How to Remove Discoloration from Oven Racks


Ronni asked: How do I remove discoloration from oven racks? I soaked my steel oven racks in dishwasher detergent along with the burner grates. The two metals touching caused the oven racks to discolor and appear corroded. Is there any way to remove this discoloration? Thanks in advance.

Bring back the shine to your oven racks with this simple, effective method.

You Will Need:

  • Clean heavy duty garbage bag (large enough to hold the oven rack and tie shut)
  • Ammonia
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Aluminum foil
  • Sunny day
  • Paper towel.

Steps to Remove the Discoloration:

  1. Carefully place the oven rack in the garbage bag, making sure not to poke any holes in the bag.
  2. Find a sunny spot in the yard and put the bag on the ground.
  3. Fill the bag with enough water to completely cover the oven rack when laying flat on the ground.
  4. Add a generous amount of ammonia – enough so that it thoroughly mixes with the water.
  5. Tie the bag shut or seal it with packing tape.
  6. Leave it there for 24 hours. The sun will heat the ammonia and help it break down any grease on the oven rack. Grease can cause discoloration.
  7. After 24 hours, rinse the rack off.  A garden hose works great, or you can pour water over it or wipe it down with a wet cloth. You can allow the ammonia, when diluted with plenty of water, to spill out onto the grass. It’s a great fertilizer.
  8. If any discoloration remains, make a paste of baking soda and water. Rub it onto the discolored spots.
  9. Rub the paste with a small piece of aluminum foil.
  10. Wipe clean with a paper towel.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • You can skip the ammonia step if you’d like, but it’s best to have the rack clean and grease free before you try to remove any remaining spots.
  • A stainless steel oven rack should not rust, but it may carry rust from another object if left in contact. The baking soda paste and aluminum foil should easily take care of those marks.


  1. Sara says:

    How do I get my oven racks to slide easily? I left them in during cleaning and they will barely move.

  2. Second chance says:

    The best way to get the slide back on your oven racks is to rub wax paper on the rack’s track. It works very well. Also, get back the shine you lost on your oven racks by rubbing them with Lagostina stainless steel cleaner (powder).

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