Think back to the last time you used your oven. Was it to bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies? Or, maybe it was to cook a delicious, juicy roast. Ovens are the heart of a kitchen, creating tasty home-cooked meals for your family. But culinary delights can sometimes lead to culinary nightmares.
Meat drippings can accumulate in a sludgy pool at the bottom, a cookie that slipped through the rack may end up charred, and the slick film of grease on the glass prevents you from peeking into the oven.
Although you may think cleaning your oven is as easy as pushing the self-cleaning button, there’s more to it. Here’s everything you need to know about how to clean an oven and keep it in tip-top shape for years to come.
How Often Should You Clean Your Oven?
It’s unnecessary to clean your oven after every use, but it’s important to keep in mind that frequent tidying means less extensive cleaning later on. We recommend cleaning your oven at least every three to six months and regularly spot-clean. This will make your food taste better and home smell more pleasant.
Skip the Self Clean Cycle
Our number one piece of advice? Avoid using the self-cleaning cycle at all costs. Using the self-cleaning cycle is hard on your oven, but many major component failures also happen after a self-clean. If you insist on using the self-clean feature, don’t run the cycle right before you need the appliance.
Avoid Chemical. DIY Your Own Oven Cleaner
While harsh chemicals are sure to get the job done, they can create dangerous fumes that can cause dizziness and health problems. Instead, create your own natural cleaning solution using vinegar and baking soda. Here’s the recipe that we find the most effective.
Don’t forget to gather the following items:
- Rubber gloves
- Damp dishcloth
- Plastic or silicone spatula
- Spray bottle
- White vinegar
How To Clean the Oven
After you’ve collected your supplies, follow these instructions next time you need to give your oven a deep cleaning.
- Empty the oven.
Remove the oven racks, thermometer, baking sheets, and anything you else you have inside the appliance.
2. Make your baking soda paste.
As mentioned above, we say skip the harsh chemical cleaners. Instead, use a safe, natural solution to give you the best results. In a small bowl, mix a 1/2 cup of baking soda with a few tablespoons of water. Adjust the ratio of both as needed until you have a spreadable paste. The baking soda acts as an abrasive, and the water softens baked-on crud and loosens food particles. Once it’s a paste, apply it generously on the oven’s inside. Use gloves for this to avoid getting grime on your hands and under your nails. Allow the paste to sit for overnight.
3. Spray Vinegar.
After roughly 12 hours, pour vinegar in your spray bottle, and spritz it throughout the inside of your oven. When vinegar and baking soda are mixed together, they begin to gently foam to remove dirt and grime.
4. Wipe out the Oven.
Then, take a damp dishcloth and wipe away the baking soda paste. Use a plastic or silicone spatula to help scrape off the paste, especially in hard-to-reach places. Add more water or vinegar as needed.
5. Add shine.
To top it off, use a standard glass cleaner or diluted vinegar and a soft cloth for extra shine.
How to Clean Oven Door Glass
Your oven’s glass door requires a gentler approach compared to the racks since glass is more susceptible to scratches. If your oven door glass is cloudy and needs to be cleaned, unlock the hinges and remove the screws that line the top and bottom of the door. The door should split in half. Be careful not to allow the glass to shift. It is recommended that the door be placed on a towel or blanket to prevent damage. Removal of the oven door is usually detailed in your owner’s manual.
To clean the glass, use hot water, a scrub pad, and a degreaser to wipe off any debris. This is a safer and more effective way to clean than your oven’s self-cleaning option. If you notice cracks in the door seal, consider replacing it.
How to Clean Your Oven Racks
After cleaning the inside of your oven, it’s time to clean the oven racks. The best way to clean the racks is to remove them from the oven entirely and soak them in hot water with a little dishwasher detergent. If your sink won’t fit the racks, the bathtub is a suitable place to soak them. Just remember to clean the tub afterward. After soaking for two hours, scrub the racks with a stiff brush, rinse, and dry before returning them to the oven.
You can also use baking soda and water mixture with a vinegar spray. The key is letting it sit long enough for the ingredients to work their magic so that scrubbing is minimal. Rinse with water and dry thoroughly. Finally, slide your clean oven racks back into your oven.
How to Clean Oven Knobs
A simple damp microfiber rag and vinegar around the knobs is a good way to clean your oven knobs.
Appliance Repair Questions or Emergency? Call the Appliance Repair Experts at iFiX
If your oven is looking like it needs some TLC, we recommend giving it a good cleaning and testing it for proper function. We have seen a variety of problems with kitchen appliances. Our team is capable of diagnosing and resolving the issue with ovens, stoves, and ranges. If you notice any of these problems with your oven, stove top, or range, call iFiX immediately at 801-731-4349.