7 Easy Steps to Clean an Oven

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A quality oven should last a good 13–15 years with little to no maintenance, making them one of the most durable appliances to own. While ovens need little maintenance, they do need a deep cleaning once every few months. Fortunately, it isn’t difficult to clean an oven. Regular oven cleaning will not only make the oven look more appealing, but removing burnt-on food and grease from the inside will keep your oven running more efficiently.

Here are seven easy steps you can take to keep your oven looking great.

Step 1: Prepare for Oven Cleaning

Before you clean an oven, make sure you’ve got the supplies you need and that you have your oven prepared for cleaning. For the cleaning process, you’ll need:

  • Rubber gloves
  • A cloth
  • Cleaning solution

There are two good options for an oven-cleaning solution:

Oven Cleaner Option 1: Make Your Own DIY Cleaning Solution

Simply mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with 3–4 tablespoons of water until you have a paste-like texture.

If you use this solution to clean an oven, also ensure that you have some plain white vinegar on hand. You will need this to give your oven a nice shine after the paste does its job.

Oven Cleaner Option 2. Use a Store-Bought Cleaner

While the DIY cleaner is practical and convenient, a trip to the store to pick up a heavy-duty oven cleaner like Easy-Off is worthwhile for particularly greasy ovens. Many of these solutions come in a spray can, making them easier to apply to the inside of the oven than a paste. Spray-on cleaners are the most efficient way to clean an oven without elbow grease.

Step 2: Remove the Oven Racks for Cleaning

In addition to the inner walls and door of the oven, you need to clean the racks, too. However, you should remove these before cleaning because you will clean them separately.

Once you’ve chosen your cleaner and removed the oven racks, it’s time to start cleaning. 

It’s important to be extremely careful when cleaning an oven. Always ensure the oven is completely turned off and cooled before you begin cleaning.

Step 3: Thoroughly Apply the Oven Cleaner

This step is the same whether you are going to clean an oven with a store-bought cleaner, such as Easy-Off, or you’re using a homemade paste of baking soda and water. Apply the cleaner liberally to the inside of the oven. This includes all the inner walls as well as the glass oven door.

If you’re using baking soda or a store-bought paste, you should wear rubber gloves and apply the cleaner thoroughly to every bit of the inside of the oven.

Step 4: Coat Your Oven Racks

Now that the inside of the oven is covered with cleaner, it’s time to do the same with the oven racks. Put your oven racks in the sink or on a countertop lined with paper towels and coat them with the cleaner.

Step 5: Let the Cleaner Work Its Magic Overnight

While you may be able to get away with only leaving the solution for an hour or two, leaving it overnight will ensure that even the grimiest oven can reclaim its former glory. Just sit back and relax, and come back in the morning.

Step 6: Wipe Down the Oven

Now that the cleaner has done its job, it’s time to wipe it down. The best way to do this is with a damp cloth. You can use damp paper towels; just ensure that they don’t tear and leave bits of paper behind in the oven.

If you have used the homemade baking soda paste to clean an oven, you’ll want to finish the cleaning by spraying the inside of the oven with some white vinegar in a spray bottle. This will help give the inside of the oven a nice shine. Finally, wipe the inside one last time to remove the excess vinegar.

Step 7: Clean Oven Racks

The inside of the oven is sparkling and clean, and now the last thing to do is wipe down the oven racks to remove the cleaner. If there are stuck-on bits leftover, an abrasive sponge should do the trick to remove them.

Now that you have clean oven racks, you can put them back in the oven because your job is complete.

Final Verdict: It’s Easy to Clean an Oven

You need to clean your oven from time to time. Every three months is ideal, or more frequently if you do a lot of cooking around the holidays, for example.

The process to clean an oven is straightforward, and you can use either a DIY formula with baking soda and water or run to the store to grab an oven cleaner. Either option will make the inside of your oven look just like new.

It’s easy and surprisingly fast to clean an oven effectively and doing so gives your kitchen a boost in appearance and cleanliness, while also keeping your oven running at its best for years to come.