How to Properly Clean an Oven Thoroughly

Step-By-Step Instructions on How to Clean an Oven

Oven Cleaning

How to Clean an Oven

November 3, 2022

Your oven is an essential part of your home, allowing you to prepare delicious meals for your family and friends. As one of your most used appliances, ovens can quickly become dirty, thanks to spills, cook overs, and burned-on food residue. While a dirty oven is not nice to look at, aesthetically speaking, it can also be a hazard. You can avoid tragedy and embarrassing messes by cleansing your oven regularly as part of your regular cleaning routine, making it a quick and easy job with beautiful results.

Why You Should Clean Your Oven

Although it is one of the most used appliances in the home, many people often overlook their ovens when it comes to regular cleaning. Perhaps this is due to an "out of sight, out of mind" mentality, but whatever the reason, ovens tend to be one of the dirtiest spots in the home. There are many reasons why it's essential to clean your oven regularly, some of which you may not have considered previously but go a long way in keeping your home clean and safe. Let's take a look at a few top reasons why you should clean your oven.

Spills Can Be a Fire Hazard

It is not uncommon for food to cook over while inside your oven, leading to burnt-on food messes. While many times these spills are inconsequential, they can become a fire hazard if left over time. Stuck on food may ignite if temperatures are too high or if they come in contact with the heating element, leading to a fire that could be detrimental to your home. Preventing this horrifying scenario is simple by always wiping up spills once they happen (but after your oven has cooled.)

Avoid Bad Smells

Have you ever started preheating your oven only for your home to quickly fill with a horrible smell? Often a dirty oven will emit a bad odor when it begins to heat up, as the rise in temperature causes smells to become more prominent. Common odors from a dirty oven include burning, sulfur, rotten eggs, and even urine.

Deter Rodents

Many people are unaware that a dirty oven is a safe haven for rodents who are drawn to the food residue and warmth it provides. Rodents like mice and rats often carry diseases that can make you and your family sick, a scenario you want to avoid. It is often difficult to know whether you are experiencing a rodent infestation since they tend to hide at the sound of humans, but there are telltale signs that give their inhabitance away. As we discussed above, smells are a common occurrence for dirty ovens, but if you notice a urine odor while cooking, you most likely have a mouse or rat that has taken up residence in your oven. When these rodents urinate, it will pool inside your oven, causing a potent smell to release when heated. A deep and thorough cleaning is necessary to remove all rodent residue and ensure your oven is no longer a welcoming home for these furry critters.

Types of Oven Cleaning

If you're unfamiliar with the oven cleaning process, you may wonder if there are different ways to clean your appliance and the answer is yes. Depending on your oven model, the extent of the mess, and the types of over cleaners you use, there are multiple ways you can ensure your oven is shiny and clean.

Self-Cleaning Ovens

Some oven models come equipped with self-cleaning capacities, which can be a convenient way to ensure you always have a clean and sanitary cooking space. When using the self-cleaning option, the oven will heat up to an extremely high temperature, burning off all food residue from inside the appliance. Many people choose to run their self-cleaning cycles at bedtime so they can wake up to a spotlessly clean and sanitized oven. This cycle generally takes a few hours, with some models running for five or more. It is important to note that sometimes the cleaning cycle can cause a potent odor to fill your home, so you may want to run the exhaust fan simultaneously.

Homemade Oven Cleaners

Homemade oven cleaners are often an effective way to safely remove food residue and leave your appliance sparkling clean. Many choose to make their own concoctions to avoid harsh chemicals that may cause allergic reactions to family members or harm the environment. Whatever you're reasoning, turning to a DIY oven cleaner can be just as effective as many commercial options. Since every oven mess is different, it may take some trial and error to find the perfect cleaner to fit your needs, but here is a list of some of the top options chosen for their potency and effectiveness.

1. White Vinegar and Cornstarch

On the stove, mix together one cup of white vinegar with one tablespoon of cornstarch, stirring until thick. Allow to cool to room temperature and apply to the oven, letting the mixture sit for twenty minutes. After it has set, wipe with a damp cloth to clean.

2. Lemon Juice, Dish Soap, and Cornstarch

On the stove, mix together one cup of lemon juice with one tablespoon of cornstarch, stirring until thick. Allow to cool to room temperature, and stir in one teaspoon of dish soap. Apply to the oven and allow to sit for twenty minutes, wiping with a damp cloth to clean.

3. Baking Soda, Dish Soap, and White Vinegar

Mix three tablespoons baking soda, one tablespoon dish soap, and one tablespoon white vinegar in a bowl and apply to the oven. Allow to sit for twenty minutes, and wipe clean with a damp cloth.

4. Baking Soda and Water

Mix together three tablespoons baking soda and one and a half tablespoons water in a bowl and apply to the oven, allowing to sit for twenty minutes. Once set, wipe with a damp cloth to clean.

Commercial Oven Cleaners

There are many commercial oven cleaners designed to quickly and effectively clean even the dirtiest ovens, making them look new. Depending on the severity of the mess, there are extra-strength products available that cut through even the most stubborn burnt-on food with ease. We've listed some of the most popular commercial oven cleaners below.

  • The Pink Stuff
  • Easy-Off Fume Free Oven Cleaner Spray
  • Goo Gone 2-in-1 Oven and Grill Cleaner
  • Scrub Daddy with FlexTexture Scrubbing Sponge
  • Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner and Degreaser

How to Clean Your Oven

If you're not using the self-cleaning cycle in your oven, you will need to cleanse your oven by hand. Whether you're using a homemade mixture of commercial cleaners, there are instructions you can follow to make the job easier. Below is a generalized list of materials to use, but your exact needs will depend on the extent of the mess inside your oven.

What You'll Need:

  • Heavy Duty Scouring Pads (like Brillo)
  • Heavy Duty Scrub Sponges (like Scotch-Brite)
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Damp Cloth
  • Homemade or Commercial Cleaners

Step-by-Step Oven Cleaning Instructions

1. Remove Internal Racks

Before self-cleaning or hand-cleaning your oven, you must first remove the internal wire racks. This step is essential during self-cleaning cycles since the oven's internal temperature gets so high (often up to 900 degrees), and the racks are not made to withstand such high temperatures.

2. Remove Loose Food

After you've removed the wire racks, take your damp cloth and remove any loose food or grease.

3. Start Self-Cleaning or Apply Your Oven Cleaners

One of the best parts about the self-cleaning cycle is it doesn't require the use of cleaning products, so you can simply start the cycle if your oven has this option. Again, be sure to run the exhaust fan and open nearby windows to help stop smoke buildup and odors. For those without a self-cleaning option, you can now apply your cleaner, following the label directions or, if using one of the homemade mixes above, the included instructions. Allow the cleaner to sit while you move on to step four.

4. Wash the Wire Racks

In the sink, you can use dish soap and warm water to give your wire racks a thorough cleaning. Wipe them down and allow them to air dry while you move on to step five.

5. Wipe Up the Cleaner or Debris

Once you've allowed your cleaner to sit for the recommended amount of time or the self-cleaning cycle has ended and the oven has cooled completely, it's time to wipe away the excess. Do this using a damp cloth or scouring pad for more stubborn food bits.

6. Replace Your Wire Racks and Wipe Down the Glass

To finish, replace the wire racks into your oven and use a glass cleaner to clean the outside of the glass and a degreaser for the inside. Never try to disassemble the oven door to clean the interior of the glass, as this could cause damage and void the warranty.

Hire a Professional Cleaning Company

For those in the Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, and surrounding areas, Luxoclean offers unmatched cleaning services performed by local expert cleaners that leave your home looking and smelling incredible. Our exceptional services include:

When cleanliness matters, turn to Luxoclean for the highest quality results from cleaners you can trust!

Kitchen cleaning Experts In Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Cambridge & Surrounding Area