids.
Check out my other cleaning posts while you’re here:
Materials I used:
- Dryer Sheets – I like to use these non-toxic ones
- Dish Soap (use Dr. Bronners or Dawn Botanical for even cleaner ingredients. You need a degreasing power!)
- Aluminum Foil or a Scrub Brush or Steel Wool Pad
How to Clean Oven Racks (without toxic chemicals)
I’ve done this method over and over again – it works!
- Remove the racks from your oven.
- Fill your bathtub with HOT water and squirt some dish soap in there to make it soapy. Now throw a whole bunch of dryer sheets in there too.
- Carefully place your oven racks in the bathtub. You might want to lay an old towel down first so your oven racks don’t scratch your tub.
- Now just wait. You have to let the racks soak for a little. The dryer sheets help the grease and grime separate from the racks. The dish soap also cuts the grease. (I left my racks to soak ALLLL day. Six hours.) You can also let them go overnight.
- After they have soaked, you should see that a lot of that gunk came off already! Use some of the wet dryer sheets to scrub your oven racks more – it’s magical how that grease just disappears.
- There still might be a few stubborn areas. So, grab a scrunched up ball of aluminum foil or a scrub brush or steel wool pad and use some elbow grease on the troublesome areas. You should find at this point, that your racks almost look brand new!
Here’s a close up before and after. Amazing!
Can you believe the difference? These are like brand new oven racks.
Amazing, right!? There is no better feeling than opening up your oven to clean racks. Take that Ina! 🙂
If you are suffering from dirty oven racks – definitely try this dryer sheet method. I was amazed at how much it worked and for the most part, it’s a hands-off project.
Let the dryer sheets and bathtub do most of the work! I love not having to worry about nasty fumes either.
In my opinion, this is the best way to clean stainless steel oven racks.