Why did my new oven racks get all messed up?

by Grammyzoo2

New oven/stovetop.

Soaked a pan full of vinegar, in which I'd put my toaster oven rack in.

I forgot about it , and two days later I got it out and it scrubbed up great!!

Problem is, my poor oven racks!! And I only just noticed because I've been in bed sick, they're horribly messed up!!

They're pale green, a powdery kind of green, and rusty????

I'm heartsick, and can't for the life of me figure out why this happened!

Vinegar fumes ruining stainless steel oven racks?

So, how the hell do I get them clean again??

Oh my shiny new racks will never be the same.

I rent so I'm doubly disturbed!!!

They look like maybe they're made out of some kind of copper alloy??? WTH???

Just like a copper roof turns green and icky looking??

I hope someone can tell me why, and better yet, how the heck to I get them back to normal?

Should I call Whirlpool and complain??

Waaaaaaah!!!icon icon icon icon

I swear this oven is only two months old!!

Thanks in advance oh clever ones!!

looks like they've been out in the elements for years!!

unbelievable eh??

some of the greenish powdery stuff fell off into the bottom of the oven

  10 answers
  • 2dogal 2dogal on Mar 08, 2019

    Yup - try a Brillo pad and scrub.

  • Laura Cooper Laura Cooper on Mar 08, 2019

    Vinegar eats metal. Much safer to use hot soapy dish soap water for long contact times. Try extra fine steel wool to see if you can polish them up

    • See 1 previous
    • Laura Cooper Laura Cooper on Mar 09, 2019

      Yes, it is odd, but it's obviously a softer metal. I agree with some of the other posts that you should talk to the Mfg about the cause. Do you have the owner's manual or did your landlord keep it? There should be info in that regarding do's and don'ts.

  • Rini Rini on Mar 08, 2019

    Of course, you ought to call Whirlpool and ask what happened. These were obviously not stainless steel. Yes, vinegar does eat away and actually rust a lot of things, but it usually doesn't do it on itself, it requires another agent such as baking soda, for example, to actually rust, and typically, it will work like that only on 'raw' material that hasn't been coated with varnish or enamel, etc., which should not at all be the case with new oven racks.

    Besides calling the manufacturer of your stove, just to clean it, you could also try Barkeeper's Friend; I love to use it on stainless steel and to remove rust stains.

    Hope it helps.

  • Ellis Ellis on Mar 09, 2019

    If you can't fix it (and I hope you do), ask Whirlpool or a local appliance repair/supply shop about ordering new racks so your security deposit isn't lost.

  • Dian Neifert Fudge Dian Neifert Fudge on Mar 09, 2019

    Lol!! That’s sounds like something I’d do!

    Good luck! The suggestions are spot on!

    That awesome cleaner from the dollar store is absolutely amazing!!!!!! I used to use it before I met Melissa Maker on YouTube. She uses natural stuff and essential oils. So for now, that’s what I’m into!!

  • Grammyzoo2 Grammyzoo2 on Mar 09, 2019

    As I’m writing this, the racks are soaking in a large garbage bag with a layer or two of ketchup and tomato sauce. I’ve got pics. I use ketchup on my discolored stainless pots and pans. It works like a charm! You know, when you cook pasta and the bottom of the pan turns rainbow colors? (Maybe it’s cheap pasta)!😂 I’ll post before and after a!!

  • Grammyzoo2 Grammyzoo2 on Mar 11, 2019

    Update for everyone!!

    My previous reply that said I had them soaking overnight ,...WORKED!!!

    Here's the pics!!!

    Thanks for all your input!! I truly appreciate the advise!!

    No one was injured during this process, it's the ketchup and tomato sauce running out of the garbage bag!!!

    Apologies, I can't get them in the right order, so start at the bottom okay?

    Just a half bottle regular size, ketchup and a small can of tomato sauce, covered one rack, both are in bag, I flipped them over three times to coat both racks twice.

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  • Dee Dee on Mar 11, 2019

    Wow great to know that ketchup and tomato sauce work to clean oven racks. I knew it worked to clean copper but not oven racks. Thanks for posting all the photos.

  • Maynard Maynard on Mar 11, 2019


    I'd very much like the long version of what you did, as I've never heard of using tomato products as cleaning agents. Thanks, Maynard

  • Abigail Ellis Abigail Ellis on Mar 13, 2019

    Agreed! I think this would make a great tutorial! Kudos on sticking it through!!