How to Safely and Easily Clean Those Grimy Oven Racks

Here on Canada’s east coast, we have just endured a winter of epic proportions. I think I can safely say, I hope I am not jinxing myself, that spring is finally poking its head out from beneath a blanket of snow. Even though the snow is still evident, the temperatures are gradually rising and we have finally been able to open the windows for a breath of fresh air.

The first thing on my spring cleaning list is our oven. It is a disaster! Sounds easy enough, right?  Remove the racks, set the self clean button and come back in a few hours to wipe up the fine ashes. I admit, that part is fairly easy.  My problem?  How to Safely and Easily Clean Those Grimy Oven Racks.

How to Safely and Easily Clean Those Grimy Oven Racks

Please don’t judge me, I know these are disgusting.  They haven’t been cleaned since before Christmas.

I feel like I usually scrub and scour those racks for hours and they still aren’t as clean as I would like.  This time, I was determined to find an easier way to clean them. So, I hit the internet and after searching many places, I came up with a cleaning recipe and the result was beyond superb.

How to Safely and Easily Clean Those Grimy Oven RacksHow to Safely and Easily Clean Those Grimy Oven Racks

 I don’t think these racks have been so sparkly since the day the stove was installed.

I have put the cleaning method in a “recipe” format in case you would like to print it for future reference. Another thing I really like about this cleaning method, the result was outstanding without the use of any harsh chemicals.

How to Safely and Easily Clean Those Grimy Oven Racks

4.5 from 2 reviews
How to Safely & Easily Clean Those Grimy Oven Racks
  • Bathtub
  • Four large towels (I used older beach towels) - two for the tub, one to put the rinsed racks on and one to dry the racks.
  • ¾ cup dishwasher detergent (powdered or liquid)
  • Very hot water
  • Sponge or old dish cloth
  • Old toothbrush
  • Non-abrasive scrub pad
  1. Plug the tub and line the bottom of your bathtub with two of the old towels. This is very important to prevent the oven racks from scratching your bathtub.
  2. Place your oven racks on the towel. I cleaned three racks at a time.
  3. Pour in the dishwasher detergent and add just enough very hot water to cover the oven racks.
  4. Let soak for at least 8 hours, but preferably overnight.
  5. After soaking, the baked on dirt and grease on the racks should be soft and easy to wipe off with an old dishcloth.
  6. Use a non-abrasive scrub pad or toothbrush and a little dish soap on any tough spots.
  7. Rinse with water and place on a dry towel.
  8. Completely dry entire rack.

How do you usually clean your oven racks?

Have you ever tried this or a similar method?




  1. I made the mistake of once leaving them in oven during the clean cycle. Bad idea.

    Thanks for sharing…I’ve never been able to get my oven racks completely clean and look forward to trying this!
    Jennifer recently posted…Greek Yogurt Jello BitesMy Profile

  2. Great tip, and just intake for Spring cleaning. I know my oven needs some serious help!

  3. I usually enjoy cleaning…within reason… but the oven racks were my downfall. I’d spent hours with scrub pads that were messy, and the job was never what I’d hoped for. This looks so easy. I plan on trying it out soon.

    • I was the exact same way Pat! I would scrub and scrub and scrub and the result was never a sparkling clean oven rack. Once you try this, you will never go back to all of that scrubbing!

  4. I usually went the tried, true but very messy and extremely smelly chemical way of spraying with some toxic spray cleaner. Then wiping all that goo up trying not to get any on my hands, clothes or the floor. Then go over it all with clean water and finally turn the oven on, to burn up any lingering chemical smell, before actually using the oven and racks.
    This sounds so much easier to get those racks sparkly clean. I will be doing this from now on, for sure.
    Thanks for the great ‘recipe’!! ;-)

  5. Wow — I didn’t think your “before” photo was too bad at all… until I saw the “after” shot! These photos are amazing, and you may have just pushed me over the edge to where I will actually get in there and start cleaning. WOW (again) and Thanks!
    Helene Meurer recently posted…How to make Thermomix egg noodles: the healthy pasta alternativeMy Profile

    • I know Helene, I kept calling my hubby in to the bathroom and showing him how easily the grime was just falling off the racks. I will never go back to all of that scrubbing and scouring!

  6. My racks were HORRIBLE! I’m sure the last time I’d cleaned my racks was before my son was born and that was 18 months ago! So, I’m a Pinterest fan and occasionally I try something I’ve pinned, be it a recipe, tip or trick, whatever. One of my pins was to clean oven racks, using dryer sheets…yes…dryer sheets. Same ideas as above but instead of the dish soap, I popped in 4 of my Fleecy (vanilla scented…yum) dryer sheets & left it overnight. It practically fell right off, very minimal scrubbing…actually the only scrubbing was the top rack which was much worse than the bottom two. I didn’t time myself but I’m sure I was done in 30 mins (including cleaning the tub after…it needed it anyway). This tip went into my “Pin Win” board! :)

    (I’m also an Maritimer and TOTALLY agree that this past winter was nuts…even for us!)

    • Dryer sheets, wow…I’ll have to give that a try next time Becky! Anything to save the labour of scrubbing those racks by hand is a great idea. Isn’t Pinterest awesome…I have to control myself or I’ll find myself lost on Pinterest for hours…lol

  7. This sounds so easy and efficient, but I have a couple of questions: Does the dishwasher detergent damage the tub at all? Can the towels be laundered and re-used the next time the oven racks need to be cleaned?

    • Hi Alice! To answer your questions; 1.) I never notice any damage to my tub, in fact I think it made it shinier and 2.) Absolutely, I just laundered the towels (I used a little less detergent than normal as the towels already had the dish detergent on them), dried and set aside for next time. Hope this helps.

  8. Hi. Monica! Thanks for sharing all your great tips. I really need guidance when it comes to cleaning in the kitchen (especially the oven) and you helped me a lot. Don’t get me wrong I’m not lazy or something I just need someone to tell me what to do and then I do it gladly. You’re awesome and nobody’s judging you :)

  9. The oven racks… I really try not to think of them but I definitely should! As a general I hate cleaning the oven and even when I do clean it is incredibly difficult to scrub off all the grime and grease! I really like your tips and I am seriously considering to follow your instruction and clean the racks! Thanks for the post!

  10. Amazing result! I also need to clean my dirty oven before the winter comes and I am still trying to motivate and inspire myself to do this such a dreadful chore and be done with it! I am so happy when the oven is clean! I love your method! I will definitely use it to clean my oven racks! Thanks for sharing! :)

  11. Do you have a porcelain or fiberglass tub? I just got done cleaning my racks and then my tub. The grease stained the tub. :(

    • Oh no! Mine is Porcelain. Are you able to get the stain out? Try a baking soda paste, that’s how I clean my enamel pots and it works really well. Let me know how you make out.

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