You don't need us to tell you that oven cleaning is one of the most difficult and messy jobs out there, but it's important to tackle nevertheless.
A dirty oven not only looks horrible but there are many practical reasons to keep it clean too. Old food stuck to the inside of your oven could be a fire hazard and may make your oven inefficient. Your food will take longer to cook and your freshly baked cakes could taste a bit funny too.
Whether you've suffered a horrendous recipe mishap resulting in a serious mess or it's just been a shamefully long time since you last cleaned it, it's time to learn how to clean an oven once and for all.
Today, we're sharing the best way to clean an oven. We've got some easy peasy ways to get yours amazingly clean in a flash - they don't call us 'experts' for nothing!
Editor's Note: This post was originally posted in May 2016 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in June 2020.
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The best way to clean an oven
Let's get the job done in 8 easy steps...
1. Make sure your oven is cool & remove excess dirt
Begin by taking out all your oven racks to get them out of the way. Using a paper towel or old cloth, remove all those pesky little bits of burnt food from the base of your oven, wiping the bits straight into a dustpan pan or bin if possible. The more you remove now, the less you'll have to get rid of later.
Make sure your oven is completely cool before moving onto step 2.
2. Use the best oven cleaner
Now it's time for a little magic!
As far as we're concerned the best oven cleaner you can ever buy is baking soda. Yes - that's right. Baking soda might seem unassuming, but it'll make light work of removing grease and grime from your oven. You can splash the cash on harsh, chemical-based oven cleaning products, but we prefer this cheap and natural oven cleaner.
To get started with your homemade oven cleaner, mix up 1/2 a cup of baking soda with water to form a paste. Spread the paste all over the bottom of your oven (avoiding the heating elements). We would advise putting on some rubber gloves and using your fingers to make sure the mixture gets everywhere, including the really stubborn caked-on dirt!
3. How to clean oven racks
Now, it's time to think about those oven racks! This is normally the hardest part of cleaning the oven, right? Well, not anymore. We've got an extra-special secret tip that really works.
Pour some washing powder into a bath of very hot water and put your oven racks into it overnight. All the grime will be easy to remove after a little scrub in the morning. Magic!
If you've not got any washing powder to hand, we've heard that dryer sheets do the trick, too. Just place a few sheets in the bath with your oven racks. Leave overnight and then use the sheets to give the racks a good scrub.
If they're not too dirty and you need to use your bath, try placing them in the dishwasher.
4. Leave it to rest
Let the baking soda and water mixture do the work overnight while you rest and dream about how lovely and clean your oven will be.
5. How to clean oven glass
Now for the satisfying part: cleaning oven glass. Use the same baking soda and water mixture you used for the inside of the oven and apply the paste to the inside of your oven window. Let it sit for half an hour then, using a cloth, wipe the window clean.
Another popular method is to use a cheap dishwasher tablet. Without removing the coating, dip a dishwasher tablet (the powdery kind) in some warm water. Rub it against the glass of your oven door, making sure to dip it in the water every now and then to keep it wet. You'll see how easily it removes the grime!
Speaking of oven glass... have you ever wondered if you can put glass in the oven? Read our article to find out!
6. Sort out the stovetop
Whilst you're at it, you may as well give the stovetop a quick once over.
Mix together the following ingredients:
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of baking soda
- 1 tablespoon of water
Scrub the top of your stove with the paste and wipe clean - easy!
7. The next morning
It's time! Head to your oven and with a damp cloth wipe away the dried paste. Grab a rubber spatula if you need an extra hand to remove the paste.
8. Use vinegar & a damp cloth
Finally, pour some vinegar into a spray bottle and spritz the areas that still have baking soda on them. Grab your damp cloth again and wipe the excess bits away. After a quick scrub of your oven racks, place them back in the oven.
How to keep your oven clean (6 oven cleaning hacks to help)
Oven cleaning is much easier when you keep on top of it. Here are a few things you can do to prevent mess.
1. Ask everyone to help
If you have a big family or household that uses the oven, ask everyone to pitch in and clean up after themselves. This way, you won't end up with layer upon layer of grease that you'll have to clean up on your own.
2. Get an oven liner
Never clean the bottom of the oven again with a non-stick oven liner from Amazon - a pack of three are only £8.90! If your oven is compatible, you could line the base of it with these heavy-duty oven liners. They can be cut to fit and will collect any food that is dropped while using the grill or oven. The liners can be cleaned with ease, plus they're dishwasher safe.
3. Use a second roasting tray
This is a great oven cleaning tip. If you've got a spare roasting tray then put it in the bottom of the oven. If you have to cook with the lid off on the shelf above, then line your spare tray with foil to help catch any flying grease.
4. Don't overfill your dishes
If you fill your casserole dish right up to the top, then you're asking for trouble. Don't do it! Find a suitable pan for your meal with plenty of height room.
Speaking of pans... want to know how to clean burnt pans? Check out our other article.
5. Steam clean the outside of your oven
Steam can get rid of 99.9% of harmful bacteria in the home, so if you're serious about keeping that oven clean, get your hands on a steam cleaner. You only have to wait for two minutes for it to heat up and then press the trigger to release the steam - it couldn't be easier!
6. Stick a lid on it
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What is the best way to clean an oven?
The best way to clean an oven is by using our baking soda method. Not only is it cheap and natural, but it takes out all of the hard work! Give it a try today.
How do I clean the inside of my oven without baking soda?
No baking soda? No problem. The easiest way to clean your oven without baking soda is by using The Pink Stuff cleaning paste. It's truly amazing!
In this video, we show you how to use The Pink Stuff to clean your oven door and hob:
Will baking soda damage my oven?
Using baking soda to clean your oven will not cause any damage if done correctly. The reason why it's so safe, compared to any chemical cleaner you could use in its place, is because it's non-toxic, easy to use, not as abrasive or harsh.
What does Mrs. Hinch use to clean her oven?
What do you think is the best way to clean an oven? Share your method with us in the comments below!
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