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. Sade says

    Hi Jill, thanks for all your hard work and great posts on cleaning! Thanks to you, my kitchen floor (Vinyl) that’s 20+ years old looks brand new!-I’m loving it! I am so inspired by all your cleaning tips. Love the baking soda for deoderant-it works great. To the comment about using a dryer sheet on your pets-when they ‘clean’ (lick) themselves, they will ingest the toxic dryer sheet chemicals. Same goes if you rub the dryer sheet on your skin–our skin absorbs 60% of everything we put on it. I try to remember what I heard once, from a crunchy granola friend : If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put put on your skin. Makes sense to me. Now I’m actually looking forward to cleaning my oven racks! Love your Website!

  2. Evelyn says

    I like putting a drier sheet inside my vacuum cleaner. When it runs, it spreads that lovely smell everywhere it goes. Drier sheets make great sachets for underwear drawers.

  3. sarah says

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

  4. 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!

    • says

      I like to pack fabric sheets in my luggage too. I have not tried it to repel mosquitoes. Fabric sheets would smell much better than most repellents!

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

    • 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.

    • Linda says

      Violet – disable pop-ups. You can do that (depending on your browser) in the tools section of your browser.

  7. Lynn says

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

    • Laura says

      Um, NEVER rub your pet with dryer sheets! Dryer sheets are toxic. Would you let your child chew on one? No? Then don’t rub your pet with one because they’ll lick those chemicals off of their fur.

      • Anne says

        someone said =Would you let your child chew on one? When my son was young, he grabbed one off the couch and was chewing it. I called poison control and they said they had never had a child do that and they had to call the manufacturer to find out what to do! He was into everything!

      • Pam says

        I wouldn’t rub them on my dog, but I do rub them on my legs and arms during the mosquito months an it stops them from biting :-)

    • Linda says

      One of the reasons canine cancer has increased drastically over the last 30 years is because of all of the chemicals we user in our homes. Think about it. When we spray cleaners, use dryer sheets those chemicals fall down to the floor. Where do our pets live? On our floors. The poor creatures inhale, ingest the chemicals. It’s as simple as that. Do not rub your pets with dryer sheets. Don’t use dryer sheets period. Vinegar in the last rinse cycle will soften your clothes. Save yourself a lot of money and save your pets by not purchasing spray cleaners for your home.

      • AB says

        Dryer sheets are a petroleum product and should not be used for anything. I must admit though, I’m tempted to use them in as instructed for cleaning my over racks.

      • Nancy Asberry says

        Just wanted to respond to this comment about petroleum products.

        The very computer monitor you are seeing this site on is a petroleum product. So, by your own statement that petroleum products should not be used for anything, you should stop using computers.


      • Ellen says

        The drawback to putting the dryer sheets on your body or your pet’s body is that the chemicals in the dryer sheets are endocrine disruptors. Personally, I want nothing to do with such harmful chemicals. Most plastics fall into this category as well.

    • Rebecca says

      And if they DO repel mosquitos, as a previous post said, only better for the animals!!!!

    • Rebecca says

      And, as a previous post said, dryer sheet repel mosquitos. Double win!!!! Happy pets.

  8. 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. :)

    • Ellen says

      The drawback to putting the dryer sheets on your body or your pet’s body is that the chemicals in the dryer sheets are endocrine disruptors. Personally, I want nothing to do with such harmful chemicals. Most plastics fall into this category as well.

  9. 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 :-)!

  10. 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!

    • Irene Plonka says

      Like your idea of cleaning the oven. will definitely try it. Re: rack cleaning, do not
      understand why anyone would use the bathtub to clean greasy, grimy racks.
      Then you have to scrub your tub and avoid the slippery mess?
      I like the black bag method, in summer put the racks in with warm water and ammonia, (or dryer sheets) then leave in the sun for a few hours. Same results?

      • Rebecca says

        Well, my yard is totally shade!!! It might work on a very hot day. Yes, I DID realize that after soaking my racks that then I had to clean my tub, but it was time anyway. One thing I did wrong by not paying attention ….. the instructions were to scrub the racks while still underwater. I took mine out and scrubbed them. It was definite harder, and took longer, but still worked. So remember to scrub your racks underwater!!!!!!