The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Your Oven with Less Pain, More Success

updated Nov 15, 2019
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

Cleaning the oven tops just about everyone’s list of Most Dreaded Chores and is far too easily forgotten about or procrastinated. (All you have to do to hide the mess is close the door! Or put a pretty pot over a dirty burner!) But cleaning the oven isn’t only a matter of cleanliness — it can be a safety issue, too. Even if you don’t notice it, layers of burnt-on food and grease can be a fire hazard. 

The best thing about having a clean oven, though, is being pleasantly surprised each time you open the oven door. And as for those parts that show, like the burners or your glass stovetop, getting them cleaner than they’ve been in a while will give your whole kitchen a fresh sparkle. 

Here are some of our best tips to help you finally get your oven completely clean from top to bottom and from the inside out.

Credit: Lucy Hewett

1. Clean your greasy gas stovetop with just soap and water.

Dish soap is the best at cutting through grease, and the grease on your gas range is no exception. (Makes sense when you think about it!) For this simple and effective technique that doesn’t require any special products or tools, simply remove the grates and wipe down the range with a soapy but not-too-wet sponge. 

Read more: How To Clean a Greasy Gas Stovetop with Just Soap and Water

Credit: Joe Lingeman

2. Use boiling water to clean stovetop grates.

There comes a time when your stovetop grates need more than a wipe-down after dinner. To rid them of an accumulation of grease, put them in a plugged sink and cover them with boiling water. Squeeze in some grease-cutting dish soap, and allow the grates to soak. Scrub with Bon Ami if necessary. 

Read more: How To Clean Enameled Cast Iron Stove Grates

Credit: Cat Meschia

3. Soak your range filters.

These are oven overlooked, but once you do look, you’ll see why you simply can’t not clean them. Thankfully, it’s not hard to get them clean. Remove them, soak them in boiled water with dish soap and baking soda added to it, and then scrub them before rinsing, drying, and replacing them.

Read more: How To Clean a Greasy Range Hood Filter

Credit: Joe Lingeman

4. Let your glass stovetop clean itself.

Burnt-on residue can seem so impossible to get off that eventually you become resigned to a cooking surface with “history.” But it doesn’t have to be that way. The easiest method to clean scorch marks and burnt-on food from your glass stovetop is with the classic standbys of vinegar and baking soda. The special ingredient of this method is time: a 15-minute soak with a baking soda and vinegar combo.

See the steps: How to Clean a Glass Stovetop

Credit: Lucy Hewett

5. Soak your oven knobs.

If your oven knobs come off, the easiest way to clean them is to soak them in warm, soapy water while you’re working on the rest of the oven. 

6. Give your oven racks a bath.

Oven racks get caked with gunk and if you’re committed to getting your oven in good shape, you’ve got to address them. Luckily, there’s a far easier method than scrubbing each rung by hand in a too-small sink. Soaking oven racks in the bathtub loosens much of the grime, so that any remaining scrubbing you have to do is a far less arduous task. You just need a few towels to line your tub, a scrub brush, dishwasher detergent, and possibly a little Bar Keepers Friend.

Read more: How To Clean Oven Racks in the Bathtub

7. Use a power drill to clean inside your oven.

Using a brush attachment on a power drill will change the way you approach cleaning your oven forever. Rather than exerting physical energy and a pretty significant amount of time scrubbing with force (as this is what it takes to get a dirty oven clean), let the power drill do the work for you.

Read more: I Added a Power Drill to My Kitchen Cleaning Caddy and Haven’t Looked Back

8. Skip the self-cleaning function.

It sounds like it’ll be easy, but it’s not worth the effort. Promise.

Read more: Why You Should (Almost) Never Use Your Oven’s Self-Cleaning Function