The BEST Way To Clean An Oven (It's SO Easy!)

The BEST Way To Clean An Oven (It's SO Easy!)

 

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. 

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

dirty range oven
This looks like a big job...

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

dirty oven racks
It doesn't have to take ages...

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

cleaning oven glass door
Let it work its magic.

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!

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

how to clean an oven
Time to clean up!

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! Line the base of the oven 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

baking tray at bottom of oven
Use an old 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.

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

oven dish with lid
Be sure to use them!

Cover up your bakeware or casserole dishes with a lid. This will prevent grease spitting everywhere and getting the oven dirty.

 

Q&A

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!

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?

Cleaning sensation, Mrs. Hinch, has been known to use The Pink Stuff and Elbow Grease to clean her oven. Check out our articles to find out how it's done!

 

What do you think is the best way to clean an oven? Share your method with us in the comments below!

 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. At no additional cost to the reader, we earn a commission if you click through to one of our recommended products and make a purchase. 

Author

Colleen B

Editor

Lifelong biscuit addict. Obsessed with recipes, cooking & eating. Slightly lazier than the average bear, so likes writing about life hacks & discovering the quickest / easiest way to do things.

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  1. Author ALFRED FIGG on May 23, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    IS BAKING SODA THE SAME AS BICARBONATE OF SODA.

    1. Author Colleen B on May 23, 2016 at 3:40 pm

      Hi Alfred, yes they are the same. :)

    Reply
  2. Author Kash on May 23, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    What is the best way to clean stubborn stains in the bathroom on grout? I've used the vinegar and the paste one but it's still there

    1. Author Jane on May 25, 2016 at 6:42 am

      Bleach and a toothbrush for grout

    2. Author Colleen B on May 26, 2016 at 10:15 am

      Thanks Jane, great tip!

    3. Author Mick on September 3, 2019 at 1:47 pm

      After you've cleaned your bathroom tiles rub them down with car turtle wax when you have a shower the water runs off and helps to keep your groat clean

    4. Author Joanne A on September 3, 2019 at 5:27 pm

      Thanks for sharing, Mick!

    Reply
  3. Author Julia Lien on May 23, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    I put my racks in the dishwasher and remove before the drying cycle. This softens the residue is easy to wash off.

    1. Author Colleen B on May 24, 2016 at 8:30 am

      Fantastic tip Julia - thanks!

    Reply
  4. Author Lorraine M Fleming on May 23, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    My secret tip, is for cleaning my glass kettle, is pour a medium sized bottle of white vinegar and some lemon juice. Fill it just about the level of the lime scale, bring the kettle to the boil, turn it off,just as it starts to bubble, leave it for @ 30mins, rinse and add the same amount of water and bring to the boil. Do this @ 3 or 4 x. When it's cooler dry and shine it with a cotton tea towel, it's like Bran New! & you can see that lovely Blue light shining brightly as it Boils. Magic!

    1. Author Colleen B on May 24, 2016 at 8:28 am

      What a great secret tip Lorraine - we have hard water around here so that will come in useful. Thanks! :)

    Reply
  5. Author Margaret Colville on May 23, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    Hi margaret here I put my mucky silver shelves into my dish washer and then hit them with a steel scrubber they came up like new Have a go great margaret

    1. Author Colleen B on May 24, 2016 at 8:27 am

      Thanks for your tip Margaret - I'll be sure to try that!

    Reply
  6. Author susan bowden on May 23, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    I have a large flat baking tray which sits on the bottom of my oven lined with foil. I just replace the foil when needed. You can pick these up cheaply in bargain shops. They fit the space better than a roasting tray and take up hardly any room.

    1. Author Colleen B on May 24, 2016 at 8:26 am

      Thanks Susan for your great tip! Hope you liked the rest of the post. :)

    Reply
  7. Author Denise b on May 25, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    How do you clean the grill between the heating elements ?

    Reply
  8. Author Jo Jones on July 12, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    My tip is to simply wipe the oven out whilst still warm each time it is used, and you will never have to resort to all these measures. It only takes minutes to don rubber gloves & action, & leaves your oven always looking clean with shining shelves.

    1. Author Stephanie C on July 13, 2017 at 5:26 pm

      Hi Jo. This sounds like a very sensible idea - if only I remembered each time! Thanks for sharing :)

    Reply
  9. Author David Geraghty on June 18, 2018 at 10:47 am

    A better way of soaking the oven trays, rather then soaking in a bath, soak in a plastic storage box, a large one, better then getting the bath dirty, use biological washing powder rather then the non bio as the enzymes in the biological one break down the burnt on food and grease on the tray, finally use steel wire scourers to save on the elbow grease.

    1. Author Joanne A on July 24, 2018 at 5:08 pm

      That'll do the trick, David!

    Reply
  10. Author Kathy on November 28, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    I would like to enter this suggestion. Recently cleaned my tea kettle. It was covered in grease and splashed food. I filled a dish pan with hot tap water with Dawn dish detergent. Added water to the kettle so it would not raise above the water. Let it soak overnight, the next morning the grease rolled off. Needed a little scrubbing on some spots. Kettle looks new.

    1. Author Joanne A on November 29, 2018 at 9:15 am

      That sounds great, Kathy!

    Reply
  11. Author Margaret on January 9, 2019 at 10:14 am

    When the engineer came to med our oven, he said do not use the oven liners on the bottom of the oven as the heat that is generated under them makes the enamel on the bottom crack, I wondered If it may be better to put the liner on the bottom rack that way there is not as much heat trapped under the liner, but it may have a detrimental effect on the chrome of the rack instead, I do not know the answer to that one, I could ask the next time an engineer comes If it breaks down again.

    1. Author Joanne A on January 9, 2019 at 11:19 am

      That's interesting, Margaret. Thanks for sharing!

    2. Author Ruth on January 10, 2019 at 8:44 am

      My engineer said the same. I put the liner sheet on the bottom shelf instead

    Reply
  12. Author Julie coombs on January 9, 2019 at 11:22 am

    I always put a layer of silver foil on the bottom of my oven, then remove when dirty and put a fresh piece of foil down.

    1. Author Joanne A on January 9, 2019 at 11:43 am

      Great tip, Julie!

    Reply
  13. Author Charles on January 9, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    With the hob tip will that work on a ring that has water damage? I boiled a gammon joint and the water came out the sides even with a lid. The ring is now a browny colour in places. Not sure if the top layer has been damaged. Thanks for any help.

    1. Author Joanne A on January 10, 2019 at 9:31 am

      Hi Charles! It's certainly worth a try. Hobs can be a nightmare to clean, but we'd recommend trying out a hob scrapper too. They really help to remove any burnt on food or stains.

    Reply
  14. Author Mrs Alison Milne on March 20, 2019 at 10:52 am

    Done my oven yesterday using the bicarbonate of soda and water paste was easy peasy thank you xx

    1. Author Joanne A on March 20, 2019 at 12:04 pm

      Great to hear, Alison! Thanks for getting in touch.

    Reply
  15. Author Clary on March 27, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    When I try this the soda fizzes then goes hard.. am I doing something wrong..?

    1. Author Joanne A on March 27, 2019 at 4:44 pm

      Hi Clary! It should fizz, but I'm surprised to hear that it goes hard. Are you able to explain in a bit more detail?

    Reply
  16. Author Susan hooker on January 19, 2020 at 10:30 am

    Yes i find the bicarbonate of soda a great method

    1. Author Joanne A on January 20, 2020 at 12:51 pm

      Great to hear, Susan!

    Reply
  17. Author Tim on March 13, 2020 at 1:53 pm

    You should not use ‘silver’ foil at the base of the oven. This is actually aluminium foil and at high temperatures can melt an stick to the oven surface, permanently damaging it. This happened to me.

    1. Author Joanne A on March 25, 2020 at 3:09 pm

      Thanks for sharing, Tim!

    Reply
  18. Author Anne on July 19, 2020 at 8:21 pm

    An easy way to clean oven racks is to scrunch up aluminium foil and gently scrub the bars.

    1. Author Joanne A on July 20, 2020 at 4:19 pm

      Great hack!

    Reply

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