How to Keep Oven Racks From Sticking


A select few high-end appliances come with oven racks that move along rollers smoothly, similar to how a drawer in a kitchen cabinet operates. Less expensive versions have racks that glide on rails that are built into the oven wall. These rails often get stuck, causing the owners of these ovens to search the internet for “sliding oven rack lubricant” or something similar. The racks on your oven are likely sticking because they have warped or because muck has built up in the oven; thus, it is often preferable to treat the real issue rather than just the symptoms.

Keep Oven Racks From Warping

The racks often get bent over time, which is one of the most frequent reasons why they cease moving smoothly. This occurs rather often for the simple reason that one rack usually ends up receiving the majority of the use: After extensive usage, the weight of roasts and lasagnas (or even a resident pizza stone) may ultimately start to literally damage the wires that make up your rack. This may happen either temporarily or permanently. In order to verify this, you need switch the racks in your oven. If the second rack in your set moves easily but the first rack did not, the second rack may be deformed.

When using the self-cleaning function of the oven, it is quite typical for people to forget to remove the racks first. Racks may become less able to glide freely after being subjected to the strong heat of the self-cleaning process, which may cause them to bend or distort somewhat when they heat or cool. For this reason, several manufacturers, including Wolf, recommend removing your racks and cleaning them in a separate cycle.

You may stop your racks from gradually warping by rotating them on a regular basis so that they all get the same amount of use. To avoid quick warping, be sure to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer and take out your racks to clean them by hand before starting the self-clean cycle.

Clean Your Dirty Oven Racks

The accumulation of filth and oil, either on the racks themselves or on the oven itself, is the second most common cause of sliding racks to get stuck. The majority of websites and bloggers would gladly share with you their preferred method for cleaning the oven rack; nevertheless, the majority of these methods can be boiled down to two general categories of approaches.

The website for Bob Vila advises placing the oven racks in your bathtub, since they are often too big to fit in a sink, and soaking them for a few hours or overnight. You can find the full instructions here. You can use a professional cleaner-degreaser product as your cleanser, but liquid dish soap or a dishwashing tablet will work just as well. Using a commercial cleaner-degreaser product as your cleanser is an option. After being soaked, the racks should be quite easy to clean if you start by adding the soap and then covering them with very hot water. Don’t forget to protect the finish of your bathtub from scratches caused by the oven rack by lining it with a shower curtain, an old bedsheet, or anything else of a similar kind.

This method is effective, but it comes with the additional step of cleaning the tub afterward. The second primary choice involves using a heavy-duty waste bag and requires that you be alright with exchanging time and effort for chemicals. Slide the racks into the trash bag, and then give them a good spraying with an oven-cleaning spray made for industrial use or a heavy-duty cleaner-degreaser. They may also be completely submerged in ammonia, which is often found in households. Because of the fumes, it is important to protect your eyes and hands at all times and to operate in an area that has enough ventilation. After tying up the bag, setting the racks aside to rest undisturbed for the night, and rinsing away the grime (and the cleaner) the next morning,

Clean Your Oven

Last but not least, it’s possible that your oven racks are stuck because the oven walls themselves are so filthy that they prevent the racks from moving freely. Utilizing the self-cleaning option, if it is available on your range, is the quickest and easiest method to clean your oven. The amount of work required is little, but it takes some time, may fill the home with smoke, and, according to a repair service called Fix Appliances, could possibly damage the life of the components in your oven. The use of an oven cleaning that is sprayed on is a second alternative; however, some individuals are put off by the harsh chemicals and the strong odour that remains on the oven long after it has been well rinsed.

Baking soda may be worked into any filth on the sides of your oven, where the racks move (and the rest of your oven, of course), and then the racks can be thoroughly soaked in a solution of water and vinegar. This method is less intrusive than other methods. The bubbling chemical reaction will assist in releasing filth that has been firmly adhered, and the acidity of the vinegar will assist in cutting through grease accumulation. You may increase the effectiveness of this method by putting a pan of boiling vinegar and water in the oven and lowering the oven temperature down to low. The steam from the pan will assist to loosen and soften the soil. When the oven has regained its normal temperature, the gunk should be much easier to remove.