Ovens are fantastic cooking appliances – but they also have the potential to become fantastic messes. Drippings from meat, spills from sauces, burnt debris from food… It’s easy for your oven to go from culinary masterpiece to muck.
Cleaning your oven regularly will save you a lot of elbow grease down the line. You can use a store-bought oven cleaner, but good old bicarb soda mixed into a cleaning paste will work just as well. Don’t forget to clean oven racks and the exterior, too!
You can’t make the best roast for dinner if your oven is dirty. Read our guide on how to clean an oven so you can bake, roast, and cook to your heart’s content – worry-free.
How Often to Clean an Oven
You should steam clean an oven every after use, to wipe away any grease and food debris. (It’s the same with cleaning your stove top.)
Deep clean your oven once every 6 months – or every 3 months, if it gets frequent use. The more often you spot-clean, the less effort it’ll be to deep clean. It’ll also maintain your oven’s functionality and give you tastier, better-cooked food.
Of course, you can always leave your oven (and the rest of your kitchen) in the hands of a professional cleaning service!
Cleaning Your Oven’s Interior
The inside of your oven is prone to build-up of grease and food debris over time. If you have a self-cleaning oven, put it to good use. Otherwise, here are handy ways to clean the inside of an oven.
Using an Oven’s Self-Cleaning Function
If your oven has a self-cleaning function, you’re lucky! It’ll save you time and effort (although you’ll still need to wipe the residue). Most modern ovens will have a self-clean cycle, which will heat the oven interior up to the highest possible setting.
This will then incinerate the food inside and dry out the grease, leaving behind residue that you can wipe away with paper towels or a damp washcloth. Still, you’ll want to manually deep clean once or twice a year to make sure everything is ship-shape!
Oven Cleaning Using Steam
While your oven is still warm, place a bowl of hot water onto one of the racks. Leave the door closed for a few minutes. You can mix white vinegar into the water for a more thorough clean. Use a paper towel or microfibre cloth to wipe away the loosened grease.
Alternatively, check if your oven has a steam clean function! It’ll work the same way – just remember to wipe the inside when the cycle is done.
Deep Cleaning Inside Your Oven
The best way to clean the inside of a dirty oven is with a bicarb soda paste. This way, you avoid using harsh chemicals that could risk your health – or even damage your oven liner.
First, unplug your oven or disconnect it from the gas. Remove the oven racks – you’ll clean them later. Next, mix a cleaning paste of 3 parts bicarb soda to 1 part water. Use a brush or soft cloth to spread the bicarb soda mix on the inside of the oven. Avoid the heating elements!
Let the bicarb soda paste sit for a few hours (or even overnight). You can then wipe it off using a damp cloth, or fill a spray bottle with white vinegar. This works especially well for stubborn stains. Spritz the white vinegar onto the bicarb soda to clean your oven. Wipe it away with a damp cloth.
Lastly, go over the interior with a clean cloth to remove any remaining residue.
How to Clean Oven Racks
While that bicarb soda paste is working its magic, it’s time to clean your oven racks. Take them to your sink and soak them in hot water mixed with washing powder or dish soap. Then use a scrub brush or scouring pad to remove any stuck-on food and grease.
If your stainless steel oven racks are particularly dirty, you can also apply the bicarb soda paste onto them for cleaning. Let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub off.
Don’t use bicarb soda on aluminium racks, as this could cause discolouration.
Clean the oven trays that you used while you’re at it, too!
Cleaning Your Oven’s Exterior
It’s not just your oven’s interior that gets dirty! Make sure to clean your oven door and knobs as well. To clean the oven door, just mix equal parts white vinegar and warm water. Dip a soft cloth into the mixture, then wipe the oven glass with a paper towel.
If you have a stainless steel oven, check out our guide for properly cleaning stainless steel.
Try not to get the gasket wet if your oven has one. If you do get some of the cleaning solution onto the gasket, wipe it dry.
Finally, wet another cloth and use it to wipe down the oven knobs. Don’t spray directly onto the oven locks and knobs – you could get liquid into the nooks and crannies, which could affect the circuitry underneath.
Let your oven dry completely before reattaching to the gas or socket, and replacing the racks.
And that’s how to clean an oven – inside and out. Then you’re ready for your next batch of cookies or another roast beef as a reward for a job well done.