How to Make Oven Racks Slide Easily

Working in a commercial kitchen, you might have come across the frustration that occurs when the pans and trays on your oven racks won’t go back in place easily. As grease and burnt food builds up on the racks, they start to catch as you try to slide them in and out. Any grime left on pan and oven racks will hinder their movement and make your life more difficult. But, don’t get discouraged! We can help you learn how to make your oven racks slide easily.

Clean The Oven

Clean Commercial Oven

The first step in making the pans and trays in your bakery racks slide more easily is to thoroughly clean your commercial oven. The self-cleaning option can be damaging and people don’t always like the harsh chemicals in commercial cleaners. We’ve put together a solution with only natural ingredients that won’t hurt your ovens.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

In order to properly clean your commercial oven, you will need to get a few supplies. For thorough cleaning, you will require:

  • water,
  • baking soda,
  • vinegar,
  • a good sponge (or maybe two).

Follow The Instructions

  • To start cleaning your oven, first, remove the rolling oven racks and put them aside.
  • Next, you will need to mix up your baking soda, vinegar, and water. Use a cup of baking soda, 100 ml of water, and 100 ml of vinegar (100 ml is a little less than half a cup) to create a paste.
  • Dip your sponge into the mixture and start applying the paste to the greasy parts of your commercial oven, ensuring everything is covered.
  • Next, turn on your oven to 100 degrees Celsius and let it heat for about 45 minutes.
  • Finally, once it’s cooled down a little, use your sponge to scrub your oven, wiping out the dirt and leaving it squeaky clean.

Clean The Oven Racks

Clean Commercial Bakery Oven Racks

Spills of liquids, foods, and grease cause a hefty buildup of gunk on your commercial oven racks. To ensure your pans slide as smoothly as possible on their racks, you’ll need to give the rack a meticulous cleaning.

Grease the Racks and Sliders

Greasing your rack is the best way to get that easy slide you want. The next question is, how to lubricate oven racks? The process is incredibly simple!

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

The most important part of getting that easy slide is to lubricate oven racks where the pans and trays are placed. Start with gathering your materials! The safest choice is always the natural one, so grab some peanut oil or use Food-Grade Grease from Schaumburg Specialties. You’ll also need a cloth or a sponge for this method.

Follow the Instructions

  • To properly lubricate your oven racks, start by pouring peanut oil into a bowl. If you don’t have peanut oil, use any other oven-safe oil, like olive or vegetable oil.
  • Take your cloth or sponge, preferably a rag, and dip it into your peanut oil.
  • Carefully rub the rag on the sides of your racks, making sure everything is properly covered.

Keep Oven Racks from Warping

Keep Oven Racks from Warping

Sometimes more important than how to make oven racks slide more easily, is making sure to avoid them getting stuck in the first place. It’s possible that some of your oven racks are getting used more frequently and have started to warp.

To make sure that warping is the cause of your commercial oven rack problems, switch out your racks and see if they slide more easily. To avoid your racks getting warped, there’s an easy fix. When you’re replacing the racks back in the oven, try to rotate the tray position. For example, put the ones in the middle closer to the bottom and the ones on the bottom all the way at the top, etc. We tend to use the top and middle racks of a commercial oven rack more often because they are closer to our height, and the pans/trays are more likely to be warped. If your commercial oven has a self-cleaning feature, don’t use it! The high heat is also a likely cause for warping.


We’ve assembled this efficient step-by-step guide on how to make oven racks slide easily and affordably. Remember to avoid warping by regularly rotating your trays. If this does happen, you might need a higher-quality replacement that’s less likely to get warped and stuck. If you’re looking to upgrade your commercial ovens and racks, contact us at Schaumburg Specialties!