The Bizarre Grass Hack People Use To Clean Oven Racks (& Does It Actually Work?)

If there's one thing around the home that can collect quite a bit of grim as time goes on, it's the oven. Oven racks, in particular, can get very dirty as burnt food, stains, and grease start to stick to them. Part of cleaning your oven should include fully cleaning your oven racks and making them look as good as new. However, if you notice that your oven racks are looking a little weathered and worn, it can be a little tricky to wash them because they're so large.

For people who don't want to awkwardly try to clean oven racks in their sink and who want to steer clear of harmful chemicals, social media personality and 2014 winner of The Great British Bake Off Nancy Birtwhistle introduced a strange method that has gained quite a bit of internet attention. Her solution is to leave an oven rack sitting on the lawn overnight. Then, after you grab it the next day, you'll simply need to give it a quick wipe with a cloth to remove any burnt-on food and stains that are present. 

While it's true that grass has some abrasive properties and can be effective for cleaning oven racks to some extent, is this worth the potential risks? Although this hack might help loosen grime from the oven racks, there are safer and more efficient methods. Soaking the oven racks overnight is a simpler solution that doesn't have the drawbacks of this hack.

Why you shouldn't leave your grates on the lawn

Nancy introduces this hack in her video by saying, "I've got my two oven shelves here. There's one, you can see it's fairly grotty... I'm going to show you how we can clean [it] whilst we sleep." She then recommends leaving the oven rack on the lawn overnight, but notes in the comments that it "needs to be real grass."

This is said to work because the dew and moisture on the lawn seem to help loosen burnt-on stains and grime. However, you'll still need to wipe it clean in the morning. But keep in mind that it's unlikely to do the job perfectly. You may find that some stains haven't been removed overnight, so you may have to follow the process with other easy ways to clean oven racks, such as using baking soda and vinegar or essential oils, to fully remove dirt and grime. 

Another big drawback of using this hack is that your​​ oven rack will be left outside, and will potentially be exposed to bugs and animals in your yard. Relying on this method could lead to rusting as well. You'll want to carefully consider whether leaving oven racks on your lawn is worth the risk or not. If you do use this hack, be sure to check the racks for insects when you bring them back inside and give them an extra bit of cleaning to prevent any problems.

An alternative oven rack cleaning method

While Nancy encourages cleaning your oven racking by leaving it on your lawn, she also offers another suggestion. If you don't have grass in your yard or don't want to risk the potential for bugs and rusting, you can soak your oven racks overnight.

When deep cleaning your oven, you may simply want to soak the oven rack in your kitchen sink or utility sink as an alternative to laying it out on the lawn. Nancy suggests "soaking it in the sink with three to four large scoops of washing soda and hot water" and then letting the oven racks soak overnight. If your sink isn't big enough, however, you can look for a larger container to use with this same method. You can use a bathtub, a large storage box, or even a wheelbarrow to soak your oven racks. In the morning, wipe off any remaining grime and put them back in the oven.