How To Clean Oven Racks (2 Easy Ways)

Find out how to clean oven racks with or without a bathtub. Several methods, including Dawn dish soap, vinegar, and baking soda.

If you like to cook or bake, you already know how vital it is to regularly clean your oven, including your oven racks. Over time, baked-on grease, dried food spills, and other stains accumulate. 

However, oven racks are pretty bulky and likely won't fit in your sink, which means finding an alternative place to clean them, like your bathtub. But if you don’t have a bathtub, not to worry. We’ll show you several methods for how to clean oven racks, with or without a bathtub. 


How to clean oven racks in the bathtub (2 ways)

To clean oven racks in the bathtub, create a paste of baking soda and water, apply it to the racks, and let sit for 30 minutes. Spray with vinegar and let it sit for 15 more minutes, scrub with a sponge, and rinse. For tough stains, submerge racks in warm water and Dawn dish soap for two hours. Scrub and rinse.

What you’ll need

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Old towels
  • Bathtub
  • Water
  • Sponge or non-abrasive brush
  • Spray bottle
  • Detachable shower head or a handheld sprayer (optional)

Method 1: Baking soda and vinegar

Follow these steps to clean your oven racks with baking soda and vinegar.  

Remove oven racks

Take out the oven racks from your oven and bring them to the bathtub. It's best to clean one or two racks at a time to ensure you have enough space and can handle them comfortably.

Lay racks in the bathtub

Place a few old towels at the bottom of the tub and lay your oven racks on top of the towels to protect the tub from scratches.

Create a baking soda paste

In a small bowl, mix baking soda and water to create a thick paste. You can use approximately 1/2 cup of baking soda and gradually add water until you achieve a spreadable consistency.

Apply the paste

Spread the baking soda paste evenly over the oven racks using a sponge or a brush. Ensure that every part of the oven rack, including the corners and edges, is covered with the paste.

Allow the baking soda paste to sit on the oven racks for at least 30 minutes. This gives the baking soda enough time to break down the grime.

Prepare the vinegar solution

While the baking soda paste is working, fill a spray bottle with equal parts white vinegar and water. This mixture will help to remove any remaining residue and provide additional cleaning power.

Spray the vinegar solution

After the baking soda has had enough time to sit, spray the oven racks thoroughly with the vinegar solution. The mixture will react with the baking soda and create a foaming effect, helping to loosen built-up grease and lift away the grime from the oven racks.

Allow the vinegar solution to react with the baking soda for another 15-30 minutes. 

Scrub the oven racks

Take a scrub brush or sponge and scrub the oven racks vigorously to remove any remaining dirt. Pay close attention to stubborn stains or spots that require more scrubbing.

Rinse and dry

Once you've thoroughly scrubbed the oven racks, rinse them with warm water to remove any baking soda residue and vinegar solution. You can use a detachable shower head or a handheld sprayer to ensure proper rinsing. 

After rinsing, dry the oven racks with a clean towel.

Method 2: Dawn dish soap

Dawn dish soap is known for its degreasing power, making it another great option for cleaning even the dirtiest oven racks. 

  • Like the first method, place old towels at the bottom of the tub to prevent scratches.
  • Fill the tub with warm water, enough to submerge the oven racks.
  • Add a generous amount of Dawn dish soap to the warm water.
  • Place the oven racks in the tub and fully submerge them.
  • Let the racks soak in the soapy water overnight to loosen dirt and grease.
  • Use a scrub brush or sponge to scrub the racks, focusing on stubborn stains.
  • Rinse the oven racks under warm water to remove soap residue and dirt.
  • Dry the oven racks with a clean towel. 

How to clean oven racks without a bathtub

To clean oven racks without a bathtub, place the racks on a plastic sheet and set on a flat surface. Mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water in a bowl. Use a sponge to soak the solution and apply to the racks. Let it sit for at least 2 hours, then scrub with a brush, rinse with warm water, and dry with a towel.

What you’ll need

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Large plastic sheet or garbage bag
  • Water
  • Non-abrasive sponge 
  • Scrub brush

Steps to clean

Follow these steps to clean your oven racks without a bathtub.

  • Lay a large plastic sheet or garbage bag on a flat surface. 
  • Place the racks on the prepared surface.
  • Mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and hot water in a large bowl or bucket.
  • Soak a non-abrasive sponge in the hydrogen peroxide solution. 
  • Apply solution to oven racks with a sponge, coating all surfaces thoroughly. 
  • Allow the solution to sit on oven racks for at least 2-3 hours, or overnight for tougher grease.
  • Use a scrub brush to scrub the oven racks. 
  • Once the racks are clean, rinse them thoroughly with warm water. 
  • Use a clean towel to dry the oven racks completely before placing them back in the oven.

Meanwhile, if you can’t see what you’re baking or grilling anymore, you also need to clean your oven glass. Here’s how to clean oven glass without harsh chemicals.

FAQ: Your questions about cleaning oven racks

Quick answers to your frequently asked questions about cleaning your oven racks. 

How do you clean badly stained oven racks?

To clean badly stained oven racks, create a paste with baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the stains and let it sit overnight. Then scrub with a brush, rinse thoroughly, and repeat if needed. Alternatively, use a commercial oven cleaner following the product instructions for heavily stained racks.

What is the best homemade cleaner for oven racks?

Baking soda and vinegar are very effective in cleaning oven racks. To use, make a paste of baking soda and water. Spread the paste on your oven racks and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then, spray it with vinegar and let it sit for another 15 minutes. Next, scrub with a sponge, rinse thoroughly, and dry with a clean towel.

Will Dawn dish soap clean oven racks?

Yes, Dawn dish soap can clean oven racks. It contains powerful chemical compounds that break down grease and oils on oven racks.

Keep your oven racks clean and free from stains

A pro tip for maintaining your oven racks is to wipe them down with a damp cloth after each use. This simple practice can prevent grease and grime from building up and becoming stubborn stains.

Need help keeping on top of your other house cleaning tasks? 

With Homeaglow, you can easily book an affordable, top-rated cleaner in your area. Read reviews, compare your options, and schedule online in minutes.

Cleaning model putting rubber gloves on

Book a top-rated cleaner in 3 easy steps

Cleaning model putting rubber gloves on
Pick a date and time
Whether you need a cleaning tomorrow or next month, there's always a cleaner that fits your schedule.
Choose your cleaner
Browse the profiles and images of cleaners before selecting the right one for your home.
Enjoy your clean home
Your cleaner will arrive at the scheduled time and give your home a cleaning you'll love.

Affordable, professional cleaners in your area

Choose from a range of 5-star cleaners at a reasonable price.
Book your first 3 hour cleaning for only $19.

Top-rated cleaners

Pick from Huntington Beach’s best cleaners. All reviewed, background-checked, and certified.

Affordable rates

The best cleaning prices you’ll find in Huntington Beach. Get your first clean for as low as $9.

Easy, online booking

Book a time that suits you with our easy online booking platform for Huntington Beach.

Reclaim your time and give yourself the clean home you’ll love