Cleaning oven racks is one of those chores that most people put off for a while until the problem becomes too egregious to ignore. It's easy to not clean oven racks after every use, and the fact is that plenty of times oven racks don't necessarily need to be cleaned. However, months and even years of baked-on grease and spilled food, oil and other cooking by-products can create caked-on grease that can be difficult to remove. Fortunately, with a few household ingredients and a little elbow grease, you can get your oven racks looking shiny and new.
Cleaning Inside an Oven
The inside of an oven is a prime place for buildup. Spills bubble over from dishes that are cooking. Oil and grease evaporate from food and collect along the walls, as well as on the racks of the oven itself. Many people opt to use oven cleaners on the interior of their oven to get rid of any buildup with the least amount of effort possible. However, many of these cleaners have several chemicals in them that may not be wholly natural.
In the interest of health and safety, many people opt to clean oven glass door vinegar with a solution made from 1 part white vinegar and 3 parts clean filtered water. The vinegar loosens the grease on the door without adding any chemicals to the mix that may stay on the interior of the oven and heat up when you cook, causing the chemicals to mingle with the food.
As far as oven cleaners go, there are some natural options that use nontoxic chemicals. But before buying a commercial cleaner, attempt to clean the doors of your oven with a mixture of the vinegar solution applied to baking soda. Baking soda is an abrasive that easily and safely can scrape away any buildup or grease that has accrued over time.
Oven Glass Cleaner WD-40
WD-4o is one of the most popular commercial items on the market. It was initially developed in California for a rocket company that needed to use a rust-preventative degreasing agent on their equipment and on what they were building. Fortunately, the product has a wide-variety of non-rocket applications and is a very popular cleaning agent. There are numerous WD-40 tricks, including many WD-40 uses on cars, but also numerous cleaning hacks that use WD-4o inside your home.
WD-40 is a lubricant that removes moisture and buildup, and can penetrate beneath the surface of gathered buildup that causes rust, crusting, and limescale. For this reason, WD-40 limescale remover is a popular choice for heavily limed bathrooms and sinks. WD-40 is safe for almost every household surface, except for some plastics that may not withstand the chemicals.
Cleaning Oven Racks With WD-40
One of the handiest WD-40 tricks is to use it to clean an oven's interior surface and the oven racks. Simply spray WD-40 all over the interior surface of the oven. After a few moments, use a damp sponge or a sturdy clean cloth to wipe the surface clean. Afterward, clean the surface gently with soap and water. Spraying WD-40 on the interior of your oven door and oven walls will make it more resistant to buildup.
Cleaning oven racks is a similar matter. Spray WD-40 onto a slightly damp sponge and run the sponge over the racks until all buildup is removed. Especially stubborn grease buildup on racks may require additional applications of WD-40 directly to the surface of the rack.
Once you have removed the caked-on grease from the oven racks, rinse them with fresh water and dry them thoroughly. Applying a coat of WD-40 to the racks before returning them to the oven can help prevent buildup from gathering in the future.
Ashley Friedman is a freelance writer with experience working in the home, design and interiors space.