The Easy Way to Clean Oven Racks

Once upon a Sunday, I cooked up a turkey for a Thanksgiving Part Two. This turkey was tented tightly to keep the bird nice and juicy, which it was. However, despite my best attempts to seal in all of the juices, that bird leaked all over the bottom of my oven. Smoke  slowly leaked for hours into the kitchen and dining room. After opening a few doors and windows to prevent the fire alarm from going off I knew I’d have to clean my oven. But cleaning the oven shouldn’t be too bad with my super grease cutting homemade cleaner. As for the oven racks? They usually get neglected, but after seeing this tip float around for a while, I had to try it.


Blech, you can just see and almost feel the sticky, burnt mess on there. All you need to loosen and remove that greasy gunk is some fabric softener sheets. Like these ones that cost me about $1.50 with tax.


Then you follow these simple steps. (For the record, I will be showing photos of both racks and one will be cleaner than the other.)

  1. Put your dirty oven racks in the tub, unless you have a large enough sink to accommodate them.

    Clean Oven Racks

    Oven rack #1, holder of the turkey. Also seen in the “pin friendly” image above.

  2. Fill tub with hot water.
  3. Place a couple, 5, or 8 sheets into the water. I used five because it’s an easy adding number.
  4. Let it soak for a few hours and curse at electronics work on other projects while you wait. (I don’t curse, I mutter and glare.)

    Easy Oven Rack Cleaner

    This rack is not the same one as pictured above, we’ll name it oven rack #2. This one just happen to have an identifiable and comparable grease spot.

  5. Rub and scrub the greasy mess away.

After the initial soak the grease “peeled” off when I rubbed it with the fabric softener sheets instantly revealing the shiny steel beneath. I did soak them in hot soapy water after to help remove some of the more stubborn grease followed by a good scrubbing with a green scouring pad. The additional soak is completely up to you, or you could just add the soap to the initial soak. I do recommend the soap if your oven racks are exceptionally greasy.

Clean Oven Rack

Oven rack #1, to give you hope of what your oven racks could look like.

I must say I was quite impressed at how well this worked. I never thought that grease would just peel and melt away from getting friendly with fabric softener sheets. Typically I soak them in soapy water and scrub for hours to get the racks to look this good. I spent about five minutes rubbing and scrubbing each oven rack and got these results. And because I’m a rebel, I didn’t wear rubber glove while cleaning the oven racks.

Happy Cleaning!


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42 thoughts on “The Easy Way to Clean Oven Racks

  1. Silly question but are these fabric softener sheets the ones you would put in a tumble drying. Just thoughtn I’d check as sometimes things can be different in the Uk to the USA. Thanks

  2. Wow, I’ll defiantly give this s try my oven racks are WAY worse that yours. I will however wear gloves because I am a good girl! It’ll be a fun job for my day off!!!
    Is the bath difficult to clean afterwards or is most of the gunk on the cloths that you do the scrubbing part with?

  3. What a great idea! I’m thinking this method would also work on a roasting pan rack. I often roast chicken on a rack that I place in my roasting pan, and it gets so greasy. I’ve tried soaking and scrubbing, but I can’t get it clean. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I have cleaned the inside of my oven lots of times and said that I would come back and clean the shelves and only gotten the shelves cleaned once. They are really gross and now I am going to have to get some fabric softener sheets to do this!!! Looks so much better (of course I would like to actually keep my oven clean but since that doesn’t seem possible, this is a great second choice).

  5. Pingback: Framed Dimensional Heart | Project Inspire{d} Week 50 & Features - An Extraordinary Day

  6. I love this idea …. and as crazy as it sounds, I can’t wait to try it :) Just stopping by to let you know that you’re being featured at Freedom Fridays- and this week’s party is live if you’d like to stop by and grab a button or link up this week! Have a great weekend!

  7. I generally put my oven racks in a kitchen a size trash bag with about 2 cups of ammonia and tie top shut, put outside. Let it sit for a couple of hours, a light swish with a rag and the quick squirt of the hose. Pretty as new.

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