How to Clean Oven Racks With Baking Soda and Vinegar?

Keeping your kitchen appliances clean is essential for both hygiene and functionality, and one often-overlooked component that deserves attention is your oven racks. Over time, these racks can become coated with a stubborn layer of grease, grime, and burnt-on residue that seems nearly impossible to remove. However, before you consider replacing them or resorting to harsh chemical cleaners, there’s a natural and effective solution at your fingertips – baking soda and vinegar. Master the eco-friendly method of how to clean oven racks with baking soda and vinegar with our comprehensive guide. Learn step-by-step instructions for effectively removing grime and grease, ensuring a safe and natural cleaning process.

Why Choose Baking Soda and Vinegar?

Choosing baking soda and vinegar for cleaning tasks, such as tackling oven racks, offers a powerful, eco-friendly, and cost-effective solution. These natural ingredients are safe and non-toxic, making them ideal for use in homes, especially around children and pets. Baking soda’s mild abrasiveness effectively scrubs away tough stains, while vinegar’s acidic nature cuts through grease and odors, ensuring a thorough clean. This combination not only achieves excellent cleaning results but also aligns with environmentally responsible practices, offering a practical alternative to harsh chemical cleaners.

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Materials Needed:

Baking Soda 

White Vinegar

Large Tub or Basin

Hot Water

Scrub Brush or Old Toothbrush

Protective Gloves

Old Towels or Rags

Spray Bottle

Soft Cloth or Sponge

Measuring Cup

Optional: Plastic Scraper

The Cleaning Process

Remove the racks from the oven:

Take the oven racks out of your oven and place them on a flat surface. If your oven racks are extremely dirty, you can also soak them in the bathtub or a large plastic bag filled with water.

Remove the racks from the oven:

Take the oven racks out of your oven and place them on a flat surface. If your oven racks are extremely dirty, you can also soak them in the bathtub or a large plastic bag filled with water.

Prepare a baking soda paste:

In a small bowl, mix baking soda with a few tablespoons of water to create a thick paste. You want a consistency that’s easy to spread but not too runny.

Apply the baking soda paste:

Using a sponge, brush, or your gloved hands, apply the baking soda paste onto the oven racks. Focus on areas with stubborn stains or burnt-on residue. Make sure to coat the racks evenly.

Let it sit:

Once you’ve applied the baking soda paste, let it sit for at least 30 minutes. This allows the baking soda to break down the grease and grime.

Scrub the racks:

After the paste has had time to work, use a scrubbing brush, scouring pad, or an old toothbrush to scrub away the dirt and grime. The baking soda will act as a gentle abrasive to help remove the stains. You may need to put in some elbow grease for stubborn spots.

Rinse with vinegar:

Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and generously spray the oven racks. The vinegar will react with the baking soda, causing a fizzing action that helps break down the remaining residue. Allow the racks to sit for another 15-20 minutes.

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Rinse and wipe clean:

Rinse the oven racks thoroughly with hot water to remove any remaining baking soda and vinegar. You can use a kitchen sink or a garden hose if the racks are too large for the sink. Wipe them down with a clean towel or rag to remove excess moisture.

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Dry and reassemble:

Allow the oven racks to air dry or use a towel to dry them completely. Once they are dry, reassemble them back into your oven.

Further cleaning 

If your oven racks are still not as clean as you’d like, you can repeat the process or use a degreasing cleaner for an extra boost. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for any commercial cleaner you use.

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Additional Tips and Tricks

To enhance the effectiveness of cleaning oven racks with baking soda and vinegar, consider these additional tips and tricks:

Pre-Treat Tough Stains: For extremely grimy areas, pre-treat them by applying the baking soda paste directly and letting it sit for a few hours before the general cleaning.

Use Aluminum Foil for Scrubbing: Crumple up a piece of aluminum foil and use it as a scrubber. It’s especially useful for getting rid of stubborn grime without scratching the racks.

Warm Water Soak: If the grime is particularly stubborn, soak the racks in hot water for a few hours before applying the baking soda and vinegar. This can help loosen the grease and burnt-on food particles.

Regular Cleaning Schedule: Clean your oven racks regularly to prevent the buildup of grease and burnt-on food. This makes each cleaning session less labor-intensive.

Use a Bathtub for Soaking: If your sink or basin isn’t big enough, you can use your bathtub. Line the tub with old towels to prevent scratching and then fill it with hot water, baking soda, and vinegar for soaking the racks.

Clean Regularly: Regular maintenance of your oven racks can prevent the buildup of tough grime, making the cleaning process easier and less time-consuming.

Safety First: Always remember to wear gloves and ensure good ventilation when using vinegar, especially in enclosed spaces like a kitchen.

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Alternative Methods

Dishwasher Method: 

If your oven racks are dishwasher-safe and your dishwasher is large enough, this can be a convenient cleaning method. Simply place the racks in the dishwasher and run a normal cycle with your regular detergent. This method works best for racks that are not heavily soiled.

Commercial Oven Cleaners: 

These are specially formulated to tackle tough, baked-on grime. Follow the instructions on the product, usually involving spraying the cleaner on the racks and letting it sit before scrubbing. Ensure good ventilation and wear protective gloves and eyewear, as these cleaners often contain harsh chemicals.

Soapy Water Soak: 

a tub or large basin with hot, soapy water (using a dish detergent that cuts through grease). Soak the racks for several hours or overnight, then scrub with a non-abrasive pad or brush. This method is simple and uses readily available materials.

Also Read : Easy Steps To Clean Faucet With Vinegar 

Lemon and Salt Scrub: 

For a more natural approach, sprinkle coarse salt over the racks and then scrub with a lemon half, using the lemon as a natural scrubber. The acid in the lemon combined with the abrasiveness of the salt can help remove grime.

Also Read : How to Clean Dishwasher With Vinegar And Use Alternatives?


Cleaning oven racks with baking soda and vinegar is a highly effective, eco-friendly, and cost-efficient method. This natural approach not only tackles tough grease and burnt-on food but also ensures a safe cleaning experience without the harmful fumes or residues associated with chemical cleaners. The simplicity of using everyday household items like baking soda and vinegar makes this method accessible to everyone and demonstrates the power of natural cleaning solutions. Regular maintenance using these ingredients can keep your oven racks sparkling clean and contribute to a healthier home environment. Moreover, by opting for this eco-conscious cleaning method, you’re making a positive choice for both your family and the planet. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can baking soda and vinegar damage my oven racks?

No, baking soda and vinegar are gentle on most surfaces. They effectively clean without causing damage to your oven racks.

How often should I clean my oven racks using this method?

It’s generally recommended to clean your oven racks every 3-6 months, depending on usage and the level of buildup.

Can this method be used for self-cleaning ovens?

Yes, but avoid using this method during the self-cleaning cycle. It’s best used as a manual cleaning technique.