How to Restore Shine to Oven Racks


If you regularly use an oven, you have most likely had to face the undesirable task of cleaning baked-on or burned food particles from the rails of the oven rack. In addition, after a year or more of using a new oven, you may begin to notice that the rack itself (even when free of food particles) begins to lose its luster and shine. Luckily, with a few products that you may already have in your home, you can both clean your oven rack and restore its shine.

Things You'll Need

  • Steel cleaning pad
  • Sponge
  • Dish soap
  • Old bath towel
  • Ammonia
  • Pull the oven rack out of your oven gently. Make sure that the oven is not on and the rack is cool before you try to touch it and clean it. Though you may have more than one oven rack you wish to clean and shine, clean only one at a time.

  • Place your oven rack into your kitchen sink.

  • Scrub the places on your oven rack where there are burned food particles with a steel pad or sponge. With a little bit of repetitive scrubbing you should be able to clean off most of the food particles that are stuck on the rack.

  • Rinse the oven rack with warm water. If food particles remain, continue to scrub with a small amount of dish soap before rinsing the oven rack again.

  • Fill your bathtub (or tub larger than your oven rack) with warm water and ammonia. Open a window or turn on the ventilation fan to keep the ammonia fumes down. Depending on the size of your bathtub, you can add 1 cup of ammonia if only filling the bathtub one-quarter full.

  • Wrap your oven rack completely in an old bath towel that you do not plan to use again or that you use for cleaning.

  • Place the oven rack into the bathtub and let it soak for several hours.

  • Unwrap your oven rack and rinse it with warm water and soap. You should notice that the shine has returned. If the oven rack still lacks shine, you should try to soak the oven rack one more time in a warm water and ammonia solution, this time adding more ammonia to the water.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't skip steps 1 through 4 unless you have no food particles on your oven rack. In order to completely restore the shine to the oven rack, it must first be cleaned of food and ash.
  • Only use ammonia in a well-ventilated area. Rinse the rack thoroughly before returning it to the oven.

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