Cleaning Tips, Guides & Resources

Cleaning Oven Trays in the Simplest of Ways!

how to clean oven trays custom graphic

If you can cook a full course meal using just your oven, it goes without saying that the insides are going to be covered in baked-on grease and grime after a few uses! As the spills and splatters accumulate, you’re left with a very dirty oven interior, and super-sticky over trays. 

We all know that deep cleaning the oven is necessary every few weeks, however, the oven trays should be cleaned more often, preferably after every use. Even with liners or aluminium foil protecting your baking trays, they will still encounter grease and food spills that must be cleaned off to prevent stubborn charred debris, or worse, bacteria buildup.

Now, depending on how dirty your oven trays are, you will need to choose an appropriate cleaning method that addresses the type of ‘mess’ you are dealing with (i.e. burnt-on food debris, stuck-on grease, stubborn food spills, etc). With that in mind, we are sharing a step-by-step deep cleaning method to tackle all kinds of grime your oven trays may be exposed to, as well as a few additional cleaning solutions to ensure that you are always prepared to clean and maintain your baking trays!  Here's the exact process we use to clean the dirtiest of oven trays when we're conducting an end of lease clean

Let’s get started.

What You’ll Need

items needed to clean oven tray on an orange background

  • Paper towels
  • Grease-cutting dish soap
  • Sponge/soft scrubber
  • Non-abrasive scouring pad
  • Baking soda
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Hot water
  • Microfibre cloth

Step-by-Step Instructions

top view of a dirty oven tray

This is a two-part cleaning guide with nine simple steps to deep clean your oven trays. Part one helps to degrease the trays while part two takes care of tough food stains. Don’t worry, though, the steps are easy to follow, and don’t require much elbow grease either. Best of all, by the end of the cleaning process, your oven trays will be sparkling to perfection!

Part I - Degreasing Oven Trays

Step 1: When the baking trays are cool to touch, pull them out, and wipe them with a bunch of paper towels. Your goal here is to wipe off grease and loose food bits from all sides of the trays including the edges.

Step 2: If your sink is large enough to accommodate the oven tray(s), plug the drain, and fill it with hot water (enough to fully submerge the trays). Be sure to clean your sink before you fill it up. Once filled, add a squirt of liquid dish soap, and use a heat-resistant cooking tool to stir the water. This will create a hot, soapy solution to combat oven tray grease. 

Step 3: Depending on how greasy the trays are, it is recommended that you soak them for anywhere between 15 - 30 minutes to allow the dish detergent to break down the grease.

Step 4: Using the sponge, scrub the entire tray, focusing your attention on the greasiest spots. If needed, apply a small amount of dishwashing liquid to the sponge, and continue scrubbing until the grease is removed.

Step 5: Drain the sink, and rinse off the cleaning solution and scrubbed debris under running water (preferably warm water). 

Part II - Removing Oven Tray Stains

Step 6: Once again, fill your clean kitchen sink with hot water, but this time around, add in ½ cup white vinegar and ¼ cup baking soda. Give it a stir to combine the cleaning agents well.

Step 7: Soak the tray for roughly 30 minutes before taking them out, and draining the cleaning solution.

Step 8: Take the scouring pad, apply 2-3 drops of dish soap to it, and scrub the stained areas with small, quick movements and a little extra elbow grease (if needed). Considering the amount of soaking time the stains have had, getting them off should be fairly easy at this stage.

Step 9: Rinse the oven tray thoroughly, and wipe dry with a clean microfibre cloth. Allow the trays to air-dry for some time to ensure that they are completely dry before you put them back inside your oven.

Cleaning Tips to Maintain Oven Trays

person wearing yellow gloves cleaning oven trays with a blue cloth

Just like the glass oven door, aluminium racks, and other components on your oven, the baking trays need regular cleaning to maintain their sheen and texture. The cleaning method above is necessary for deep cleaning or tackling a lot of grease and grime buildup; however, to clean the trays after every use, you can apply any of the following methods. Take a look below.

Lemon and Salt Scrub

Lemon has acidic properties while salt is gritty and serves as a natural abrasive. By combining the two, you can clean off stuck-on residue without much trouble. 

Simply slice the lemon in half, dip it in some salt, and scrub all the surfaces of the baking tray. The lemon juice helps to break down stubborn grease and burnt-on food spills while the salt offers enough abrasion to scrub away the grime. Thereafter, clean the trays with regular dish soap, and rinse with warm water before drying with a clean kitchen towel.

Baking Soda and Vinegar Paste

One of the best natural combinations in household cleaning is baking soda and vinegar. Together, they can make oven cleaning and cleaning other parts of the appliance rather effortless. 

Start by sprinkling a generous amount of baking soda over the trays, then spray white vinegar over it. This will cause a bubbling reaction that helps break down grease and grime. Leave the pasty mixture to sit for about 15 minutes, and then scrub the trays with a non-abrasive scrubber or medium-bristle brush. Finish off by rinsing the oven tray, and drying.

Commercial Oven Cleaner Spray

This method is typically recommended for heavily soiled baking trays. These commercial cleaners are specifically designed to tackle stubborn grease and burnt-on food from the oven interior, glass door, racks, and trays. 

Before you purchase or use an oven cleaner, read the instructions carefully, and follow safety precautions, if any. Most oven cleaning products follow a general application guide which entails spraying on the cleaner, leaving it to sit for the recommended time, and then wiping away the grime. This is followed by a thorough rinse, and any specific instructions provided with the product.

With the right cleaning methods, your oven trays can be restored to a good-as-new, sparkling condition again! The most important thing to remember is to clean baking trays after every use to avoid a stubborn, sticky, and greasy mess to deal with later on. Deep cleaning oven trays occasionally is also recommended for tackling multiple layers of caked-on grease and stubborn grime that is not only on the inside, but accumulated on other surfaces of the tray, too. Using the cleaning methods above, you can rest assured that your dirty oven trays are not a lost cause!

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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