7 Oven Cleaning Hacks That Actually Work, Backed by Experts

Woman wearing yellow rubber glove cleaning oven door with green cloth

Isabel Pavia/ Moment/ Getty Images

Cleaning the oven isn't high on anyone's list of housekeeping chores. It can be messy, the space is awkward, and you may have nightmares about old lye-based cleaners. Fortunately, today's ovens have surfaces that release grease and grime more easily and we've learned a few hacks to make oven cleaning easier.

We talked to cleaning experts who shared their best hacks for oven cleaning so you can tackle oven cleaning with ease.

  • 01 of 07

    Soften Oven Grime First for Easier Cleaning

    Place roasting pan on bottom of oven

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

    Don't work any harder than you must. Use the power of steam for easier cleaning. Katie Berry, Housewife How-Tos, shares this hack, "Soften grimy buildup in your oven before you begin cleaning by putting a roasting pan full of boiling water on the middle rack. Turn the oven to 450F for a half hour then let it cool. This can dramatically loosen grime so it's easier to clean."

    Jennifer Rodriquez, Chief Hygiene Officer at Pro Housekeepers, adds lemons to the water and uses this quick and easy method for steam cleaning an oven. 

    1. Cut up a lemon into quarters and place it in an oven-safe dish.  
    2. Pour water over the lemons into the dish and stick it in the oven. 
    3. Set the oven on Bake at 250 degrees Fahrenheit and put the timer on for 30 minutes. 
    4. After the timer is off, dip a sponge into the lemon water (carefully) and wipe down the racks and oven door. Be careful, it may be hot so let the oven cool down inside first. 
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  • 02 of 07

    Use an Oven Rack Cleaning Kit

    scrubbing oven racks with a sponge

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena  

    There's no need to struggle with the awkward size of oven racks that won't fit in your sink or try to clean them in the bathtub. Chris Albers, Marketing Director of Carbona, recommends using a simple oven rack cleaning kit to get the job done. Oven rack cleaning kits are great when you're in a pinch because the kits normally come with everything you need to get your oven rack sparkling. "The resealable bag safely keeps the cleaning formula and debris confined to the bag which also makes for easy disposal after the task is done. The Oven Rack & Grill Cleaner Kit's liqui-gel formula is aerosol free with no CFCs or propellant that are typically found in aerosol oven cleaning products. Plus it’s safe for septic systems and fume-free," adds Albers.

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  • 03 of 07

    Clean the Oven with a DIY Paste

    making a baking soda paste

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena 

    No need to buy expensive oven cleaners with this cleaning paste hack from Becky Rapinchuk of Clean Mama:

    1. Make a DIY oven-cleaning paste with water and baking soda. Start with about 1/4 cup of each and add a squirt of dish or castile soap.
    2. Mix the paste to a runny toothpaste consistency and apply it to the interior of the oven with a scratch-free sponge.
    3. Scrub, rinse, and dry. 
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  • 04 of 07

    Use the Self Cleaning Feature

    Self-clean button being pressed on oven

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

    Rather than spending your time cleaning the oven, learn how to use the self-cleaning feature if your oven has one. Many people forget they have this option but it's actually pretty simple—all it takes is a small amount of prep time, some patience, and a quick final wipe-down.

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  • 05 of 07

    Sprinkle Salt on Overflow Messes

    Salt spilled out of a shaker

    Jeffrey Coolidge/Getty Images

    If a casserole or pie boils over in the oven or on the oven door, quickly sprinkle the mess with a liberal amount of salt while it is still liquid. Once the oven has cooled, use a spatula to lift away the salty mess. It will be much easier to clean than a hard, baked-on stain.

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  • 06 of 07

    Deep Clean an Oven the Right Way

    wiping down the oven

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena  

    Jennifer Rodriguez shares her tips for deep cleaning an oven. All you'll need is a white vinegar and baking soda paste, a sponge or microfiber cloth for scrubbing, and paper towels to wipe away the mess:

    1. Switch off your oven and allow it to cool. Never try to clean your oven while it’s hot. Not only is it dangerous, but any cleaning solutions you use can burn, releasing toxic chemicals or even just leaving unsightly stains behind.
    2. Remove the racks from your oven and soak them in a solution of hot, soapy water while you clean your oven.
    3. Apply your cleaning solution. Make sure to get all the sides and top of the oven, as well as the floor.
    4. Give your oven a good scrub with a sponge or microfiber cloth. Avoid anything that could scratch the finish, such as steel wool. If the cleaning solution you use turns brown, that just means it’s lifting dirt from your oven.
    5. If your oven is very dirty, apply a second coat of cleaning solution and leave it overnight to work its magic before continuing to clean.
    6. Using a damp microfiber cloth, wipe away the cleaning solution residue and lift dirt and debris. You can use a spatula or plastic pan scraper to remove any tough burned-on food. Avoid using anything metal that might damage your oven.
    7. Give your oven a final wipe-down with clean water, making sure you’ve removed every trace of the cleaning solution. You can use paper towels to dry your oven or turn it on to the lowest heat for 15 minutes to dry out.
    8.  Reinstall the oven racks and enjoy your gleaming clean oven!
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  • 07 of 07

    Make Glass Oven Doors Shine

    Using baking soda and a sponge to remove tough stains on a glass oven door

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

    To easily clean glass oven doors, use the gentle abrasive power of baking soda and a damp sponge to remove baked-on food splatters and grease.