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How to Clean Your Oven the Easy Way

Clean spills and splatters with ease.

The next time you notice burnt on food and grease stains collecting in your oven, you may be tempted to run the self-cleaning function on your oven. This function works by using extremely high temperatures to basically burn off all the residue in your oven. Although this may seem like a quick fix for all of your oven cleaning needs, the self-cleaning function on many ovens can be a fire and safety hazard, not to mention it has been known to cause damage to appliances. Fortunately, you can give your oven a deep clean without setting off your smoke alarm or ingesting harsh chemicals. Learn how to clean your oven using two kitchen staples: vinegar and baking soda.

cleaning oven with dish towel

Photo by Getty Images

How Often Should You Clean Your Oven?

How often you clean your oven should depend on how often you use it. As a general rule of thumb, avid bakers should try to give it a good clean once every three months, while those who rarely use theirs can go up to six months before cleaning. Think of it as an investment in your appliance (and your wellbeing): you’re helping your oven to last longer and helping to keep your home free of fire hazards.

How to Clean Your Oven Using Baking Soda and Vinegar

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • ¾ cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • Rubber gloves
  • Paint brush (optional)
  • Damp dish cloth
  • Plastic spatula or plastic scraper
  • Newspapers or paper towels
  • White vinegar
  • Spray bottle

Directions:

  1. Remove your oven racks and any other items inside your oven.
  2. Lay out newspapers or paper towels on the floor around the base of your oven.
  3. Make a paste using baking soda and warm water.
  4. While wearing rubber gloves, spread the paste over the oven’s interior, avoiding heating elements and the oven door. You may use a paint brush to spread the paste. Pay extra attention to areas with large amounts of residue.
  5. Let the oven sit overnight (or for at least 12 hours). While it sits you may also refer to the instructions below for cleaning your oven racks.
  6. After allowing the paste to soak, use a damp dish cloth to wipe away the the paste. Use a plastic spatula or a plastic scraper to scrape any hard to reach places.
  7. Put a small amount of vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray everywhere you still see baking soda in your oven.
  8. Use your damp dish towel to do a final wipe-down, removing all remaining foamy baking soda and vinegar mixture. Repeat until your oven is completely clean.

How to Clean Your Oven Racks

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • Dishwasher detergent
  • Scouring pad

Directions:

  1. While you let the paste sit in the oven, start cleaning your oven racks. Fill your sink (or you bathtub depending on the size of your racks) with warm water and a little dishwasher detergent.
  2. Place the racks in the soapy water and allow to soak for at least two hours, or overnight. Scrub with a scouring pad, rinse, and dry.
  3. When you’ve finished cleaning the oven, slide the racks back in.

How to Clean Your Glass Oven Door

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • ¾ cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • Rubber gloves
  • Paint brush (optional)
  • Damp microfiber cloth/non abrasive dish towel
  • Dry microfiber cloth/ non abrasive dish towel

Directions:

  1. Make a paste using baking soda and warm water.
  2. Spread the paste on the glass and allow it to sit for at least 20 minutes. You may use a paint brush to spread the paste.
  3. Using a damp microfiber cloth, gently wipe the paste away. Buff the glass out with a dry microfiber cloth.

How to Clean Oven Knobs

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • Dish soap
  • Damp dish towel

Directions:

  1. Avoid spraying the knobs directly with any liquid cleaning solution, as this could short out the control panel.
  2. Rub a small amount of dish soap into a damp dish towel.
  3. Wipe on and around the knobs using the dish towel.
  4. Rinse the dish towel with water and repeat step 3 to remove any soapy residue.
  5. You’re done!

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Melanie Fincher

About Melanie Fincher

A Georgia native eating my way through the South. When I’m not eating it I’m probably writing about it.