1. Spread old towels to protect your tub or shower from scratches, stains, and grime, then lay your oven racks on the towels.
2. Mix together a paste of a half cup baking soda and a half cup of water (making more as needed in the same ratio) and spread it over the racks.
3. Let the racks sit covered in the paste for 30 minutes. “Stubborn grease might need longer for the baking soda to work,” Christensen says.
4. Spray a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water over the racks and let them sit for another 30 minutes. Then scrub the oven racks with a soft brush or sponge.
5. Rinse your racks and let them dry.
How to clean oven racks with a trash bag
Don’t have a sink, tub, or shower in which you can or want to place your greasy, grimy oven racks? Well…that makes sense. And no problem at all, Toby Schulz has the perfect hack for you: Use a garbage bag, and preferably a big, hefty black trash bag that will resist punctures and tears.
Before you get your trash bag, though, for this method it’s best to use a degreasing soap or dedicated cleaning product; Schulz recommends Easy-Off Pro. Oh, and also, you should do this oven rack cleaning process outside, if possible, in case there are leaks.
1. Spray the racks liberally with Easy-Off Pro (or your chosen cleaning product), then put them into a trash bag—pro tip: if possible, spray them while they are already in the bag to keep all of the cleaner in play.
2. Close the bag and let the racks sit for 30 to 45 minutes, turning them over halfway to make sure the cleaning agent is moved around over all surfaces of the racks.
3. Take the racks out and scrub them with paper towels or a sponge, then wash the grease and gunk off with warm, soapy water.
4. Rinse the racks thoroughly with clean warm water (or a garden hose, if that’s the only option), then dry them with a clean towel, a microfiber cloth, or paper towels, or just let them air dry fully.
How to clean extra dirty oven racks
If your oven racks are soiled beyond what any of the rather quick and easy oven rack cleaning approaches above can help with, then the greatest solution is simply patience, Mattie Sheppard says. And note that this approach also works for most dirty grill grates.
1. Place the heavily soiled racks in a bathtub or large basin, like a storage tub you’d get from the Container Store, then fill it with hot water.
2. Add a generous amount of dish soap and a cup of white vinegar.
3. Allow the racks to soak for at least a few hours or, better yet, overnight.
4. Use a scrubbing brush, a sponge with a scrubber pad, or an old toothbrush to remove any remaining grime and rinse thoroughly.