This can create strong odors and may potentially release harmful fumes into the air. To avoid any odors from collecting in the home, keeping the space well ventilated while you run the self-cleaning oven feature is advised. Note that each oven is different and it’s important to follow your oven’s manual carefully before attempting the self-clean option.
How long does it take to clean an oven?
You may find quick solutions to oven cleaning, but to get the job done right, we recommend allotting time for the cleaning solution to work properly. That means cleaning an oven from start to finish can take between 13 and 14 hours. Before you throw in the towel, know that this duration is not active scrubbing time. For instance, the baking soda paste method needs about 12 hours to break down all of the grime buildup. For that reason, don’t start cleaning an hour before you need to bake a birthday cake. Plan accordingly, as your oven will be out of commission for at least half of the day. A tip: Begin cleaning the oven and oven racks in the evening after you’ve prepared dinner. The baking soda paste will work hard overnight while you rest.
Here, a step-by-step guide for a clean oven you’ll be proud of.
Step 1: Gather cleaning materials
To get your oven sparkling, you’ll need the following cleaning products:
- Baking soda
- Rubber gloves
- White vinegar
- Spray bottle
- Cleaning rag
Step 2: Remove the oven racks
Take out the oven racks and set them aside, preferably on old newspaper or towels. You don’t want to transfer the grime to your kitchen floor. Be sure to remove any other items in the oven, such as thermometers or pans.
Step 3: Make the baking soda paste
To make your DIY cleaner, mix equal parts baking soda and water until it makes a spreadable paste. Start with half a cup of both ingredients, and double the recipe if you need more. You’ll be coating the entire oven with the baking soda paste, so make enough to cover the entire interior surface.
Step 4: Apply the cleaning paste
Spread the baking soda paste all over the interior of the oven. (You may want to wear rubber gloves to protect your hands. It’s a pretty dirty job, and the grime will get under your fingernails if you go gloveless.) Stay clear of the heating elements as you apply the paste. Be sure to cover extra greasy spots and don’t worry if the paste is thicker in some areas. The paste will begin to turn brown as it comes in contact with the grease.
Step 5: Wait at least 12 hours
Once you’ve completely covered the inside of the oven with the baking soda paste, let it sit for at least 12 hours.
Step 6: Tackle dirty oven racks
The best way to clean oven racks is to give them a soak in hot water for at least two hours. (Consider using this time for stovetop cleaning.) Add a quarter cup of unscented Dr. Bronner’s pure castile soap if your oven racks are extra grimy. The bathtub works great for this step. Place old towels on the bottom to keep the dirt from transferring onto your tub. Once time is up, the residue should come off pretty easily with a scrub brush. Rinse.
Step 7: Wipe off the baking soda paste
After 12 hours, use a damp cloth to wipe away the baking soda paste and oven residue from the oven’s interior. A spatula or scraper may be necessary if elbow grease isn’t enough to deal with stubborn areas. Loosen the residue gently so as not to scratch the surface. Avoid scouring pads as they can damage the oven.
Step 8: Spray vinegar inside the oven
Add white vinegar to a plastic spray bottle and spritz it all over the interior of the oven. White vinegar is an excellent cleaning agent and will cause any residual baking soda paste to foam up and loosen any extra sticky bits.
Step 9: Clean the interior of the oven glass
A clean oven interior will go unnoticed if the glass door is murky with grease. To clean the glass, make another batch of baking soda paste, spread it all over the window. Let sit for about 30 minutes. Wipe off the paste with a damp rag or paper towel.
Step 10: Wipe down oven doors and knobs
For the final oven-cleaning step, give the exterior of the oven door a vigorous wipe down. Use a natural vinegar cleaner: Mixture equal parts of water and white vinegar. Spray onto a rag, and clean the exterior. (If you spray it directly onto the knobs and panels, you risk getting the cleaner into a control panel, which could make it short-circuit.) Buff the outside of the oven until spots and streaks disappear. Use a microfiber cloth to clean a stainless steel oven.
Other FAQS on how to clean an oven
How often should I clean my oven?
Ask yourself, “How often do I use my oven?” The more frequently you use the oven, the more splatters you’ll accrue. An avid baker should aim to give the oven a deep clean once every three months. For someone with a less-than-regular cooking habit, a cleaning every six months, or even once a year, can work.