How to Properly Clean Your Oven

Interested in finally getting your oven clean again? Here’s everything you need to know about how to clean an oven!

First off, why is your oven so dirty?

In addition to accidental spills, the high heat inside ovens creates steam. A certain amount of that steam includes oil and fat particles and these will eventually coat the surface of your oven and bond with other particles. This can build up a layer of grime over time.

Oven Cleaning Products

Let’s take a look at what you need before you begin cleaning your oven:

  • Baking soda
  • Sponge
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Dish soap
  • Small brush and dustpan

For heavy-duty messes and really bad grease problems, you can also choose a powerful oven cleaning solvent. Only use solvents that are specifically marked as oven cleaners. You can find these dedicated products in most department stores or home improvement stores. However, it’s best to avoid them if possible.

How to Clean an Oven

Step 1: Remove the racks and put them aside for separate cleaning. If your oven has a self-cleaning feature, run this first (more on this below). Then start by using your brush and sweeping up any bits of food or ash at the bottom of the oven. Clean out all the particles you can.

Step 2: Create a paste of around half a cup of baking soda and water. Using your sponge, apply a coat of this paste to the inner surface of your oven, especially greasy spots.

Step 3: Put a cup of vinegar in your spray bottle (white vinegar works best for this). Spray the coat of baking soda inside your oven thoroughly to make sure all of it is foaming from the chemical interaction.

Step 4: Leave the baking soda in your oven for several hours, or overnight.

Step 5: Using your cloth and water, wipe away all the baking soda paste. It will take several wipe downs to fully remove all of it, and you may want several cleaning cloths to switch between.

Step 6: Keep the oven open to let it air out for a couple of hours.

What to Do with Self-Cleaning Ovens

Many ovens have a self-cleaning feature that you can set when you won’t be using the oven for a while. If you want to know how to self clean oven parts, think of the cleaning mode as important prep. It will heat the oven to a very high temperature to help burn away bits of food and oil – but it won’t remove them. Never apply cleaner before using the self clean mode. Instead, wait for the cleaning mode to finish and use a damp cloth to wipe down the inside of your oven: Only use a cleaner if you have to. If you smell acrid burning, that’s normal during the cleaning mode.

Tip #1: How to Clean Your Oven Racks

You probably want to know how to clean oven racks as well. Racks can quickly become dirty from spills and overflows. If your sink is large enough, submerge your oven racks in a mixture of warm water and dish soap to help get rid of the grease. If your sink is too small for full submersion, fill it partway and use a sponge to tackle one side of the rack, then the other.

Tip #2: How to Clean Your Oven Glass

Want to know how to clean oven glass, too? Fortunately, common glass cleaners work well here. Spray the glass cleaner on the inner surface of the oven door, and use a brush to scrub it in well. Then use a cleaning cloth or paper towel to wipe away the excess. If there are particles that won’t budge, you can try scraping them off with a razor blade.

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