How To Clean An Oven: A Simple Guide From The Pros

by Kara Richards on November 30, 2018

How to Clean an Oven: A Simple Guide From the Pros


When was the last time you cleaned your oven? You might avoid cleaning your kitchen appliances because it seems like a chore, but the truth is that cleaning your oven is easier than you might think. Here is what you need to know about how to clean an oven. Here is what you need to know about how to clean an oven, and different methods you can use to remove grime buildup.

Is It Time To Clean Your Oven?

You should clean your oven once every three to six months depending on how often you use it and whether or not you cook messy dishes. You need to clean your oven if you can smell something unpleasant in your kitchen, or can see residues burnt inside.

Grease and grime buildups can cause smoke to come out of your oven when you use it. If your oven is not preheating as quickly as it did before, it is time to clean it.

Grease can build up and obstruct the fan of your oven. You need to clean your oven regularly for hygienic reasons, but you should know that getting rid of grime buildup will reduce wear and tear on certain parts.

Use A Self-Cleaning Cycle


Some ovens have a self-cleaning cycle. Check the user manual that came with your oven to find out if your appliance has a self-cleaning feature.

Using your oven’s self-cleaning feature will use more electricity, but this is probably the quickest and easiest way to remove tough buildups. If you haven’t cleaned your oven in a long time, scrubbing the inside and using a natural cleaner might not be sufficient.

During a self-cleaning cycle, your oven will heat above regular cooking temperatures. The heat will burn any residues that have been building up inside of the appliance.

Completing an entire self-cleaning cycle can take up to three hours. However, your oven will be spotless once you have wiped any ashes leftover from the self-cleaning cycle. The advantage of using a self- cleaning cycle is that residues will be eliminated, even if they are in spaces that would be hard to reach with a sponge or cloth.

Read the instructions carefully before starting a self-cleaning cycle. You might need to remove the cooking rack and other accessories.

Some ovens have a short self-cleaning cycle with steam. These cycles aren’t as thorough, but they are typically completed in 30 minutes.

The steam will remove most spills and buildups, and you can use a damp cloth to finish cleaning your appliance. It is best to use a longer self-cleaning cycle if your oven has a lot of residues, but a short cycle with steam is a convenient option to get rid of recent spills.

Clean Your Oven With Baking Soda And Vinegar

If you are wondering how to clean an oven, you should know that there is no need to purchase expensive cleaners. You can get amazing results by using baking soda, water, and vinegar.

The best part of this oven-cleaning method is that there is very little scrubbing required! Here is what you need to do:

  • Mix ¼ cup warm water with ¾ cup baking soda.
  • Apply the paste on the inside of your oven with a sponge, brush, or cloth
  • Don’t apply the paste to the door or on any metal surface.
  • Wait overnight.
  • Use a plastic scraper to remove the hardened baking soda paste.
  • Finish removing the paste with a damp cloth.
  • Use vinegar to loosen any baking soda residues.

Make sure that all the baking soda has been removed from the oven before using it. Using vinegar is a good way to spot any leftover baking soda since it will foam when it comes in contact with the baking soda.

Letting the paste sit in your oven overnight is the best way to make sure your oven is spotless. However, you might be able to clean your oven faster if the grease buildup isn’t too old.

Apply the baking soda paste inside of your oven and wait three hours. Use a plastic scraper to remove some of the paste and see if the inside of the oven is clean underneath the paste. If you can still see grime, wait a few additional hours before trying again.

Clean Your Oven With Lemon Juice And Water


Lemon juice contains citric acid and can break down grease buildups. Lemon juice might not be strong enough to remove tough grease buildup, but this is a cleaning method you can use anytime you cook something messy.

Cleaning your oven with lemon juice doesn’t take long, and you won’t have to worry about any chemical residues in your oven afterward.

Start by preheating your oven to 250°F. Cut two lemons and place them in a large mixing bowl with lukewarm water. The water should entirely submerge the lemon halves.

Turn the oven off and wait until you can safely touch the inside of the appliance. The inside of the oven should be warm enough to help loosen grease and grime.

Dip a cloth in the lemon juice and water mixture and use it to wipe the inside of the oven. You can use a microfiber sponge to scrub and get rid of tough residues.

You can use the lemon juice and water mixture to clean the door, cooking rack, and any other surface inside of your oven.

Use another damp cloth to finish wiping the inside of the oven and get rid of lemon juice residues. You might have to wait a few minutes for the lemon juice to loosen tough buildups.

Your oven will smell great, and you can use the lemon juice you have left to clean other surfaces in your kitchen.

Using A Store-Bought Oven Cleaner

The downside of store-bought oven cleaners is that these products often contain harsh chemicals. Using a store-bought oven cleaner is not ideal for the environment, and you need to make sure all chemical residues have been properly removed before using your oven again.

However, a store-bought oven cleaner can do wonders if the inside of your oven is caked with old residues. Make sure you wear protective rubber gloves when using a store-bought cleaner.Read the instructions carefully. Spray the cleaner inside of the oven, but don’t apply it to metal surfaces.

Depending on the product you bought, it may or may not be safe to use it on the oven door.You will then have to let the cleaner sit. The chemicals will loosen and eliminate any grime buildups and residues inside of your oven, but this might take a while. Check the instructions that came with the oven cleaner to get an idea of how long you should wait.

You should then remove any residues from the cleaner and grime buildup with a damp cloth. Use a microfiber or pumice sponge to get rid of grease residues the cleaner didn’t eliminate.

Don’t hesitate to wipe the inside of the oven more than once. It is very important to eliminate all chemical residues before using the oven to cook food.

How To Clean The Door And Racks


Most of the methods mentioned above aren’t ideal for cleaning your oven door and cooking racks.

Because they are made from different materials, your oven door and cooking racks might get damaged if you use a harsh cleaner on them.

The safest way to clean your oven door is to use the lemon juice method. You can dip a cloth in a mixture of lemon juice and lukewarm water and wipe both sides of the oven door. Let the lemon juice sit for a while before using a different cloth to wipe the door.

You can use a microfiber sponge to scrub and remove any residues caked onto the door. Grease buildups on oven door are typically not as tough as in other parts of the oven.

If you decide to clean your oven door with lemon juice, don’t let the lemon juice sit on the oven door for more than two hours to prevent damages to the door.

Oven racks need to be cleaned regularly. You should clean the racks and other accessories at least once a month and ideally anytime you make a messy dish.

The best way to clean your oven racks and other accessories are to let them soak in warm water with a few drops of dish soap. You can do this in your kitchen sink or even in a bathtub if your sink isn’t large enough for the oven racks to be completely submerged.

You can let the oven racks soak for as long as needed. If you still see grease residues after letting the oven racks soak for hours, sprinkle some salt on the racks to loosen the grease and use an old toothbrush to remove buildups.

You should have a better idea of how to clean an oven after reading about these different techniques.

Cleaning your oven is easy and might not even require any scrubbing depending on the method you decide to use. Remember to clean your oven regularly to prevent grease and grime buildup from getting too bad.

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