No equipment and this one hack will clean your oven racks while you sleep - all you need is some grass

Great British Bake Off star Nancy Birtwhistle has shared this eco-friendly hack

Oven racks inside an oven
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Clean your oven racks overnight with this free hack from Bake Off star Nancy Birtwhistle.

Move over, Mrs Hinch cleaning hacks, because Nancy Birtwhistle has arrived with her latest tip that promises to clean your oven racks while you sleep. Sharing the tip on BBC's Morning Live, 2014 Great British Bake Off winner Nancy explained that with this hack, "You don't need expensive cleaning kits with nasty chemicals, and you get a bit of fresh air to boot." All you need is some grass.

We all know how much of a chore cleaning an oven can be, so any tips that promise to make it easier are usually well received - including this 10-minute oven cleaning hack shared by social media star and mum-of-two, Chantel Mila. And Nancy Birtwhistle's latest hack ticks a number of boxes - it's eco-friendly, it's free, and it'll clean while you sleep.

In the video shared on Morning Live's Instagram, Nancy takes her oven racks out into her garden, leaves them in long grass overnight and the next day all the dirt and grease easily wipes away with a cloth. She says, "No one seems to know exactly why this works, but the dew on the grass definitely seems to soften up that burnt on dirt."

During her appearance on the show, Nancy explained, "In the past I used to resort to chemical heavy cleaners but I don’t now, I take my shelf outside and throw it into the long grass, leave it there 24 hours and then the next day, dry cloth and just wipe it." She added, "In the summer you can just lay loose grass clippings over it."

How to clean oven racks with Nancy Birtwhistle's hack

  1. Remove the racks from your oven.
  2. Take your oven racks into your garden and lay them down in the grass.
  3. Leave in the garden for 24 hours.
  4. The next day, wipe away the dirt and grease from the oven racks using a cloth.

In the video, Nancy describes her hack as "Eco-friendly, budget-friendly - in fact it's free - and it'll clean whilst you're asleep." She adds when revealing the results, "Mother Nature has done a sterling job!"

Fans were quick to praise Nancy's hack in the comments, and some even shared their own tips for making cleaning oven racks even easier. One user wrote, "I collect my grass clippings up in one of those big IKEA bags and then bury the oven shelves in there. Works a treat!" while another commented, "I’ve always done this with bbq racks but never thought of doing the same with oven shelves. Damp long grass is a winner!"

For people without a grassy area to hand, Nancy suggested using a bowl of full of washing soda dissolved in hot water instead, with the oven racks left in overnight to soak.

And there's plenty more cleaning hacks where this came from, because Bake Off winner Nancy has shared her best eco-friendly and money-saving tricks for cleaning household items over on her Instagram, and in her book, Clean & Green.

Clean & Green: 101 Hints and Tips for a More Eco-Friendly Home by Nancy Birtwhistle - £12.99 | Amazon

Clean & Green: 101 Hints and Tips for a More Eco-Friendly Home by Nancy Birtwhistle - £12.99 | Amazon

Learn how easy it is to make simple swaps in your cleaning and tidying methods for a more eco-friendly home, with helpful tips from bestselling author and Great British Bake Off winner Nancy Birtwhistle.

If you're looking for more time-saving cleaning hacks, check out this kitchen drain cleaning hack and this viral TikTok video hack for getting rid of oil stains on clothes. Plus, TOWIE star Lauren Pope has shared a simple wet wipe hack that she uses when changing her baby.

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Ellie Hutchings
Features Editor

Ellie is Goodto’s Feature Editor, having joined the team as a Junior Features Writer in 2022, and covers everything from wellbeing for parents to the latest TV and entertainment. Ellie has covered all the latest trends in the parenting world, including baby names, parenting hacks, and foodie tips for busy families. She has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University, and previously Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies.