Getting Down and Dirty: How To Clean An Oven

6 Materials
2 Hours

Dirty oven? When you have a spill its best to clean it up right away, but whether you have an electric or gas oven, here's tips for cleaning your oven.There are two paths to getting the full life expectancy out of your oven: either you don’t use it, or you keep it clean. For most of us, the first path isn’t an option.

The importance of a clean oven is one of longevity and efficiency. Baked on dirt makes the oven heat up more slowly, making it less efficient. Yes, there are commercial oven cleaners available, but most contain harmful chemicals. Something you don’t want to expose yourself and your family to.Then there’s the self-cleaning oven. It sounds like the perfect solution, but just say no. Your oven is not designed to withstand the extreme temperatures for the prolonged period of time required to incinerate the grit, grease and grime. It will cause your oven to wear out prematurely. 

Learning how to clean your oven without these hazards is not impossible (Hint: There is actually a homemade oven cleaner that makes the task both safe and easy.)Materials Needed for Cleaning Your Oven

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Dish washing detergent
  • Sponge
  • A dry cloth or paper towels

Wondering, “How often should I clean my oven?”? Well, that depends on how often your oven is used. If your oven is used on a regular basis, you should make it a part of your monthly cleaning routine, in addition to wiping it down weekly. Of course, the best thing to do when you have spills in the oven is to wipe them up immediately, before the spills become baked on. Baked-on food and grease can cause the oven to smoke and smell bad, affecting the taste and smell of your food.If you hardly ever use your oven, just look in on it every now and then, and give it a quick wipe.

Most oven racks slide out of the oven. A good place to clean oven racks is in the bathtub. Simply put a towel in the bottom of the tub so the racks don’t scratch the tub finish. Then, place the racks on the towel, fill the tub with hot water until the racks are covered and dissolve a half cup of dish washing detergent in the water. Let the racks soak for at least four hours or overnight. Loosen any stuck on particles with a soft brush or sponge, rinse them to remove the soap and dry them off. Easypeasy!

Electric Oven:Consider using baking soda to clean the oven. Simply make a paste with one half cup of baking soda, mixing it with three tablespoons of water. (Use a cup of baking soda with one-third a cup of water if the oven is really dirty.) With the racks removed, use a paper towel or sponge to remove any loose particles from the bottom, sides, top and door. Use a soft bristled brush to scrub the inside surfaces with the baking soda paste, being careful not to scrub the heating element. Let the paste soak for one to three hours or overnight for a really dirty oven. Gas Oven:For gas oven cleaning, use the same method as above, with the following addition:The gas burner is under a panel in the bottom of the oven. There are vent slots in the panel. Be careful not to let any liquid run down through the slots and onto the burner.

To remove the paste, you can spray it down with vinegar or use a paper towel or sponge soaked with vinegar. Replace the racks.

More Oven Cleaning Tips

Learn more about the basics of oven upkeep in our How to Clean an Oven guide.

A good job done!

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  • Brenda Brenda on Feb 12, 2020

    Can this be used to clean the stove

  • Leeann Leeann on Feb 14, 2020

    What about the glass door in between it’s a really bad how do you get in between the glass.

  • Sus69556990 Sus69556990 on Aug 27, 2022

    I want to ask do you have to turn off your electric stove to clean it? It might be a silly question to some,but can someone help me out I'm used to self cleaning electric stoves.

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