How to Clean an Oven

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When the baking gets tough, here are four genius ways to help you learn how to clean an oven. Grab your rubber gloves!

Wiping down countertops and scrubbing dirty dishes may feel like second nature, but it’s easy to forget to clean kitchen appliances like your oven. It’s OK; it happens to us, too. But because a dirty oven takes longer to preheat and can cause dangerous grease fires, it’s important to get into the habit of regularly cleaning yours. Check out the methods below to learn how to clean an oven. All it takes are some household items to getting it looking like new.

Wondering how to clean a microwave or how to clean an air fryer? What about the dishwasher? We have cleaning guides for those areas, too.

How to Clean an Oven

Tools and Supplies

  • Oven cleaner. This Test Kitchen-approved oven cleaner practically cleans the oven for you. It doubles as a spot cleaner and overnight treatment for ovens that need some serious cleaning. Just spray and wipe away with a dish sponge!
  • Sponges. When scrubbing away food stains, opt for a non-scratch sponge. This 12-pack of non-abrasive sponges cover the oven, range and other areas of the kitchen. Mix with warm soapy water (or oven cleaner) for a superior clean.
  • Microfiber cloth. This one’s for the outside of the oven and other kitchen appliances. Combine with your favorite multipurpose spray to leave a streak-free shine on the exterior.

Directions

Method 1: Use oven cleaner

For tough stains and residue, turn to oven cleaner. It’s safe for self-cleaning ovens and can be used to spot clean or as an overnight treatment. Simply spray the interior of the oven and wipe away with a sponge. Just make sure you protect your hands with a pair of dishwashing gloves!

Woman cleaning ovenJevtic/Getty Images

Method 2: Clean your oven with citrus

When life gives you lemons, use them to clean the oven.

Let us explain. Lemons and other citrus oils are natural degreasers, so they loosen up baked-on food particles. For a quick (and virtually effortless) way to clean your oven, add the juice of two lemons and 1/3 cup water to a baking dish, place it in the oven and bake at 250-degrees for 30 minutes. When heated, the lemons emit vapors that loosen up stubborn food stains. Once the oven has cooled down, remove any additional remnants with a scrub pad or firm spatula. (We love Scrub Daddy products for this task).

Method 3: Use soap and water

Your oven isn’t filthy, but it’s by no means as spotless as you’d like. To get rid of small splotches and stains, wipe down the interior with a scrub pad soaked in warm water and dish soap. Once you’re done, pat the inside dry with a paper towel or Swedish dishcloth. It requires some elbow grease, but it’s well worth it once you’re chowing down on one of these amazing casseroles.

Method 4: Enlist some baking soda and vinegar

Baking soda does a lot more than give cookies a lift. In fact, the household staple is ideal for removing stains from grout, cleaning grit from the slow cooker and tackling oven stains. For best results, mix a thin paste of 3/4 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup warm water. Remove oven racks, then coat the inside with the paste and leave it on overnight. In the morning, scrape off the paste, wipe out the oven with a damp towel and voila—a pristine oven.

Pro tip: If the baking soda method doesn’t get the job done, spritz some vinegar on the paste before wiping it off. When baking soda (a base) and vinegar (an acid) are combined, the mixture fizzes up and works wonders on tough stains.

How to Clean the Range

woman's hand washes a gray stainless steel gas stove with a green foam sponge. House cleaningOlga Ihnatsyeva/Getty Images

The inside of your oven isn’t the only place that needs some TLC. Here’s how to clean the whole range.

  • Stovetop: Wiping down your stovetop with a damp paper towel or sponge will get rid of fresh grease splatters and sauce spills, but if you want to tackle those stubborn, burnt food particles, place a hot, wet towel on the area for a few minutes, then scrape off stuck-on food with a firm spatula.
  • Burner grates: While you’re cleaning the stovetop, submerge the knobs and burner grates in a sink full of warm, soapy water. For a heavy-duty clean, throw in some kosher salt and baking soda, too.
  • Hood filters: The purpose of your oven’s hood filters is to collect grease, so it’s likely they’re in need of a good clean. Luckily, washing them is a total breeze. Once you pop ’em out of the hood, place the filters in a sink full of scalding hot water, a few drops of dish soap and 1/4 cup of baking soda, and leave them for 10 minutes. Next, use a non-abrasive scrub brush on those hard-to-clean stains. After rinsing the suds away, wait until the filters are completely dry before reinserting them (or else you’ll risk getting electrocuted!). For the outside of the hood, simply wipe it down with an all-purpose cleaner.

FAQs

When should I use the oven self-clean feature?

The oven’s self-clean feature should be used as little as possible. Not only does it produce smelly fumes and take a few hours, but it also can break many of your oven’s components. (Learn more in our guide written by an expert appliance repair technician.)

If you must use the oven’s self-clean feature, there are a few tips to follow for the best results. Try only running it once (maybe two times) a year after it’s endured heavy, heavy usage.

Can you clean oven with racks in?

If using the self-clean method, it’s best to remove the oven racks as they can lose their sheen if left inside. For best results, soak them in a sink filled with warm soapy water and baking soda while you clean the oven (or when using the self-clean method).

How often should I clean my oven?

The oven should be cleaned once every three months. If there’s burnt-on food stains before then, spot clean when necessary.

Can you use the oven right after cleaning it with oven cleaner?

If you’re using eco-friendly solutions like lemon juice, baking soda or vinegar, it’s safe to use the oven right away. For Easy-Off oven cleaner, you’ll want to preheat the oven at 300-degrees for 15-30 minutes

Now that the oven is clean, check out these tasks that are easy to forgot on the spring cleaning list. You’re also going to want to check out the Angry Mama Microwave Cleaner and Keurig cleaning pods when it’s time to clean the Keurig.

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Kelsey Mulvey
Kelsey Mulvey is a freelance writer and editor based in New York. Her hobbies include wine, nachos and the occasional hibachi dinner.