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How To Clean Oven Trays and Racks - A Guide.

The hardest part of kitchen cleaning is the oven. However, oven cleaning is not limited to only cleaning the surface of your oven, you also have to deal with the racks and trays.

kid baking cookies

A lot of us usually delay deeply cleaning our ovens. Of course, we will wipe the hob and burners and may give a quick external wipe to the surface of the oven, however, cleaning the racks, trays and other surfaces of the oven seems unimaginable. Therefore, it is usually the case that the condition of your oven racks and trays will be far worse than you can imagine. This, in turn, will ruin the appearance of an otherwise well-maintained kitchen. The oven is a focal point of your kitchen and keeping the entire oven clean will not only mean better-tasting food but also lower electricity consumption. It is recommended that you deeply and thoroughly clean your oven at least once every 6 months. Dependent on the condition of your oven this can mean wasting an entire afternoon scrubbing and cleaning. This is why regularly scheduling a professional oven cleaning service provided by a reliable cleaning company can be a good idea. 

Your oven racks and trays can be made of thin steel rods, enamelled metal or even cast iron. Each material requires a special approach while cleaning. Different materials require different cleaning solutions. Dirt and oil residues stick to the racks of your oven and turn into carbon deposits. These carbon deposits have a particularly unpleasant smell over time and can taint your food.

To effectively clean your oven racks you have to first determine their material and second approach the cleaning process knowing what is the best and most effective cleaning option for that material. 

oven trays and racks
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1. Cast iron oven racks and trays.

Cast iron requires love and attention to keep clean. It is not that cleaning cast iron is particularly difficult, however, you cannot just let it sit and linger dirty and unattended. Cast iron oven racks are specific to clean. Cast iron does not like water. You also cannot use and sharp objects to try and scrape any burnt-on residues off of the oven trays because along with the carbon deposits you will also strip a part of the metal itself. And lastly, avoid using aggressive, for that matter even mild, cleaning detergents. The only real way to efficiently clean a cast-iron oven rack is through heat. Use a burner to heat your cast-iron oven tray, if you do not have an open flame gas burner heat it using a blowtorch. To clean a cast-iron oven tray you do need an open flame source. After heating and curing all surface fats and oils will be stripped, those can easily be dried off they will practically fall off on their own. If you have just used your cast iron tray and it is now cooler to the touch sprinkle a good amount of coarse salt and scrape off any residue from food using a few pieces of paper towel folded together. 

2. Enamalled oven trays. 

This type of oven tray has a smooth surface you can clean in various ways. Your options are limitless. Enamel is both acid and high temperature resistant. The easiest way to clean an enamel oven tray is to put it in the dishwasher. Remove any silicone elements from the tray, if there are any before you place them in the dishwasher. You can also use a scourer to clean the surface, just make sure you clean carefully to avoid scratching or damaging the surface. If you do not have a dishwasher you have to clean the enamel tray by hand. You will need hot water, a firmer sponge and a lot of dishwashing liquid. 

3. Steel Oven Racks. 

It is fairly easy to clean your oven racks using a strong detergent that is going to dissolve any residue. You can clean the racks in the sink or the bathtub, just cover the bathtub with an old towel you don't particularly care about. Apply the detergent and leave it to soak for a few hours even overnight. Scrub with a scourer and rinse with water. If you have a lot of carbon deposits you can use a sturdy brush or even a knife, however, make sure the cleaning tool you use is dispensible as it can break. 

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Home-made cleaning solutions. 

stainless steel oven trays and racks

You can also use improvised cleaning detergents to efficiently clean your oven trays and racks. If you do not want to use chemicals you can use vinegar or baking soda. These cleaning solutions will help with lighter residues on your racks and trays. Alternatively, you can also use powdered mustard, dissolve it in water apply it over the trays and racks. After a few hours, your oven racks and trays will be clean and any buildup can be wiped off easily. 

You can also use a detergent that is designed to clean the engine of your car for your racks and trays. It is considered to be safe, although we really wouldn't recommend it as no part of that detergent is considered food safe. 

Replace the regular sponge you use with a scourer, they are much more effective at removing carbon residue from the racks and trays of your oven. Make sure you are wearing gloves throughout the entire cleaning process and it is recommended that you clean the trays and racks immediately after you have used the oven. 

To maintain the condition of your oven regularly all you have to do is clean it every day. Easier said than done we know, however, the thought of how difficult it is going to be to completely restore your oven to sparkle after months of unattended use should motivate you to make daily oven cleaning part of your schedule. We know it is difficult, there is an alternative. You can contact a professional cleaning company and have your oven deeply cleaned once every couple of months. If the condition of your oven is neglected to begin with regular professional oven cleaning with time will only improve it. 

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