How to clean oven racks – using just baking soda

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Ovens are quite literally a vessel for cooking food, meaning they’re an absolute haven for grease, sticky grime and burnt bits of food. While a number of people have self cleaning ovens these days, it’s not always the best solution for the racks in your oven. The self-cleaning function typically uses temperatures that are double or triple that seen during cooking. This means leaving them on during cleaning can discolour the metal, take the shine off its finish and damage the coating that helps the racks slide in and out of your oven easily.

So, whether your oven is self cleaning or not, it’s likely you’re going to have to clean the racks at some point.

While this may seem like an arduous and long chore, it doesn’t have to be.

Baking soda is virtually a miracle product as it works in so many effective ways, one of its most successful uses being degreasing.

Another advantage of using baking soda is that it’s cheap and natural, unlike some of the commercial oven cleaners out there which contain a whole host of harsh chemicals.

How to clean oven racks using baking soda

Start by laying an old towel, or rag large enough to fit the racks, in the bottom of the bath tub.

Next, lay the oven racks on top ensuring they are covered by the towel’s surface.

Add enough very hot water to fully submerge the oven racks underneath.

The next step is to sprinkle baking soda over the oven racks – and you can be generous with your servings.

Once covered in baking soda, douse the racks with white vinegar.

This will cause a chemical reaction to take place between the soda and the vinegar, leading to the concoction foaming up.

Once the foaming has stopped, add very hot water to the bath tub again.

Submerge the oven racks well into the hot water and leave in the bath tub overnight, or for 12 hours.

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In the morning, scrub the racks with an old dish towel to remove the built up grease and grime.

Use an old toothbrush to get rid of any stubborn stains and baked on mess.

For really stubborn bits, add salt to the toothbrush to render it more abrasive and effective.

Once you’re happy all the mess is off, rinse the racks thoroughly with warm water before drying and returning to the oven.

Why is baking soda good for cleaning?

Baking soda isn’t just useful within cooking, but it’s an excellent agent to have around the house.

The white powder is edible and mild enough to be used as toothpaste, meaning it’s very safe for cleaning virtually everything.

Sodium bicarbonate, as it’s also known, works great as a cleaning agent because it’s alkaline, meaning it helps break down grease and food which are generally acidic.

Baking soda also softens water (raises the pH) for better cleaning while neutralising odour causing acids.

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