How to Clean An Oven: Simple Steps

How to Clean Oven
Photo Credit: Andy Melton,

Obviously, when it comes to cleaning ovens, there are three types. They are the self-cleaning oven, continuous cleaning oven, and the non-self-cleaning oven. It’s easy to assume that a self-cleaning oven means that once you’re done cooking the oven sucks up every grease left behind and self-renews.

Think about it. Only living things have the ability to clean themselves, and that is not even every kind of living thing. This means that robots, including kitchen robots, need help getting clean – at least for this generation. This also means that even self-cleaning ovens should be cleaned.

That said, you agree that it’s important to talk about how to clean your oven. Maybe you didn’t realize it but how you clean your oven will play an important role in how long your oven lasts. How you clean your oven will also depend on the type of oven you use to cook and the kind of food you cook.

For example; if you cook greasy food, your oven is definitely ending up with lots of slimes that’ll require some baking soda to get it off. Stains that do not contain oil may require just water and napkin to get it off. Whatever the case, this article determines to show you how to clean an oven.

If you prefer to watch a video, see this for How to Clean Oven

Why you should clean your oven

Honestly, nobody wants to be caught in the cyclic motion of cleaning an oven at every turn of the day. The most convenient thing to do in place of cleaning your oven will be a manicure, or something more alluring – sleep.

Except that if you do not clean your oven then you run the risk of feeding you and your family (or guests) some poisoned food. Poisoned from contact with an unclean oven.

Additionally, you don’t want your delicately prepared food to come off with an odor you can’t explain. Grease leftover time, especially in a dark compartment, tends to develop some subtly hideous smell that could ruin your food when you bake in an unclean oven.

Again, when you let your oven build up grease and another food crump inside it then you run the risk of losing that oven soon and purchasing another one. So, except you’re on a mission to sponsor oven-manufacturers and retailers single-handedly, you want to learn how to clean your oven and actually clean your oven.

How often should you clean your oven?

You’ve probably left your oven unattended for the past 3 months. That’s entirely wrong. While it’s almost unrealistic for you to clean your oven every time you bake or cook in it, the fact is that you do have to clean it not less than once every month. You should also clean your handle every two weeks, to say the least.

It’s always better if you can take the chance to clean your oven every week. It’ll help you maintain your oven and it won’t be difficult to get the mess off the sides. The more you let your oven accumulate grease and food crump, the more difficult it will be to get it clean.

How to clean your oven

There are several ways to clean your oven and, as mentioned before, they are all dependent on three factors.

  • The kind of food you make (do they contain a lot of grease or water?)
  • How often you clean your oven
  • The kind of oven you use

Video: Self-Cleaning Oven Feature

Watch this video to see how to use the oven self-cleaning feature

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If your oven has the self-cleaning feature

Yes, your oven is self-cleaning according to the features displayed on it so you’re thinking about hitting the button. You can – if only your oven isn’t so dirty and full of grease.

Here’s how self-cleaning works for most ovens: hitting the self-cleaning feature causes the oven to lock in automatically and begin to heat up. In this state, the oven temperature can get as high as 550 degrees which makes the grime and grease come off quite easily by melting. Food crump left in the oven also burns out and can be easily evacuated from the oven.

The downside: Because the oven locks itself and heats up so high when you turn on the self-clean button, it is most likely to generate a lot of smoke which can even ignite a fire in your kitchen.

This implies that you can only consider the self-cleaning feature if you sure have been cleaning up after your dishes in recent times. If you haven’t cleaned up in a while, it’s safer to just avoid using the feature to keep you and your household safe.

If you think it’s safe enough for you to use the self-cleaning feature: then get racks out of the oven first and click the button. Your oven will usually take about 2 hours or more, depending on the make, to self-clean. After it’s done, let the oven cool down (this will take some time) before you open it and remove the residue at the base.

It’s always safer to schedule your oven for self-cleaning on a day when you are fully at home. This ensures that if anything goes wrong, you’ll be there to save the day.

By the way, you have to clean the racks yourself while the oven self-cleans.

Check out these articles…

How to Cook Bacon in the Oven (How Easy Can It Be?)

How To Cook Potatoes In The Oven: 2 Step-by-Step Methods

How to Cook Steak in the Oven: 5 Easy Ways

How to Make French Fries in Oven: Recipes You’ll Crave

How to Cook Chicken Legs in the Oven: 3 Amazing Recipes

How to Bake Chicken Thighs in the Oven: 5 Easy Recipes To Try

How To Cook Baby Back Ribs In Oven

What you should use to clean your oven

So if you’re not self-cleaning your oven what then should you use to clean your oven?

Oven cleaner from the store: You can always buy an oven cleaner from the store. It’s easy to use and makes the process faster. In fact, it’s the way to go if you have so much grease to get off your oven.

Downside? Lots of caustic. If your skin is sensitive to caustic, then you should consider an alternative means to clean your oven. Again, it’s made from chemicals so you may skip it if you prefer to use natural products.

Vinegar, baking soda, water, and a spray bottle: This method is more suitable if you have a heavy accumulation of grime and grease to take off your oven. You’ll have to prepare a mixture of baking soda and water that you’ll leave overnight in the oven.

Lemons and water. This method is most convenient if your oven is not very dirty and you don’t have to clean your racks. It takes approximately 2 hours to get done with cleaning your oven.

Other materials that you need

Rubber gloves for cleaning. You want gloves that will form a thick barrier between your hand and your oven. Disposable gloves will be too flimsy for this job.

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Protective glasses for safety: If you use caustic soda, you need to protect your eyes. Putting on a protective pair of glasses will help to achieve this aim.

Paper towels or Old newspapers: You want to protect your kitchen floor from stains and save yourself from extra work. So put your old newspaper around your oven floor to protect it.

Damp cloth/rags: You’ll need to clean the grime and grease from the oven surface using a damp rag. It’s always safer to have more clothes available for this cleaning.

(Optional) Scouring pumice or Microfiber sponge: You’ll need this if you’re cleaning up a great deal of grease and grime. Helpful if you’re tackling lots of buildups.

Plastic garbage bag: For cleaning your oven racks.

How to clean oven with oven cleaner from the store

Remove every detachable item from your oven. This includes the temperature gauges, oven racks, foil, pizza stones, and every other thing you use your oven to save. You can’t clean your oven with all these things in your oven.

This is a good opportunity to clean up these items if they have grease and grime clung to them. On this note, keep them in a corner when you can clean them later.

Put your newspaper or paper towels around the oven. This will help to hold the spread of dripping dirt or cleaning agent from the oven around the kitchen as you clean. This will save you the additional work of cleaning the kitchen when you are not ready. All you have to do is dispose of the papers or towels when you are done.

Wear your safety glasses and rubber gloves. Then take the oven cleaner and spray it around the inside of your oven. Make sure you spray the cleaner on the back, the sides, the bottom, the top, the door, all corners and crevices present in the oven.

For an electric oven, avoid spraying the cleaner on the heating parts. What you should do is to lift them up and douche the inside. For a gas oven, leave out the part where the gas comes out from.  When you are done spraying, shut the oven doors.

Now allow the spray to soak into the oven for the specified amount of time written on the tag.

While you wait, carry the racks to a well-ventilated space and douche them with the cleaner. Then put them into the large plastic garbage bag and knot the bag. The racks should be kept in the bag for the amount of time instructed on the tag.

When your time has elapsed, throw wide the oven, pick the damp rag of cloth and clean up all the surface in the oven. If you meet a spot that is too sticky then use your microfibre sponge to clean the dirt there. Double-check to be sure that you have wiped through every corner in the oven and that there is no grime left off inside or around.

After this, take out the racks from the plastic bag and use hot, soapy water to rinse it off. Wipe the racks with a clean cloth rag or use your sponge to remove any adhering particle. Dry them up and replace them in their positions.

How to Clean Oven With Vinegar and Baking Soda

You have to remove every part of the oven that is detachable – the racks, oven thermometer, pizza stone, and all your saved items.

Next, make a paste by mixing water with baking soda.

How? Measure out ½ cup baking soda and combine it with a couple of tablespoons of water. Keep adding water in parts until you have your desired paste consistency which should be not too light and not too thick. This should be somewhere between 3 to 4 tablespoons.

Next, spread the paste over your oven on the inside while meticulous avoiding the heating parts of your oven.

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You’ll need your rubber gloves to work through this segment of your cleaning. It’ll protect your hands from all the grime present in your oven and save your nails from all that soil. This will enable you to get into every part of your oven as you spread the paste around.

Do your best to make sure every part of your oven is covered in the baking soda paste, especially focusing on those parts that have more grime than the others. Don’t worry if some parts have more paste than the others or if the paste turns brown while you are still applying it to the oven.

Leave the paste in the oven through the night. If you are working during the day time then leave the paste to stay in the oven for approximately 12 hours.

While you are waiting for the paste to sit in, scrub off dirt from your oven racks.

When you are done waiting for your baking soda to settle in overnight or for 12 hours then pick your damp cloth rag and clean it off the best you can. You should know that the paste will be totally dried up on the body of the oven by now. If you have any leftover particles on the body of the oven then a plastic spatula might be useful in getting it off. Make sure to clean every nook and cranny of the oven.

Your Vinegar should be stored in a spritz bottle. When you are done removing the baking soda paste from the oven then spray the vinegar on every part of the oven that has baking soda residue remaining on it. They’ll react together to form foam.

Now pick your damp rag and clean off the foamy mixture that has been formed by the baking soda and vinegar. You will need to take this action as many times as you will need to get all the particles off your oven and until your oven is sparkling clean.

Put back the oven racks and every other item that belongs inside your oven.

Tip: You may consider diluting your vinegar a little with water if you think it’s too concentrated.

How to Clean Oven With Lemons and Water

For this style of cleaning your oven, you need to fill up a midsized stirring bowl (that is oven-proof) with water and then put 2 lemons that are cut in halves into the water.

Next, you’ll have to heat up your oven to about 250 degrees after which you’ll put the stirring bowl on any of the racks and let it sit for an hour.

When the hour is passed, switch off your oven and leave the door open. Allow it to cool off a little.

Now it’s time to put on your gloves. Just make sure that the oven is cool enough not to burn your hands.

Grab your damp rag and clean through the entire surface from the inside to the outside. The door and every corner. Use your microfibre sponge to clean off any spot that is too sticky for your rag. Make sure every grime or grease is gone.

How To Clean Oven Racks

When you bring out your oven racks, how do you make sure that it is clean enough before you return it to your rack? Here are a few simple steps to follow.

Things You’ll Need

Water (hot)

Old towels

Dishwasher detergent

Non-abrasive sponge

Dry towels

Bar Keeper’s Friend (it may come in handy)

Sink (or bathtub)


Bring out all the racks from your oven and take them to the sink or bathtub (whichever one you’ll be using).

Place your old towels at the base of your sink or bathtub. Then put the racks in the towels. The towels help to save the surface you are using from scratches.

Secure the drainage of your sink or bathtub and use hot water to fill it up. Make sure you fill it to cover your racks.

Pour out some dishwasher detergent (about ½ cup), add it to the water and swish. Any type of detergent can serve – liquid or powder.

Leave racks lying in the water for 4 hours.

After 4 hours, the racks will be easy to scrub off. Rub off the stains with your non-abrasive sponge.

If you still find some stains on the racks then use your Bar Keeper’s friend in removing the leftover stains.

Rinse the racks, dry, and fix them back in your oven.

Cleaning Oven Knobs

While spraying cleaners in and around your oven please avoid spraying them on the knobs of the oven as this could cause some form of electrical short-circuiting.

It’s safer to clean the controls with a damp cloth douched with cleaners or with disposable wipes.


A clean oven contributes to a clean kitchen which ensures that each meal you prepare is healthy and rightfully tasty.

Cleaning your oven doesn’t have to be a herculean task if you make it a regular practice. Plus you won’t have to keep changing your oven every other time.

Have fun cleaning your oven!

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