Cleaning those crusty oven racks is one of those cleaning jobs that rarely, if ever, gets done. It also gets the kitchen and bathroom working together in concert—we don’t see that too often, now do we? Let me explain; Your oven racks are a pain point when it comes to cleaning, you can’t leave them in a self-clean oven cycle and they’re nearly impossible to scrub effectively. They do, however, look awful after a few thrills and spills and can lead to bad smells and burning, charred gunk over time. So, I’m going to tell you how to clean your oven racks with next to no effort at all. Oh, and we also made a video about this so feel free to check that out too!
What You’ll Need
- An old towel.
- A cup of laundry detergent – you can use the powdered kind or the liquid kind.
- A container of some type large enough to hold a few cups of water, ideally a mason jar or other empty glass jar.
- A bathtub – or at least a tub big enough to fit your oven racks into.
How to Clean Oven Racks
- Lay the towel along the bottom of your bathtub – this is going to protect the surface of your tub from being scratched by the oven racks or powdered detergent – this is an important step, so don’t skip this one!
- Take your dirty oven racks and place them on top of the towel.
- Plug the drain and start filling the tub with the hottest water possible. Let the tub fill until the water completely covers the racks. Hot water is really important here, it helps break down the grease and activate the detergent. It will cool over time but the initial blast should be hot, hot, hot.
- Take a cup of the laundry detergent and dissolve it in hot water in the mason jar and then add that mixture to the tub. This is to ensure the product is broken down well. I like using powdered detergent because you get some abrasion as well; you don’t have to completely dissolve it before adding it to the water. The soapy water and the granules act together to get the most bang for your buck!
- That’s it! Now let the detergent do its thing for the next 6-10 hours. It’s probably best just to leave it overnight which gives it enough time to really loosen all that caked on grease and grime.
- The next morning drain the tub and give the racks a quick wipe and dry before putting them back in the oven.
It’s important to note that you should NEVER leave your oven racks in the oven during the self-cleaning cycle—it can strip the chrome off the rack(s) and permanently damage them. Also, If you have an oven with coil burners, you can throw your drip pans in the tub as well overnight, I mean, why not?