How To Make Oven Racks Slide Easier? With 3 Effective Steps

An oven is a very useful kitchen appliance when it comes to baking and roasting.

But often people forget to clean their oven and gradually it becomes greasy. Due to that, the oven racks get stuck and do not slide easily.

If the racks got dirty and you use the self-cleaning method, then there is a huge possibility of getting it stuck. So, how to make oven racks slide easier?

Only cleaning the racks and oven is not enough, you have to lubricate them and also have to change their position.

How To Make Oven Racks Slide Easier

So, let’s start:

How To Make Oven Racks Slide Easier?

To make oven racks slide easier, clean them thoroughly to remove any debris or buildup. Apply a lubricant to the sides and edges of the racks and after that, put them in the oven with their positions changed. Avoid using too much lubricant, as this can cause drips and potentially start a fire. Thats it.

So, let’s do it in a step-by-step process.

Step #1: Cleaning The Oven

What Will You Need?

  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Sponge

Follow the instructions:

  1. First, take out the racks from the oven and keep them aside. 
  2. Now, make a mixture of baking soda + water + vinegar in a bowl. Take 1 cup of baking soda, 100 ml water, and 100 ml vinegar. You have to make a slurry paste.
  3. Take the mixture, dip the sponge, and rub all the greasy portions in the oven. Apply the paste to the sliders also.
  4. Now, switch on the oven and let it heat for 45 minutes at 100 degrees Celsius.
  5. After that, just take a sponge or scrubber and rub it nicely. All the dirt will be wiped out and your oven will be neat and clean.

This is simple, easy, and works effectively. When my oven got messy, I use this method to clean my oven.

You May Also Like: Best Lubricants For Oven Racks

How To Clean Dirty Oven Racks

Now go for the next step.

Step #2: Cleaning The Oven Racks

What Will You Need?

  • Detergent Powder or Liquid
  • Sponge
  • Towel

Follow the instructions:

You do this process when your oven is in the heating stage.

  1. First, take a big towel and go to your bathroom. Now place the towel in the bathtub properly. Make sure to cover the base nicely. This will protect your bathtub from getting dirty.
  2. Now, put the racks above the towel, close the drain, and run the hot water tap until the racks got fully immersed.
  3. Take one scoop of detergent liquid or powder and pour it into the bathtub. If you are using powder, then before pouring, mix the powder in hot water and then pour it.
  4. Let the oven racks sit for 5 to 6 hours in the solution.
  5. After that, you will see that most of the grease is gone and to remove the remaining, take a sponge, and rub it nicely.
  6. Now rinse in clean water and your racks will be cleaned.

With this process, your racks will look almost new. There is also another process of cleaning it with ammonia but I am not recommending it.

Because the smell of ammonia is so intense that it may cause nasal problems.

Only cleaning the oven and the racks will not solve the matter, now you have to grease them and change their positions. So, follow the next process.

Step #3: Greasing The Oven Racks And Sliders

What Will You Need?

Follow the instructions:

  1. Pour some peanut oil into a plate or bowl.
  2. Take a cloth or sponge and dip it in the oil.
  3. Rub all the sides of the racks and also the sliders in the oven properly with the oil. This will grease the racks and sliders.
  4. Now put the racks in the oven but this time shuffle the positions. Suppose, put the lower rack in the middle, the middle one in the above, and the top one in the bottom.

I am telling you to shuffle the positions because we use one or two racks maximum at a time but leave the other one.

So, using the same racks, again and again, makes them a little bent which in return lags in sliding. That’s why we have to shuffle the positions from time to time.

I am recommending peanut oil to use as a lubricant due to its high heat retention. Also, it takes time to smoke at a high temperature compared to other oil.

You May Also Like: How To Clean A Coffee Maker With Baking Soda, Vinegar, Dishsoap?

Alternative To Peanut Oil

There are a few alternative lubricants you can use to lubricate your oven racks:

  1. Vegetable Oil: Vegetable oil is a great alternative to peanut oil. It has a neutral flavor and a high smoke point, making it safe to use in the oven. Like peanut oil, it also provides a protective layer to prevent rust from forming on the racks.
  2. Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is another safe and natural option for lubricating your oven racks. It has a high smoke point and is free from harmful chemicals, making it safe to use in the oven. It can also help prevent rust from forming on the racks.
  3. Silicone Baking Spray: Silicone baking spray is an easy and convenient alternative to oils. It is specifically designed for use in the oven and provides a non-stick surface to prevent food from sticking to the racks. It also helps prevent rust from forming on the racks.
  4. Non-Stick Cooking Spray: Non-stick cooking spray is another alternative to oils that can be used to lubricate oven racks. It provides a non-stick surface to prevent food from sticking to the racks and also helps prevent rust from forming.

It’s important to note that when using alternative lubricants, you should follow the same cleaning process outlined earlier to ensure that the racks are thoroughly cleaned before being lubricated.

How To Lubricate Oven Racks?

Lubricating oven racks can help them slide smoothly in and out of the oven, making it easier to cook and clean. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to lubricate your oven racks:

  1. Remove The Oven Racks From The Oven: Make sure the oven has cooled down before you attempt to remove the racks.
  2. Clean The Racks: Use a cleaning solution such as hot water and dish soap or a baking soda paste to clean the racks thoroughly. Rinse them with clean water and dry them completely with a towel.
  3. Choose A Lubricant: Select a lubricant that is safe for use in high-temperature environments. One common option is peanut oil, which has a high smoke point and is safe to use on oven racks. Vegetable oil or cooking spray can also be used, but they may not be as effective or long-lasting.
  4. Apply The Lubricant: Using a clean cloth or paper towel, apply a thin layer of the lubricant to the entire surface of the oven racks. Make sure to cover all areas, including the sides and corners.
  5. Reinsert The Racks: Carefully slide the oven racks back into the oven, taking care not to scratch or damage them.
  6. Test The Racks: Once the racks are back in place, pull them out a few times to test their movement. They should slide smoothly and quietly.
  7. Repeat As Necessary: Lubricating your oven racks periodically can help keep them in good condition and prolong their lifespan. How often you need to lubricate them will depend on how often you use the oven and how well you maintain the racks.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your oven racks remain in good condition and function smoothly.

Also Read – How To Clean A Hand Mixer?

How Do You Get Oven Racks To Slide Smoothly?

To get oven racks to slide smoothly, you will need to lubricate them with a food-safe lubricant. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Remove the oven racks from the oven and clean them with warm soapy water. Scrub off any built-up grease, food residue, and stains.
  2. Rinse the racks thoroughly with clean water and dry them with a clean towel.
  3. Apply a food-safe lubricant to the sides and bottom of each oven rack. You can use a cooking oil such as vegetable oil or canola oil, or a commercial food-grade lubricant such as silicone spray or cooking spray. Be sure to apply the lubricant lightly and evenly to avoid excess buildup.
  4. Wipe off any excess lubricant with a paper towel or clean cloth.
  5. Reinsert the oven racks into the oven and slide them back and forth to distribute the lubricant evenly.
  6. If the racks still do not slide smoothly, you may need to repeat the process or check for any bent or damaged parts.

By lubricating your oven racks regularly, you can ensure that they slide smoothly and prevent damage to your oven or cookware.

Cleaning Oven Trays With Washing Powder

Cleaning oven trays with washing powder is a common and effective method that many people use to remove stubborn grease and grime. 

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Remove any large pieces of debris from the tray, such as burnt food or crumbs.
  2. Fill your sink or a large basin with hot water. Add a scoop of washing powder to the water and mix well.
  3. Place the oven tray in the water, making sure it is fully submerged. Let it soak for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Use a non-abrasive scrubber or sponge to scrub the tray, paying extra attention to any stubborn stains or burnt-on residue.
  5. Rinse the tray thoroughly with hot water to remove all soap residue.
  6. Dry the tray with a clean towel or leave it to air dry.

Washing powder contains powerful cleaning agents that can cut through grease and grime, making it an effective choice for cleaning oven trays. 

It is also a gentle option that is less likely to scratch or damage the surface of the tray compared to abrasive cleaners or steel wool.

Also Read – Best Hand Mixer For Mashed Potatoes

How To Use Graphite Lubricant For Oven Racks?

Graphite lubricant can be used to lubricate oven racks to make them slide smoothly. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Remove the oven racks from the oven and place them on a flat surface.
  2. Clean the racks thoroughly using warm soapy water and a non-abrasive sponge. Rinse them with clean water and dry them with a soft cloth.
  3. Shake the graphite lubricant can well before using it. Hold the can upright and spray the lubricant onto the edges and sides of the oven racks. Be careful not to spray the lubricant on the center of the racks or on any part that comes into contact with food.
  4. Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe the excess lubricant from the edges and sides of the oven racks. The graphite lubricant will form a thin, dry film that will reduce friction and help the racks slide smoothly.
  5. Reinstall the oven racks into the oven and check that they slide smoothly. If necessary, repeat the lubrication process until the racks move effortlessly.

It’s important to note that graphite lubricant should only be used on oven racks and not on other parts of the oven. 

Also, before using the oven again, make sure to let it heat up for a few minutes to burn off any excess lubricant.

How To Keep Oven Racks From Sticking?

To keep oven racks from sticking, there are a few things you can do:

  1. Clean Them Regularly: The most important thing you can do to prevent oven racks from sticking is to keep them clean. Grease and grime build-up can cause racks to stick, so it’s important to clean them regularly.
  2. Use A Non-Stick Spray: You can use a non-stick cooking spray on your oven racks to prevent food from sticking. Simply spray the racks before you put them in the oven.
  3. Use Parchment Paper: Another option is to use parchment paper on your oven racks. This will prevent food from sticking directly to the racks. Simply place a sheet of parchment paper on the rack before putting your food on it.
  4. Apply Lubricant: You can apply lubricant to the sides of the oven where the racks slide in and out. This can be something as simple as vegetable oil or as specialized as graphite lubricant. Be sure to wipe off any excess lubricant to avoid staining your oven or getting it on your food.

By following these tips, you can keep your oven racks from sticking and make them easier to clean and use.

Also Read – What To Look For When Buying An Air Fryer?

Can I Leave My Oven Racks In During Self-Cleaning?

It depends on the type of oven you have. Some oven manufacturers recommend removing the racks before running the self-cleaning cycle, while others allow you to leave them in place.

It’s important to consult the owner’s manual for your specific oven model to determine the manufacturer’s recommendation. 

Leaving the racks in during the self-cleaning cycle may cause discoloration, warping, or damage to the racks. 

If you’re unsure whether to leave the racks in or not, it’s best to err on the side of caution and remove them before starting the self-cleaning cycle.

Tips For Maintaining Oven Racks

Avoid using abrasive materials or harsh chemicals on your oven racks, as these can scratch or damage the surface. Stick to gentle cleaning agents like baking soda, vinegar, or dish soap.

  1. Use non-abrasive cookware on your oven racks. Rough or jagged pots and pans can scratch the surface of the racks, making them more difficult to clean and more prone to rust.
  2. Clean spills and stains as soon as possible. If you let food or grease build up on your oven racks, it can become much harder to remove. Wipe up spills as soon as they happen, and give your racks a quick cleaning after each use.
  3. Consider using a baking sheet or tray to catch spills or drips when cooking on your oven racks. This can help prevent spills from burning onto the racks, making them harder to clean.
  4. If you have removable oven racks, consider taking them out and cleaning them separately every few months. This will help ensure that all parts of the racks are thoroughly cleaned, and will also give you a chance to inspect them for any signs of wear or damage.

By following these simple maintenance tips, you can help keep your oven racks in good condition and make them easier to clean in the long run.


Whenever we make something in the oven, we simply take out the item and close the door. But gradually, food started to deposit and becomes greasy all over the oven.

That’s why we have to clean the oven from time to time and also have to lubricant the racks and sliders for smooth operation.

Just try the above methods and I am sure that they will work for you. All the methods are easy but it takes time to work properly. Be patient and follow the instructions properly.

So, if you find the article helpful then please share it with your friends and family. Also, don’t forget to share your experience with us. Thank You !!!

You May Also Like: How To Clean A Hand Mixer?


  1. How Do I Keep My Oven Racks Free From Sticking?

    To keep your oven racks non-sticky, you have to clean them from time to time. You also have to apply lubricant to the racks and sliders and shuffle the positions for smooth operation. For a lubricant, you can use any high heat retention oil like peanut oil.

  2. What Is The Easiest Way To Clean Oven Racks?

    You can clean the oven racks easily with lubricants as they are designed to clean them quickly.
    If you don’t want to use it, then you can try the above method. Both are equally effective but the difference is time. You can check out some great lubricants here.

  3. How Do You Lubricate Oven Racks?

    To lubricate the oven racks and the sliders, you can use any high heat retention oil like peanut oil and apply them to every site properly.
    We are using peanut oil because, at a very high temperature, this oil does not smoke.

  4. Can I Use WD-40 On My Oven Racks?

    You can use WD-40 on oven racks to clean. This is used to clean the oven interiors. You can use it to clean all the surfaces and racks and then rinse with clean water.

6 thoughts on “How To Make Oven Racks Slide Easier? With 3 Effective Steps”

  1. Thank You! That was a wonderful article. I just wanted to add that avocado oil works well also, and has a higher smoke point than peanut oil. Again, Thank You!

  2. My bottom KitchenAid ball bearing dluder rack got so bad it completely locked up.

    I removed and Sprayed the slides down with carburetor cleaner multiple times alternating with sliding in and out along with compressed air, followed by a couple drops of 3 in 1 oil … wiped all the cooking racks down .. and it now works like new.

    1. Nice! I like your cleaning process and definitely, I will try that out. This food grease is so irritating, it frequently requires cleaning for smooth operation.

  3. I was recommended this website by my cousin, and I’m glad I found this helpful article. My oven racks were sticking, and they couldn’t move freely. I really appreciate Katrina for writing such an informative piece.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top