How To Clean An Oven – Without Harsh Chemicals 

 Last Update December 11, 2023

By Jenny Zhang

Home / Guides / How To Clean An Oven – Without Harsh Chemicals

The kitchen is the heart of any home, where delicious meals are crafted, memories are made, and the aromas of culinary creations fill the air. Yet, amidst all this magic, the oven often gets overlooked in our cleaning routines. Over time, this trusty kitchen workhorse accumulates layers of grease, baked-on spills, and stubborn residue that can affect the taste of your dishes and pose a potential fire hazard.

Don't be intimidated by the thought of cleaning your oven – you've got this! With the proper methods and a touch of effort, you can bring your oven back to its original shine, guaranteeing it remains your trusty kitchen companion for many more delicious meals to come.

In this article, we'll guide you through how to clean an oven with our comprehensive step-by-step guide. Whether you're a seasoned home cook or just someone looking to maintain a clean and safe kitchen, our tips and tricks will help you confidently tackle even the toughest oven grime.

Why you need to clean an oven

Maintaining a clean oven is crucial for various reasons. Firstly, a dirty oven can negatively impact the flavor and quality of your food, as accumulated grease and residues may introduce undesirable tastes and odors. Secondly, neglecting oven maintenance can pose health risks, as burnt food particles may release harmful fumes. Furthermore, a well-maintained oven operates more efficiently, reducing energy consumption and cost savings. Lastly, regular cleaning prolongs the oven's lifespan, preventing costly repairs or replacements. In essence, maintaining a clean oven ensures not only better-tasting meals but also a safer, more cost-effective, and longer-lasting appliance in your kitchen.

How often you should clean an oven

The recommended frequency for oven cleaning varies based on your usage and cooking habits. As a general guideline, cleaning your oven every three to six months is advisable, particularly if it's used moderately. However, if you're an avid home cook who bakes, roasts, or broils frequently, you may need to clean it more often, perhaps every two to three months.

Here are some signs that indicate it's time to clean your oven:

Visible build-up: If you notice thick layers of grease, food splatters, or burnt-on residue on the oven walls, racks, or door, it's a clear indicator that cleaning is overdue.

Unpleasant odors: Lingering odors from previous cooking sessions can be a sign that it's time for a cleaning, as they can affect the taste of your current dishes.

Smoking or smoking smells: Excessive smoking during cooking or strange odors emanating from the oven can be a sign of built-up grease or food debris that needs attention.

Inconsistent heating: If your oven is struggling to maintain temperature or cooking times seem longer than usual, it might be due to accumulated residue affecting its efficiency.

What Methods Can I Use To Clean My Oven?

Numerous methods can be employed to clean a soiled oven effectively.

Some oven models feature a self-cleaning function, where the oven heats up to incredibly high temperatures and burns away all of the grease and food inside. Although a self-cleaning oven is handy in that a flip of a switch can clean it, the fumes created during this process can create a thick smoke with an acrid smell.

Some individuals opt for using a commercial oven cleaner. These sprays are effective but use harsh chemicals and are highly toxic to inhale. They are also difficult to fully wipe out of the oven once used, so food cooked inside the oven afterward will leech those harsh chemicals.

Another approach to oven cleaning is not only equally effective but also safer. By making your own oven cleaner using gentle and natural ingredients, you can clean your oven without harming your health!

How do you clean an oven quickly?

Cleaning your oven quickly can be achieved with a few simple steps. Begin by removing any loose debris and racks from the oven. Prepare a cleaning paste by blending baking soda and water until it reaches a thick consistency. Next, evenly apply this paste inside the oven, avoiding the heating elements. Let the paste sit for about 15-30 minutes to loosen the grime. Next, use a non-abrasive sponge or cloth to scrub away the residue. Afterward, rinse the oven's interior with a damp cloth to eliminate any residual baking soda. Finally, clean the oven racks separately using the same paste, rinse, and reassemble. This efficient method helps you achieve a clean oven without much hassle.

How To Deep Clean An Oven

There's no need to rely on harsh oven cleaners to enjoy a sparkling clean oven! Instead, follow these step-by-step instructions to deep clean an oven with baking soda and make your oven look like new again.

Remove Oven Racks

In order to have unrestricted access to your oven's interior, it's necessary to remove the oven racks (as well as any thermometers and pans). Set them aside on sheets of newspaper or old towels. You'll clean them later while the baking soda is doing its job inside the oven.

Make Baking Soda Paste

The main cleaner used in this method is baking soda. Baking soda works as a gentle abrasive. It dissolves dirt and sticky oils while giving a little "oomph" to your elbow grease. It also helps to neutralize unpleasant odors! You must create a spreadable paste to apply baking soda to your oven. Create the baking soda paste by combining equal proportions of baking soda and water. Make enough paste to cover the entire interior of the oven.

Apply Baking Soda Paste

Spread the baking soda paste thoroughly across the entire interior of the oven. This is best achieved using your hands, so consider wearing rubber gloves. Avoid contact with the heating elements and gas vents while applying the baking soda paste. Apply a thicker layer of the cleaning paste on areas where needed.

Wait

Your DIY oven cleaner needs time to break down oven grime. Shut the oven door and allow the paste to work its magic for at least 12 hours.

Clean Oven Racks

While waiting, you might as well clean the other oven parts! Start with the oven racks. Soak them in hot, soapy water for at least two hours. If your oven racks don't fit in your kitchen sink, try them in a utility sink or even in the bathtub! After all the racks have soaked in hot water and dish soap or dishwasher detergent, the sticky grease and food residue should be easily scrubbed off with a scouring pad. Wear rubber gloves to keep this grime off of your hands.

Clean Oven Glass

Apply a layer of the same thick paste from earlier to the interior of the oven's glass door. Allow it to sit for a minimum of 30 minutes. It works out perfectly if you apply the baking soda paste to the oven in the evening, let it sit overnight, and then apply the layer to the oven door glass in the morning when the wait time is close to being over!

Clean Oven Exterior

Give the exterior of your oven the same thorough cleaning as you're giving the interior! Make a spray using equal parts of water and white vinegar - and keep it handy because you'll be using it again later. Spray the vinegar solution onto a damp cloth and use this cloth to wipe down the oven's exterior. Never spray the oven knobs and panels directly, as you then risk getting the cleaner into the control panel and causing it to short-circuit! If you have a stainless steel oven, finish off with a damp microfiber cloth.

Remove Baking Soda Paste

After the 12 hours is up, it's time to remove the baking soda paste. Begin using a damp rag or sponge to wipe away the paste and oven residue. Particularly stubborn areas may require the use of a spatula. It's important not to scratch the surface of your oven's interior, so avoid using stronger scrapers or scouring pads. To shield your hands from food particles and grease, it's advisable to wear gloves!

Apply Vinegar

Spray the entire oven interior using your spray bottle of vinegar and water. White vinegar is a powerful natural cleaner on its own, but baking soda and vinegar together are particularly strong against grease! The vinegar spray will cause any residual baking soda inside the oven to foam up, further loosening sticky areas.

Wipe Down the Oven Interior

Use a soft cloth to gently wipe down the interior of your once-dirty oven - and enjoy your sparkling clean oven!


Jenny passionately advocates a holistic and natural approach to health and well-being. She has a Bachelor of Science degree and years of working in food sciences, specializing in organic & natural products. She is committed to helping others embrace a balanced, natural lifestyle that fosters well-being. Jenny believes that a harmonious balance between nutrition, fitness, and mindfulness is the key to unlocking the full potential of one’s well-being.