Why You Should Stick Dryer Sheets in the Bathtub

I hate cleaning my oven. I give it a once over post-dinner cleanup, but the effort it takes to remove and scrub the burners and racks after a few serious weeks of eating at home? I hate it. A cooking holiday? Forget it. So you can imagine the joy and elation that filled my soul after reading about a magic trick involving dryer sheets and dish soap to quickly and easily remove baked-on food from oven racks and burners.

A good, long soak in the tub with dryer sheets helps to degrease household items, making them easier to clean with hardly any effort at all. Just how does this work? The bond between baked-on food and grime and your burners (or whatever you’re soaking) becomes weakened by the anti-static agents in dryer sheets. Add a little dish soap to help knock the grease off and you’re good to go.

Some things to try the dryer sheet trick with:

  • Dirty oven racks
  • Stove burners
  • Wire shelving
  • Grill racks

How to Do It:

Place your items the in the tub and fill it with enough warm water to cover over the burners. (If you have exceptionally dirty items, lay a shower curtain liner down first so you don’t end up cleaning up two messes. Take the liner outdoors to hose off after.)

Next, add up to 10 dryer sheets (used, or unused—both will work) and a good amount of dish soap to get things nice and bubbly. For best results, spread them around: Place a few sheets under the items you’re soaking and float a few on top.

Allow them to soak in the bath for a couple hours (overnight if possible) then wipe everything down using the dryer sheets. The grime should come off fairly easily, but you may need to use a scouring sponge to grab thicker, baked-on grime.

A tip on rust: Before placing your items in the tub to soak, check to be sure they are rust-free. If they happen to have a bit of rust, you can still use this method, just soak everything in a plastic storage bin instead of your tub so you don’t transfer any of the rust.

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