How to Clean Sticky Wire Shelves

Written by kimberly ripley
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How to Clean Sticky Wire Shelves
Soak wire shelves in a solution of liquid dishwasher soap and water to get them sparkling clean. (creativecommons.org; nachi.org)

Wire shelves have found their way into our closets and cupboards at a rapid rate over the past decade, and while they serve their purpose exceptionally well, they are also prone to becoming dirty and sticky after awhile. This is usually due to humidity, spills, and the subsequent wearing down of the protective plastic coating. Rest assured that there is an easy fix. You can clean your sticky wire shelves and have them looking new in no time.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Bathtub or large sink
  • Automatic dishwasher liquid
  • Sponge
  • Screwdriver
  • Towels
  • Blow dryer
  • WD-40
  • Plastic sandwich bag
  • Tape
  • White or clear nail polish

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Instructions

    How to Clean Sticky Wire Shelves

  1. 1

    Remove the wire shelves from your cupboard or cabinet with a screwdriver if they aren't the removable kind. Place the screws for each set of shelves into a plastic sandwich bag, and tape them underneath the cupboard or on the wall in the closet from which they were removed. This will be very helpful when reattaching your shelving because you'll have no doubt which screws go with which shelves.

  2. 2

    Run a tub or sinkful of hot water, and add about a quarter cup full of automatic dishwasher liquid. Submerge the sticky wire shelves into the water, and allow them to soak for about an hour. Scrub the shelves with a sponge. Add a few drops of dishwasher liqpuid directly to your sponge for scrubbing difficult spots.

  3. 3

    Drain the soap and water from your tub or sink. Leave the wire shelves where they are, and rinse them with plain hot water.

    Spread towels on the floor.

  4. 4

    Remove the wire shelves from the tub or sink, and place them onto the towels. Allow them to remain on the towels for about half an hour.

    Dry the shelves as best you can with a towel, paying special attention to the area between the wires. If you notice any areas of rust that have leaked through and stained the plastic coating, simply spray on a bit of WD-40 and wipe it away with the towel. This should take care of the stains.

  5. 5

    Replace the shelves using a screwdriver. If you notice any areas where the plastic coating has worn away, touch it up with either white or clear nail polish. Allow the polish to dry for about 15 minutes, and apply a second coat.

    Turn on your blow dryer, and spend about 10 minutes thoroughly drying the wire shelves from a distance of 8 to 12 inches back. This will not only ensure that the nail polish dries and prevents the actual wires underneath from rusting but will also dry out any droplets of water you may have missed with the towel, which can also help to prevent future rust.

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