Updated: Aug 23
Oven cleaning is one of those chores that sneaks up on us with the fact that it's clearly time to clean it. You may be surprised to find that the easiest way to clean an oven doesn’t include chemicals. And, if you’ve ever read the warning label on a chemical cleaner, it should make you think twice before breathing in those fumes. Additionally, although many of us have self-cleaning ovens, often it fills the house with an undesirable smell and lets off some serious heat.
So, is there a better way? Yes. There are two methods to cleaning an oven without using harsh chemicals, which will leave a healthier you and a better smelling house. One requires waiting overnight, and the other is same day.
Method #1: The Baking Soda Method. Overnight. Yes, baking soda does it again.
Make sure your oven is cool before beginning. Remove the racks. The racks are their own cleaning process. Here’s an easy way to care for them: https://www.bhg.com.au/secret-to-spotless-oven-racks
Onto the oven! Mix your own cleaning solution with baking soda and water. In a small bowl mix together 1/2 cup of baking soda with a few tablespoons of water and create a paste.
Spread the paste throughout the inside of your oven. (You may want to wear rubber gloves for easier cleaning of you afterward.) If the paste turns a little brown, this is normal. Cover every part of the oven with paste, including the oven door.
Let the paste sit overnight (12 hours).
Take a damp dishcloth and wipe out the oven as best you can.
Put vinegar in a spray bottle after wiping out the paste and spray the oven interior. It may foam a bit where there is still baking soda, as this is how vinegar and baking soda react with one another. Take a damp cloth and wipe it out again.
Put your clean racks back into your clean oven!
Method #2: The Green Cleaner Same Day Method
As residential house cleaners, we are sometimes asked to clean the interior oven for our clients. We have a limited amount of time to clean the oven, so time is of the essence. We are a green cleaning company and are happy to share what works best for us. What we use is either an orange oil based cleaner, like Green Gobbler, or another strong eco-friendly degreaser, like Krud Kutter. Although they are both eco-friendly, they need to be strong enough to get baked on grease out of an oven, so we strongly recommend putting paper towels or an old towel underneath the oven door for any possible drips onto your kitchen floor.
Make sure your oven is cool before beginning. Remove the racks. Put them in the sink and spray with degreaser.
Generously spray your interior oven, door included, with your cleaner. Let it sit. We often don’t have more than 20-30 minutes to let it sit, but if you’ve got 45 minutes, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to give it more time.
Grab an SOS pad. (Rubber gloves may be best for you here.) Start scrubbing your interior oven. The great thing about the orange oil cleaner here is that it leaves an extra nice smell while cleaning and afterward that our clients appreciate. Ovens are tough, so the SOS pad provides the needed grit to lift off extra baked on gunk.
You can use a cloth to wipe out the oven when you are finished, but we usually will do the first wipe out with a few paper towels to mostly get the residue and cleaner.
Use a damp cloth to wipe the oven out.
Attend to the racks with another SOS pad. The cleaner mixed the grit of the SOS pad should clear the racks quite well. Rinse, dry, and replace in the oven.
You’ve got a clean oven!
Please remember that a well-used oven will likely never look brand new again. We are our own worse critics and could spend hours perfecting the oven. No one we know wants to spend hours cleaning an oven, which is why you're here looking for efficient ways to accomplish the task. Do your best with the time you have, move on, and know the oven is clean and looking muuuuuch better than it did before.
Bright at Home Cleaning