Cleaning old oven racks

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We cannot find replacement oven racks for our unit ... The racks were left in the oven during the cleaning cycle and look awful after so many years. Does anyone have any ideas how to get a bit of sparkle back on them? Also,can a cleaner be used in a self cleaning oven after it has gone thru the 'clean' cycle? Thanks for any suggestions.
q cleaning old oven racks, appliances, cleaning tips, house cleaning
  34 answers
  • Linda Linda on Jan 03, 2016
    I meant to say "add a bit of sparkle'!

    • Terrie Day Terrie Day on Dec 08, 2017
      Try brasso cleaner paste. Don’t leave on long..test a small area first

  • SusieB SusieB on Jan 04, 2016
    You might try the ammonia method. Put the racks in a plastic trash bag. Pour ammonia in. Seal the bag and leave overnight. I put them outside due to the fumes from the ammonia.

  • Shelly abbott Shelly abbott on Jan 04, 2016
    You could try making a paste of baking soda and water to cover them, leave them in the plastic bag overnight and hopefully they'll come clean with a oood wiping off. Works for cleaning my oven!

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jan 04, 2016
    Heres a post with researching.www.hometalk.com/diy/clean/appliances/how-to-clean-oven-racks-in-the-bathtub-10384275

    • Gail Gail on Jan 27, 2019

      We’re they left in a self cleaning oven first

  • Cornelia Schott Cornelia Schott on Jan 04, 2016
    There is a great post on this site about cleaning oven racks in the bathtub. I used her technique for cleaning racks and it works.

  • Linda Linda on Jan 04, 2016
    Thanks for the replies, I will try these methods out and let you know!

  • Dee Maxwell Dee Maxwell on Jan 04, 2016
    Hate to tell you, but I don't think that after you bake the racks at 800 degrees that you can bring the 'sparkle' back. I've never been able to anyway. I'll be interested to see how you make out! :)

  • Carol Carol on Jan 04, 2016
    My cleaning person at an apartment complex I managed always put the racks in a large black garbage bag with ammonia. then closed it up and set it in sin for a couple hours. You have to be in a well ventilated area, preferably outdoors, when you open the bag. You can then use an aluminum foil ball or a stainless steel scrubber to remove the loosened grease . I don't know if this will work though after a trip through the self cleaning oven cycle. Everything I've read about self cleaning ovens, says never use oven cleaner in a self cleaning oven. It ruins the surface and it may not be self cleaning anymore.

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    • T davidson T davidson on Jan 26, 2018
      full Strength and how much? Will it eat through garbage bag and why black only ? I have some commercial grade bags but they are green

  • SwampCatNana SwampCatNana on Jan 04, 2016
    Use a large ziploc type bag and put the rack in it. Then add about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of ammonia. Close bag tightly and leave overnight. Take out and wash with hot water ad soap. Everything will come off it easily. I do this with my gas range burner grills all the time. Fantastically easy. http://www.hometalk.com/diy/clean/s-10-tiny-changes-to-cut-your-cleaning-routine-in-half-12446937

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    • SwampCatNana SwampCatNana on Jan 12, 2016
      I think any heavy large plastic bag will work. Or you could follow the directions on how to clean your oven with your racks inside. See the posts at the beginning.

  • Larry Chura Larry Chura on Jan 05, 2016
    Send the racks to a chrome shop. They will clean, bead blast and rechrome them. Should be done for around $25.00, if you are willing to wait till they do a larger run. OR you can go to a restore and see if there are any good used ones.

  • Linda Linda on Jan 05, 2016
    I never even knew about this, certainly worth a try. Will see if there are any places near me that do this. When I get them clean one way or the other , I will re-post. Thanks again.

  • Jeani Miller Miner Jeani Miller Miner on Jan 05, 2016
    I don't think the ammonia trick will work for this particular problem. These racks were in the oven during the clean cycle, not the same as some baked on oven splatters. Larry Chura has the right idea. They need re-chroming.

  • Sherrie Sherrie on Jan 05, 2016
    Are they clean? They are just dull from leaving them in during the cleaning cycle? There is a product we use on grates and burners to make them look new. You need to go to a appliance part store and ask them for the product that makes burners look new. You wipe it on and the first time u use it it will smell. But it kind of adheres to the burners and makes them look new. It should work on your racks if they are clean.

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    • Sherrie Sherrie on Jan 06, 2016
      If she has baked on soot it will absolutely work. But here is the big but on self cleaning ovens sometimes their racks become dis colored if they are left in the oven during the clean cycle. Which is what I thought she was talking about. She had left them in during the clean cycle and it discolored the racks. And in that case I gave her the information that is used for burners to make them look newer. Did I read her post wrong?

  • Sherrie Sherrie on Jan 06, 2016
    And yes you can use a cleaner in your self cleaning oven. Racks aren't suppose to ever be left in the oven during self cleaning it does dis color them. You can use oven cleaner on the racks it is what you are suppose to use. And I always use oven cleaner on my stove door to get it clean.

  • Linda Linda on Jan 06, 2016
    Hi everyone, the oven racks were left in the oven before we bought the house, so they have been dis colored for several years, but I am still hopeful we can get them cleaned one way or the other ... Thank u all for your suggestions. Hopefully in the next week or two, I will tackles them!

  • Sally Sally on Jan 08, 2016
    I have 2 ideas: See if you have a used appliance store in your area and see if they have any extra grates. #2 Get some spray paint for barbecues and paint them..Black , or any color that is ok for barbecues and high heat.

  • Mar3200928 Mar3200928 on Jan 08, 2016
    try fatoff, soak awhile, than use steel brush or steelwool

  • Bananas! Bananas! on Jan 08, 2016
    I always use a solution of dishwasher detergent, ammonia and water, let them soak for a while in hot water with the solution and use anything to rub them clean, gunk comes off so easily you'll be shocked!

  • Bananas! Bananas! on Jan 08, 2016
    Re getting them shiny again? don't think so....I too did this a long time ago with my first self cleaning oven....they went blue then just yucky....eventually you'll get a new oven and you'll have learned not to do it! I liked the idea of bbq paint.....at least they'll be uniformly black, but doubt they'll clean up easily!

  • Karen Alix LaScola Karen Alix LaScola on Jan 08, 2016
    I heard that a rub with aluminum foil works best

  • Donna Lee Williams Donna Lee Williams on Jan 10, 2016
    I heard that if you place them in the bath tub with hot water and then place softner sheets about 6 or 7, and let soak. When finish soaking take the softner sheets and clean racks. First put some old towels in bottom of tub.

  • Margaret Hely Watkins Margaret Hely Watkins on Jan 11, 2016
    Try putting them into a garbage bag with ammonia and letting them sit for a day. I let mine sit out doors in a sunny spot. They then should shine up with a little elbow grease and a scrubbing pad. Good luck.

  • Linda Linda on Jan 12, 2016
    Thank you all for your comments, etc. I still have not done anything as yet - I did purchase some ammonia so may try that today and definitely will let you all know results.

  • Lori Johnson Molina Lori Johnson Molina on Jan 12, 2016
    The weekend got past me, didn't get much done. I will soon.

  • GrandmaCarol Speight GrandmaCarol Speight on Jan 18, 2016
    How old is the oven unit? Have you tried a scrap yard? Do they still manufacture that "brand" of oven/stove unit? You have contacted them? Other than unpleasant to look at when you open the oven door.. is there a reason to try and get "some sparkle" back into the racks? IF the oven-cleaning cycle is working why would you need to use oven cleaner? IF it is a relatively new stove, I do NOT rec'md it. Messes with the finish on the oven interior and then when you want to use the built-in self-cleaner...it may not perform as expected or to its best.

  • Karen Trost Stacy Karen Trost Stacy on Sep 19, 2016
    New oven and wanted to keep racks looking good by not putting them through self cleaning cycle. First time I tried it was WONDERFUL, grease and grime practically floated off. Just tried again and not so good (forgot dryer sheets.. The key is to use both items. OK Put racks on towels (protect tub) in bath tub. Use a cup of dishwasher soap, AND 3 dryer sheets very hot water and let soak over night. I set my oven to clean overnight as well. In the am, the oven was clean wiped off racks with the dryer sheets and I had my beautiful oven back, proud to open the oven door when company came for dinner. No work!

  • Inetia Inetia on Jan 14, 2017
    Interesting. I never removed my racks when self cleaning. Never noticed a difference.

  • Linda Linda on Jan 14, 2017
    Thx for your response.. We have not done anything about them, maube you were lucky with yours, but so many people said they had discolored ones.

  • Phughes Phughes on Jan 15, 2017
    not like anyone sees them. I wouldn't make worry about it.

  • Barry Utting Barry Utting on Jun 04, 2017
    Wire brush in electric drill , result fantastic, NO chemicals!!

  • Alb28828814 Alb28828814 on Aug 06, 2017
    I left my racks in oven during self-clean cycle as well. I tried everything to bring that sparkle back. Finally I had amazing results scrubbing them with a dry green scotch pad. They aren't the shiny chrome they used to be...more like brushed nickel but all uniform now. 😃

  • Cindy Darsey Chadwell Cindy Darsey Chadwell on Aug 06, 2017
    put them in hot water with dryer sheets. That help loosen and remove any grime.

  • Judy Hagadorn Judy Hagadorn on Sep 02, 2017
    I too left my racks in the self-cleaning oven. They got baked and I even took them to an appliance place to see if there was anything that would bring them back. The answer was NO, they are damaged...at a high degree of heat. I too am unable to get one of my racks replaced. I was able to replace one rack but not the other one. Simply out of luck to bring any "sparkle" back on this one!