How to Make your Oven Racks Sparkle …

How to Make your Oven Racks Sparkle 001


When was the last time you cleaned the racks in your oven? You’ll be excused if you can’t remember because, unfortunately, it’s one of those cleaning jobs that often gets overlooked. I know I sometimes forget about mine.


How to Make your Oven Racks Sparkle 002


Generally, I try to clean without using harsh chemicals but, because oven racks can get really baked on and grimy, this is one job where I do bring out the “big guns” … and, for this job, I use Cloudy Ammonia (it’s the same as regular ammonia, it just has a little soap added). Not only does it do a great job but it’s so cheap. The 1 litre bottle you see in the photo only costs $1.29 from Woolworths and for two oven racks I only used about one fifth of the bottle. Just a little side note, the bottle didn’t come with a spray nozzle, I simple used one from another cleaning product. Here’s how I use it:


  • Remove the oven racks and take them outside.


How to Make your Oven Racks Sparkle 003


  • Place them on the ground and spray generously with Cloudy Ammonia (or ammonia).


How to Make your Oven Racks Sparkle 004


  • Insert the racks into a large plastic garbage bag, folding under the opening of the bag so that it’s nicely sealed.


  • Leave in the hot sun for 1 – 2 hours.


How to Make your Oven Racks Sparkle 005


  • Remove racks from the garbage bag and give a good scrub with an abrasive scourer. I used the Vileda Power Scrub. Most of the baked on grease will simply wipe off with very little scrubbing or effort.


  • Hose off with the garden hose and leave in the sun for 10 – 15 minutes to dry, then return to the oven. Job Done!


Here are a couple of extra tips:


  • Make sure you wear rubber gloves to protect your hands as ammonia is quite strong.


  • Avoid spraying on a windy day to prevent getting ammonia in your (or someone else’s) eyes.


  • Use the ammonia outside of the house as the fumes can be quite strong. Also spray with your arm extended so that you don’t inhale any fumes.


  • Use a fairly abrasive scourer or steel wool to wipe over the racks as a regular soft sponge won’t remove enough grime.


  • Be sure to store these kind of chemicals safely and out of reach of small children. It’s also a good idea to keep the kids (and pets) away when doing this kind of cleaning job.


  • I try to clean my oven racks at least twice a year to prevent the baked on grease from building up too much otherwise it requires too much scrubbing to clean them. It’s really going to depend on how often you use your oven and the type of food you cook in it.


  • Usually one spray/scrub treatment is enough to remove all the grime but a second clean may be needed if the racks are particularly bad. Simply scrub and rinse the oven racks and then repeat if necessary.


I’ve found the ammonia treatment to be really effective and far cheaper than expensive products specifically designed for oven cleaning. It really cuts through the grease and makes an otherwise difficult job a heck of a lot easier. I honestly have to admit I’ll never fall in love with cleaning oven racks and it will forever be one of those jobs that I do simply because I have to.


So tell me, do you have any other tried and trusted methods that you’ve used to make your oven racks sparkling clean?