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Cleaning Oven Racks

Brownies overflowing on oven rack and bottom

Cleaning your oven racks is no fun; it can be difficult to remove the burned on food drippings. Looking for easy ways to take on this often put off task? This is a guide about cleaning oven racks.



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Tip: Clean Grill Rack and Oven While You Sleep

Lay a barbecue grill rack on the lawn overnight, the dew will combine with the enzymes in the grass to loosen any burned-on grease. Try it with messy oven racks, too.

For inside the oven: Put about a half inch or so of ammonia in a glass baking dish (don't use metal) and leave it in a cold oven overnight. The grease and gunk will scrub off easily. It's a lot cheaper than oven cleaner.

By Sherry

Tip: Clean Oven Racks with Ammonia

To clean oven racks a lot easier, remove them from the oven and put them in a heavy duty garbage bag. Pour in 1 cup of ammonia and then tie the bag shut. Leave it outside overnight, and then scrub with hot soapy water. The grime will wipe right off.

By coville123 from Brockville, Ontario

Tip: Ammonia for Cleaning Oven Racks

When my oven racks get dirty or covered with spill-overs, this is what I do. Get a very sturdy thirteen gallon garbage bag, pour enough sudsy ammonia in it to cover the oven rack, lay on a flat surface (preferably outside for ventilation purposes), such as a half sheet of plywood or the picnic table, put the rack in the garbage bag, let sit overnight, remove the next morning.

You should be able to remove the grease and grime with a scrubber and very little effort. You can dilute the ammonia if you wish, but I would not dilute it any more than half water and half ammonia or the results won't be what you are needing.

If you feel that there is not enough of the ammonia covering the rack, you can very carefully turn the bag and rack over, but beware of poking holes in the bag with the oven rack.

By missysmom from Nokomis, AL

Tip: Cleaning Oven Racks

To clean the racks in your oven, pour 1 cup ammonia into a trash bag, add the racks and seal for 24 hours. Use a nylon scrubbie to remove loose debris. Works great!

Source: Heloise

By ellen from Indianapolis

Tip: Easy Off For Oven Racks

This is the easiest way to clean racks:

Get yourself a can of Easy Off for cold oven cleaning. Have a couple of big 55 gallon trash bags and a stack of old newspapers. This will work on oven racks and grill racks, too.

Lay out at least four layers of newspaper big enough for one rack to fit on with a four inch border. Put your rack on the papers and spray to cover the rack completely, turn rack over and spray second side. Turn up the edges and cover with four layers of paper, then put them in the big trash bag. Continue until all are done and in the bag. Fold the top of the bag over, and let them lay there.

After the time noted on the can open the bag and take out the racks. Wipe down with a ball of crumpled foil. Rinse and replace in your oven!

Source: Tried and true from the women in the family.

By Maile from Onalaska, WA

Tip: Cleaning Grill Racks With Ammonia

To clean oven racks or grill racks, place in plastic garbage bag and add 1 bottle of ammonia. Tie up bag and leave overnight. The next day, wipe clean. Sometimes a second night works better if it is real heavy with grease, but the ammonia will cut through the grease!

By Debra from Hampton

Tip: Cleaning Oven Racks With Oven Cleaner and Newspaper

The best and easiest way to clean oven racks is to first lay some old newspapers inside of a trash bag. Next lay the oven racks on the papers then spray liberally with oven cleaner. I do this outside of my home. Then let them stay for several hours or overnight. Finally, rinse the racks with a water hose, dry them, and put them back into oven.

By Patricia from Lexington, NC

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Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Cleaning Oven Racks

How do you clean oven racks? I have a very small sink and the racks will not fit. I heard that if I clean them in the bath tub the gunk that you scrub off might clog the drain. Can anyone advise on a better way to clean oven racks?


RE: Cleaning Oven Racks

The same gunk that would supposedly clog your tub would also have clogged your kitchen sink if they had fit wouldn't they? We have a self-cleaning oven now, but my mom used to do them in the tub all the time with an old bath towel or two on the bottom so it wouldn't scratch the finish.

If you are concerned about the gunk I would scrap off any chunks you could first and/or get one of those mesh drain strainers they sell to keep the hair from going down the drain. The last one I bought was under 2 dollars. And if you were really worried about it you could do the baking soda + vinegar trick on the drain after you are done.

You could purchase a large plastic bin to soak your racks in. We used to have one outside for our BBQ grill racks. But it takes some searching to find the right size, plus it is extra cost and you then have to find somewhere to store it. (09/09/2008)

By Kaelle

RE: Cleaning Oven Racks

Put oven racks inside a large plastic trashbag and spray them all over with oven cleaner (the cold oven kind). I have read that you can use ammonia instead, but I have never tried it. Close the bag up the best you can and let it set overnight. The next day take them out and just spray them off with water. I should note that I always do this outside so that I don't have to deal with the smell or mess. I have been doing this for years and will never go back to scrubbing them off. (09/09/2008)

By Joan

RE: Cleaning Oven Racks

I've always taken mine outside in the morning, sprayed them with oven cleaner, let sit in the sun, and in early afternoon I'd just hose them right off. (09/10/2008)

By doodles

RE: Cleaning Oven Racks

If you put the grates in a "black" plastic bag with some ammonia, and leave them overnight, everything should just wipe off. I've used this method before and haven't had any problems. (09/11/2008)

Archive: Cleaning Oven Racks

How can I clean filthy oven racks without harsh chemicals?

By Teresa

RE: Cleaning Oven Racks

A good method of cleaning BBQ grills is to wipe them down with a sponge and ammonia. Then place the grill in a plastic bag with 1 cup of ammonia. Tightly close the bag and let set overnight. This is sure to work on an oven grill. Another is to saturate a towel with ammonia and lay it on the bottom of the [cold] oven floor. Let set overnight. Yes, it will open your sinuses in the am, but it works. (11/29/2009)

By Cajun62234

RE: Cleaning Oven Racks

It takes a little work but I remove the top rack of my dishwasher and fit my oven and fridge racks in there. Oven racks sometimes takes 2 cycles with the dryer off but I have found it works very well instead of making such a mess trying to clean them in the sink. (12/02/2009)

By Grandma-ma

RE: Cleaning Oven Racks

Spray the racks with oven cleaner, then put in a black garbage bag (black will hold the sun's heat) and place outside for a few hours. Hose them off, good as new! (12/02/2009)

By grandma2speedy

RE: Cleaning Oven Racks

I lay ours down in the bathtub with hot soapy water all night and then IF anything is left on them the next day I take a SOS pad and finish cleaning them up. (12/02/2009)

By Paula Jo Carr