With the invention of the self-cleaning oven in 1963 and later, safer and less toxic commercial oven cleaners, oven cleaning has gotten easier. But self-cleaning can’t take the place of a thorough manual cleaning. If you’re looking for the best way to clean an oven, skip the harsh chemicals, pull on your gloves, and get ready to fight grime naturally. Here’s how to clean an oven step by step, and when you’re done, you can tackle the microwave oven.

How to Clean the Inside of an Oven

All that baked-on grime can look formidable, but we promise you can get the job done without the toxic fumes and exhaustive scrubbing. Cleaning an oven with a natural oven cleaner like baking soda or vinegar and using other natural cleaners is safer and less expensive than store-bought cleaners. The first step in our how to clean an oven guide is to remove the racks and get them clean.

  • Put newspapers underneath and around the oven.
  • Remove your oven racks and vacuum up loose debris.
  • Soak your oven racks in hot, soapy water to loosen stuck-on grime. A bathtub works great to immerse the racks fully and gives you more room to work.
  • Let the racks soak for a few hours, then start scrubbing with a nylon scrub pad.
  • If there are still some spots that won’t scrub off, let the racks soak overnight and give it another try.
  • Once your racks are clean, wipe them dry and put them aside until you’ve cleaned the rest of the oven.

Cleaning the inside of an oven requires a combination of effort, time, and chemical reactions. Grab some baking soda and white vinegar and let’s get to work. Contrary to some DIY tips, we’re not going to use vinegar and baking soda together. We’re going to be cleaning the oven with baking soda first, then we’re going to clean the oven with vinegar to finish up the job. This natural formula works great on your oven glass and door too.

  • Add 3/4 cup of baking soda to a bowl and about 1/4 cup water to make a paste.
  • Coat the inside of the oven generously with the paste and let it dry overnight.
  • Wipe out the dried paste, or use a plastic scraper with a damp sponge to remove stubborn buildup. Because baking soda is a mild abrasive, that baked-on buildup doesn’t stand a chance.
  • Spray the oven with distilled white vinegar and wipe out the baking soda (it leaves a gritty residue), along with the dirt and grease.
  • Remove the cloudy residue on oven windows using a mix of lemon juice and baking soda. Mix them until you have a thick paste and scrub the door in a circular motion. Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes, then wipe it away to showcase your crystal clear glass.

How to Clean the Bottom of an Oven

Cleaning the bottom of an oven can be more challenging because of all the grease and debris that naturally accumulates—it gets a little harder to remove every time you use the oven. Our natural formula for hard-to-remove grime is three tablespoons of baking soda, one tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide, and one tablespoon of dish soap.

  • Mix the ingredients in a bowl to form a paste, then lay it on thick in the bottom of your oven.
  • Avoid getting the paste near the heating elements on electric ovens and the burners on gas ovens.
  • Let the paste sit for at least an hour. If you haven’t cleaned your oven in a while, you may have to wait several hours or even overnight.
  • Wipe away the paste with a damp sponge and use a plastic scraper if needed.
  • Use white vinegar to wipe out all the grit and leftover debris.
  • Repeat the process for stubborn, stuck-on grime in those areas.

Now you know how to clean the inside of an oven, but what about the outside?

How to Clean the Outside of an Oven

While most of the grease and grime you’ll be cleaning up are found inside the oven, the outside needs to be cleaned regularly too. You can’t call your kitchen clean when your oven has that dingy buildup on the door and glass. Here’s how to clean the outside of your oven and make it shine.

Cleaning the Oven Door

For ovens with enamel finishes, plain old soap and water will keep them clean. But if you have a stainless steel exterior, cleaning it is a little more involved. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning stainless steel when possible, but this method usually gets the job done safely.

  • Use a damp microfiber cloth to keep fingerprints, dust, and dirt to a minimum; this is especially helpful for stainless steel cleaning.
  • Use an ammonia-based glass cleaner for greasy smears or hard-to-remove fingerprints.
  • Wipe with the grain (especially stainless steel) to prevent streaks.
  • Prevent water spots and other stains by drying the exterior with a clean, dry microfiber cloth.
  • Finally, buff your stainless steel to a brilliant shine with another dry microfiber cloth and you’re done!

Cleaning Between Your Oven Door’s Glass Panels

Even though there is a gasket between your glass panels and the oven door, grease and food debris can get inside the seal through vent openings, among other ways. Most of us have never cleaned the inside of the glass panels and just put up with the dirty appearance.

But if you can use a screwdriver, this is one oven cleaning hack you probably do yourself—remove the oven door. Check your owner’s manual or online for details on the process, but for most ovens, this DIY resource will work. Once you’ve removed the door, hot soapy water and a plastic scraper should get the glass and door clean.

The Best Ways to Clean an Oven Is to Let The Maids Do It!

Now that you know how to clean the oven like a pro, that doesn’t mean you have to do it yourself every time!  Oven cleaning is one of our most popular special cleaning services and for good reason.  This is a big cleaning job that takes time and elbow grease, which may be out of reach for our busy and/or elderly clients no matter how much they prepare.  

If you’ve got a special cleaning project or are interested in one of our other cleaning services, contact us today.  We’ll give you a free estimate right over the phone. 


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