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How to Clean an Oven

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by Jeff Patterson in Interior DIY Projects
How to Clean an Oven

Do you know how to clean an oven?

This is probably one of the scariest kitchen cleaning tasks.

A lot of us might have self-cleaning oven but are afraid to press the button.

I don’t blame you because ovens get scorching hot (over 900 F) when they self-clean.

This tutorial will show you how to remove grease and grime from your oven by using a few basic products.

You might even have one in your kitchen right now!

How long do you think all this will take?

Let’s dive into this cleaning chore so that you can see some shortcuts 😀We always host Thanksgiving dinner.

It’s a ton of fun but the oven and stove get covered in food, grease, and other unidentifiable foodstuffs.

So it’s good to have a cleaning routine that’s quick and actually works.

What I’m sharing with you may not get your oven or stove top back to looking brand new.

But it’ll make surfaces look a heck of a lot better.

Here’s the complete supply list

  • Baking Soda (FREE or $2)
  • Kitchen Sponge (FREE or $2)
  • Dawn Dishwashing Liquid (FREE or $3)
  • Paper Towels (FREE or $1)
  • Microfiber Cloth ($1)
  • Weiman Stainless Steel Wipes ($5)
  • Steel Wool #0000 ($4)
  • Straight Razor Blade (FREE or $3)
  • Ammonia ($2)
  • Plastic Container with Lid (FREE)

Not a bad supply list.

So let’s dive into the cleaning…

 

My oven cleaning test with baking soda (maybe try this at home)

I love testing cleaning products.

And you might want to adopt the same habit.

It’s good practice to see how any cleaning product will react with the surface you’re wanting to spruce up.

I also suggest reading your oven’s manual to see what it recommends for cleaning.

That’s exactly what I did.

But what if you don’t have the manual?

Check out this site to get free manuals online http://www.manualsonline.com/

Our oven is a little over 5 years old and I had to find the manual on the web.

But even if you can’t find your manual these tips will help.

The first test I did was with baking soda and water.

Baking Soda and Water

Mix the baking soda and water into a paste that has the consistency of Elmer’s glue.

I found that if you let this mixture sit on a surface for 10-15 minutes it will absorb grease.

You can then simply wipe it off with the soft side of a kitchen sponge.

Baking Soda and Water Removes grease

If you’re worried about scratches test this mixture on a small section of your oven and see what happens.

The baking soda mixture was great for the inside and door surfaces but didn’t do anything for grease on the oven door window.

What’s the best way to clean grease from an oven window?

Turn’s out it’s pretty simple…

 

Dawn dishwashing liquid is AWESOME

Believe it or not my oven cleaning directions said to apply dishwashing liquid to the glass in the door.

So I did this, let it sit for 15 minutes, then scraped off the grease with a razor blade.

RAZOR BLADE!!!!

Yes, the directions actually say to do this.

And it totally works.

Apply Dishwashing Liquid

My recommendation is to let the Dawn sit on the glass for at least 15 minutes so that it can break up the grease.

Again, you don’t have to worry about scratching the glass as long as you place the razor’s edge flush with the glass.

When my wife saw me using the razor on the glass she freaked out a little until I showed her the results and the fact that it didn’t scratch the glass.

Then she was wowed by my marvelous cleaning abilities (I didn’t tell her that’s what the manual said to do, haha).

I found that running the razor at a 45 degree angle across the glass worked the best at removing residue.

Dawn Dishwashing Liquid

Use paper towels to absorb the Dawn and clean the window.

If you have a self-cleaning oven you can use that functionality to clean the inside.

Yes, this is scary.

The oven will be hotter than 900 Fahrenheit.

THAT’S HOT.

I had some reservations about using the self-cleaning.

But it totally helped with not only the inside of the oven but the stop top, too.

 

Should you press the self-clean button on your oven?

Here’s my suggestion: if you’re comfortable with letting your oven self-clean then do it.

Simple.

If you’re worried you’ll burn down your house then don’t self-clean.

If you don’t have a vent hood or window to open in the kitchen (to let out heat) then don’t self-clean.

You can use the baking soda and water mixture to clean the entire inside of your oven.

It’ll just be a little messy.

Before hitting the self-clean button you should remove any food debris from the oven using a sponge and water.

Remove Food Debris

The heat will turn anything else left in the oven to a white ash.

My directions said to clean the oven and door frame so before the self-clean process.

I also removed the oven racks. Although some oven models don’t require this.

Check out the video to get my secret formulas for cleaning the burners, stove top, and racks with minimal effort.

I’m actually amazed myself at how easy the cleaning went and the final results.

 

What’s Next

This cleaning approach helped me a ton.

I also did an experiment on how to clean a greasy kitchen hood – the results are impressive.

Grab our free guide if you’re doing a DIY bathroom remodel – it shares how to remodel a bathroom in 10 days or less

Send Me The Guide

 

Thanks as always for reading, watching, and being part of our awesome community.

Ask your questions below and we’d be happy to help.

Cheers,

Jeff Patterson

 

 

 

 

P.S. Our online store has great supplies for homeowners doing a bathroom remodel. You’ll find shower systems, tiling tools, and more.

19 Comments
  1. Connie Bruns says:

    I find your instructions here very interesting. I am an owner of rental housing properties. I am kindly suggesting you place a reminder to tenants that if they try this and Scratch the surface of the glass or oven or any part of the appliance.. They are paying for the appliance. A NEW ONE! I have tried like instructions and find THEY DO NOT WORK ON MOST BURNED ON GREASE LEFT IN RENTAL PROPERTIES. We have to use commercial products that dissolve the built of grease and DO NOT HARM THE FINISH. Many times we have to replace the racks and the burner pans.

  2. Joanne says:

    I spilled milk on the front of the oven. It ran in the oven door vents and ran down on the inside of the glass. I’ve tried going through the vents at the bottom of the door, but can’t get reach high enough to wash it off. Any suggestions?

    1. Rita says:

      I agree, any suggestions about cleaning inside the double glass on the oven door.

      I would love to see clearly again.

  3. Ruth hic says:

    My gas stove has a “continuous clean” oven — the walls and floor of the oven is treated with some kind of coating that turns anything that hits it into soot. Which can then be wiped out with a damp cloth. The racks and the broiler assembly and the door are like any other non-treated non-self-cleaning appliance. Your suggestions?

  4. Jaime says:

    Hi Jeff, Thanks for the great tips! The last time I cleaned my oven I used a mixture of baking soda, water, and Dawn and it did a great job. The problem is that during the cleaning process, the mixture got in between the 2 panes of glass on the window. So, my oven is clean, but I have a bunch of drips in the window that I can’t get to. Any suggestions?

  5. Sherry says:

    Thanks Jeff,
    I am gonna clean my oven this weekend ! I have a glass top stove. Do I just use the dawn and razor blade on that too? there is an area where my pan will sit on the burner. There is always like a residue there – everything else will be clean. Do I just let the dawn soak longer and use razor blade?
    Love the videos and really appreciate your help!!

    1. Darlene says:

      See my comment to Rita below.

  6. Squafdonoboles says:

    I mix the baking soda with vinegar. Also, plastic razor blades are available and do quite well. In addition, using oven bags will prevent grease spattering.

  7. Joe says:

    Let’s start with an understanding. Following your advice, TEST a small area. Next, there are many different kinds of stainless steel (so results may vary) that may even change from manufacturing run to manufacturing run. Therefore, try WD-40 to clean the stainless refrigerator door in a small area. Finger prints don’t show up and it stays cleaner a lot longer with a quick wipe. I don’t know how to explain leaving an oil on metal and finger prints don’t show up.

    1. Caro says:

      I’m definitely gonna have to try the WD-40 on the frig. Thanks!

  8. Liliana Wells says:

    First let me say that I love your tutorials. Your oven looks so beautiful and SHINY. I always struggle with mine because the bottom of the oven is rough. It’s like trying to clean sandpaper. Any suggestions? Thanks for all your work.

  9. Lori Jones says:

    i just cleaned my oven. And I use a spray I mixed up,got got off the net.( Facebook?)
    Anyways, thought I would let you know about it.
    Cleaner
    2oz dawn
    4oz lemon
    8oz vinegar
    10oz water
    Put in a spray bottle, give it a little shake.
    The instructions said to spray in the oven and leave it for a couple of hours. But the person I got this from said she forgot about it and went to bed,then in the morning
    She remembered and she said it worked like a charm.
    So I decided to give it a try and did as she did and leave it over night then cleaned it in the morning. ( my oven was really bad) and all the yucky stuff wiped off!! I even left the oven racks in the oven and sprayed them. What part did not come off I sprayed again and let set and srubed a little and wiped it off! The next time I used the oven it had a bit of an odd smell but nothing that smells as bad as the other stuff you get at the store! And it does not last but a few minutes.
    And now I use the cleaning mixture all over the house! No more nasty smells!
    Oh also if you can use proxcide and baking soda for had to get off the hade to get off stuff!
    Ok sorry I went on for so long.
    Lori

  10. Rita says:

    Any suggestions for a glass top stove, I have stains on it that won’t come clean. the dealer said that if the stains are burned on they won’t come off. that seems not right. I have tried all kinds of products but nothing works and have even tried a razor.

    1. Darlene says:

      Bar Keeper’s Friend for glass stove tops, the powder in the cleanser can not the liquid. It shakes out like a cleanser but is NOT abrasive. Works like a champ, and can be mixed with a little Dawn to clean even faster. May want to wear gloves though. Not harmful, but if you get it under fingernails it can leave a black oxidation that looks gross and stays for a day or two.

  11. Caro says:

    I am in total agreement with the baking soda/water paste. It works wonders. Our oven (my father’s) looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in years and I had to buy a new element since the caked up food ended up burning it and it broke. I used the paste, let it sit for about 30 minutes and most of it just slid right off with a sponge. For the really gunked up stuff (like food that got burned and clumped on the bottom), I used the paste a second time, then when I went to scrub it off, just add some salt (just regular table salt) for some scrubbing power. It worked wonders. The oven looks like new. I also used this for the stove top and the outside of the oven door. Lookin’ great. I am excited to try the dish soap on the window though, cause I did have the same prob. Thanks for that tip. As for the people who get stuff between the windows on the oven door, all you have to do is take the door off – there’s usually a latch on the hinges to keep it open, then push the door up a little like you’d close it but it won’t close all the way (about a 45 degree angle), then slide the door up and out to get it off. Once you have it off you can take it apart. It’s really simple and won’t hurt the door at all. Once it’s apart you can clean the inside the same way you would with the oven/window. Then put it back together, slide it back on the hinges, unlatch, and Viola! A brand spankin’ new oven. I really really appreciated this post. It took me forever to find this cleaning recipe and version and I really don’t like using the oven cleaners, especially since we don’t have any ventilation anymore. Keep up the great work and I can’t wait to see what comes up next.

  12. Boz says:

    Jeff, I understand your reluctance to use ammonia but it is a sure fire no scrub way to clean your oven racks and electric stove drip pans. I picked this up while in the military and moving out of military housing. Put the racks into a black trash bag, add a 28oz bottle of ammonia and tie it up. Leave the bag and contents in the sun for the day. When you take them out the racks will wipe clean with a sponge, even the small flecks of grease we so often have. As your video warns, don’t add anything to the ammonia, you don’t have to and it is deadly if you’re not careful.

  13. Anthony says:

    Jeff, you might also give a product called Grease Lightning a try. I use it to clean the top of my stove and it’s pretty good for dissolving grease. For the self cleaning part, I was a bit worried about trying this too. I just put the exhaust fan on and set the oven. It worked fine, and if there was some big problem, I could just hit the off button:)

  14. You’ve saved my hide once again, Jeff! I tried cooking something in my oven when something sparked and started a mini fire. It turned out that there was a bit of something that got over heated and lit on fire. I was really lucky that it didn’t cause any damage to my oven. These tips will help me keep my oven clean from now on so that this won’t happen again. Your method to allow dishwashing liquid to sit on the surface for 10-15 minutes seems like an easy way to clean it, so I’ll start doing that from now on to make sure that it remains spotless. Thanks for the tips!

  15. Jerry says:

    I used the self cleaning feature on my Whirlpool Oven and it burned out the controller. I called WP support and they were aware of this happening , but did not offer any assistance. They just gave me the name of the local repair center, which would charge about half the cost of a new oven. I googled it and found out it was a common occurrence with the self cleaning feature. When purchasing the new oven, the salesperson said that was a common problem, and advised just steaming the oven by heating a pot of water in the oven.

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