We love to cook and use our double ovens all the time. Each oven has three racks and these can become really nasty after months of roasting whole chickens, broiling racks of lamb, browning chicken wings, and roasting water-laden vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, and tomatoes. Most kitchen chores don't depress me, but this one does. Spending an hour per rack with several brillo pads, unknown amounts of hot water, and lots of good old elbow-grease is just torture. The grease doesn't want to come off the racks and the "nooks and crannies" hold on to their greasy treasures with no remorse. It's just a thankless job but one that demands attention when your fingers begin sticking to the rack anytime you move it.
The time had come to address this greasy condition on at least three of our racks, and Peter and I were bargaining and bartering to see who would do one, some, or all of them. Being a man who is all about solutions, he asked whether they could be cleaned in the self-cleaning oven as it was being done. The answer was "No". They will discolor and never achieve their former shiny appearance, but more importantly they will lose their ability to roll in and out of the oven. Then he wondered whether we could use an oven cleaner like Easy Off - a cleaner that can't be used on the oven. I decided to ask the universe what they do to solve this problem and, low and behold, I found a number of suggestions for cleaning oven racks: some toxic (using ammonia), some unacceptable (using the bath tub), but one sounding perfect: taking the racks outside, spraying them with Easy Off (blue can, not the yellow one that requires rubber gloves), placing the racks in a leaf bag over night, and then hosing them off. It worked! All six of our racks were treated and put in the leaf bag overnight and they all came out gleaming like they haven't gleamed in over ten years.