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How To Clean An Oven Quickly and Easily

Why you need to clean your oven—and clean it often

Whether you live with a home chef or are more of a freezer pizza household, the oven is one of the most important appliances in a household. Thanks to convection models and smart technology, people are baking and roasting now more than ever. While meal prepping and subscription meal kits have become trendy, some of the essential cleaning knowledge has fallen by the wayside.
If you don't know how to clean an oven, don't worry; you won't have to call your parents for advice. Heck, they might not know either. Below, we'll cover how to clean an oven easily and quickly using different methods, including how to clean an oven with baking soda.
Cleaning oven in kitchen with yellow rubber gloves

How to Clean an Oven: The Prep

First, don't panic. Even if your oven is relatively new, the layer of baked-on grime can seem intimidating. But with the right tools, you'll get through it easily. Prepare for your quick deep-clean session by pulling on rubber gloves—the tough ones. Then make sure your device is turned off and take out any racks you may have inside, along with accessories or partitions.
Lay down some old sheets or yesterday's newspaper around the device to protect it from cleaners. These shouldn't be a fire hazard, since the heat will be shut off the whole time. Finally, assemble your tools: a grease-cutting cleaning spray of your choice, a sponge for scrubbing, a plastic scraper, and a microfiber cloth. Do not use a bristled cleaning brush or steel wool here, or you could damage the interior of your appliance and scrape the finish.
Pro Tip: Before moving on to the next step, consider multitasking. You can soak the grates in your sink or bathtub while you clean. Run warm water and mix with liquid detergent, then let them soak while you work on the appliance. Once you're finished, the grime will come off with a bristled cleaning brush.
Baking soda with sponge and towel for effective and safe house cleaning

How to Clean an Oven with Baking Soda

What you'll need: Baking soda, Vinegar

A method your mother, grandmother, and her mother before her all swear by—baking soda. You can use it on upset stomachs, to craft cake batter, to keep bad smells at bay, and to clean all sorts of appliances. Make your foremothers proud and learn how to clean an oven with baking soda.
This all-natural method uses household supplies you already have (and if you don't have them, you should. Mix four parts baking soda with one part water until a thick paste forms. Spread this across the dirtiest section, even parts that are metal or glass. Just make sure you don't slather up the heating elements. Let the paste sit for 15-30 minutes, then dip your sponge in vinegar. Now it's time to start scrubbing away. Scrub with the sponge, and use a little elbow grease along with your hard spatula to get to the hard, baked-on messes.
Pro Tip: For even more sparkle, spray and wipe the interior with vinegar. It will power through any remaining grease and grime.

How to Clean An Oven With Lemon Water

Sweet and sour lemons are the kitchen's most underrated natural cleaners. When we think of this yellow citrus, we probably focus more on memories of sticky lemonade stands than on acidic cleaning power. These fruits serve as a gentle, natural "bleach" by acting as an antiseptic and antibacterial agent at the same time. Learn how to clean an oven with these for a natural solution and a lovely smelling appliance.
To cleanse, fill a heat-resistant bowl (like a heat-resistant glass container or a cast-iron pan) with warm water and two lemons, each cut in half. Heat to 250 degrees Fahrenheit before placing the bowl inside. After half an hour, turn the heat off and let cool. Remove your bowl, and get ready to scrub. Wipe all surfaces with a damp microfiber cloth, and break out your scrubbing sponge for caked-on stains.
Pro Tip: For an even stronger spray, combine both lemon juice and vinegar. Use the combination spray to douse surfaces before scrubbing.

How To Clean An Oven: Self Cleaning

This method is less quick, but much easier thanks to a decreased demand for elbow grease. Nearly all modern gas and electric versions come with a self-cleaning function, and it's one you should take advantage of on occasion. This setting uses high temperatures to burn off any leftovers from baking, roasting and cooking. The all-over heat penetrates deep, reaching those spots you can't always get to when cleaning by hand. If you have a steam oven, these devices take it a step further by infusing super-high temperatures with hot steam.
Pro Tip: Make sure you reference your user manual for more about how to clean your specific model.
Using a spray bottle with cleaning solution to clean an oven

How to Clean an Oven: Spray Cleaning

Super-strong store-bought cleaners will often cut through strong grease, with one major downside: what's inside them. Many spray cleaners are filled with carcinogens and chemicals, many that shouldn't mix with food. Some can cause burning eyes and coughing when exposed to heat, too. If you're still opting for these cleaners, it's best to wear a face mask and safety glasses. That way, you won't inhale anything too harmful. Always make sure you read the instructions on the cleaners you purchase, too. Pro Tip: Don't just spray and wipe. Instead, spray all sides of the oven, including the back, door, and sides, and let sit for half an hour. Then wipe away with a damp cloth.

How Often Should You Clean Your Oven?

Even if you don't cook with it every night, your oven is one of the major appliances in your kitchen, and you'll want it to be ready for your next big meal. To keep your food tasting great, we recommend you give yours a deep cleaning session every two or three months. It's a good idea to spot clean your appliances weekly to keep any spills or messes from becoming a sticky problem.
Pro Tip: Don't forget to reference your users manual to find more info about how often to clean your device, along with any special cleaning considerations unique to your appliance.

But What If There's No Saving It?

Let's say you've tried everything, from vinegar and lemons to elbow grease and spray cleaners, all to no effect. If your oven is giving up the ghost, it's time to consider picking out a new one. Find one that's best for your home and style with our Kitchen Range Buying Guide, and look for one with a self-cleaning cycle to make upkeep easier in the future.
If you're having a hard time finding the one that's right for you, give us a call at 800-860-3577. We're happy to help you find the machine that's best for you, whether you're a baking enthusiast or are baking veggies in batches. All our appliances are covered by a manufacturer's warranty for at least one year, and we'll help to service your appliance throughout its lifetime.

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