How to Clean Your Oven Thoroughly

Woman in pink top and gloves cleaning the front of an oven.

A step-by-step guide on how to clean your oven until it shines!

Keeping your oven clean ensures it remains in great condition, and functioning properly.

In this article we’ll talk you through the whole process, step-by-step. We also cover different cleaning techniques, safety, and tips to speed up the process.

How Often Should You Clean Your Oven?

How often you need to clean your oven will depend on how often it’s used. However, in general we recommend a deep clean every 6 months.

To make cleaning easier, spot cleaning after 3 or 4 uses is also recommended. This is because the more stuck on dirt becomes, the harder it will be to remove.

What Should You Clean Your Oven With?

Before you begin cleaning your oven, you need to know what to use to get the best results. What you use will depend on the type of oven you have, and your own cleaning preferences.

We explain all of these options below:

Self-Cleaning Functions

Wiping away ash after a pyrolyric self clean in an oven

Some premium oven models come with self-cleaning functions. This includes catalytic ovens and pyrolytic ovens. Exactly how these self cleaning ovens work is explained here. Essentially though, they heat your oven to extremely high temperatures and burn away grease and grime!

Warning: Always remove any shelves or racks before using a self-cleaning function. The high temperatures can cause irreversible damage.

Using a Steam Assist Function

Hisense steam assist function

Other premium oven models have a steam assist function. This function introduces steam into the oven cavity to loosen up grease and food residue.

Wiping food residue away becomes much easier with this function. All without the need for harsh chemicals or any DIY cleaners!

Shop-Bought Oven Cleaners

Unbranded cleaning products

Many people opt for shop-bought oven cleaners for cleaning their ovens. These cleaners are specially designed to tackle cooked-on food residue and hard to remove grease. As a general rule, you will achieve the best results by using a cleaner designed for each surface type.

It’s best to double check that you have the correct cleaning product for your oven. For example, if you’re unsure if your oven cleaner can be used on stainless steel, check the packaging.

Most products won’t be strong enough to cause damage to your oven, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

DIY Oven Cleaners

Baking sofa and white vinegar in labelled glass containers

If your oven is only slightly dirty, or you simply don’t want to use any harsh chemicals, you can create your own DIY oven cleaner. Depending on the level of food residue build-up, you may be able to get away with just using a scouring sponge and warm, soapy water.

Other DIY cleaners include: 

Baking soda, white vinegar, and water.
White vinegar, dish soap, and water.
Dish soap and baking soda.

Please note: Although DIY oven cleaners can help you to remove tough to clean grime, it does mean a lot more scrubbing and effort on your behalf.

What Can I Use To Clean A Very Dirty Oven?

If your oven cavity is particularly dirty, you will likely need to use a specialist oven cleaner. Oven cleaners can cut through grease and stains with minimal effort on your behalf. How well it does this will depend on the quality of the cleaner.

Please note that oven cleaners will contain abrasive chemicals. It’s therefore important to follow the instructions of each particular cleaner carefully. You should also wear appropriate clothing, including long rubber gloves, and open the window for air circulation.

Not all oven cleaners are suitable for cleaning glass. So, any glass may need to be cleaned using something else. For example, you can make a paste out of bicarbonate of soda and a little water. Rub this paste onto the glass and leave it for 20 minutes before wiping away with a microfibre cloth.

How to Clean The Inside of Your Oven

Step 1:

Remove and soak any shelves, racks or trays.

Some oven racks are dishwasher safe! Always check your manual first before putting them in the dishwasher though.

Soak any oven racks or trays in hot soapy water. You can use either normal washing up detergent, or dishwasher detergent for this step. If your sink isn’t big enough to accommodate them all, you can use a large container, or even your bath. Leave these to soak whilst you clean the rest of your oven. We recommend leaving them for at least 2 hours. After, scrub them with a stiff brush or scrubbing sponge, rinse, and dry.

Blue soapy water surface

Step 2:

Remove any loose bits of food or other debris from the oven cavity.

You can do this using a damp cloth or sponge. The more you’re able to remove at this stage, the better your chosen oven cleaner will be at powering through the harder to remove bits.

Man reaching into oven wearing yellow cleaning gloves

Step 3:

Apply your oven cleaner.

Now is the time to apply your chosen oven cleaner to every surface inside of your oven. If you’re using a shop-bought cleaner, follow the instructions on the packaging. Most will require you to allow it to soak in over time. It’s a good idea to check the time it takes before you start cleaning your oven. This way you can plan around this, and not end up stuck without an oven to use at dinner time.

Safety: Always wear gloves when handling shop-bought cleaners to avoid irritation or chemical burns.

Spraying unbranded oven cleaner into oven

Step 4:

Wipe and rinse.

Once the cleaner has had the recommended amount of time to work, you can wipe it away with a damp cloth. You may also need to rinse it with a wet sponge to get rid of all of the suds.

Soap suds that have been wiped on a black surface

Step 5:

Scrub stubborn areas.

If there are any stubborn areas that haven’t been cleaned, you can scrub at these with a scouring pad or stiff brush. Wipe and rinse away once these areas have been cleaned.

Helpful Tip: Use an old toothbrush to gain access to those hard to reach areas in the corner of your oven. The flexible bristles will remove the dirt and grime that would be otherwise very hard to reach.

Man scrubbing inside of oven

Optional Step:

 Polish the inside with a dry microfibre cloth.

If you want to go the extra mile, you can polish the inside. This will give a lovely shiny and professional finish to your oven.

Step 6:

Clean and replace the oven racks.

Now is a good time to clean your oven shelves and racks, as explained in Step 1. Once they are clean and completely dry, you can return them to your oven.

A clean oven with one rack

How to Clean Your Oven Door

Once the inside of your oven is clean, it’s time to tackle the oven door. Because an oven door is made of glass, it’s often not possible to use the same oven cleaner. This is because oven cleaners contain abrasive chemicals that can damage the glass. Overtime, it can even cause the glass to shatter. Therefore, it’s important to use a cleaner designed for glass.

We recommend using degreasing oven glass cleaner for both the inside and outside of the oven door. Use a soft sponge to avoid scratching the glass. You can then use a glass cleaner to finish the job.

The only way to clean in between the glass layers is by removing or taking apart your oven door. However, doing so can void your warranty, or lead to damaging your oven. Your oven door, and the glass it’s made from, is also very heavy. It’s therefore very easy to drop and smash.

Spraying glass cleaner onto oven door

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