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Cleaning racks: Submerge and scrub

Posted by: under Weekend chores Updated: February 11, 2010 - 11:17 AM

 

Cleaning oven racks is a twice-a-year chore for me, unless I’m really doing a lot of baking and roasting. I have an easy way to clean the oven interior - my over has a self-cleaning feature.
 
I had cooked a lovely baked chicken in the oven without covering the bird with foil (see photo above). What a mess.  The racks were stained and sticky, but I did not want to use any harsh chemicals to clean them.
 
Bloggers and online sites are a great resource for cleaning suggestions. And more good tips are always submitted from commenters on blog posts. Turns out I only used hot water (boiling hot), baking soda, and powdered laundry detergent. Here’s what to do:
 
Lay towels down first to protect the tub’s surface. Place racks on towel. Pour hot water from the tub - as hot as possible - to cover the racks.  I added several kettles of boiling water. Sprinkle on the baking soda and powdered laundry detergent. Let it sit overnight.
 
The next morning, one of the racks took some extra elbow grease to clean all those nooks and crannies. I found an old toothbrush for that. The tub was easy to rinse since it had two boxes of baking soda in the water.
 
Our green blogger, Kim Carlson, had other suggestions:
“I've used baking soda + washing soda combo (which helps cut the grease). If that doesn't do it, soaking in salt, baking soda and hot water overnight can help.   Also there is a product that I just love: Ecover Cream Cleaner, which is one of the best abrasive green cleaners I have found -- good for pans, sinks and oven racks.” Kim says Ecover can be found at the Wedge and Whole Foods. She applies a thin layer and then scrubs with a brush.
 
Remember not to use the self-cleaning oven feature for racks and keep birds away from the kitchen when this feature is on - the fumes are toxic to birds.
 
What other cleaning tips do you have for those hard-to-clean items?  My next chore is cleaning silver jewelry. Share them here.

 

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