How To Clean An Oven Like A Pro

how to clean inside oven

Many people don’t realize that their oven needs to be cleaned and maintained on a regular basis, just like anywhere else in your home. Your oven can actually harbor bacteria and food spills, and this can make it hard to prepare meals without fear of illness. Not to mention all the nasty grease and burned food residue that builds up over time! Luckily, our Pros know a thing or two about how to get ovens sparkling clean. This article lists out how to clean your oven and what supplies you’ll need to do so.

Follow these simple steps to keep your oven looking clean and shining.

How to clean the inside of an oven

There are many ways to clean inside your oven. You can use a commercial oven cleaner, or you can make your own at home. More important than the cleaning solution you use is how frequently you clean your oven.

You should wash it out with water about once a month. This prevents your oven from becoming coated in grime. And always wipe down your cooled oven after cooking anything particularly messy. This helps prevent grease and dirt from accumulating.

You’ll Need:

  • Commercial oven cleaner, OR white vinegar and baking soda
  • Sponge
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Plastic food scraper
  • Clean water
  • Paper towels
  • Spray bottle

Step 1: Switch off your oven and allow it to cool. Never try to clean your oven while it’s hot. Not only is it dangerous, but any cleaning solutions you use can burn, releasing toxic chemicals or even just leaving unsightly stains behind.

Step 2: Remove the racks from your oven and soak them in a solution of hot, soapy water while you clean your oven.

Step 3: Apply your cleaning solution. Make sure to get all the sides and top of the oven, as well as the floor. If you have an electric oven, you can apply cleaner to the heating coils.

Step 4: Give your oven a good scrub with a sponge or microfiber cloth. Avoid anything that could scratch the finish, such as steel wool. If the cleaning solution you use turns brown, that just means it’s lifting dirt from your oven.

Step 5: If your oven is very dirty, apply a second coat of cleaning solution and leave it overnight to work its magic before continuing to clean.

Step 6: Using a damp microfiber cloth, wipe away the cleaning solution residue and lift dirt and debris. You can use a spatula or plastic pan scraper to remove any tough burned-on food. Avoid using anything metal that might damage your oven.

Step 7: Give your oven a final wipe-down with clean water, making sure you’ve removed every trace of cleaning solution. You can use paper towels to dry your oven, or turn it on to the lowest heat for 15 minutes to dry out.

Step 8: Reinstall the oven racks and enjoy your gleaming clean oven!

oven cleaning supplies

How to clean a gas oven

If you have a natural gas oven, you might be nervous about cleaning it without causing any damage. However even gas ovens are designed to be completely cleaned inside, so you should be able to clean it just as effectively as any other type of oven.

Pro Tip: Always be gas safe. Make sure your oven is completely cooled before cleaning, and if you smell natural gas, call your gas company’s emergency line or dial 911 immediately.

How to clean an electric oven

Electric ovens often have an exposed heating element at the top and/or bottom of the oven. They may also have a convection fan at the back of the oven to help circulate hot air evenly. 

Generally, you don’t have to worry about getting cleaning solution on any of these parts. They are all perfectly safe to clean as long as you use a cleaner that is appropriate for use on domestic ovens.

Some cleaners, such as Easy-Off, cannot come into contact with heating elements. If in doubt, cover the elements with foil, or use a different cleaning solution.

Pro Tip: Oven clean? Now learn how to clean your dishwasher!

how to clean oven

How to clean oven racks

Sometimes your oven racks can get just as dirty as the oven itself. Most oven racks are made of stainless steel, and can be cleaned easily. If they aren’t very dirty, you can just wipe them down with a damp rag and some mild dish soap, or for more intensive cleaning, soak them in hot, soapy water.

Pro Tip: Sink too small for your oven racks? Clean them in the bathtub!

Another easy way to clean oven racks is to use a trash bag and ammonia. You can purchase commercial bag cleaning kits for oven racks, but it’s just as easy to make your own!

You’ll Need:

  • Trash bags
  • Ammonia
  • Clean water

Only use ammonia in a well ventilated area, and wear gloves and a mask. Place your oven racks in the trash bag and add 2 cups of ammonia. Tie the bag and leave it overnight. Remove the racks in the morning, taking extra care because the ammonia fumes will have concentrated inside the bag. Rinse the racks thoroughly to remove any last dirt.

Pro Tip: Keep cleaning! Learn how to clean your microwave

oven cleaning tips

How to clean the glass on the oven door

One place you’ll quickly notice grease buildup and food spatter is on the glass of your oven door. If you’re struggling to see what’s going on inside your oven, it’s time to get cleaning. Always make sure the oven is completely cooled before attempting any cleaning, to avoid burns.

You’ll Need:

  • 50/50 white vinegar and water mix
  • Sponge
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Clean water
  • Vacuum hose attachment
  • Spray bottle

As part of your routine cleaning, use a 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar to spritz the glass and cut through grease. This will keep the door in good condition and prevent dirt from accumulating. You can also use a damp microfiber cloth with a small dab of dish soap to achieve the same effect.

If there are any crumbs or debris between the glass and the door, you can remove the glass from your oven door to access the cavity. Open the door and undo the screws along the top to lift the glass free. You can use your legs to support the door and prevent the glass from falling if it isn’t securely held once the screws are removed. Use a vacuum hose attachment to remove dust and crumbs, and then wipe down the cavity with a damp microfiber cloth.

You can also use commercial oven glass door cleaners to achieve the same effect. And if your oven is really grubby, consider letting it run a cleaning cycle. This can take 2-4 hours, so don’t do it on a day you’ve got a big dinner planned! Also ensure your kitchen is well ventilated, because the high heat from the cleaning cycle can make the oven give off unpleasant fumes.

Pro Tip: Got sticker residue on your door? Find out how to remove sticker residue from any surface!

How to clean an oven with Easy-Off

Easy-Off is a popular brand of odor-free oven cleaner. It’s one of the best oven cleaner sprays on the market. Easy-Off is safe to use in self-cleaning ovens, gas ovens, and electric ovens, although for electric ovens you must cover the heating element with foil before applying Easy-Off cleaner.

Always ensure your oven is turned off and completely cooled before applying Easy-Off cleaner. Spray the cleaner all around your oven, close the door, and allow it to sit for 2 hours. This gives time for the cleaning foam to penetrate any dirt or burned-on food inside the oven.

After 2 hours, remove the Easy-Off foam using a sponge or microfiber cloth dampened with clean water. Don’t use any other cleaning solutions at the same time you use Easy-Off oven cleaner. You may need to rinse out the sponge or cloth frequently until all the cleaner has been removed.

Pro Tip: Clean the top of your stove as well with these tips on cleaning a glass top stove

How to clean an oven without oven cleaner

If you don’t have a commercial oven cleaner available, it’s easy to make an oven cleaner DIY solution. Two of the best ingredients for tough cleaning jobs are white vinegar and baking soda. Find out how to use them to clean your oven by reading the instructions below.

How to clean an oven with vinegar

White vinegar is an amazing cleaning solution for every part of your home, not just your oven! You can use vinegar in a spray bottle to spritz the oven on a regular basis to keep dirt and grime from building up. White vinegar is also an effective cleaner when your oven is in bad need of some TLC.

You’ll Need:

  • 50/50 white vinegar and water mix
  • Sponge
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Clean water
  • Spray bottle
  • Oven safe dish

Step 1: Make a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and warm water.

Step 2: Use a spray bottle to apply the mixture to the inside of the oven.

Step 3: Use a sponge or microfiber cloth to wipe down the oven, repeating until the sponge or cloth no longer comes away dirty.

For more intensive cleaning, you can use white vinegar to loosen dirt and cut through grease inside your oven.

Step 1: Place an oven safe dish, such as a casserole dish, inside your oven on the bottom shelf.

Step 2: Make a 50/50 mix of water and white vinegar in a pan and bring to a boil.

Step 3: Carefully pour the boiling vinegar/water into the casserole dish inside the oven.

Step 4: Leave inside the oven for an hour to cool. The vinegar steam will help loosen any grime.

Step 5: Wipe down the oven using a clean, damp cloth.

cleaning oven rack

How to clean an oven with baking soda

If your oven is very dirty, baking soda is what you need to get the job done. 

You’ll Need:

  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Sponge
  • Microfiber cloth

Make a paste of baking soda and enough water to get the right consistency. Spread the paste all over the oven interior and leave for 30 minutes. Then scrub the oven to lift any buildup.

If you have a lot of burned on food to remove from the floor of your oven, sprinkle baking soda across the buildup and then spray white vinegar onto the baking soda. The reaction between the two will help dislodge stubborn messes.

Use a damp sponge or microfiber cloth to remove the baking soda (and vinegar, if used) from the oven. Wash clean with clear water to remove any last residue.

Pro Tip: Keep cleaning! Now learn how to clean your washing machine

It’s easy to clean the inside of an oven with the Pros on your side!

Now you know how to clean an oven, no matter what mess it got into. To keep your oven in optimal condition at all times, you’ll need to practice using these procedures on a regular basis. Remember to always clean your oven after any food spills, and add cleaning your oven to part of your regular cleaning routine.

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