Cleaning your oven is one of those necessary evils. It’s not fun, but it has to be done. And if you’re like most people, you probably don’t clean your oven very often. But there’s no need to fear – it’s actually a lot easier than you might think.
In this post, we’ll walk you through the steps of how to clean an oven safely and effectively. So whether your oven is looking a little grimy or needs a more comprehensive deep clean, follow these tips and you’ll be good to go!
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Why should you clean your oven?
Cleaning your oven regularly is important for a few reasons.
First, it keeps the appliance in good working order by removing built-up grease and food particles that could interfere with the functioning of the heating elements or other parts of the oven.
Second, it makes cooking easier and safer because areas that were once caked on with grease and grime are now clean.
Stuck-on food remnants, oils, sauces, and grease can accumulate which can create unpleasant odours and also burn when the oven is being used.
Improved food taste
Charcoal, grease or fat can negatively impact the taste of the food that you prepare in the oven.
Cleaning your oven helps to prevent any build-up of grease or carbon, which can be flammable.
Food leftovers attract bacteria and germs which can lead to health hazards.
Better cooking results
When your oven is clean, it will cook food more evenly and won’t pass on flavours from previous meals.
How often should you clean the oven?
It’s recommended that you deep clean your oven at least two to four times a year depending on how often you use it. You should also deep clean your oven if some conditions arise.
When should you clean the oven?
You might want to consider cleaning the oven outside of these regular cleaning periods when:
- There are major food spills, stains and food leftovers on the rack or on the interior walls.
- When your oven starts to take longer to heat and generally becomes less efficient.
- When there is a burnt food smell when you use it
- When it smokes or has a strong odour when you use it
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Choose a cleaner
When you’re deep cleaning your oven, you’ll want to make sure that you choose the right type of cleaner. Degreaser is the most effective option for cleaning ovens since it can cut through grease and grime.
Baking soda and vinegar are standard cleaning agents in most homes. Avoid using cleaners with ammonia or bleach as these can leave a toxic residue in your oven.
Make sure to read user manuals if you buy any commercial cleaners.
Gather your tools
- Spray bottle of white vinegar
- Bicarbonate of soda
- Washing up liquid
- Non-scratch scraper tool
- Protective gear
- Old rags or towels
How to deep clean the oven: The process
Is your oven really dirty? Chemicals need time to work on grime and grease. Consider starting your oven deep cleaning in the evening to give the chemicals enough time during the night.
Turn off and cool down
Turn your oven off and let it cool down if you were using it shortly before.
Open windows and turn on any fans that you may have to ensure adequate ventilation.
Place old towels or rags around the oven area on the floor to catch any spills.
Place old newspaper around the oven on the floor on top of the towels. There will be a lot of debris so this will help keep things clean and make it easier to clean up afterwards.
Remove the oven door
There is a current trend going on that advises you to remove the oven door. Removing the door is not particularly difficult and it would allow you to reach those hard-to-get places and clean the door separately. I wouldn’t recommend it though. If you damage the oven door, you may negatively impact the functionality of the whole oven. Depending on the door but I’ve seen it spring up really fast smashing the glass.
Remove large debris
Wipe the debris from inside the oven with a cloth and push it onto the newspaper. Vacuum it before it has a chance to spread around the kitchen.
Clean the oven racks and trays
Remove the racks, trays and any removable parts from the oven. Prepare a soapy water solution (or the cleaner of your choice) in a big sink or a bathtub and let it soak. Rotate the racks if it doesn’t fit inside entirely. Consider leaving them inside overnight if they’re covered with a lot of greases or the stains seem tough.
Prepare your cleaning solution
If you decide to go all green and DIY, baking soda, lemon juice, vinegar, dish soap and hot water is all you need.
Vinegar, baking soda, water, lemon juice, dish soap
Mix 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of water, then slowly add the solution to 3/4 cup of baking soda. Continuously mix until you’ve formed a paste (you will not use all of the vinegar/water solutions). Optionally add soap and lemon juice.
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Baking soda and water
Add 3/4 cup of baking soda to a bowl and about 1/4 cup of water to make a paste.
Do you want to make your own homemade degreaser? Read our blog on how to do it.
Apply your paste onto the interior and leave it for several hours or even overnight if you haven’t cleaned the oven for some time. Avoid getting the paste near the heating elements on electric ovens and the burners.
Scrape off the paste with a plastic scraper. Alternatively, you can use a scrubbing brush or a sponge. Gently remove the stubborn buildup. Don’t worry about wiping the paste off entirely as you might be doing a second round of baking soda cleaning.
If your oven is still quite dirty, you should do a second round of paste cleaning. Apply the same cleaner or solution to the interior. Let it sit again for several hours and gently scrub it again. Wipe it off with a microfiber cloth.
Finish with vinegar
Mix vinegar and water and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray the oven interior and let the cleaner work for 15 minutes. Wipe the vinegar cleaner and the baking soda paste residue with a microfiber cloth and repeat the process one more time.
Clean the inside of the oven door
You can use the same technique as with the other interior. Feel free to experiment with lemon juice and baking soda. Mix them until you have a thick paste. Apply the paste to the door and let sit for 20 minutes. Gently scrub the mixture off. Wipe it all off with a microfiber cloth.
Clean oven exterior
Your oven exterior is most likely coated with the greasy residue that occurs as a byproduct of cooking and baking. Use hot soapy water, or your own cleaning solution and a clean cloth. Be sure to rinse away all traces of the cleaner once you’ve finished.
Complete the exterior cleaning with a spritz of glass cleaner on the oven window and wipe it clean using paper towels or old newspaper.
Clean stainless steel exterior
Always read the manufactures instructions on how to clean a stainless steel appliance. If you don’t have the paper version, look online based on your specific product.
- Use a damp microfiber cloth to keep fingerprints, dust, and dirt to a minimum.
- Use an ammonia-based glass cleaner for greasy smears or hard-to-remove fingerprints
- Prevent water spots and other stains by drying the exterior with a clean, dry microfiber cloth.
- Finally, buff your stainless steel to a brilliant shine with another dry microfiber cloth and you’re done!
Remove the hinges from your oven. Soak them in a bowl of warm soapy water for several minutes to loosen up the grease and dirt that’s accumulated over time. Take each hinge and scrub with a toothbrush or an old cloth to remove the residue.
Seal or grates
Clean the seal with warm water only. Avoid using any cleaning solutions as this might damage the seal of your oven and create bad smells.
If your knobs are removable, you have already won. Remove them, and soak them in soapy water. Let the solution work for a few minutes, scrub them, wipe them and let them dry. If you can’t remove them, clean them the same way, just attached.
Clean the control panel
Use soap and water or a light-duty cleaner and soft cloth when cleaning the control panel. Abrasive pads or harsh cleaners can wear off the decal indicators, which help identify the controls.
Clean beneath the oven
If you have a lower drawer, pull it out and remove it for easy access to the area under your oven. Simply pull it towards you and lift it near the front to remove it from the tracks.
Clean the lower cabinet and floor using a vacuum attachment or bristle brush.
Mop the area with your solution and let air dry.
Clean the glass oven door
Open your oven door and look at the screws used to hold it together. Remove the oven door. Lay the door on the towel or sheet with the inside window facing up. Remove the screws from the door. There are typically two above the window and may also be two on the base of the oven door. Take the door apart and lay the two sides next to each other. The innermost glass of each half of the door should be facing upwards. Clean the windows with a warm soapy water and let completely dry. Put the door back onto your oven.
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How to maintain a clean oven
- Want to avoid the dreaded deep clean, try these tips to keep your oven clean.
- Clean and wipe the interior of the oven after each use with warm soapy water.
- Clean spills as they occur will prevent them from getting baked on set in.
- Use table salt on the spill to prevent it from sticking.
- Use oven sheets or liners on the bottom of your oven to keep it clean.
- Periodically check and clean any vents or holes in the back or side
- Use baking paper when baking.
- Before cooking, line the bottom shelf of your oven with foil or an oven sheet to catch any food that may fall.
- Roast fish and meat in cooking bags to cut down on the amount of fat that can be spit inside the oven.
- Remove the tray from the oven, if you are checking how cooked it is, to avoid splashing grease inside the oven.
- Once you’ve finished cooking, place a heat-resistant bowl of water inside and heat the oven to a medium temperature for 20 minutes. Once fully cooled down, wipe the oven down with a damp cloth to help remove loose dirt and grease.
Thank you for reading our guide on how to deep clean an oven. We hope that this information has been helpful and that your oven is now looking and smelling fresh and new!
If you have any questions or need help with the house cleaning process, please do not hesitate to contact us.