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?)