Already have an account?
Get back to the

The Best No-Work Ways to Clean Oven Racks

Hint: A long soak with a few dryer sheets can work wonders

Baking, roasting and broiling can all leave the inside of your oven dirty and crusty over time. One spot that seems to get particularly dirty? The racks. Anything from overflowing cake batter to an oil-leaking pan can leave the metal coated in a hard-to-remove layer of grime. And the thought of giving these large metal racks a good scrub-down can seem quite intimidating, especially if they haven’t been cleaned or wiped down for a long time. Luckily, we found cleaning pros who revealed brilliant no-work ways clean oven racks.

To clean oven racks of caked-on grease

If you haven’t cleaned your oven racks in a while, they’re likely covered in built-up grime that seems as though it would be tough to remove. Thankfully, the power of overnight soaking plus a few genius extras are all you need to break down the grease—no work required!

Toby Schulz, owner of Maid2Match, gives this easy how-to:

Fill your bathtub (or utility sink or freestanding tub) with hot water, then add half a cup of dish soap. Place the oven racks inside and let sit overnight so the soap has the time to cut through grease. Then in the morning, use an old toothbrush or dish towel to scrub the racks.  “For stubborn dirt, add salt to the old toothbrush for more abrasion,” he suggests. Finish by rinsing the racks thoroughly and letting them dry fully before adding back to the oven.

If your racks are extra-greasy: Add six dryer sheets to the dish soap and water when you soak the racks overnight. The sheets’ fiber-softening agents break down the bond between grease and metal, so it wipes away easily come morning.

Discover how @brunchwithbabs uses the cleaning power of a bathtub, dish soap and dryer sheets to clean her over racks in the video below:

To clean spills from oven racks

baking soda, cleaning gloves, vinegar and sponge

In lesser-used ovens or those that get a regular wipe-down, the oven racks may not have as much caked-on grease. In this case, you can opt for an all-natural cleaning combo that takes less than 5 minutes to apply and between 4 to 6 hours to work.

“If the oven racks are not that dirty, you can clean them with a mix of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide,” explains Alex Varela, general manager of Dallas Maids. “Just mix until they form a paste: a 3-part baking soda, 1-part hydrogen peroxide should work.” Use a brush to scrub the racks with the paste before letting sit for ideally 4 to 6 hours. Then scrub lightly one more time before rinsing away any residue with water. Peroxide and baking soda together create a chemical reaction that helps break apart grease and stains for easy removal.

No hydrogen peroxide on hand? You can use vinegar in its place, as it will still create a fizzy reaction with the baking soda to lift the grime.

How to clean oven racks when short on time

On some occasions, you may not have the luxury of letting your oven racks soak overnight or for a few hours. This may be especially true if you are planning to cook a meal for guests and notice your oven racks are extra dirty or odorous. The key to a quick clean?

“A fantastic commercial cleaning product is Bar Keepers Friend (Buy from Amazon, $2.49),” says Varela. “Its main ingredient is called oxalic acid.” Simply mix the powder with enough water to form a paste, then apply to both sides of your oven racks. After letting it sit for 45 minutes, rinse them with water.  The cleaner contains surfactants that are known to dissolve grease. (Click here for more brilliant uses for Bar Keepers Friend).

How often should you clean oven racks

“Regular cleaning can maintain the racks, reduce odors inside the oven and prolong their lifespan,” says Schulz.

While it’s not a task you have to tackle every time you cook, it is something that should probably be addressed more than you expect. Not sure how often to do so?

“If you bake or cook in the oven infrequently, then you can clean them once or twice a year,” shares Schulz. “But if you use your oven and racks regularly, cleaning the racks at least once a month should keep them in good cooking condition.”

One exception: If a major spill or large amount of grease or fat drip onto the racks, then those should be cleaned immediately. Just be careful handling the racks and use an oven mitt if needed!

You’ll get squeaky clean oven racks that look brand-new in no time!

For more kitchen cleaning tips, click through these stories:

Melted Plastic on your Stovetop? Here is How to Clean it Before you Have a Meltdown Yourself

How to Clean a Keurig Coffee Maker So Your Morning Brew *Always* Taste Its Best

Do You ‘Follow the Grain’ When You Clean Stainless Steel? If Not, You’re Likely Scratching It, Cautions Queen of Clean

How To Clean Your Ice Maker So Your Ice Cubes Stop Giving Your Drinks an Off Taste

Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menu items. Use right arrow key to move into submenus. Use escape to exit the menu. Use up and down arrow keys to explore. Use left arrow key to move back to the parent list.