An {Almost} Effortless Way To Clean Your Oven Racks

In yesterday’s post I promised to tell you how I got my oven RACKS clean in addition to the oven itself. My first inclination was to do something similar to what I did with my stove burner pans in this past post: Cleaning Those Nasty Stove Burner Pans. I’ve read several readers’ suggestions to put the oven racks in large plastic trash bags with a splash of ammonia, close them tightly, and leave outside overnight.

But a couple of months ago I ran across THIS little snippet of an idea while I was reading about the many uses for dryer sheets:

An easy way to clean grill grates or oven racks is to line your bathtub with four used dryer sheets, set the grill or oven racks on top and fill the tub with warm water. Let sit overnight and then wipe clean . The power of the antistatic in dryer sheets helps to separate the food from the grates.

For some reason I found this intriguing (even though I don’t even BUY dryer sheets anymore), so I did a little more research on it. Apparently the anti-static agents in the dryer sheets weaken the bond between the food and the pan while the fabric softening agents soften the baked-on food. Hmmmm….makes sense. Might even be worth buying a cheapo box of dryer sheets to try it out.


So that’s what I did.  Bought a box of cheap dryer sheets at the dollar store (I think they literally cost me one dollar), put the oven racks in the bathtub, threw in about 6 or 8 dryer sheets, and covered them with hot water. For good measure I decided to pour in about half a cup of Dawn dishwashing liquid as well. I figured it couldn’t hurt. :-) I let it all soak for about 18 hours. (Although I’m sure it didn’t need to go that long.) Then with the racks still in the tub I “scrubbed” them with the dryer sheets and amazingly almost all the “gunk” came right off! For the extra tough stuff I used a scrub brush, and between the two, 99% of all the “gunk” was gone!


Unfortunately I don’t have any “before” pictures of the racks to show you. I KNOW I took some…but for the life of me…I couldn’t find them tonight. But one look at the before pictures of the OVEN from yesterday’s post, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of how BADLY they needed cleaning!

But here is a fairly decent “after” picture. (It’s not easy getting good pictures of clean oven racks for some reason.)




And THAT, my friends, is how I got my oven racks shiny and new again!


(Now what am I supposed to do with the rest of this box of dryer sheets?)



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  1. Andrea says

    Clean your baseboards! At least, that’s one of the suggested uses I’ve seen for them. I’m personally very fond of the Bounty dryer bar, and haven’t used dryer sheets in a couple years now. A small box would last me months because I could never remember to toss them in. I actually would not be surprised to start unboxing stuff that’s been in storage for the last couple years and find boxes of dryer sheets!

  2. Kimmylea says

    Thanks for posting this! I’ve been looking for a way to do this that didn’t involve heavy scrubbing or using smelly ammonia. I just cleaned my oven & haven’t gotten to the racks yet. Perfect timing :-)!

  3. says

    Dryer sheets are also supposed to repel mosquitos! You could attach them to your clothes or sort of rub them on your arms if you can stand the smell. :)

  4. Lynn says

    Rub your pet with dryer sheets. They grab onto and help remove loose pet hair. Bonus: your pet smells lovely :)

  5. Violet says

    Hi there! I just found your blog a couple weeks ago, and totally love it! However, in the last few days, there has been a Kia pop-up ad that doesn’t play nice with my tablet, obscuring the entire page on almost every post. This particular ad doesn’t seem to have an option (for me) to close it. It is especially insidious, because I get a tantalizing, 2-second glimpse into your awesome posts, and then it’s all Kia, all the time. As I type this comment, it’s chillin up there, saying, ‘c’mon girl, you don’t want a clean oven rack, you want a shiny new Kia!’

    But I really DO want to clean my oven racks!

  6. Violet says

    Sorry, I’m an abject moron…when i commented, the resulting page refresh seems to have fixed the Kia problem! I will now hide my head in shame (after I clean the oven racks). Thank you.

  7. Stinna says

    Use the rest of the dryer sheets to clean your crock pot, it makes them shine and look like new, just soak overnight in hot water with the dryer sheets.

  8. Anne says

    I have heard that you can clean you baseboards with fabric sheets but I have not tried it. But when I went to Africa, I packed the sheets all between my clothes. Everyday when I dressed, I would rub one over my arms and legs. I have been 3 times and never bitten by mosquitoes. Everyone else was bitten many times! So I know that it does work to repel mosquitoes. Unfortunately, my husband hates the small but I still keep them and put one in my picket when I go outside in the evening!
    Do you know how to make a trap to catch carpenter bees? They are all around our porches and deck and we can’t find the holes. Thanks!

  9. sarah says

    I continue to be amazed and inspired by your frugal and effective homemade household tips. Thank you for sharing


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