Ashley Menard

6 Simple Steps on How to Clean an Oven

May 11, 2020

What Time Is It?!
Cleaning Time!

We all have a cleaning routine, some a bit laxer than others (guilty). Often in these cleaning routines, there is an item regularly forgotten about; or in some cases, we don’t forget about it, more so we just wanted to put it off for as long as possible – the oven.

So, let’s dive in. I’ll make it easy for you by giving step by step directions on how to clean an oven. You may also wonder how frequently your oven should be cleaned. Don’t worry; I will cover that too, along with why it matters to clean your oven.

How to clean an oven

How to Clean an Oven

In many homes, people now own self-cleaning ovens. I have read mixed reviews on some individuals hating this function, and others like it. These steps will be for people who plan to clean their oven with their hands.

There are many different oven cleaners you can buy, though many of these have harmful chemicals in them. I will discuss two basic ways on how to clean an oven with items you probably already have lying around your home.

One way is using baking soda and vinegar (this duo can conquer all). This first option will be a long process (overnight). Usually, an oven that needs quite a bit of TLC will use the baking soda/vinegar guide.

If you are short on time, though, the second option is the way to go; it uses water, dish soap & heat. Also, it works better for ovens that don’t need that extra lovin’.

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How to Clean an Oven with Baking Soda & Vinegar

Time is what will be your best friend with this one; it will do most of the grunt work for you.

Here is a list of the items you will need:

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Gloves
  • Dish soap or laundry detergent
  • Spray bottle
  • Non-abrasive sponge or cloth (or another cleaning utensil)
  • Newspaper or paper towels*

*Newspaper/paper towels are laid under the oven to catch any drips that may fall. It makes clean up more manageable, but can be skipped.

Step 1: Remove all items from the oven

Remove your thermometers, stone wear, and racks. Place racks in a bathtub* full of boiling water with ½ a cup of dishwashing soap or laundry detergent and let soak for at least 20 minutes. However, the longer they soak, the easier gunk removal will be. The racks will soak while you prepare your oven.

*If you want to prevent possible scratches in the tub, lay down some towels. Also, if the racks fit in your sink, you can soak them in there instead.

Step 2: Make baking soda/water mixture

 Generally, ½ cup of baking soda to 3 tablespoons of water will make a good paste. You can change the ratio as need be. You want your paste to have a smooth consistency for easy application on the inside of your oven.

Step 3: Coat the interior oven

 Now is the time to place the rubber gloves on your hands and get down and dirty. Spread the paste all over the inside of your oven using your hands. You can use a brush if you’d like. Ensure to cover all areas, but DO NOT GET ANY ON THE HEATING ELEMENT or IN AREAS WHERE GAS COMES OUT.

Close the oven door and let the paste work its magic for 10-12 hours or overnight, if possible.

Step 4Clean oven racks

 The oven is now done, so move on back to the soaking racks. Hopefully, they have been soaking (2 hours is ideal), and you can start scrubbing them with a bristle brush, pumice, or rag to get all the grime off. Clean those racks, rinse then dry.

Step 5: Clean the oven

 It has now been 12 hours or more, so get those handy dandy rubber gloves ready. Use a damp washcloth to remove the paste. Spray the vinegar on the leftover paste. Let it bubble then remove with a damp cloth. Repeat this process until all the baking soda mixture is gone.

Do one more final rinse wipe down. For tougher messes, use a silicone spatula to help. Once it is cleaned, the racks and all other items can be placed back in.

Step 6: Clean exterior oven

 You can use a damp cloth with all-purpose cleaner or soapy water to wipe down the surface areas of the oven. Spray/wet the cloth when cleaning the knobs. If you spray the knobs, liquid could get behind it and short out the control panel.

Click here to see a video of these steps if you want to skip the spiel forward to 0:56.

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How to Clean an Oven with Heat & Soapy Water

Items needed:

  • Pan (filled with water)
  • Dish soap
  • Non-abrasive sponge or cloth (or another cleaning utensil)

Step 1: Prepare oven for cleaning

 Fill up a pan with water and place it on the bottom rack. Set the oven 225°F and heat for 15 minutes. Then allow the water and oven to cool.

Step 2: Clean the oven

 Once the water is cooled, add dish soap to make it sudsy. Then start scrubbing using a sponge or cloth.

If your oven needs it, perform steps 4 & 6 from ‘How to Clean an Oven with Baking Soda & Vinegar.’

How Often Should I be Cleaning my Oven?

So you now know how to clean an oven, but how often should this cleaning occur? If you’re a baking master, you’ll want to clean your oven about every 3 months. For those that don’t bake as much, then every 4 – 6 months is reasonable. Of course, it is useful to spot-clean throughout these months.

There are times it may need to be cleaned sooner, though. There are 2 signs to indicate ‘hey, I should probably clean the oven tonight.’ One is if you smell something. No, not your delicious snickerdoodle cookies but something BAD. Two, if you see smoke. If you see smoke, that is a big no-no, and I’ll tell ya why.

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Why Does it Matter to Clean my Oven?

If you see smoke, something is getting burned, and this could lead to your oven catching on fire. That is the worst-case scenario, and hopefully, none of you have to experience that. There are other less extreme reasons.

Leftover spillage from salmon, chocolate chip cookies, lasagna all leaves a smell (hence where the bad smell can come from). These smells can get incorporated with your food. So, those amazing snickerdoodle cookies now have an after taste of frozen pizza, bleh.

There are other important dangers too. The build-up of grease can cause the oven to heat up properly and cause food not to be cooked thoroughly. This can cause people to get salmonella or other bacterial illnesses.

I recently read that the spills can also attract pests like rats and cockroaches….eek!

You now know how to clean an oven. Do you know who else knows how to clean an oven? Professional cleaners.
If you don’t want the hassle, let Ewas Cleaning Service do it for you.


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