How to Clean an Oven Thoroughly—Plus, How Often You Should Clean It (2022)

Ovens are one of those kitchen appliances that have the distinct ability to turn into a culinary crime scene real fast. There's the steak drippings that have accumulated in a sludgy pool at the bottom, a rogue french fry that slipped through the rack and has essentially turned into pure carbon, and the slick film of grease on the glass that has prevented you from being able to peer into the oven for months.

Not sure how to clean an oven or where to even begin? It may seem overwhelming, but the reward of a sparkly clean oven—and the promise of better-tasting food—makes it worth the effort. Thankfully, deep cleaning an oven isn't as scary as you might think. From the simple press of a button to concoctions that melt grease away, here's everything you need to know about how to clean an oven.

How Often Should You Clean Your Oven?

Paul Bristow, executive director of built-in cooking at GE Appliances, recommends cleaning your oven at least every three to six months, or more often if needed. It's also wise to spot-clean throughout the month. The more upkeep you do on your oven, the easier the cleanup process. Beyond making the chore more bearable, a relatively clean oven also makes for tastier food and fewer germs.

How to Clean Inside the Oven

Use the self-cleaning function.

It almost sounds too good to be true, but many modern ovens come with a self-cleaning feature. "The self-clean cycle is a time-saving convenience feature," says Bristow. "During the cleaning cycle, the oven is heated to about 880 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, food inside the oven incinerates, leaving behind a small amount of ash. The leftover ash wipes out easily with a damp cloth."

(Video) How to Clean an Oven (Non Self Cleaning)

Bristow says that self-cleaning is, by far, the easiest way to clean an oven. It's also one of the best ways to clean an oven if you don't want to mess with chemical oven cleaners or even DIY cleaners. The primary drawback is that your oven locks up for three to five hours and lets off some serious heat, which isn't ideal in the warmer months. It can also produce an unpleasant odor, and you should keep pets and yourself out of the kitchen during the process.

You also want to keep in mind a few tips for self-cleaning ovens. "No commercial oven cleaner or oven liner should be used in or around any part of a self-clean oven as it will damage the enamel coating of the oven. Also, depending on your oven model, the pans and racks may need to be removed," says Bristow. "Finally, whether using the self-clean or steam-clean cycles, or even just cleaning the oven manually, always make sure that the unit has cooled to room temperature before attempting to wipe out the oven interior."

Bristow notes that you may need to self-clean your oven more than once to remove really baked-on grease and stains, and it may take some elbow grease to wipe out the residue.

Use a store-bought oven cleaner.

While the self-clean cycle does a pretty good job of removing baked-on grease and other grime from your oven, you've got a handful of alternatives. One option is to use a chemical store-bought cleaner, such as Easy-Off Professional Fume Free Max Oven Cleaner ($5.45; amazon.com). After removing any large pieces of loose food, spray your choice of cleaner evenly onto the interior of the oven and allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes. The cleaner lifts the grime and grease, allowing you to easily wipe it away.

(Video) How to clean an oven like a pro in 5 minutes - DIY Selleys

Because the chemicals are potent, it's best to open windows and wear gloves and a face mask while cleaning the oven.

Use a DIY oven cleaner.

If you want to clean your oven without oven cleaner, you can DIY a natural cleaner using baking soda, vinegar, and water.

"We say skip the chemical oven cleaner and use a safe and simple solution that still gives you awesome results. A great homemade oven cleaner is a combination of baking soda and water. The baking soda acts as an abrasive and the water softens baked-on crud and loosens food particles," says Jessica Samson, spokesperson for The Maids. "Make a paste and apply it liberally on the oven's interior surfaces and give it [at least] 20 minutes (ideally longer) to break down the burned food."

You can also add a bit of vinegar to your baking soda mixture for some extra cleaning power. Simply spray the vinegar on top and allow it to bubble and set for 20 minutes. Next, use a non-abrasive pad to gently scrub all surfaces—try Scotch-Brite Non-Scratch Scour Pads ($2; amazon.com) or Mr. Clean Magic Eraser ($8; amazon.com)—and follow up with a damp microfiber cloth.

(Video) How to Clean an Oven FAST with NO Harsh Chemicals

How to Clean the Oven Racks

Remove and soak the racks.

"Regardless of what type of oven you have, the best way to clean the metal racks is to remove them from the oven entirely and soak them in boiling water with a little dishwasher detergent," says Ron Shimek, president of Mr. Appliance. "The bathtub is a suitable place to soak oven racks, though you may want to clean the tub afterwards. After soaking for two hours, scrub the racks with a stiff brush, rinse, and dry before returning them to the oven."

Add baking soda to remove stubborn spots.

Instead of boiling water, you can also use the baking soda and water mixture with vinegar spray. The key is letting it sit long enough for the ingredients to work their magic so that scrubbing is minimal.

Use the self-clean function for porcelain racks.

If you have porcelain racks instead of metal, Bristow says that you can leave them in your oven when using the self-clean cycle. He also notes that if you're lucky, your oven may even have a steam-clean option that quickly takes care of small food spills on your racks. This cycle requires a much lower heat than traditional self-cleaning.

"Steam clean does not involve chemicals, so standard pans and racks can remain in the oven during cleaning, and it should be used more often than self-clean to avoid stubborn stains from becoming baked on," says Bristow.

(Video) HOW TO CLEAN YOUR OVEN LIKE A PROFESSIONAL

How to Clean Oven Knobs

Use a microfiber rag to wipe knobs down.

A simple damp microfiber rag used on and around the knobs will do the trick. If the job requires it, use a rag with a bit of soap or a disposable wipe.

Avoid spraying directly on the knobs.

Shimek warns against spraying the oven knobs directly with a household cleaner. "The liquid could get behind the knobs and switches and short out the control panel," he says. "Instead, spray a rag with liquid cleaner and then rub the controls to prevent shorting."

How to Clean Glass Oven Doors

Mix baking soda into a paste and apply.

Your oven's glass door requires a gentler approach compared to the racks since glass is more susceptible to scratches. That means skipping abrasive products and using a less aggressive scrubbing technique.

"To clean your oven door glass without scratching it, mix baking soda and water for a thick paste. Spread the paste generously on the glass and let it sit for 20 or more minutes," says Samson. "After, gently wipe up the paste with a microfiber cloth, rinse thoroughly with water, and buff it dry for a sparkling shine."

(Video) HOW TO CLEAN YOUR OVEN WITH BAKING SODA & VINEGAR || BETHANY FONTAINE

Wipe down glass with glass cleaner.

Alternatively, you can spritz on soapy water or an oven cleaner. To finish the job, use a standard glass cleaner or a bit of diluted vinegar and a soft cloth for extra shine.

Remove dust and debris from hidden areas.

Sometimes an oven's glass door is comprised of two pieces of glass, which can lead to an accumulation of crumbs, dust, or grease streaks over time. This is something you can clean easily, though it does require a few extra steps.

First, open the door and rest it on your leg for support, then unscrew along the top of the door. (By letting the door rest on your legs you'll prevent it from falling and breaking.) Once unscrewed, you'll have access to the in-between layers of the oven. To clean up dust and crumbs, use a vacuum hose with a small nozzle. To clean grease, use a damp sponge with a long handle. (Alternatively, Bristow recommends a yardstick with a damp washcloth attached.)

FAQs

How often should I deep clean my oven? ›

It's recommended that families or individuals who utilize their ovens regularly — about a handful of times a week — give it a proper deep clean every three months. To prevent build-up and residue or burnt food from collecting, aim to give your oven a light clean once a month.

How do you fully clean an oven? ›

And now for how to clean your oven mix. For parts of baking soda with one part of water. And you

Should you clean your oven after every use? ›

The best way to prevent grease and food building up is to give the oven a quick wipe and a clean after each time you use the oven. For example, if you've been frying and you can see fat and grease on the hobs, it's best to give them a wipe down after usage. The same can be said when cooking inside the oven itself.

How do I clean my oven like a professional? ›

And here comes the real trick cover the oven cleaner with some cling film this prevents the

How long after cleaning oven can I cook? ›

These are chemicals burning as the result of Easy-Off cleanup. So we suggest preheating your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes (up to 30 minutes) before using it. Another sign that you shouldn't use your oven right away is when it produces a strange smell.

How do you clean a badly dirty oven? ›

Grab a small bowl and mix a 1/2 cup of baking soda with 2 to 3 tablespoons of water. Tweak the ratio until you have a spreadable paste. Put on your gloves and using your fingers, spread the paste around the inside of your oven, covering the back, sides, bottom, top, door, corners and crevices.

What do oven cleaning companies use? ›

Oven cleaners are a concoction of chemicals, including things like caustic soda, dichloromethane and even ethylene glycol. That's right, ethylene glycol, the chemical used in antifreeze also makes a cameo in your oven cleaner, and this is one of the reasons why these formulations can be very toxic if ingested.

What is the fastest way to clean the bottom of an oven? ›

White Vinegar is also a great source for removing tough grease stains at the bottom of your oven. It works well as vinegar itself is very acidic, it removes layers of grime fast and makes it easier to get the job done in no time.

How often do most people clean their oven? ›

“The inside of the oven should be cleaned every 3 months, or when you notice burnt on food or smoke when you are baking,” says Maker. “Most ovens are self-cleaning, just make sure you remove the racks and clean those separately and follow the manufacturer's directions for best cleaning practices.”

What happens if I dont clean my oven? ›

If your oven is dirty, it can cause issues when rustling up your favourite dishes. Burnt on grease and grime can start to make their way into the flavour of your food (carbon particles taste a little smoky), and meals may even take longer to cook than usual.

Does cleaning an oven make it work better? ›

Regularly cleaning your oven will help it operate at full capacity for longer. Clean ovens are more energy efficient because the heat is distributed efficiently with less energy needed. This is especially good news for those who like to bake, as an efficient oven will produce more even baking.

Do you close the oven door when cleaning? ›

Cleaning inside the oven

Use a sponge and begin scrubbing away the grime and grease to remove it. Wipe out the oven with a wet cloth, being careful not to get anything electrical wet. Repeat application if needed for stubborn stains. Leave the oven door open at the end to allow it to ventilate.

How do I keep the bottom of my oven clean? ›

Keep your oven clean with Oven Liner - YouTube

What is the easiest way to clean oven racks? ›

How to Clean Oven Racks with Very Little Effort. - YouTube

How do I dry my oven after cleaning? ›

After using commercial cleaning products it is important to heat the oven up to high and leave it on for 30 minutes to burn off any residue.

What do I do after I self-clean my oven? ›

Once the self-clean cycle has run its course, all you need to do is take a damp microfiber cloth and wipe the oven top to bottom, rinsing all surfaces thoroughly to remove any of that ashy residue. Now simply replace the oven racks and the drawer below, and your oven is good to go!

Why does my oven smoke after cleaning it? ›

The cleaning is causing the smoke

Store-bought oven cleaners tend to smoke if you don't remove all of the residue from inside your oven after cleaning. Give the interior a good wipe down with a damp cloth once the oven's cooled. This will prevent smoke the next time you use it.

What happens if you put a dishwasher tablet in your oven? ›

Especially since the tablets promise to remove baked-on food; and stains in the oven are definitely baked-on. Plus, the hard powder tablets have an abrasive surface that helps to scour away on those stuck-on stains but is gentle enough not to scratch the oven glass.

How do I get baked on grease off my oven? ›

You could try and rectify a greasy oven is using baking soda and vinegar: Once you've emptied the oven and removed the racks, mix half a cup of baking soda with a few tablespoons of water until you have a spreadable paste. You can always add a little more water if it's not the right consistency.

What is the active ingredient in oven cleaner? ›

Sodium hydroxide, widely known as caustic soda or lye is a white solid, and it is one of the strongest bases used for cleaning. The substance is the active ingredient in most drain and oven cleaning products.

Can you use hydrogen peroxide to clean an oven? ›

Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide

Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide with a splash of Dawn. Make a paste, scrub, and let it sit. Then pour some white vinegar on, scrub a little more, and wipe it off. Be sure to wear rubber gloves.”

Can you use Mr clean Magic Eraser on glass oven door? ›

Powered by legendary clean, the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Kitchen With Dawn is Mr. Clean's best way to clean oven glass. The tiny micro-scrubbers inside lift away grease buildup from hard-to-clean places, like your oven's glass door.

Does foil scratch oven glass? ›

The foil will be able to scrape off even the toughest of stains without scratching the surface of the glass. When finished, wipe off the surface with a paper towel or rag. Clean again with water to avoid streaks from the baking soda, before completely drying the surface with a clean rag or paper towel.

Does the oven door have a slot to clean between the glass? ›

The slot is the key

Go to your kitchen and run your fingers along the bottom of the oven door. There, you'll find a small opening. Sometimes the long, narrow slot is in the middle bottom of the door and sometimes it's on one side. That slot goes between the front and back glass of the door.

Is baking soda and vinegar good for cleaning oven? ›

Fortunately, baking soda and white vinegar—known kitchen heroes—can tackle a dirty oven covered in buildup and transform it into a sparkling clean appliance. Make a chemical-free cleaning paste with these natural products for a safe cleaning method that fights the ickiest grime.

Do you take out the heating element when cleaning oven? ›

Generally, steer clear of the heating elements on the roof and floor of the oven; cleaning there could scratch the element or, if it's still warm, cause it to produce a spark or flame.

Does baking soda clean ovens? ›

There are a variety of methods to clean an oven, but many of those methods involve the use of chemicals. Using baking soda is a great, natural alternative to harsh chemicals. To clean your oven, coat the oven with a baking soda paste, let it sit overnight, and then complete the cleaning with white vinegar.

Should I clean my oven before self cleaning? ›

No matter what type of oven you have, you should remove heavy particles or food debris before self-cleaning, Green says.

How often should you clean your toilet? ›

Once a week at least.

Tetro says your bathroom is the ultimate bacteria host; E. coli can be found within six feet of the toilet and in the sink. To keep it at bay, disinfect the toilet and sink at least once weekly, and the bathtub every two weeks — more if you shower often.

Can I manually clean a self-cleaning oven? ›

If you prefer to only hand clean the oven, a scouring pad (steel wool or plastic) may be used. Rub soiled areas lightly to prevent scratching into the oven liner surface. Do not use scouring powders. Household ammonia can also be used when manually cleaning a Self-Clean oven.

Can a dirty oven catch fire? ›

This build-up of food or grease can cling to hot plating, grills and metal trays, and it's not uncommon to experience odd smells, or even an unpleasant plume of smoke, coming from your oven during cooking as a result. Left unchecked, this residual grime and dirt can lead to a fire.

What two things are you going to use in cleaning the oven? ›

All you need for a DIY oven cleaner is 1 cup of baking soda and 2 cups of vinegar in a spray bottle.

Will baking soda smoke in the oven? ›

Just make sure all the baking soda residue is removed completely before you use the oven again to cook with, as any baking soda that remains on the heating elements can cause smoke.

How do you clean the worst oven glass? ›

Sprinkle inside oven glass liberally with baking soda. Use a damp scouring pad to create a paste and rub into the oven glass. Leave the paste up to twenty minutes to allow dirt to loosen. Wipe oven glass with a damp paper towel to remove paste.

Is it OK to put foil in bottom of oven? ›

“To avoid possible heat damage to your oven, we do not recommend using aluminum foil to line the bottom of your oven. Rather, we recommend that you place a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil on the oven rack beneath the pie or casserole you are baking.

Should you put tin foil in the bottom of your oven? ›

Foil on the bottom rack of the oven may not be able to withstand the heat and permanently damage the oven by melting on it. Foil reflects heat and can cause your baked goods to cook too fast.

Should you put aluminum foil in the oven? ›

Aluminum foil is safe to put in the oven, making it great for lining baking sheets. But it's not recommended to use foil to line the bottom of the oven to catch spills and drips because it can melt in high heat and damage the oven. The best foil uses include: Cooking food on the grill.

Do dryer sheets really clean oven racks? ›

De-Gunk Oven Racks

To clean your oven racks easily, rinse them off, then soak them overnight in a tub of warm water with a little dishwashing liquid and a handful of dryer sheets. When you pull them out the next day, any remaining residue should wipe off easily.

How do I make my oven racks look like new? ›

Oven Rack Cleaning Method: Dishwasher Detergent

The method: Lay an old towel in the bottom of a bathtub, place the oven rack on top, then dissolve about a 1/2 cup of liquid or powder dishwasher detergent in a warm bath. Let the oven rack soak overnight, then rinse clean with a scrubby sponge and clean water.

Can you use magic eraser on oven racks? ›

Can You Use Magic Eraser on Oven Racks? Yes. A Magic Eraser can help lift away the dirt on your oven racks, but you will need a good amount of elbow grease.

What happens if I dont clean my oven? ›

If your oven is dirty, it can cause issues when rustling up your favourite dishes. Burnt on grease and grime can start to make their way into the flavour of your food (carbon particles taste a little smoky), and meals may even take longer to cook than usual.

How often should I steam clean my oven? ›

Shimek says that you should clean the interior of your oven at least once every three months. "Burners and grates should be soaked in hot, soapy water before scrubbing away debris," he says, adding that you should include your oven's racks in this process, as well.

Is steam cleaning good for ovens? ›

Many oven cleaning products now use toxic chemicals which are high in fumes, and damaging to the environment. Steaming your oven is easy, safe and completely fume and chemical free!

How do you deep clean a convection oven? ›

Equipex - Compact convection oven cleaning - YouTube

Can a dirty oven catch fire? ›

This build-up of food or grease can cling to hot plating, grills and metal trays, and it's not uncommon to experience odd smells, or even an unpleasant plume of smoke, coming from your oven during cooking as a result. Left unchecked, this residual grime and dirt can lead to a fire.

What two things are you going to use in cleaning the oven? ›

All you need for a DIY oven cleaner is 1 cup of baking soda and 2 cups of vinegar in a spray bottle.

Do you remove heating element when cleaning oven? ›

The more often you clean your oven, the easier it will be each time you do it. To do as thorough a job as possible, you should remove the racks, thermometers and, if you have an electric oven, the heating elements.

Is steam clean better than self clean oven? ›

Steam cleaning is a much quicker, less smelly method of automatically cleaning your oven. Some steam cleaning ovens clean in as little as 20 to 30 minutes, which is more cost-effective than a self-cleaning oven. Because steam cleaning ovens only reach 250 degrees F during cleaning, they don't get very hot to the touch.

What is the difference between self-cleaning oven and steam cleaning oven? ›

The main difference between a self-cleaning oven and a steam cleaning oven is the steam cleaning function only heats your oven to about 250 degrees Fahrenheit, while the self-cleaning function requires your oven to heat to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

How often should you clean your toilet? ›

Once a week at least.

Tetro says your bathroom is the ultimate bacteria host; E. coli can be found within six feet of the toilet and in the sink. To keep it at bay, disinfect the toilet and sink at least once weekly, and the bathtub every two weeks — more if you shower often.

Do lemons clean ovens? ›

Lemon is the perfect oven degreasing agent. You just need to replace expensive cleaning products with a lemon cleaning solution. It will effectively cut through the grease and offer outstanding results.

Is baking soda and vinegar good for cleaning oven? ›

Fortunately, baking soda and white vinegar—known kitchen heroes—can tackle a dirty oven covered in buildup and transform it into a sparkling clean appliance. Make a chemical-free cleaning paste with these natural products for a safe cleaning method that fights the ickiest grime.

How do I clean the bottom of my oven? ›

Manual washing with soapy water is the preferred cleaning method, however, this is definitely to be preferred over kneeling and scrubbing a burnt oven bottom. Still, if you have to remove hard baked-on grease from the oven tray, baking soda and lemon/white vinegar will do the trick.

What do oven cleaning companies use? ›

Oven cleaners are a concoction of chemicals, including things like caustic soda, dichloromethane and even ethylene glycol. That's right, ethylene glycol, the chemical used in antifreeze also makes a cameo in your oven cleaner, and this is one of the reasons why these formulations can be very toxic if ingested.

How do I get baked on grease off my oven? ›

How do I get baked on grease off my oven?
  1. Step #1: Mix half a cup of baking soda with a few tablespoons of warm water. ...
  2. Step #2: Close the oven and let it sit for twelve hours or longer. ...
  3. Step #3: The following day, gently spread white vinegar over the inside of the oven and let it react with the baking soda paste.
13 Mar 2020

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