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How to Clean an Oven

Person cleaning the front of their oven wearing yellow rubber cleaning gloves using a microfiber cloth

Remember that fry that fell through the rack in the oven? How about the pasta sauce from the lasagna that boiled over? Ovens can create culinary magic, but they are also subjected to crumbs, drippings, grease, and more that pool at the bottom for months, turning into dark carbon spots that bake over and over, every time you turn on the oven. Cleaning an oven can seem overwhelming, but it should be done regularly to enjoy better tasting food. Here’s everything you need to know about achieving that sparkly clean oven that you can peer into again!

Supplies

DIY Oven Cleaner

How Often Should I Clean My Oven?

Person wearing pink rubber cleaning gloves cleaning the inside of their oven with a sponge

Cleaning your oven doesn’t have to be an everyday chore, unless you’re accident-prone and spill everything you put in it, then regular cleaning is a must. If you have a steady hand and are a pro at whipping pizzas in and out of the oven without letting the melting cheese hit the bottom, then cleaning should be done every three to six months. The more often you clean, the easier it will be to clean. To determine how you clean your oven, will depend on a few things. If you are a master chef and use your oven every night, a labor-intense hand scrubbing might be necessary. If you rarely fire up your oven, the self-cleaning button might suffice.

The Self-cleaning Function

The inside of an oven with the coils glowing red

Pretty self-explanatory, the self-cleaning button heats the oven to the high temperature of 880 degrees and incinerates food particles left behind. Some ovens require you to remove the racks before you start cleaning. While this might be the easiest way to clean an oven, there are some drawbacks. Your oven will be locked up and occupied for three to five hours, so plan wisely when to do this. It also lets off a serious amount of heat, so we wouldn’t recommend cleaning your oven on a hot summer day. While you’re not using harsh chemicals to clean the oven, using the self-clean feature lets off an unpleasant smell. You’ll want to stay out of the kitchen during cleaning, maybe take the dog and kids to the park. When the oven is done cleaning and has cooled down, wipe out the ash at the bottom before replacing the racks.

Hand Cleaning Your Oven

If you don’t want to experiment with the self-cleaning option or your oven doesn’t have one, scrubbing your oven by hand works just as well. There are different ways to go about cleaning your oven. You can opt for store-bought oven cleaners or make your own cleaner, either way you choose to go will do a pretty good job or removing baked-on grease and grime.

Store-bought Cleaners

Store-bought cleaners

Before going to town on your oven, clean out any bigger scraps of food, then spray your choice of cleaner evenly on the interior of the oven. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions before spraying any cleaner in or on your oven. (Remember this is where you cook your food.) Let the cleaner sit for the required time before wiping it away.

DIY Cleaners

Woman using a baking soda mixture to clean the inside of oven door

Do you want to skip the chemicals and create your own safer, simpler solution? Take your baking soda and water and make a paste. Apply this liberally to in the interior of your oven, using more in areas with stubborn grease. Let this sit for about 20 minutes, then using your spray bottle, spray vinegar over the baking soda. This will make the baking soda bubble and work extra hard. Allow this to work for another 20 minutes. Using your sponge, scrub all surfaces and wipe away with a damp cloth. Try Pura Naturals Grease Beast Cleansing Pads to remove hard stuck-on grime and grease.

Clean the Racks

Person wearing teal rubber cleaning gloves cleaning the grate of the oven

The best way to clean the metal racks is to soak them in boiling water with a little bit of dish soap. You can place them in your kitchen sink and soak one half at a time or use the bathtub to soak the entire rack at once, though you may want to clean the tub afterward. Let the racks soak for about two hours and then use a sponge or a stiff bristle brush to scrub away grime. Rinse the racks and return them to your clean oven.

Clean the Outside of Your Oven

Person wearing yellow rubber cleaning gloves wiping down the glass on the outside of the oven

Wipe down all exterior surfaces with a mild detergent, using your baking soda and vinegar mixture for stubborn grease stains. Remove the burners, lift the drip pans, and wipe away any crumbs or leftover food. Wipe behind the knobs by either removing them and soaking them or spraying vinegar on a rag and wiping around them. Use glass cleaner and carefully clean the window. Replace knobs, burners, and drip pans and enjoy cooking in a clean, crumb-free oven.

Cleaning an oven doesn’t have to be a daunting experience. With the right tools and cleaning supplies and a little bit of elbow grease, your oven will be looking brand new.

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