How to Guide: Cleaning an Oven with Baking Soda

The best way to clean an oven yourself is by using the magical mixture of baking soda and vinegar. You may have learned about this combination as early as nursery school, where it is often used to introduce kids to the concept of chemical reactions in a harmless environment.

The Chemical Reaction

When vinegar (an acid) and baking soda (a base) meet, they chemically react together, resulting in bubbles and foam. In the first reaction, the acid-based reaction, hydrogen ions in the vinegar react with the sodium and bicarbonate ions in the baking soda. This results in two new compounds: carbonic acid and sodium acetate. In the second reaction, which is the decomposition reaction, the freshly produced carbonic acid decomposes into water and carbon dioxide gas, causing bubbles and foam to arise.

The combination of baking soda and vinegar can be used to loosen grease and grime from the inside of your oven, making it easier to remove. If you are wondering how to clean your oven in this way, our step-by-step instructions will help.

Cleaning Your Oven with Baking Soda

Please note that these instructions are for cleaning the inside of an empty oven. You can find instructions for cleaning oven racks with baking soda here.

Step 1: Empty the Oven

The first step for cleaning your oven with baking soda is to empty the oven completely, setting any trays, racks and oven dishes aside. These will have to be cleaned separately.

Step 2: Scrape Out the Loose Build-Up

If there are any crumbs or burnt bits of food in the oven, use a spatula to scrape them out. Only target the loose matter – whatever is stuck to the oven walls, floors or ceiling will be removed later.

Step 3: Create a Baking Soda Paste

In a regular bowl from your kitchen cabinet, mix seven tablespoons of baking soda with a few tablespoons of water until you have a spreadable paste. If you have a rather large oven or if you’re cleaning multiple ovens at once, for example in a range cooker with multiple ovens, you may consider doubling – or even tripling – the amounts. Don’t worry if your paste is not 100% consistent in texture.

Step 4: Coat the Inside of the Oven

Next, get your household gloves out and coat the inside surfaces with a sponge, using your hands and fingers to really get the paste into every nook and cranny. Pay extra attention to particularly greasy areas. As you rub in the paste, you’ll notice it will turn a brownish colour from the grime it is absorbing, so make sure your hands, arms and clothes are protected.

Warning: make sure to steer clear of the heating elements when applying the paste.

Step 5: Let the Paste Sit Overnight

As some of the grease and grime inside your oven may be rather stubborn, leaving the baking soda paste to sit for at least 12 hours will produce the best results. Whilst this magical mixture does its job, you can get on with your day or have a good night’s rest.

Step 6: Wipe Out the Paste

After the 12-hour work-in period, put on your household gloves again, take a damp dish cloth and wipe out the dried paste as good as you can; consider using a spatula to scrape the paste out of hard-to-reach corners. If you do use a spatula, make sure it’s a soft plastic or wooden one so it doesn’t scratch your oven.

Step 7: A Final Clean with Vinegar

Put some vinegar in a water spray bottle and spray it onto the inside oven surfaces. The chemical reaction between the vinegar and the baking soda will produce foam and bubbles, which will loosen the leftover grime and identify any residue of paste.

Step 8: The Final Wipe Down

Take a damp dish cloth and wipe down any remaining foamy areas of the oven. Spray and wipe away the vinegar until your oven looks as clean as new.

Inside of an oven

Cleaning your oven with baking soda can be a lot of work to be doing on a regular basis. If you would like a professional deep clean that will restore your oven to near-showroom condition with zero time and effort from your part, feel free to get in touch with Ovenu – our experienced technicians will do all the hard work for you!