There is a surprising amount of people in the world who do not seem to realise just how important it is to clean one’s oven out on a regular basis. For some people, it might be a case of simply not wanting to clean the oven, as it can be a gruelling task. For other people, it might be a case of not realising the difference that it can make for the oven’s health in the long run. When it comes to cleaning the oven, it is fairly straightforward to remove the food debris from the bottom and make sure that the back and sides are clean, but cleaning the oven racks themselves can seem like another beast to tackle.
With their unique shape, oven racks have a tendency to trap food and food debris on them in ways that can be annoying to clean. Putting them in the dishwasher with that much food debris on them is often out of the question and there are times when the food seems to be fused with the metal itself. To get your oven cleaner, you are going to want to make sure that you know how to clean your oven racks. Thankfully, there are a few different ways that you can get this done, depending on the supplies that you have with you.
Soaking the Racks
One of the easiest and most effective ways of choosing to clean oven racks is to treat them as you would any other dish with food caked onto it: soaking. While you might have some trouble finding a place for the oven racks that is large enough to allow for them to soak, many people who use this method find that soaking them in the bathtub works well as long as you line the tub with dryer sheets. Once you have the bathtub lined with dryer sheets, you will want to fill the tub with just enough warm water to cover the racks themselves, and you will want to add about half a cup of dish soap to them. You can let them sit overnight.
In the morning, you should drain the tub and you can begin wiping down the soaked racks with the dryer sheets that were also soaking in the dish soap water. The reason why you will want to use dryer sheets is that their anti-static nature helps to separate the food from the metal through diluting the bond between them. Food that is caked and baked onto the rack can also be loosened to some degree by the fabric-softening agents of the dryer sheets. After some thorough wiping down, you can clean the tub with ease, put the racks back into the oven, and be proud of your clean oven.
A similar method that you could try is to use the same idea of soaking the racks in the tub, but this time you will be making use of baking soda and vinegar instead. You will want to start the same way, placing the racks into the tub without any water. You will want to sprinkle baking soda on them and douse them in vinegar as these are both well-known cleaning agents. You can also consider adding some kosher salt if you know that you have some stubborn spots on the rack, as this can add some abrasiveness to the scrub.
The mixture will foam for a little bit and once it stops foaming, you will want to run hot water into the tub until it covers the racks, and you will let this all sit overnight. In the morning, you will want to scrub the racks clean with a dish towel that you don’t mind getting stains on. This will remove most of the grease and grime that has built onto the racks. For more specific spots of cooked food, you can use an old toothbrush or a brush that has firm bristles (that won’t be used for your hair). Remember to give the oven racks a thorough rinse before you put them back into the oven.