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Got a dirty oven? Get it squeaky clean with our oven cleaning guide

Believe it or not, cleaning your oven doesn’t have to be a chore that you absolutely dread.

Published Apr 23, 2024
4 min. reading time
Woman cleaning oven
Photo: Pexels / Liliana Drew

We’ve been guilty of leaving cleaning the oven to the last minute because it’s not the most enjoyable (or easiest) chore. 

While we can’t promise it will ever be fun, we can give you some tips on how to make it far less time-consuming — so you have more time for the fun stuff! 

So, dive in and discover our handy tricks, hacks and favorite products to make cleaning your oven a breeze. 

Read more: Exercise at home with the best exercise bikes

Top oven cleaning products

EASY-OFF Fume Free Oven Cleaner Spray
EASY-OFF Fume Free Oven Cleaner Spray
$4.97 at Walmart
Great Value Heavy Duty Oven Cleaner
Great Value Heavy Duty Oven Cleaner
$4.28 at Walmart
Weiman Stove & Oven Heavy Duty Cleaner
Weiman Stove & Oven Heavy Duty Cleaner
$9.98 at Home Depot
Carbona 2-in-1 Oven Rack and Grill Cleaner Bagged
Carbona 2-in-1 Oven Rack and Grill Cleaner Bagged
$9.99 at Amazon

How often should you clean your oven?

We recommend giving your oven a quick wipe-down weekly or once every two weeks to avoid major grease and spills build-up. For the best maintenance, you can wipe it down after every use after your oven cools.

If you don’t have time to wipe after each use, a deep clean every three months after heavy use should be enough to leave your oven in great condition. Leaving your oven uncleaned for a long period and allowing grease and grime to build up will cause its heating elements to become obstructed, which will result in longer cooking times and unevenly cooked food.

person cleaning oven
Photo: Pexels / Liliana Drew

Step 1: Remove the wire racks and clear them of debris

Removing the racks from your oven is an essential step — it makes it possible to fully clean the racks and easier to clean the inside of the oven. This is especially important if you have a self-cleaning oven, as excessive heat from the cleaning cycle will damage the racks. 

Then, use a wet sponge to remove any loose food or debris from the bottom of the oven — this will make the self-cleaning cycle or oven cleaner even more effective.

Step 2: Run the self-cleaning cycle or apply an oven cleaner

If your oven has a self-cleaning function, simply run the cycle. Remember to leave the windows open and have your extractor fan on, because the smell is likely to be unpleasant. 

If you’re using a manual oven cleaner, spray or spread the product inside your oven and leave it for a few hours to loosen grease and grime — but of course, follow the instructions for your specific oven cleaner for maximum effectiveness.

Blue bottle easy-off oven cleaner
Photo: Walmart

Step 3: Wash the wire racks

If you clean your oven regularly, then you’ll likely only need to give them a good ol’ scrub with a regular scrubbing brush (or scouring pad for stubborn gunk) in some hot soapy water, rinse and leave them to air dry to get them shiny and sparkling. 

If your racks are particularly caked in grime, we recommend using some Carbona 2-in-1 Oven Rack cleaner. Soak them for a ]few hours to let it strip the grime off. 

Even better, this will work for cleaning your grill grates as well, making it super multifunctional. Remember to use the gloves provided if you’re using this method of cleaning your wire racks. 

Step 4: Wipe down the inside of the oven

If you’ve used an oven cleaner, any grease and grime should be fully loosened after a few hours.  Wipe it down and rinse the interior with water to ensure there’s no residue left — after all, you don’t want to cook food again with cleaning residue left. 

If you’ve used your oven’s self-cleaning cycle, you need to wait for it to cool down completely before using a wet cloth or sponge to wipe the oven interior clean. 

Step 5: Clean oven door glass and reinsert wire racks

The inside of your oven door should be free from grease thanks to the oven cleaner, so you now just need a quick spray of glass cleaner to get it clear and sparkling. 

When you’re done, simply reinsert the wire racks and voila! Your oven is now ready to cook your delicious food!

Man putting pot in clean oven
Photo: Unsplash / Becca Tapert

All-important cleaning products

Perfect for spot and deep cleaning your oven, this can clean baked-on food and grime from your oven, broiler and is even safe for self-cleaning ovens.

It will leave your house smelling great with its fresh lemon scent.

Got super stubborn grease and food stains?

With this cleaner, all you need to do is coat the inside of your oven, and it’ll easily break down all that grime and grease without any need for you to scrub at all — it couldn’t be easier!

There’s one thing you can be sure of with this — any food splatters or residue will be gone by the next day! 

It also promises to protect your oven and grill grates (did we mention it’s also great for your barbecue grill!) from rusting and deteriorating.

Carbona 2-in-1 Oven Rack and Grill Cleaner Bagged
Photo: Amazon

If your wire racks are caked with grease and scrubbing isn’t working, this bagged solution should do the trick. Simply pop your racks in the bag with the solution, leave for a few hours and they’ll be good as new.

When dealing with cleaning products, we recommend always using gloves to protect your skin — even more so when you’re using strong products like oven cleaners.

We love these sponges simply because they get the job done — with a soft and a hard side, they’re great for all kinds of dirt. 

These ones are also specifically designed to make it so there are no scratches — perfect for your glass oven door. 

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Prices updated on 04/23/2024. We are not responsible for any changes to the prices mentioned above.

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Written by
Phoebe Davenport

A book aficionado, you will always be able to rely on Phoebe Davenport for the best book recommendations. On the weekend, you’ll probably find Phoebe at a bottomless brunch in London, at a museum, or chilling at home with her two cats.