Oven Cleaning Tricks You’ll Wish You’d Known Sooner

2 Materials
3 Hours

Is your oven disgusting? Or how about just a little dirty? Mine is definitely a little the worse for wear after a busy winter baking season, a potato incident I don't like to talk about (yes, I poked holes in it first, thank you very much), and, okay, fine, a little bit of neglect. The last time I tried to peer through my murky oven glass to see something inside while it was baking, I cringed, and resolved to get to it with the appliance cleaning in the kitchen.

But, while I am frequently lazy, I'm no dummy. Rather than drive myself up the wall trying to scrub the oven, the first place I hit was Hometalk, to see how other people are handling their DIY cleaning and organizing in the kitchen. I've learned through experience that these people know how to get things done, and they'll do it better, faster, and way more efficiently than I will.

Let's take a walk through the pages of Hometalk and see how the pros here do it when it comes to scrubbing out the oven, shall we?

Oven Doors

Even when you're done scrubbing down the outside so it sparkles, sometimes it's still all murky and gross. What gives? Well, my friends, that double-paned glass admits steam and smoke, and over time, particulates build up. Mom4Real has a tutorial on cleaning oven glass by taking the doors apart, but that looks way too much like work for me. Anna M's tip is more my speed. She cleans between her oven doors with the use of a coathanger and a handy wipe. It does the trick in a fraction of the time, and with way less elbow grease, which means I'll be encouraged to do it more often, i.e., before a huge buildup occurs again.

This humble coathanger is about to become a key cleaning tool in a project we all hate: scrubbing up the oven glass so it shines.

Oven Racks

Bleargh. Talk about things that get gross in the night. Remember when that chicken bubbled over a bit? When those sweet potatoes dripped all over the racks? Or how about when someone, who shall remain nameless, baked a cheesecake without putting a pan under it, and the springform leaked and oozed goo everywhere, which promptly carbonized and got completely disgusting?

This method is so easy, it's almost enough to make you want to get your oven racks dirty just so you can use it.

Angela has a great tip for cleaning oven racks, and it's so easy, I almost couldn't believe it until I tried it. Start with taking your racks out and soaking them in hot, soapy water. Been here before? Skeptical. Wait for it. Add a couple of dryer sheets. Let the whole works soak for two hours, and then just wipe the grease away! In the water, it will peel and start to crack away, so it will be a snap to remove. While a few stubborn spots may linger, you can easily remove them with a scrubbing pad.

Going Inside

The movement you've all been waiting for: the inside of the oven.

There are only two ingredients you need to clean the inside of your oven. Throw out all those oven cleaners (many of which contain toxic chemicals, so take those to a safe disposal site). Ditch the all-purpose cleaner for this one, too. What you need are two things that you already have in your cupboard, and, just FYI, they can be used in all kinds of cleaning projects, not just this one (including toilets, tile, counters, and sinks).


The stars of eco-friendly, pocket-friendly, super-easy cleaning: baking soda and vinegar!

These guys have been used in cleaning for decades, and there's no reason to stop now. Here's what you do: scatter the baking soda and follow with vinegar to make a nice paste in your oven. Rub it around to make sure it's fully distributed. Come back in a few hours after the mixture has had a chance to work, and then scrub. Your sponge can lift many of the minor stains and spills, while a steel scrubber will pull off more stubborn messes -- make sure to go gentle so you don't scratch the enamel.

Some Hometalkers have success with a baking soda and water oven-cleaning paste, while others recommend Barkeeper's Friend as a mild abrasive for oven cleaning, but I like to stick with the basics.

Bonus Round

Is your range hood getting pretty gross? I'm not surprised: one of the problems with drawing up all that moist, fat-laden air from the stove is that your range hood gets covered in debris really quickly. But it doesn't have to look like a nightmare!

Before and after: greasy, funky range hood to like-new sparkling appliance.

SettingforFour has a secret ingredient use for cleaning the range hood. You might have this one in the bathroom, if you're a nailpolish fiend like me, or in the shed, if you do a lot with painting projects. It's acetone, a solvent that cuts through grease and grime quickly.

I often find when I'm trying to clean the range hood with a hot soapy sponge that it just smears everything around and I start to feel greasy, dirty, and gross. An acetone-soaked cotton pad (like you'd use on your nails!), on the other hand, sweeps dirt and grime right off. Make sure the room is well-ventilated when you work, and remember to test the swab on a hidden area of the range hood first to be sure it won't wreck the finish!

Check out our post of 15 fun DIY projects for you to check our if you're looking for more!

Suggested materials:

  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar

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1 comment
  • S.W.
    on Dec 11, 2017

    after reading this post, i know how to give my oven a great cleaning!
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