How to Clean an Oven

How to Clean an Oven

As you bake various casseroles, desserts, meats and other dishes in your oven, splatters, spills and other messes can and do happen. In your super-heated oven, these will quickly bake unto the sides of the oven as well as the bottom and the oven racks. There, they will emit smoke and unpleasant odors. The smoke and odors will return each time you use the oven in the future until the messes are cleaned.

Knowing how to clean an oven the right way can save you time and effort.

Why is It Important to Clean the Oven?

The most glaring reason to clean your kitchen oven regularly is to prevent smoke and odors from filling your house when you cook. The smoke could be so intense that your smoke alarm goes off.

How to Clean an Oven Tidyhere Image of a Woman Cleaning the Oven

In addition, the smoke and odors can impact the flavor of your food. If the baked-on debris comes in contact with the food you are preparing, it could cause various health symptoms as well. This is because bacteria can grow on the burnt spills in the oven.

How Often Should I Clean My Oven?

Cleaning the oven is a big job, so you understandably do not want to do it more frequently than necessary. As soon as you notice a food spill or splatter, you should wipe up the mess. This will minimize the amount of baked-on food that you need to clean later. Often, you can hear spills and splatters sizzling as they reach the oven’s hot surfaces. You may also notice a burning smell out of the blue if you have new spills and splatters.

Even when you take this important step of spot cleaning the oven regularly, you should still clean the entire oven. As a rule of thumb, the interior and exterior of the oven, including the racks and handles, should be thoroughly cleaned every three months. If you use your oven infrequently, an annual cleaning session may suffice.

Using the Self-Cleaning Feature

Many ovens today have a self-cleaning feature. When you turn this feature on, the oven will get super-heated up to 900 to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit for several hours. In fact, the self-cleaning function may last up to six hours in some cases. Under this incredible heat, the debris in the oven will be obliterated.

While the self-cleaning function is on, you will notice unpleasant smells. You should leave your windows open and ceiling fans throughout this process. In addition, carefully read your oven’s owner’s manual before using the feature to ensure that you follow the process for your specific model.

What is the Best Way to Clean a Dirty Oven?

How to Clean an Oven Tidyhere Infographic

While using your oven’s self-cleaning feature is convenient, the most thorough way to clean the appliance is by hand. The process takes at least half of a day to complete, so allow yourself plenty of time. Keep in mind that a large portion of these hours involve allowing the cleaning agents to sit on the oven and racks rather than actually scrubbing. When you clean a dirty oven by hand, you are ensuring that all food debris is completely removed.

Oven Racks

The evening before your oven cleaning project, pull out the dirty oven racks wearing rubber gloves. Lay them out over newspapers on the counter or floor. All other items in the oven should be removed as well.

In a bowl, use a one-to-one mixture of water and baking soda to create a paste. Make enough to coat both sides of the racks completely with the paste.

You also need to coat the interior of the oven, including the inside of the door, with the paste. However, do not put it on the heating elements. Allow the paste to remain in place for 12 hours overnight.

The oven racks, however, only need to remain covered in the paste for two hours. Then, immerse them in hot, soapy water. Use castile soap or a grease-cutting dish soap. Allow the racks to sit for another two hours in the soapy water. Use a handle brush to scrub the grime off.

Oven Door

In the morning, use a spatula to scrape the grime off of the inside of the oven and oven door. Then, spray straight white vinegar throughout the oven’s interior.

The baking soda paste will start to foam. As this happens, the food residue breaks down. After approximately 30 minutes, wipe up the baking soda, vinegar and food remnants with a clean, wet rag.

Oven Knobs and Handles

You can then turn your attention to the exterior of the oven. The knobs and handle can get grimy with grease and other materials over time. Spray a half-half mixture of water and vinegar onto a clean rag.

If you have a stainless-steel appliance, use a microfiber cloth. Do not directly spray these surfaces and the exterior of the oven door as the controls could get damaged. Wipe the oven’s exterior until it is clean.

More Maintenance & Oven Cleaning Tips

Avoid using chemical oven cleaning products. While these are effective, they are toxic. They can cause serious respiratory issues and irritate your skin.

There are store-bought cleaning products that lack such harsh chemicals. Some of the safer products to try are The Pink Stuff and Scrub Daddy PowerPaste. You could also use a wet pumice stone to scrub the oven.

Check out this video for more oven-cleaning tips to assist you in cleaning and maintaining your ovens.


How Long Does It Take to Clean an Oven?

To clean an oven using the self-cleaning feature, the process may take between three to six hours. To clean it by hand, the process could take approximately 13 to 14 hours.

How Do I Clean Stubborn Oven Spots?

To clean the stubborn spots on your oven, extra time and elbow grease is required. When using the baking soda and vinegar method, allow the paste and the vinegar to sit for a longer period of time. You also should apply these substances more liberally. Rather than scraping the debris with a spatula, scrub it with a wet pumice stone.

How Do I Clean Melted Plastic From the Oven?

You can safely and effectively remove melted plastic from the oven using a baking soda paste. Apply the paste liberally, and let it sit undisturbed for at least 15 minutes. You should then be able to scrub the melted plastic away using a wet sponge or cloth.

Cleaning your oven every few months is an important chore, but it is easier said than done. Finding the energy and time to do this and other deep cleaning tasks on your own is challenging, but rest assured that a better solution is available.

Boston maid service can provide routine and deep cleaning services. To learn more about our cleaning services, contact our Tidyhere team today.