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Does cleaning your oven sound about as fun as getting a root canal? I hear ya! I sort of feel like Cinderella when I’m elbow deep in gunk and scrubbing my arms off. Yuck!
I love a clean home, but I detest
some of most of the cleaning tasks. So much so, that I’ll usually try every method and hack under the sun until I find the one that’s easiest for me.
I tried several before I figured out how to deep clean an oven the easy way?
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When To Deep Clean Your Oven
How do I know when it’s needed?
Unless you never use your oven, there’ll come a time when it’s a nasty mess of caked-on baked-on grease and gunk. The glass window will be so grimy you won’t be able to see through it well enough to check on your Tater Tot Casserole.
If it’s bad enough, it might even smoke a little when you bake on higher heats. That’s how you know it’s time to deep clean your oven!
My oven gets gunky fast. I do a lot of Oven Bacon and I like to broil my Steaks when it gets too cold outside to use the grill. You can probably imagine all the grease splattering around in there.
Related Article: Weekly Cleaning Schedule
Gather Your Supplies
Start by gathering all of your supplies and setting them out on the counter so you don’t have to keep running back and forth to get what you need.
- Nylon Scraper
- Metal Spatula
- Dawn Dish Soap – I prefer the original blue, I swear it works better
- Baking Soda
- Paint Brush
- Old Towel
- Kitchen Gloves
- Scouring Pads
- 3 Microfiber Cloth
- Multi-Surface Cleaner – I prefer Mr. Clean
How to Deep Clean Your Oven
The easiest way I found to deep clean an oven involves letting the cleaning mixture sit for a minimum of two hours, but preferably overnight. The dirtier the oven, the longer it takes for the mixture to penetrate the gunk.
Put on your kitchen gloves and let’s get started.
1. Remove the Surface Gunk
Using the nylon scraper and metal spatula, remove as much buildup as possible from the racks and inside surfaces of the oven. When using the metal spatula, make sure you don’t scratch the enamel coating.
The more surface gunk and crusty bits you can remove now, the better the cleaning mixture will penetrate and soften the rest of the mess. Vacuum the oven to get all of the loose bits out.
2. Apply the Cleaning Mixture
Mix approximately 1/4 cup of baking soda, 1/4 cup of water, and 1/4 cup of dish soap into a thick syrupy consistency.
Remove the oven racks and place them in the bathtub on top of an old towel. Liberally paint both sides of each rack with the cleaning mixture and let them sit.
Go back to the kitchen and paint the cleaning mixture over the interior surfaces of the oven, including the door and window glass. Don’t forget the top of the oven.
You can also paint some over your stovetop if it’s dirty. This mixture works great on my glass cooktop.
Let the mixture sit for at least 2 hours. Overnight is even better if you can manage without your stove and bathtub for that long. The extra time gives the dish soap and baking soda a chance to penetrate the nasty buildup.
3. Clean Outside and Around the Range
While the cleaning mixture is working its magic, remove your burner knobs and soak them in hot, soapy water.
You can skip this part if you want, but I like to do it now since I’m already cleaning the range area.
Pull the range out away from the wall. Wipe down the walls and exterior sides of the range.
Wipe down the surrounding walls with a multi-surface cleaner. Vacuum and mop the floor where the range usually sits, then push the range back into place.
Wipe down the control panel part of the range. Wash and dry the knobs and put them back on.
Related Article: Declutter Your Kitchen
4. Clean Inside the Oven and the Racks
Once your wait time is up, fill the tub with enough hot water to cover the racks and let them soak while you go clean the oven.
Wipe the stovetop to remove the dried on mixture. Scour any remaining dirty areas.
Re-wet the inside of the oven with a wet scouring pad, then use the scraper and spatula to remove the caked-on gunk.
You’ll be shocked at how much of the mess comes off at this point. If your oven has a lot of gunk, it’ll look like you’re removing frosting from a cake.
Once you’re done scraping out as much of the gunk as you can, use a damp scouring pad to scrub through any remaining spots. Wipe everything down with a wet cloth to remove any remaining baking soda residue.
Back to the bathtub to scrub the racks with a scouring pad to remove the remaining gunk. When you’re done scrubbing, rinse and dry the racks and place them back in the oven.
Wipe down the front of the oven and the handles, then step back and enjoy your freshly cleaned oven and range.
Other Options for Cleaning an Oven
Here are some other options that worked well during my trials.
The self-clean setting is by far the easiest method I tried. It heats your oven to around 900 degrees and turns the gunk into ashes. All you have to do afterward is wipe it out with a damp cloth.
I only use the self-clean option when my oven’s super dirty because of the hazardous fumes that stink up the entire house and make my eyes burn even with all of my windows open.
You can find out more about the safety and chemistry of the self-cleaning function on your oven from this article by McGill University.
Vinegar and Baking Soda
Another option is to sprinkle baking soda on everything then spray it with vinegar and let the chemical reaction do some of the scouring for you.
I personally don’t like this method because the vinegar is so stinky and the baking soda seems harder to get off of everything. I also don’t think it cuts through the greasy gunk like the dish soap does because I had to do lots of extra scrubbing.
Ammonia and Water
Ammonia and water make oven cleaning very easy – if you can handle the ammonia smell.
You preheat your oven to 300 degrees, then shut it off and place 3 cups of ammonia in an oven-safe dish on an upper rack, and 3 cups of boiling water in an oven-safe dish on a lower rack.
Close the oven door and let the steam work its magic overnight. When you get up the next day, you should be able to wipe the oven clean.
I rarely use ammonia because the smell gives me headaches and affects my breathing. If you can handle it, this is a super-easy way to cut the gunk.
Tips for Keeping Your Oven Clean
Want to avoid the dreaded deep clean, try these tips to keep your oven clean.
Wipe Spills Immediately – Cleaning spills as they occur will prevent them from getting baked on set in. Let the oven cool before attempting to clean any spills.
You can also do a quick vacuum and wipe down during your weekly cleaning routine.
Use An Oven Liner – Place a heat resistant oven liner on a lower rack to catch the spills. The liner can be removed and rinsed off or thrown in the dishwasher.
Cover Your Food – Cook your food with oven bags or aluminum foil to prevent spills and splattering.
Beware that covering certain most foods can alter the cooking times and final textures of the food.
How Do You Deep Clean Your Oven?
Now that I’ve told you how I deep clean my oven and the other methods I’ve tried, it’s your turn. Tell me how you deep clean your oven in the comments below.