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How do you clean your oven racks?

Posted by kawfeeaddict (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 11, 06 at 6:00

I just ran the self-cleaning feature on my Gaggenau oven but the directions say to remove the racks. The oven is now spotless but the racks a mess. My first thought was to use steel wool pads but I'm afraid it will scratch them, making future cleaning even harder.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

Why not spray with oven cleaner, let it soak, then wipe off? I've never used a self-clean feature. That method has always worked pretty darn well for me!

Jean Marie


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

I've heard of people putting their racks in a trash bag overnight with some ammonia, but I've never done it and don't know if it would hurt your racks or not.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

I'm guessing that it is because the racks are chromed and the high heat from the self cleaning cycle dulls the finish but they will still be functional and somewhat, just no longer brightly so. Try oven cleaner or the ammonia soak. If they are aluminum, DO NOT use oven cleaner. Best to find what they are made of before attempting anything too caustic.

If they are chromed and you don't mind losing the shine, go ahead and leave them in the oven when you run the cycle.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

I put newspaper down on the driveway and put the racks on the paper Spray them with oven cleaner. Wait till the grime disolves and then hose them down. Wipe dry with a miracle cloth.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

Lay an old towel in bathtub place oven racks on top and fill with enough hot water to cover racks. Add a squirt of dishwashing liquid. Soak for about 20 minutes or longer and use an sos pad all the gunk comes right off.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

I just read about using ammonia in a bag to clean them...but where??? I'm thinking they left a bowl of ammonia in an unheated oven overnight and then cleaned the racks in the morning. The idea right above (towels in the bathtub) might work better with ammonia on the towels.

Ammonia reacts with fats to turn them into a poor quality soap salt (soap is a salt by the technical chemical definition - sodium tallowate). Once the burned on fats have a soapy quality, they are slightly more easily removed with plastic scrubbers instead of steel scrubbers.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

I just leave them in the oven when I run the self-cleaning cycle. Yes, it darkens the metal a bit, but they're spotlessly clean, without me having to do any work to get them that way.

I also put the racks from the burners in the oven, as well as my cast iron (when I want to clean it off and reseason it). As a matter of fact, I'm planning on running the oven's cycle tomorrow and giving my cast iron wok a good cleaning.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

I just got finished doing this myself. I got this tip from the Queen of Clean website. Put the oven rack in the bathtub, cover it just enough with hot water and pour a cup of granular dishwasher soap and let it soak for an hour. I left mine in overnight and the grit and grime literally floated off. I was pleasantly surprised. I wiped them down with an old wash cloth and rinsed them off in clean wather, dried them off and in the oven they went. Simple and effective.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

Gotta share this.

Sometimes I have to clean a stove/oven that is really cruddy. I mean several years of non cleaning. Baked on black around the burner areas and the oven....undescribable.

Sometimes, purchasing new racks is the best idea. They aren't that expensive.

I have a cordless drill and I buy a wire (brass) brush for it. Wear goggles and work on a large paper or cardboard mat and let the rotating brush attack the burned on residue after a good soaking. Cleans up pretty well. Around burners I have even used a chisel and tap it with a hammer to loosen the black caked on messes. Surprising how tuff the enamel is. Haven't chipped it yet but be careful at what angle you set the chisel. A putty knife works for the area below the burners if it is real greasy. Then some chemical once you get most of the junk out.

Extreme? yes, but it works. Why the brass brush? It is softer than steel and won't scratch the enamel or chrome.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

I used to clean "Base Housing" white glove clean. I would put the oven racks and burner racks in a heavy duty garbage bag add a half a quart of amonia and let sit over night. (sit outside or in tub in case of a leak) Then in the morning just spray them off with the water hose..sparkling clean racks..oh that brings back memories!!


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

I was searching on an easier way to clean my oven racks and came across this thread. I had always scoured and even resorted to scraping with a knife but this is very time consuming. So I tried Kristanne's suggestion mainly because it sounded simple and didn't have to deal with fumes and chemicals. She's right, the grime just lifted off and any that may be left just clean up with a rag. Thanks a bunch! You saved me a lot of time!


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

I'm going to try that on a crusty black, broiler pan I have. What brand did you use? Some dishwasher detergents have enzymes added and some don't. Even Cascade makes a 'regular' and and 'ultra' with added power boosters.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

Wow you guys.....I'm so excited that someone tried my handy hint and it worked for them too! Anyway, getting back to this latest question....I used Members Mark which is from Sam's Club but ANY granular dishwasher soap will do. I checked the ingredients and it DOES have the enzymes in it, lemon scent too. I also want to mention that if you're worried about scratching the bottom of your tub to lay a junky towel under your oven rack or broiler pan. I've never tried it with anything other than my chrome oven racks so if bud_wi could please post back to let us know how that broiler pan turned out I'd really appreciate it.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

My oven racks never get dirty. Maybe it's because I rarely use my oven. I have had my oven for two years and never cleaned it.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

I found this discussion while searching to find a way to clean 6 years worth of baked on grease off of the broiler pan that came with our apartment stove. It was so bad that I covered it with foil every time we used it, because it wouldn't clean - so of course stray drips from our cooking added to the mess, and we used it a lot. After a week of scrubbing, I had almost given up and was searching for a replacement pan.

I give it one more try - I bought two gallons of commercial (not household) ammonia from Ace Hardware, put the pan inside a heavy duty trash bag, covered it in all the ammonia tied it shut and sat the bag inside a plastic laundry bag in the garage (to prevent the bag from getting a hole it it. The laundry basket also kept the ammonia covering the pan by preventing the bag from spreading out flat. I let it set for two days (one more than intended, but we didn't get home until nearly 10 pm the first day). Last night my husband took the hose and hosed it down with the power sprayer on the end, and it came right off! Definitely the way to go, although you have to be careful of the splatter when you use the power nozzle on the hose, not to get it on your self.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

wow, did that DW powder soak save me time and trouble.
racks in Therma look like new.

now has anyone an idea how to clean the outside area that self cleaning doesn't hit or the glass? Regular oven spray or something a bit less chemical?


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

One to two teaspoons of dishwasher detergent sprinkled in a baking dish and covered with water works wonders too. That is how I clean all my pans that get terribly messy with baked on food, such as lasanga pans, enchiladas, baked egg, etc. I just let them soak with the dishwasher detergent and water for a while and they wash clean.

I never thought about my oven racks. I think I will try that tomorrow :) Might shock everyone around here ;)


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

I have to try this. So how do I know if my dishwasher detergent has enezmes. I use Cascade. That sounds easier than the ammonia. But I do know that ammonia is great at removing grease.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

Previously mentioned Ammonia (not the household type): Years ago I read in some womens magazine that ammonia would remove paint from fabric. I knew nothing about ammonia and had gotten paint on a favorite polyester dress. Hey, I said it was years ago.

As bad luck would have it, my sister worked in a chemical plant (in the office and didn't know anything about it either) and was able to bring me a tiny bottle of ammonia. In the seconds that bottle was open and I dribbled it on the spot the whole basement filled with fumes so strong I couldn't breathe. Just darn lucky I was still able to cover it quickly.

Since the previously mentioned ammonia came from Ace Hardware in gallon jugs, I'm pretty sure it couldn't have been nearly as potent as what I had. But please be careful with any kind of ammonia. Read directions carefully. I now/still use household ammonia for exactly what is being discussed all the time. It works great.

Oh, and by the way, it did take the paint off the dress. In fact it ate holes in it the size of half dollars. Sandy


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

In reply to Fritzgarden: I use glass cooktop polishing creme on the glass and other areas of the oven door that
the self-cleaning cycle doesn't get.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

My oven racks aren't that bad. I guess because whenever anytthing I cook overflows, it goes all the way to the bottom of the oven. Be careful using the self-clean feature. I set potholders near the exhaust of my oven and one caught on fire while it was cleaning. Luckily, I was right there and had a sink full of water nearby.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

Someone mentioned soaking in the bathtub. I have done that.

Someone mention power wash after soaking. I wonder -- some power washers might do the job without soaking.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

Put the oven racks into a large, heavy plastic bag, spray them with Easy Off Oven Cleaner -- the stuff that comes in the blue can, not that real toxic stuff that requires the use of gloves. Close up the bag, leave it overnight or longer. All the crud should wash off easily. Better rinse in the tub or shower because you don't want that gunk going down the storm drain to the ocean. Oven cleaner works great for baked-on crud, but don't use it on aluminum.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

Trekker,
After spending an hour scrubbing and using a razor blade on the oven rack which stilled looked awful, I read your post. I put another one in a garbage bag with the oven spray overnight. This a.m. the crud just rinsed off. It looks brand-new. Thank you for sharing the great tip.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

I hate ammonia -- the smell is just awful.

Does anyone have any tips for getting the inside glass oven window really clean?


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

I usually just leave them in the oven while it is self-cleaning. Yes, this discolors them a bit, but they are clean afterward.

I know Heloise advocates the ammonia in a trash bag idea. I like the d/w detergent tip, too. I think I'll try it, since I have a new oven. Thanks, Kristiann. :-)


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

I left my racks in the oven and now they are dull and do not slide. Any suggestions on how to help them slide again? They stick awfully.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

I would love to know how to clean the inside of the glass as well - on the door. How does that get dirty anyway? I am going to go clean my oven now after reading this thread. And I will try the rack in the bag method.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

If you have a self-cleaning oven, this is the best way to clean the racks and it will keep them shiney and new-looking. Granted, you have to have the right equipment, but it was done with very little effort. Take your racks and place them in the bathtub which is lined with an old throw-away towel. Turn the water to the hottest and fill to cover completely. Add a cup of dishwashing powder and let them soak for a few hours or even overnight. After they have soaked, take them outside and pressure wash.

When I dry mine, I usually notice about 6-8 little black pieces that didn't come off. I use a little knife, and they just pop off. No scrubbing, no rubber gloves, no newspapers, no fumes or bad smells. You just throw away the towel, and rinse out the tub. My racks are shiny and look like new.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

I'm about to clean my oven for the first time--I won't say how old it is :-). Actually, it's not too bad, thank goodness.

I already have the inside of the glass clean. I tried what I read elsewhere on this forum, combining suggestions into this: Wet the glass with vinegar then liberally coated it with baking soda and let it sit a few hours. I scrubbed with a scrubbie, but that didn't do too much. I then tried a razor blade scraper and it got right through the moistened splatter/streaks. I followed up with a repeat of the first attempt and it's spotless now.

I've never used the self-cleaning option before, so it sort of scares me (might wait til hubby gets home from his trip before I run it).

Now to clean the racks. I think I'll try the dishwasher detergent first (no bad fumes), but have to go buy the powder type since I use the liquid in my d/w. However, if I have to resort to the ammonia, can anyone tell me where it's safe to dispose of the used ammonia? I'm guessing down the drain?

Oh, another question about the ammonia method. Do the racks have to be submerged in the ammonia or do fumes contribute to the cleaning power? Can the ammonia be "re-used" on the burner grates (gas stove top) which have caked on black gunk in the hard-to-reeach corners?

Thanks!
Tracey


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

I just cleaned my oven and used Kristiannes' method of the dishwasher granules in the bathtub for the racks, OMG what a way to go! No muss, No fuss. I did lay an old towel in the bottom of the tub to protect it. Everything melted off within an hour! I wiped them down with a sponge and rinsed and dried, they sparkle like brand new! The tub rinsed right out without any mess or ring either! Also Maryannes' idea to use the stove top cleaner/polish on inside door and window is genius! Thanks soooo much, I'm telling all my friends. I clean houses and my client's will be so happy!


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

Like Bodesode, my racks also don't slide anymore. anything that might help? I don't want to use silicone spray because I'll be outting food in that oven :-), and something like vegetable oil will burn on.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

My (GE) manual recommends using veg or cooking oil (on a paper towel to wipe the rack edges) to make them slide again after a self-cleaning cycle. I take my racks out for the SC cycle but if I had to, I'd use a tiny amount of oil so it didn't smoke horribly when heated.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

I just saw this thread after I had posted a similar question on the "kitchen forum". Most of my questions have been answered, but I still have a few more. My oven is not self cleaning and the inside is porcelain enamel. Does anyone know what might work well for baked in stains? I'm also wondering if easy off would be safe to use on the porcelain enamel. The stove top surface is stainless steel. The bon ami worked pretty well, but I still have some faint brown colored stains from some sauce my husband let spill over and catch on fire. I'm also looking for advise on what works best to clean the cast ion grates (probably an SOS pad). The stove is fairly new so I just don't want to damage it.
TIA,
Robin


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

The powdered dishwasher detergent method did not work for me (used Cascade Complete). Next up: Easy Off oven cleaner...


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

I put them in a trash bag, spray them with over cleaner, seal up the bag and let them sit overnight. Next day, just rinse. Everything falls right off and they're perfect.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

I use Dawn Power Dissolver. It is sold at WalMart...paid $2.62 for it today. Take oven racks and put them where you have a large area...bathtub or driveway. I put mine just across my sink and sprayed away. It took 15 min and I was able to wash it all right off with very little light wiping. Some smaller areas took another treatment. The Power Dissolver is a pretreat for dishes and pans. It is sold not where the liquid detergent is, but where the Jet Dry etc is.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

Okay, I know it was identified as "spam" - which I still am oblivious to, but I am curious. I refuse to use Easy-Off because of how toxic that stuff is. But, I need to figure out something to use. I have been running the self-cleaning cycle, but I just do not feel like it works that well. I would like a more natural approach to cleaning my oven than Easy-Off, or anything that uses chemicals or emits toxins. Please help!! Does steam cleaning really work in the oven?? Any other suggestions?? I know I cannot be the only person out there who wants an alternative to the dangerous products.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

Thank you 100x's over for the tip with the dishwasher soap!!! I couldn't believe the reusults after 20 minutes. The grime literally lifted away. I used 3 dishwasher tablets. All I can say is A-MA-ZING. Thank you, thank you, thank you :)


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RE: How do you clean your oven?

An easy way to clean your oven is:

3 teaspoons baking soda (Bi Carb)
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 cup water

Bring to boil and paint on oven. Heat oven to 350degrees F. Let oven cool and then wipe out.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

I tried the ammonia and trash bag thingy a couple of weeks ago when I cleaned my oven and was surprised how well that worked. I put it outside on the patio over night and what little junk was left on them, was easy to wipe off.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

i have stainless gas grill grates. its the vee style slats, not a rod or tubular style. i use spray oven cleaner and put them in a plastic bag. takes a day or 2. the top surface seems to clean ok but the underside is untouched. out of sight, out of mind but i want to clean it also. just spray and let it sit some more?


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

Well im giving the bath tub with DW powder in it. I didnt have the granulated stuff, only those power ball things, so put two in. Hope it works. Will check and update in the morning. Thanks so much!! :D


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

i use spray oven cleaner. it is easy to clean


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

The dishwaser detergent in the bathtub trick really worked! My rack is cleaned only twice a year even though my oven is used regularly. I use only 1 rack all of the time so I don't have to bother with cleaning more than one. The unused ones are not stored in the oven so they don't get dirty. I used only 1/2 cup of Cascade and a SOS pad and soaked for only 2 hours in very hot water. My drain slowed because of the SOS debris and I had to use Liquid Plumber. Doubling the Cascade and a longer soak would've probably eliminated the need for the SOS pad. Anyway, this method was great and did not harm the finish on my porcelain tub which was a concern of mine. I wouldn't hesitate to do this again.

About cushioning the racks in the tub, I used sponges on the four corners. Since I use microfiber cloths for almost everything now, I almost threw the sponges out. So glad I saved them. It was so easy to rinse them out instead of a towel. I didn't feel comfortable throwing the towel in the wash with any residual dishwashing detergent still on it.

Thanks to kristianne for the cleaning tip posted 5-1/2 years ago.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

And Thank YOU pandorathecat for mentioning what by now - at 63 years - should have been a no brainer. :-) Why am I putting two racks in the oven (to get dirty) when I mostly ever use one? I actually have three but have always stored the 3rd one but why don't I store two? Seems a simple concept I should have picked up on several decades ago. LOL!! TY for sharing that.
I do use the amonia/towel/bathtub method which works pretty well if the racks aren't totally gross. I may give the DW detergent method a go next time just to see if it does a better job. At the least it won't be so overpowering odour wise. :-)


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

You're welcome holly! Sometimes it's the simple solutions that can be so elusive. For the longest time, I couldn't find a hair trap to fit over my tub drain. I always had to "make do" with less than ideal traps. Most of them are too short and the ones that fit usually shrink in height over time. There's a knob on my drain that prevents traps from sitting totally flush on the tub floor. Well, I finally figured out that all I had to do was cut a small hole in the trap (cut away little by little for a tight fit) so that now it fits perfectly and the trap sits flush on the floor allowing it to do what it's supposed to do: trap hair! It was worth the frustration because it led me to find a solution using one of the better hair traps on the market. I don't think I'll ever need Drano again for slow drains caused by hair. So you see, a simple concept eluded me too! :)


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

I'm one of the amonia and plastic bag fans. It works like a charm and I do it outside on a sunny day and just leave it lay there. By the way, the same method will do wonders for your grill grates.

I also buy the janitorial amonia from Ace Hardware. It really does the job.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

I leave them in the oven when I set the oven to clean. Their color changes, but that's okay with. I have cleaned enough ovens in my day.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

I have only ever used ammonia. fill laundry tub with hot water and litre of ammonia, completely cover racks, let soak for a few hours or overnight. if tub is not large enough to cover completely, rotate after a few hours, then a metal scourer to scrub, very easy. do this only in a well ventilated room


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

I decided to try the bathtub with powdered dishwasher soap also. I literally just started the process. I didn't have "powdered" but I had Finish PowerBall tablets, so I put them in a bag and crushed them (it took 9 to get a full cup) then added it to my steaming hot water and what happened next amazed me! As soon as the powder hit the water the water instantly turned brown and gunk started floating off, if it did that within seconds I'm willing to bet it will continue to work wonders! Not sure if its for all ovens but one reason they say to pull the racks out during self cleaning is because the high heat makes metal expand, and sometimes that will warp your racks (I experienced this first hand once, it stinks having warped racks), so I never leave my racks in the oven anymore. :-) I will post a follow up when the process is finished, I just wanted to thank you for posting the suggestion and I'm excited to see the final outcome! :-)


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

First remove them from the oven ,put them in a trash bag with 1 cup of ammonia and seal them for overnight.Next day scrub them with hot water. simple n easy way ...


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

Boy, I'm glad that the Powdered Dish Soap method was posted here for me to find. Wish I had known about this this 40 years ago! I just laid towels on the bottom of the tub, as to not scratch it, added enough water to cover the racks and added the Powdered Dish Soap. I let them soak all day while I worked. Great timing for all of this weeks baking coming up. If a pie boils over it won't bother me in the least.


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RE: How do you clean your oven racks?

The other day we had a mess from some Taco dinner and our daughter said mom just let them soak and Dawn (dish soap) would do the job.
So today I was reading all the posts on oven racks and I thought by golly I am going to try the Dawn dish soap and I let the racks sit in the hot Dawn soap water for 30 minutes and oh my they came out wonderful. This really surprised me. I did take an sos pad on the really tuff burnt on, but that came off good too. I also like the posting why leave all the racks in the oven as you don't use them all very often and that would save a lot of work.


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