How To Clean Your Oven: The Ultimate Guide

By on 18th September 2020 (updated: 18th September 2020)

Cleaning your oven is an unglamorous but necessary job that has to be done in order to keep your kitchen hygienic and your food safe to eat. Taking the decision to clean your oven yourself, rather than hire a professional oven cleaner to do the job for you, does require a bit of research in order for you to not waste your time or accidentally damage your appliance.

If you are looking for what to clean your oven with, or are stumped on how to clean your oven, you may be surprised at how little you need in terms of oven cleaning products. In most cases, you won’t even need to leave the house in order to achieve the desired effect; common cleaning products and ingredients from your kitchen cupboards can come to your rescue.

We’ve put together some relatively easy oven cleaning tips using simple products from your cupboards only. Approach any oven cleaning or DIY task with caution: Ovenu is not responsible for potential health risks that might come from mixing household products.

Why should you clean your oven?

Cleaning your oven regularly ensures that your appliance stays in good working order for as long as possible. Just like any other mechanical appliance, continual use can lead to wear and tear, which is only exacerbated by allowing grime, grease and food residue to build up. When this happens your oven isn’t able to operate efficiently, so more energy is used to do the same tasks, filters can get clogged and you oven could start producing noxious fumes that affect your food’s taste and soaks into any soft furnishings you have in the room.

Related: Why You Should Clean Your Oven

How often should you clean your oven?

You should aim to have your oven cleaned thoroughly every two to twelve weeks, however, this time frame depends on how much you use your oven and what you’re cooking in it. If you’re cooking foods that are likely to spill or splatter in the oven, or you tend to be a messy cook in general, then you may find that you’re in need of an oven clean more often.

Taking preventative actions can help to reduce the frequency that your oven needs cleaning. For example, you could ensure that you place a spare baking tray at the bottom of your oven whenever you’re cooking food that is likely to drip. If you’re looking to make the most out of your deep oven cleans then you could give your oven a quick wipe down after each use, just make sure it’s properly cooled down beforehand!

Related: How Often Should You Clean Your Oven?

When is the best time to clean your oven?

The best time to clean your oven will depend on how you are planning on using it and how much the oven is in need of a clean. Many people choose to book a professional oven clean in the lead up to Christmas, whereas others prefer to wait until after the carnage of the big day to get a cleaner in. If your oven is yet to be heavily soiled, then often the best time to clean your oven is before it gets into such a bad state. In some cases, you may wish to get it spick and span before having guests round.

Related: When is the best time to clean your oven?

how to clean really dirty oven

What are the signs that my oven needs a clean?

There are few tell-tale signs that your oven needs a clean. We can often overlook or take for granted the dirty state of our ovens. Sometimes it takes a serious wake-up call to notice that something is amiss at all. Dirty ovens can often fail to reach their optimum heat or may break down altogether if they get too dirty. More subtle signs that your oven needs a clean might be smoke appearing when you’re pre-heating or a change of taste in your food. If you can’t actually remember when you last cleaned your appliance, then this might also be a sign that it could do with a scrub!

Related: 6 Signs that it’s Time to Clean Your Oven

How to Clean Oven Glass

Your oven door is the most visible part of your oven and therefore the most rewarding part to start cleaning. With common household products from your cupboards, you can create a gentle scrub that will leave your glass oven door looking shiny.

You can clean the inside and outside of your glass oven door yourself, however, to properly clean an oven requires a few tools and the help of another person. Oven door glass is tempered to withstand heat, but can quickly become stained by grease and fat after just a few uses. Unless you stay on top of these stains, they can quickly build up until you can no longer see the food cooking in your oven! There are a few methods of cleaning oven door glass, ranging from using your self-cleaning settings to getting the tools out and taking your door apart (our preferred method).

Related: How To Clean A Glass Oven Door

How To Clean Oven Racks

Dirty oven racks can lead to pungent smells once you turn the oven on. In order to avoid the smell of burnt-on grease ruining the aroma of a Sunday Roast, you’ll need to remove the grime as best as you can.

Cleaning your oven racks yourself is perfectly possible if you’re willing to invest in the right products and spend the time needed to do the job properly. A professional oven cleaner should always include cleaning your oven racks as part of the service, but if you’ve taken on the entire oven cleaning job yourself then you may be wondering how to get them sparkling clean. There are a few DIY methods to cleaning your oven racks, including using bin bags, soaking them in the bath and using dishwasher tablets.

Related: How To Clean Oven Racks [Guide]

How to Clean Oven with Lemon

If life gives you lemons, clean your oven! The citrus oil in lemons is great at detaching grease, so if you have these yellow fruits lying about in your fridge, you can use them to loosen the grime and clean the inside of your oven.

First, pre-heat your oven at 250°C. Cut two lemons in half and squeeze their juice into a baking dish; when they have been squeezed dry, you can add the remaining casings too. Now, add water to the dish until it’s one-third’s full. Wait until the oven has reached its temperature, and place the dish inside the oven. Set a timer for 30 minutes, then simply sit back and relax!

After half an hour of baking, remove the oven dish again, switch the oven off and wait until it’s cooled. While the lemon juice was vaporising, it will have attached itself to the grime, unsticking it from the oven walls, floor and ceiling. Wiping the grease away will now be much easier! You can use a spatula to remove any big chunks of debris that are left inside – use the remaining lemon water to scrub the rest of the grime away with a scouring sponge.

Warning: during the cleaning process, your oven will produce a lot of smoke. Turn on the oven fan and open a window to keep the smoke alarm from going off.

how to clean oven with lemon

How to Clean Oven with Baking Soda

The best way to clean your oven yourself is to use baking soda and vinegar. The process for cleaning your oven with this method is pretty elaborate, so we have explained it step by step in a dedicated Baking Soda Oven Cleaning article.

Cleaning an oven with baking soda and water is a well-known technique that can make removing stubborn stains or removing grime a simple task. The chemical reaction that is produced by combining these two household products helps to aggravate stuck-on food. By creating a simple cleaning paste and then using some vinegar to finish the job, you can return a mildly soiled oven back to a decent looking condition. Of course, when using household products such as these, you can’t expect to get quite the same results as you would with a professional oven clean.

How to Clean Oven With Vinegar

Vinegar is a powerful storecupboard essential that can double as a handy, eco-friendly oven cleaning product in a pinch. Combining vinegar with water in an oven-safe bowl creates an acidic solution which can then be placed in a hot oven. The heat from the oven boils the vinegar solution in the oven until it forms powerful steam that works away at the grime that has collected on the interior of your oven.

You may end up needing to supplement this cleaning method with some spot treatment, as it’s not always 100% effective. In some cases, repeat treatment can help to further loosen burnt-on stains, but you may still have to reach for the baking soda and a sponge to remove the more stubborn spots.

Related: Can you Clean an Oven with Vingear?

How to Clean Oven Without Baking Soda

If you’re short on baking soda then you might have to try using some more conventional cleaning products to get the job done. One product that is often overlooked as a cheap oven cleaner is washing-up liquid. Formulations of different washing up liquids can vary wildly, so it may take some trial and error to find one powerful enough to do the trick.

Using washing up liquid to clean your oven requires much the same technique as using the previous methods. Make sure you have a decent scratch-free scourer or sponge so that you can get safe abrasive contact with the oven before you start. It’s worth having a spare bottle of washing up liquid on hand too, as you may find that you’ll need more than your usual dishwashing load’s worth to have the desired effect!

how to clean oven with bicarbonate of soda and vinegar

How to Clean Oven Grill

Your oven’s grill component is just as susceptible to getting filthy as the rest of the appliance, however cleaning it properly comes with another set of challenges. The walls of an oven’s grills can attract dirt, just like an oven’s walls, but worse still, the grill’s elements are also a magnet for grease. Over time, grease build-up on the elements of your grills can lead to excessive smoking before it has even reached cooking temperature.

If you’re only concerned with cleaning the interior walls of the grill compartment of your oven, then you can follow the steps we’ve listed above. However, if you’re hoping to clean the grill’s elements then you’ll need a different tactic. You can try to burn off the dirt from the elements, by turning them up and letting them smoke for 10 minutes. After this you’ll need to wait for the elements to cool down before wiping them down with detergent and a damp cloth.

Another method involves disassembling and removing the entire grill element, which allows you to access the entire componenet, but may not be practical depending on your DIY skills and access to tools. If both of these methods sound too difficult, then a professional oven cleaner should be able to clean the elements in your grill safely.

How to Clean Oven Trays

Cleaning your oven trays is another necessary job that can quickly get out of hand if left unattended to for a long time. Oven trays that have accumulated grease, fat and burnt on food might seem like lost causes that are destined for the bin, but there are ways to return them to their former glory. The first step is always to remove as much loose grease or fat using a paper towel, before using boiling water and some kind of detergent to degrease and remove burnt food. You may find that repeat soaks are required to get the job done.

Related: How to Clean Oven Trays [Guide]

FAQs

What is the easiest way to clean an oven?

The easiest way to clean an oven yourself is to use either lemons with water, or a combination of bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. The products used for these methods are easiest to procure and also cheap to purchase, compared to commerical oven cleaning products.

How do I get baked on grease off my oven?

Getting baked on grease off your oven yourself by using a paste made with baking soda and vinegar. This combination creates a foaming reaction that helps to shift grime. The best way to degrease your entire oven is with the help of a dedicated oven cleaning product.

How do I clean the bottom of my oven?

Clean the bottom of your oven by using a baking soda and water paste. Create the paste in a small bowl and spread across the bottom of your oven, applying more to trouble spots. Leave for 10 minutes to allow the paste to work, then use a non-abrasive scourer or sponge to scrub the residue away.

What is the best cleaner for oven?

The best oven cleaners are usually reserved for industry professionals, however, there are some on sale for consumers that can prove effective. These include Wpro Gas Hob & Oven Care Kit, Astonish Oven & Grill Cleaner and Elbow Grease All-Purpose Degreaser.

clean oven racks and bottom

What can I use instead of oven cleaner?

It’s possible to clean an oven without using a dedicated oven cleaner, however, you should bear in mind that using alternative household products could mean that you spend longer trying to get your oven clean. One of the benefits of not using commercial oven cleaners is that you’re not going to put yourself in contact with any caustic soda or sodium hydroxide. This chemical can cause skin irritation and can also be harmful to your oven if used incorrectly.

Related: Can You Clean An Oven Without Oven Cleaner?

How do you clean an oven without chemicals?

Clean an oven without chemicals by investing in eco-friendly oven cleaning products, such as SeaClean and Dirtbusters Bio Oven Cleaner.

What’s the best homemade oven cleaner?

There are two effective homemade oven cleaners that require only basic ingredients from your fridge and cupboards: vinegar combined with bicarbonate of soda, and lemon with water. Although the best way to clean an oven remains to hire a professional, these two methods will get your oven in decent shape with a bit of time and effort.

What home remedy can I use to clean oven?

Three natural home remedies that you can use to clean your oven are:

  1. Lemon with water – place in bowl in a hot oven to steam clean.
  2. Baking soda and vinegar – combined to create a powerful chemical reaction.
  3. Baking soda and water – similar chemical reaction in a paste form.

Finding a natural way to clean an oven properly can be difficult, there’s a reason why professional oven cleaners use chemical formulations do get the job done properly.

Cleaning an oven

Is vinegar good for cleaning ovens?

Vinegar is good for cleaning ovens, especially when combined with the heat of your oven and bicarbonate of soda. This simple technique requires only a few household items and can help to lift any grease stains or dirt that has stuck to your oven over the course of time.

By using vinegar and water as a steaming agent, you can save yourself the effort scrubbing and wipe of any residue after the steam has done its work. Whilst this method is effective it’s far from the best thing to clean your oven, you still won’t be able to reach every crevice of your oven using it.

How do I clean the inside of my oven with vinegar?

Clean the inside of your oven with vinegar by creating a diluted solution in an oven-proof bowl. Place the bowl in a hot oven and allow the steam to work away at the grime and grease. Once the oven has cooled, wipe away the residue and repeat if necessary.

Related: Can You Clean an Oven with Vinegar?

Can I use vinegar and baking soda to clean my oven?

You can use vinegar and baking soda together to clean your oven by combining the two to create a bubbling chemical reaction that helps loosen stuck-on dirt and shift grime. You will still have to apply some elbow grease to scrub away burnt-on food, but this should aid your progress.

How does baking soda and vinegar clean?

Baking soda and vinegar clean by creating a fizzy reaction which is useful to break up and move food and grease stains. Whilst this combination does not disinfect or sanitise, the reaction is a useful tool for DIY oven cleaners who are struggling with burnt-on food or stains.

oven cleaning with vinegar

Is baking soda dangerous in oven?

Baking soda is not dangerous to use in the oven, however you should still exercise due caution when doing so. Make sure that your oven has properly cooled down before you start cleaning, and be careful when cleaning oven elements as these can easily be broken.

Is it dangerous to mix vinegar and baking soda?

It’s not inherently dangerous to mix vinegar and baking soda in small amounts, however doing so in large quantities creates a bigger chemical reaction. Storing or mixing both ingredients in a closed container could lead to a small explosion, as gas produced by the reaction expands and breaks the container.

Can I manually clean a self cleaning oven?

You can manually clean a self cleaning oven, which is recommended, as self cleaning oven liners will often hide grease and fat. Removing the self cleaning liner is the only way to properly clean the entirety of your oven, making it safe and hygienic to use.

Can you use vinegar to clean a self cleaning oven?

You can use vinegar and water to help clean a self cleaning oven, however unless you remove the self-cleaning liner, the homemade solution will not reach the grease and fat that you can’t see.

Can you use magic eraser on self cleaning oven?

It’s not recommended to use a magic eraser on a self-cleaning oven. Although some surfaces of your self-cleaning oven (such as the glass door) can be cleaned using a magic eraser, the self-cleaning liner shouldn’t be cleaned with an abrasive scourer like the magic eraser.

These DIY oven cleaning methods are great for maintaining your oven – however, every now and then you might want to invest in a professional deep clean. Ovenu’s experienced oven technicians can get your oven back to near-showroom condition, saving you a lot of scrubbing! Give us a call on: 0800 140 9800 to get a quote or get in touch, and we can be at your doorstep on a day and time that suits you.

Rik Hellewell is the Founder & Managing Director of Ovenu and a member of the Approved Franchise Association. He established Ovenu in 1993, cleaning 4,000 ovens and proving his concept over five years before starting the franchise business. Since then he has helped over 200 franchisees achieve their dreams of running successful businesses of their own. Established for over 25 years, the Ovenu concept has proven successful across the UK, New Zealand, Australia and the USA.