June 26

How to Clean an Oven Using Household Ingredients

Written by: Nadia El-Yaouti

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Ovens can be one of the trickiest home appliances to clean because of stubborn baked-on messes. While many ovens are equipped with a self cleaning feature, there may be times when manually cleaning up the mess makes more sense. For those times, we’ve got one of the best cleaning methods that you can use. Cleaning your oven using these three ingredients is simple, safe, and best of all, incredibly effective. Here’s what you’ll need to do.

How to Clean an Oven with Baking Soda


Baking soda is a powerful cleaning agent and should not be underestimated when it comes to cleaning tough stains like the ones found in your oven. As far as how to clean a very dirty oven goes, you’ll be surprised to find out that you do not need to rely on those heavy duty chemical oven cleaners (a bit more on these later).

Today, we’re going to look at a powerful yet safe cleaning method to get your oven looking brand new. 

How To Clean an Electric Oven


While gas ovens and electric ovens operate in different ways, the method on how to clean each type is virtually the same. This baking soda method we are going to use will work for both types of ovens, no matter the size or type. It’s also safe and effective enough to use for cleaning a toaster oven, convection oven, or even an air fryer! Here’s what you’ll need to do.

Step 1: Prepare Your Oven

Before you get into the nitty gritty of deep cleaning, you need to prep your oven and its cavity for an easier cleaning process. Start by removing the bottom drawer and vacuuming or sweeping up any food that has collected under the oven over time.

Once you have pulled out the drawer, it’s time to clean it out. Use a dry paper towel to scoop up any food or crumbs that have fallen into the drawer.

Next, run a soapy sponge along the inside of the drawer and give it a good wash. Once it’s all cleaned, wipe the soap out using a wet microfiber cloth. Rinse and repeat, cleaning with the cloth until you have removed all of the soapy residue.

Dry out the drawer using a drying towel and set it aside until you finish cleaning the rest of the oven. 

Cleaning oven with household ingredients Soap

Now it’s time to move onto the cavity of the oven. Before you start your deep clean, you need to prep the cavity. Start by laying down newspaper or a towel along the bottom of your oven’s opening so that it catches any grime that falls out during the cleaning process. 

Next, use a plastic scraper or an old credit card to work out any loose food, burnt on grease or gunk from the base of the oven’s cavity. Don’t worry about using any cleaning sprays, your goal is to just remove any loose bits so that it doesn't get in the way once you start deep cleaning. 


Now your oven is prepped and ready for its much awaited deep clean.
Cleaning oven everyday items credit card

Pro Tip: Because you are going to be on your knees for a bit during this deep clean, it can be helpful to fold a thick towel and set it down so that your knees can rest comfortably as you work. 

Step 2: Create a Baking Soda Paste

Baking soda mixed with a tough degreaser can create a powerful cleaning solution to get your oven looking like new. To create this paste, you will need to mix together the following ingredients:

½ cup baking soda

2 tablespoons of a tough degreasing soap

½ cup water

When you make the paste, you want the consistency to be similar to runny liquid glue. This spreadable paste will be the main cleaning agent to help lift away grease stains and baked on food splatter.

Clean oven household indredients baking soda

Step 3: Apply Your Baking Soda Paste

Once you've made your paste, it’s time to spread it inside the oven cavity. Because this step can get messy, it may be helpful to use gloves (though this mixture is safe enough to spread with your fingers). As you spread the paste around, be sure to get it into all the nooks and crannies of the cavity. Be careful when working around the element or oven fans to make sure you don’t harm your oven.

oven cleaning household ingredients baking soda

You can be generous when applying the paste, and if there are areas with stubborn stains, don't be afraid to apply some extra. Allow the paste to sit inside your oven’s cavity for thirty minutes to an hour.


Step 4: Use a Scraper and Scouring Pad

Use a plastic scraper or an old card to work at the grime inside your oven’s cavity. The baking soda paste will have softened up the grime, making it easier to remove. If there are remaining tough stains, you can use a scouring pad to work them out.

Work on the walls of the oven and then the base. This part of the cleaning process will be the most cumbersome and it may take some time, give or take 15 minutes

Once you have worked off the grime, use a damp towel to clean away the mess. If you want to do a final scrub, you can use a soapy sponge to wipe down any leftover residue. Finally, use a clean, wet microfiber cloth to wipe away any leftover soap or paste.

Step 5: Apply a Vinegar Wash

Clean oven household ingredient vinegar wash

Once you have removed all the soap, baking soda paste, and grime from your oven’s cavity, finish it off with a vinegar wash by mixing together one part vinegar and one part water.

Dip a clean microfiber cloth into the wash and run it over your oven walls. You can also spray the mixture into the oven and then wipe it down.

This last step is optional but it does provide an added boost of cleanliness.

How to Clean Oven Glass


Clean oven glass using household ingredients bar keepers friend

Oven glass is one of the most noticeable features of any kitchen oven. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most tedious parts of the oven to clean.

Depending on your oven, you may be able to slide open the front panel of your oven in order to clean in between the oven glass panes, but for a majority of ovens, you may need to get a bit more creative.

To clean your oven glass, start by creating a cleaning solution using one part water and one part vinegar. Spray the solution over the glass pane to work at any leftover grease.

If you need a little more cleaning power, you can sprinkle a generous amount of Bar Keepers’s Friend and work at tough stains using a scouring pad.

How to Clean Between Glass and Oven Door


Clean oven door household ingredients

Start by spraying a microfiber cloth with your vinegar/water mixture, then tie it to the end of a thin rod or wire hanger.

On the bottom of the oven door, right underneath the glass panels, you should see access holes that let you get in between the glass panels.

Jimmy your makeshift cleaning pad through this gap and clean using a swiping motion, back and forth. Try your best to swipe the entire area between the glass panes.

How to Clean Oven Racks


When it comes to cleaning your oven racks, you can use the baking soda paste that you used for the oven cavity, but the many grooves between the wiring can make it difficult to thoroughly clean them. Instead, take a look at our quick and easy method on how to clean your oven racks.

Does Cleaning My Oven Void the Manufactures' Warranty?


For many ovens, manually cleaning the oven cavity will likely void the warranty.

Many ovens are sold with a self-clean feature, and though it can be very helpful, if you manually clean your oven using different chemicals or cleaning agents, you may alter how the self-cleaning function works.

Read your oven’s manual carefully to see whether or not cleaning your oven will void the warranty. If your oven is out of warranty, then feel free to manually clean away.

How to Self Clean an Oven (Self-Clean Cycle)


Clean oven with household ingredients self clean

One of the most popular features offered by oven manufactures' is the self clean cycle. You can tell if your oven has a one by locating the button on the control panel and the self-clean lock switch on the front of the oven.

The self clean cycle works by raising the temperature of your oven anywhere from 800°F to 1000°F for an extended period of time.

This high cooking temperature cook's off any grease or grime stuck onto your oven and turns it into a fine ash that you can wipe away. 

How Long Does it Take to Self Clean an Oven?

clean oven household ingredients how long self clean

The self clean oven cycle is really unique because all you have to do is turn the function on and it will clean itself.

The self clean feature typically takes from 4 to 5 hours to be completed, though it depends on the brand of your oven.

Avoid Using Harsh Chemicals for Oven Cleaning


There are plenty of abrasive chemically-based oven cleaners on the market. Many of these contain the powerful ingredient sodium hydroxide, or lye.

This substance creates a chemical reaction that effectively liquidizes grease and baked-on grime, making it easier to clean.

Although it's powerful, it's incredibly dangerous because it can burn your skin or eyes. If the droplets are inhaled, your throat and lungs can also suffer burns.

Clean oven with household ingredients harsh chemicals

Harsh chemicals like this, although powerful, can be very hazardous, especially if you use them in a non-ventilated area. Although harsh oven cleaners can be effective, it's best to avoid them.

While it takes a little bit more elbow grease, this baking soda method can be just as effective. If your oven is equipped with one, the self clean option can be great as well. 

Conclusion


Whether you need to manually clean out your oven because the warranty has expired, or whether you simply prefer to avoid using the self clean feature, this method is hands down one of the best I’ve tried before.

As someone who uses their oven on a weekly basis, I enjoy the peace of mind that this safe and effective method provides for me and my family.

Let us know in the comment section the different techniques you use to clean your oven!


Cheers,

Nadia


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About the author

Nadia El-Yaouti is a postgraduate at James Madison University where she studied English and Education. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and three kids. When she's not exploring new and improved ways of cleaning and organizing the kitchen on a budget, you can be sure to find her traveling the world with her little family.

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