Our ovens do an awful lot for us. Even if we've had them for years, we really need to rely on them to get meals done to our tastes and to stay alive for decades. With all the selflessness from our ovens, we ought to be paying them more attention than we normally do. Our ovens need a thorough cleaning every now and then to keep them in tip-top shape. It might not be a favorite task, but it's an important one. We're here to break down all you need to do about how to clean an oven.

How To Clean An Oven Interior

Baking Soda And Vinegar

a person cleaning the inside of an oven with a sponge

This is a classic method for cleaning the inside of your oven. The racks will need a separate method, so in the meantime, here's what you'll need to give the interior a good scrub.

  • 1/2 cup of baking soda
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • Rubber gloves
  • Dishcloth
  • Spray bottle filled with vinegar

After you have everything ready, follow these basic steps and you'll have a sparkling interior in no time.

  • Remove the oven racks.
  • Clean out any loose particles sitting on the bottom of your oven.
  • In a bowl, mix the water and baking soda until a paste forms.
  • Put on the rubber gloves and start spreading the paste on the inside of the oven. You can either use your hands or even a paintbrush.
  • Let the mixture sit for approximately 12 hours. You can also leave it overnight.
  • Once the allotted time has passed, dampen the dishcloth and scrub away the dried paste.
  • If you have any hard-to-reach spots or crusted paste, you can spray the areas with vinegar. The reaction will cause the baking soda to soften and you can wipe away any remaining paste.
  • Replace the oven racks.

Lemon And Water

2 halves of a lemon in water
  • Baking dish
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/3 cup of water

All you need to do from here is:

  • Fill the baking dish with 1/3 cup of water.
  • Cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juices into the water. Once they're tapped, add the peels to the dish as well.
  • Bake the mixture for about 20-30 minutes at 250 degrees F. The steam from the water and lemon will soften the grime and allow you to scrub anything off the insides of your oven.
  • Once 30 minutes have passed, remove the dish and let the oven cool. Once it's okay to touch, wipe away the grime with a scouring pad, damp dishcloth, or sponge.

Oven Cleaners

There are lots of different products out there to use for cleaning ovens as well. Easy-Off is one of the better ones and only takes about 30 seconds to loosen any grime before you wipe it away. You can also use Magic Erasers if the grime isn't too tough since they're cheap and easy to use. Be sure to have your rubber gloves on hand (pun intended) as well because you'll want to avoid touching the chemicals or getting the grime all over your skin.

How To Clean Oven Racks

The Bathtub

an empty white bathtub

When you're waiting for your lemons or baking soda paste to clean the inside of the stove, there's no time like the present to wipe down the racks. You'll need a few things to get those racks nice and clean.

  • Dawn dish soap
  • Hot water
  • A bathtub

From here all you need to do is:

  • Fill up the tub with just enough hot water to cover the dirty racks.
  • Add about 1/2 cup of Dawn dish soap into the water.
  • Place the racks into the tub and let them soak for 6 hours or overnight.
  • Once the allotted time has passed, scrub off any remaining grime with a damp dishcloth or a scouring pad.

Baking Soda And Vinegar

  • Large towel
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Bathtub
  • Hot water
  • Rubber gloves

You're going to need to go back to your bathtub for this one, but by the time the racks are clean the interior should be done as well and you'll be able to replace them.

  • Place your racks inside the tub.
  • Sprinkle some baking soda onto them.
  • Pour white vinegar all over them until things start to foam.
  • Once the foaming stops, fill the tub with just enough hot water to cover the racks.
  • Let it sit overnight.
  • Clean any remaining grime from the racks with a dishcloth or sponge. You can also use Bar Keepers Friend to get any stubborn dirt off.

Ammonia And Trash Bag

a person cleaning oven racks in a trash bag

This is one of those methods that work well but also requires you to have some protective gear so you don't inhale any of the fumes or get it on your skin.

  • Large trash bag
  • Rubber gloves
  • Face mask
  • 1 cup of ammonia
  • Dishrag or sponge

Once you have everything ready, you only need to do a few things.

  • Put the gloves and mask on to protect you from the fumes.
  • Take the racks outside and place them into an unused garbage bag.
  • Add the 1 cup of ammonia.
  • Tie the bag very tight and securely before laying it down flat outside.
  • Leave overnight.
  • In the morning, put on your gloves and mask and scrub the racks with soapy water and a dish rag or sponge. Bar Keepers Friend works wonders on any remaining dirt.

Cleaning Products

Of course, you always have the option to use professional cleaning supplies. You'll need a few things to protect yourself as well since the chemicals can sometimes be harsh.

  • Old newspapers
  • Dishcloth
  • Rubber gloves
  • Face mask
  • A cleaner of your choice

This method takes much less time, but you'll need to be careful when using these items.

  • Lay old newspapers over the area you plan to rinse your racks.
  • Place the racks on top.
  • Put on the mask and gloves.
  • Spray the racks with a cleaning product of your choice and let the racks sit for about 10 minutes.
  • After the allotted time, clean them with a dish rag to remove any remaining grime.

How To Clean An Oven Door

Baking Soda and Vinegar

woman cleaning oven door
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda
  • Sponge
  • Rubber gloves

You'll want to have enough water and baking soda to make a paste and can adjust the amounts accordingly.

  • In a bowl, mix the water and baking soda until a paste forms.
  • Put on the gloves and add the paste to the glass door. Leave for 10-15 minutes.
  • After the allotted time has passed, use the rough side of your sponge to scrub in circular motions. This will lift any stubborn grime from the door.
  • Clean off your sponge and soak in water. Wipe away the paste.
  • Bar Keepers Friend will help to get any stubborn stains off.

There are also ways for you to clean between the oven glass by removing the door and cleaning the glass with a window cleaner.

Self-Cleaning Ovens

woman cleaning an oven with a blue rag

If you're dealing with a self-cleaning oven, you need to figure out what kind of stove you have and what the manufacturer recommends before doing anything. You'll need to do some of the work before and after the process. For the most part, you'll need to wipe up any particles beforehand and remove the racks before activating the self-cleaning function. You will more than likely also need to remove any remaining particles after the process is over.

Make sure you don't have any pets or children in the room when the oven is cleaning itself because the fumes can be a bit much. Reports have also indicated that self-cleaning ovens give off fumes particularly harmful to birds. Not to mention, the smell they omit during their cleaning cycle is less than desirable. It's best to just let it do its thing and replace the racks once the oven has cooled off. The whole process should take about 3-4 hours.

However often you use it depends on you and how much you use your oven. However, it should be noted that self-cleaning ovens can cause long-term damage to some stoves. Internal parts of your oven can break down due to the high pressure and hot water and it might be more feasible to just give things a clean by hand.

Final Notes

a stainless steel oven in a kitchen

Okay, so you know how to clean an oven, but how often should you be doing it? Your ovens should be tackled every 3-6 months or whenever a serious spill takes place. If you notice that you can't make a meal without your kitchen smelling like smoke or if there's a stubborn stain inside or on the door, you should be giving it a good scrub.

Cleaning an oven isn't the most fun thing you can do (no cleaning is) but it's an important part of maintaining the function of your stove. The good news is that you don't need to worry about it for another 3 months.

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