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steam cleaning an oven

How To Steam Clean An Oven

by | Jul 8, 2024 | Oven Cleaning

Ovens tend to get messy – think spilled sauces, burnt food, and grease splatter. Cleaning the inside takes a lot of time and effort, so anything that makes that task easier is welcome.

If you want to skip commercial oven cleaners and you’re wary of the self-cleaning function, there’s one trick to try: steam!

How to steam clean an oven? Just place some water and vinegar in an oven-safe container, then put it in the oven that’s heated to 232ºC (450ºF). Leave for about an hour, then switch off the oven and let it cool. Wipe off the loosened dirt, then clean off the residue with a damp cloth and you’re done!

Stay on top of oven maintenance with this straightforward solution. Now grab your supplies and go full steam ahead!


How Does Steam Cleaning an Oven Work?

It’s the same trick you use when cleaning a microwave! By heating water in the oven, you produce steam which loosens the grease, food residue, and other debris.

You can then scrub the dirt off everything, from the racks to the oven door.


Is Oven Steam Cleaning Effective?

inside of an oven

Yes – for a mildly dirty oven or everyday cleaning. Steam works for minor spills, grease, and dirt (especially if they’re fresh).

Steam cleaning also helps minimise the build-up of grease and food inside the oven, which could lead to mould or a fire hazard.

For baked-on grease, grime, and food residue, there are other ways to deep clean an oven. The same goes for your oven racks and oven trays.

Now, if you want to avoid scrubbing altogether – that’s what professional house cleaners are for!


When to Steam Clean Your Oven

You can do a quick steam clean of your oven after use to remove some of the grease and residue.

This will help get rid of some of the surface-level dirt and maintain your oven in between deep cleaning.


Before Steam Cleaning Your Oven

For this oven cleaning method, start by taking out any cookware, lining, and utensils. Leave the oven racks in, though!

As an optional step, use some paper towels or a cloth to remove loose debris and food. You can also go over the bottom using a vacuum with a hose attachment.


How to Steam Clean an Oven

Using steam is great for either routine cleaning or priming the oven before a deep clean.

This method also helps if you prefer cleaning the oven without commercial products and harsh chemicals. It’ll loosen the grease and food debris, making the natural methods more effective.

To steam clean your oven, you’ll need:

  • A large oven-safe pot or baking dish
  • Warm water
  • White vinegar
  • A non-abrasive sponge or cleaning pad
  • A cooktop scraper or similar tool
  • Baking soda (optional)


Set the oven temperature to 232ºC (450ºF). Fill an oven-safe container (like a baking or casserole dish) with 1-2 litres of warm water, then add half a cup of white vinegar.

Avoid using glass dishes since these could shatter in high temperatures.

Place the container on the lower oven rack, then shut the door. Leave the vinegar mixture to heat up and turn to steam – about an hour.

Once the hour is up, switch off the oven and leave the oven door closed. The hot steam will remain in the oven, loosening the grease and dirt inside.

Let the oven cool to a safe temperature where you can clean it by hand. Open the oven and remove the container, carefully setting it aside.

Dampen the sponge or pad, then scrub the oven surfaces to remove dirt and grease. For stuck-on food or burnt grease, you can use the cooktop scraper or make a cleaning paste with baking soda.

Apply the paste with a sponge, then gently scrub the surface clean.

Rinse the sponge or pad regularly to avoid spreading the residue around. Once you’re done scrubbing, use a damp microfibre cloth to rinse off any residue.

Dry the oven thoroughly.

TIP: You can do double-duty and use a baking dish that needs some cleaning! The heated vinegar mixture will clean both the oven and the dish at the same time.

Once you’re done cleaning the oven, give the dish a little scrubbing, wash it, and it’ll be good as new.


How to Use the Steam Clean Function on Your Oven

Not all ovens have this, but some models do have a steam cleaning setting! Check the owner’s manual for specific instructions.

Remove racks and other accessories from the oven cavity. Use a damp microfibre cloth to remove any grease, crumbs, and other loose residue.

Follow the instructions in the manual to start the steam cleaning cycle. This typically involves pouring water into the reservoir then activating the setting.

Once the cycle has run, let the oven cool down. Use a soft cloth to wipe up any excess moisture, then a non-abrasive sponge or cleaning pad to scrub off any grease and food debris.

Follow with a damp cloth to rinse off the residue, then wipe with a dry cloth.


How to Use a Steam Cleaner to Clean Your Oven

using a steam cleaner to clean the oven

Cleaning your oven can take a lot of effort, so lots of people ask – how to clean an oven without scrubbing?

One answer: a steam mop or cleaner! From floors to walls, they can tackle a variety of tasks – and that includes steam cleaning your oven.

This works with steam cleaners that have handheld modes, such as the Shark Steam Mop or BLACK+DECKER Steam Mop. As always, check your owner’s manual first to make sure this is safe!

Start by switching off the oven and letting it cool down fully. Wipe away any loose food debris and grease, then remove the racks so you have room to work.

Follow the steamer’s instructions to fill it up, then choose the correct heat and pressure setting. Use the appropriate attachment (such as the brush or nozzle).

Switch the steam cleaner on, then slowly go over the oven’s interior. The steam will loosen the residue, which you can wipe clean with a microfibre cloth or non-abrasive sponge.

Periodically rinse the cloth clean and change out the water in the steam cleaner. Keep working until you’ve removed as much gunk as you’re able.


FAQs for Steam Cleaning an Oven

Before you start to steam clean, here’s some useful info to keep in mind!


Can I use tap water for steam cleaning?

Yes – as long as you don’t live in a hard water area.

If you do, it’s best to use distilled or filtered water, as hard water can leave limescale or mineral deposits.


Can I use vinegar to steam clean my oven?

Yes, you can add white vinegar to the water for extra cleaning power.

But make sure you check the manual first – some manufacturers may recommend against using vinegar on the model.


Will steam cleaning work for stubborn grime?

Unfortunately, it won’t be very effective. Steam cleaning works best for mild dirt and residue, but it’s less effective at removing burnt food, grease, and stubborn grime.

For dirtier ovens, you’re better off using other cleaning methods such as dishwasher tablets, oven cleaners, or baking soda.


Can I use the steam method with the self-cleaning feature?

Do not use your oven’s self-cleaning feature with anything inside.

The self-cleaning function heats your oven to about 500ºC (932ºF), which is much higher than the 232ºC for steam cleaning. Even an oven-safe bowl or container will not withstand that high of an oven temperature.

That could create a fire hazard or permanently damage your appliance.

About Author

Sophie Franklin

Sophie is the subject matter expert within Maid2Match. Most importantly though she is our biggest fan girl and generous in sharing what she knows.


About Author

Sophie Franklin

Sophie is the subject matter expert within Maid2Match. Most importantly though she is our biggest fan girl and generous in sharing what she knows.