The oven is perhaps the most frequently used appliance in your home, and there's a good chance your oven racks are covered in sticky grime, baked-on grease and burnt pieces of food.
The mechanism which an oven employs to cook food is similar to that of a furnace. The oven envelopes your food entirely with dry heat produced at a very high temperature. As the contents cook, they tend to sputter, sizzle, bubble and boil. Some cooking methods result in heavier or more frequent staining, such as broiling meat with high fat content or spilling acidic foods.
The oven's interior is the easiest thing to forget to clean. As soon as your food comes out, you can shut the oven door and the mess becomes out of sight, out of mind. Unfortunately, putting off cleaning oven racks will only delay the inevitable, and increase the amount of work needed to remove layers of baked-on food debris and grease. Dirty oven racks could also catch fire more easily. Clean ovens distribute heat more efficiently, which both reduces the amount of fuel or energy needed to power the oven and cooks your food more evenly.
Many ovens come equipped with a self-cleaning functionality, but this can end up damaging racks over time and can even lead to carbon monoxide buildup. Other methods include soaking your racks in a cup of ammonia in a sealed garbage bag, and cleaning with commercial oven cleaners. However, both of these produce toxic fumes and would require the use of protective gloves. In addition, cleaning with baking soda or soaking in a bathtub with dish soap and dryer sheets can both leave a film behind, which doesn't tend to clean stainless steel very well.
Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner's non-toxic and biodegradable formula* provides guaranteed cleaning and degreasing without the need for protective gloves or safety goggles. It removes tough stains, grime, grease and lingering odors without bleach or harsh chemicals found in many other cleaners.
Use the following steps to clean the racks every few months and keep them looking clean and shiny.
Directions for Cleaning Oven Racks:
- Prepare your bathtub. Line the bottom of your bathtub with two old towels. This is important to keep the racks from scratching the surface of the tub.
- Immerse your oven racks. Fill the tub with just enough hot water to cover the racks. Run the water as hot as possible, as warm water will not loosen the stuck-on gunk as well.
- Add Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner. Pour in 2 cups of Simple Green to the hot water and swish it around.
- Soak. Allow the racks to sit overnight.
- Scrub the racks if necessary. After soaking, use a non-abrasive scrub brush or sponge to remove any remaining gunk and stains.
- Rinse clean and dry. Rinse the racks with clean water and dry completely before replacing them in the oven.
TIP: Rinse the bathtub after you've removed the clean racks and spray it down with full strength Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner. Then rinse the cleaner and all of the leftover oven rack mess down the drain.
*This formula is orally non-toxic per The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals and readily biodegradable per OECD 301D.