Each time your oven is used, more burnt-on grease and charred food bits are added to the grime that is already present. Visually, it’s unpleasant to look at, but from a hygienic standpoint, it’s a lot worse. When the interiors of an oven are covered in grease and food spills, it promotes bacteria buildup while attracting creepy crawlies like cockroaches and ants. Not to mention that a dirty oven can drastically reduce the overall performance of the appliance.
So, now that we’ve mentioned more than one reason to keep it clean, let’s get right to the best way to clean your oven!
Things You’ll Need:
- Store-bought oven cleaner
- Liquid dish soap
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Lemon juice
Something to Soak up Spills
- Drop cloths
- Paper towels
Surface Cleaning Tool(s)
- Cellulose wipes
- Microfibre cloth
- Metal scrubber
- Handheld brush and dustpan
- Old toothbrush
- Rubber gloves
- Safety goggles (if a chemical oven cleaner is being used)
Something to Soak the Racks in
- A large basin
- Kitchen sink + stopper
How to Deep Clean a Very Dirty Oven
If you haven’t cleaned your home in a long time, your oven probably hasn’t been cleaned either. Like your home it will likely need a thorough deep clean to remove the burnt-on grease and charred food spills and splatters. Follow the steps below to do this safely and efficiently!
Empty out the oven by removing the oven racks, trays, thermometer, and pizza stone; if the oven knobs are greasy and stained, pull them off too. Keep the thermometer aside (we’ll get to cleaning it later) and rinse the rest of these removable components under running water to wash off any loosened food bits and grime. Next, make a sudsy solution of hot or warm water and dish soap in a large basin and place the items inside to soak. If all the components don’t fit in the basin, simply plug the kitchen sink with a stopper and use it for additional soaking space!
Before you begin cleaning the interiors of your oven, put on the gloves and place down drop cloths, newspaper sheets or paper towels because things are about to get messy!
After the oven has been emptied out, the first thing you need to do is get rid of food bits and other loose debris by brushing the interior walls, ceiling, and bottom of the oven. Sweep the rubbish out into the dustpan and dispose of it in the trash.
It’s now time to put on your protective eyewear and spray the oven interiors generously! Start at the back of the appliance followed by the ceiling and walls. Be sure to get the corners of the interiors and any nooks and crannies around the door hinges. Lastly, spray the inside of the door and seal before closing it shut. Check the label of the can for the appropriate sitting time when using the product; this is typically between 25 and 35 minutes.
While you wait for the cleaner to break down grease and grime inside the oven, this is the perfect time to start scrubbing those removable components that have been soaking in the cleaning solution. For stubborn grease that has been charred over time, a metal scrubber is more suitable for quick and efficient cleaning; however, you can also get the job done with a regular scrubber and a little more elbow grease. The latter option is best suited for cleaning oven knobs as a metal scrubber may leave scratches on the surface.
For the thermometer, make a paste of water and baking soda (preferably in a plate). Cover the thermometer with this homemade cleaner by dipping it in the plate and leave aside for 15 minutes. Use a damp scrubber to clean off the thermometer and leave it to air dry.
At the end of 30 minutes (since spraying the oven interiors), open it up, dampen a cellulose wipe and wipe down the inside. This is the real messy part of cleaning your oven so be sure to rinse out the cleaning tool at intervals and replace it with a fresh cellulose wipe when needed. For corners and narrow spaces/crevices, use the toothbrush to scrub away loosened grime. Bear in mind that some stubborn stains or sticky areas might still remain after the wipe down and hence, will require a little more elbow grease to remove. Use a scrubber and a solution of warm water and dish soap to get rid of stubborn grease in your oven.
Spray over the inner side of the door and wipe it clean with a fresh cellulose wipe or scrubber. For crevices and cracks around the door hinges, use the toothbrush to remove grime.
To complete a thorough deep clean of your oven, you can’t forget the exterior! The front panel, door, and handle all need a good wipe down to get rid of sticky grease that has been dulling their shine. You can do this with the help of a store-bought oven cleaner, or by making a cleaning solution of equal parts white vinegar and water, mixed with a small amount of lemon juice (in a spray bottle). To clean your oven exteriors, simply spray it with your chosen cleaner and wipe it down thoroughly with a cellulose wipe or microfiber cloth.
The last (and easiest) step – replace the knobs, racks, trays, and other removable components and finito! With the help of this guide, the efforts put forth to deep clean your oven is guaranteed to be fruitful!
Remember, oven deep cleaning every 3 or 4 months is important for its overall functioning; however, if you take a little time to wipe down the interiors and exteriors after every use, a deeper clean of your oven will only require half the amount of time and effort!