• Store-bought and homemade oven cleaners are both safe and effective.
  • The most critical step is making sure the cleaning solution sits in the oven for at least an hour.
  • For ovens that don’t need a deep clean, a mix of baking soda and water is all you need.

Cleaning an oven is surprisingly simple. The most important tool you’ll need? Patience.

Brandon Pleshek, a third-generation professional janitor of Clean That Up, says coating the inside of your oven with oven cleaner and letting it sit for at least an hour is the most important step. The dwell time – or how long you let your cleaner sit – determines how much grease and grime will come off in the long run.

However, you’ll need to tailor your cleaner based on the current state of your oven. “You’re either cleaning an oven that’s not too dirty or you’re cleaning an oven that’s had pizzas baking in it the last 10 years and has never been cleaned,” he says. A really dirty oven will benefit most from a chemical oven solution, while a well-maintained one will clean well with a homemade mixture of baking soda and water.

From how to clean oven racks to the proper scrubbing technique, here’s everything you need to know about cleaning the inside of the oven.

What you need

  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Store-bought oven cleaner (optional)
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Kitchen cleaning gloves
  • Non-scratch sponge
  • Microfiber towel
  • Small broom and dustpan
  • Scouring pad
  • Razorblade scraper (optional)

How to deep clean an oven


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1. Remove the oven racks

Cleaning your oven begins and ends with the oven racks. Pleshek says to fill up your sink with warm water, put in a few drops of liquid dish soap, such as Dawn, and let them soak the whole time you clean the rest of the oven – at least an hour. “Those need a really good amount of dwell time to just sit there and let the grease and grime float off,” he says.

Quick tip: If your sink is too small to accommodate oven racks, consider soaking them in your bathtub or taking them outside and placing them in a heavy-duty garbage bag filled with water and dish soap.

2. Remove any burnt crumbs

Just like when you start to clean a floor, go over the surface with a small broom to remove any solid pieces. “You’re going to want to remove all that burned up dry soil that used to be pieces of food,” Pleshek says.

3. Coat the inside of the oven with cleaner and let it sit

Before breaking out the cleaner, turn on your oven’s vent hood or open a window to make sure the room is ventilated.

If you have a dirtier oven, Pleshek recommends using a store-bought solution, such as Easy-Off Fume-Free oven cleaner. But if your oven is in better shape, he recommends using a mixture of equal parts baking soda and water – a cup of each should be enough for a standard home oven.

Whichever mixture you choose, use a non-scratch scrub sponge such as a Scrub Daddy, which won’t dull the enamel, to coat the paste around the entire interior. Then, shut the oven and let it sit for at least an hour. Pleshek says letting your cleaner sit in the oven is the most important step since it’s key in removing grease.

Important: Regardless of what solution you clean with, make sure not to coat anything on the heating element – this could lead to smoking, Pleshek says.

4. Wipe off the cleaner with a damp cleaning cloth

After waiting an hour or more, wipe off the remaining baking soda paste or store-bought oven cleaner with a microfiber towel soaked in warm water. “You can assess what cleaned up with the oven cleaner and what needs a little bit more attention,” he says. Make sure you wipe with water thoroughly to ensure no residual solutions are left in the oven when you cook again.

This is also when you should clean the interior door. While every oven is different, most have rubber seals. Pleshek says to pull those back and wipe them well, making sure to remove crumbs and food that easily gets trapped in this tough spot. Once you’re done wiping down the entire oven, buff the glass door by simply wiping it with a dry microfiber towel.

If needed, spot-treat any areas where there may be grease with additional treatments of dish soap or a baking soda mixture.

If there’s still grease buildup after the last step, try using a razor blade window scraper. Lubricate the surface of the oven with dish soap and scrape any excess grease and grime in gentle motions, Pleshek says.

5. Clean out the bottom drawer

With all of this cleaning and soil removal, the bottom drawer of your oven is sure to accumulate crumbs. Pleshek says to simply take a damp towel or small broom once again to get rid of remaining debris.

6. Scrub the racks and put them back in the oven

After letting the racks soak for over an hour, and once the entire oven cleaning is complete, scrub them with clean water and dish soap. Pleshek recommends using a scouring pad scrubber since the wire grates can sometimes hold onto some pesky grime. Once they’re clean, rinse them thoroughly with water and place them back in the clean oven.

7. Clean the outside of the oven

If you’re going for a comprehensive clean, Pleshek says to wipe the outside of your oven with a damp microfiber towel with dish soap on it to remove any oils. Finally, if your oven door is glass, wipe it with a glass cleaner. If it’s stainless steel, use a specialized cleaner like Bar Keepers Friend to create a nice shine.

What about ovens with self-cleaning functions?

Pleshek says the self-cleaning function on the oven works like this: It’ll heat to between 500 degrees Fahrenheit and 550 degrees Fahrenheit, and the heat will bake off the grease and grime. Since the oven is turned so high, he says the grease and food remnants burn off and become ash. Just be wary: “It’ll smell like burning stinkiness for two to three hours,” he says.

Make sure the oven completely cools, then wipe the remaining mess down with a damp microfiber towel or sponge and dish soap. “This function works as well as you take care of your oven, so if you’ve neglected your oven for the last six years and cook in it every single night, the self-cleaner can only do so much,” Pleshek says.

How often should you clean the oven?

Pleshek says you should only need to clean your oven every few months. “Preventative maintenance is what’s going to make the cleaning easier and easier as you continue to go,” he says.

Tips for keeping your oven clean

  • Wipe up spills as soon as possible. Once they get burnt on, they’re much tougher to clean.
  • Don’t overfill your baking dishes, especially those with lots of liquid like fruit pies.
  • Use roasting bags when cooking beef, pork, chicken, and even vegetables that might splatter.
  • If foods need to be basted or stirred while cooking, remove them from the oven to perform the task to prevent spills and drips.
  • Line the bottom of the oven with easy-to-clean liners.
  • Use the self-cleaning cycle frequently rather than once per year.

Insider’s takeaway

While it may take one to two hours, cleaning the inside of an oven is fairly simple. It’s crucial to wait at least an hour to let store-bought or homemade cleaning solutions soak in. This helps “loosen up and get underneath all of that grease and grime better,” Pleshek says. Frequently cleaning your oven when bits fall underneath the racks will make the process less taxing when the time for a deep clean comes.

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Source: bing.com

By bomber

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