5-Minute Chores to Make Your Oven a Little Cleaner

updated Apr 1, 2020
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Credit: Lauren Volo

Of all the kitchen-related chores on our to-do lists, cleaning the oven is one of the most onerous. Especially these days, with many of us cooking more meals than ever at home. We know our ovens (inside and out) are taking a beating. While you certainly could spend an afternoon scrubbing the inside, washing the racks, and getting the stovetop to sparkle, you really don’t have to.

Instead, try these little bitty chores, which can each be done in five minutes. Do one now, another while you wait for your coffee to brew, another while you’re waiting for everyone to come to the table, and so on. Eventually, your oven will be nice and clean and you can just repeat these little steps on an as-needed basis.

Credit: Lucy Hewett

1. Wipe down your stovetop.

All that grease and splatter stains? It can all probably be wiped up much faster than you realize. Try a damp paper towel or cleaning rag first. If that doesn’t work, add a drop of dish soap.

2. Use a razor to scrape burnt-on food.

This seems like a deep-cleaning task for those of you who have a glass stovetop, and it usually is. But doing it weekly or on an as-needed basis keeps your stove top looking pristine and it only takes a few minutes. Keep your blade in a handy (but out of reach) place to make the chore as convenient as possible. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman

3. Clean out the crevices.

If you have a seam where your oven meets the counters, there’s a good chance that seam has collected its fair share of crumbs. Use a butter knife or old credit card to dig in there and push out every last bit.

Credit: Lucy Hewett

4. Soak the knobs in a dish soap solution.

Removing the knobs and giving them a little bath is far less time-consuming than wiping around each one individually. Soak them in a bowl of warm, soapy water while you’re finishing up the dishes and then quickly rinse and set them out to dry. 

5. Wipe down the handle.

When was the last time you wiped down the handle on your oven door? Wipe it down (use a disinfectant!) and check to see if any crumbs have accumulated where the handle meets the door.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

6. Soak stovetop grates.

Technically, our directions for cleaning stovetop grates call for letting them soak for 10 to 15 minutes (which is longer than the 5 minutes we promised at the beginning of this post!). If you only have minutes to devote, though, put all your grates in the sink and soak them in hot, hot water. A little soak is better than no soak.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

7. Clean the glass with a Magic Eraser.

A Magic Eraser will clean off a decent amount of grime. Just dampen the eraser and get to work on the glass on the inside of your oven.

8. Vacuum out the crumbs.

Use the crevice tool to vacuum the crumbs out of your oven’s interior. (You can also use this to get the crumbs in that countertop seam we were talking about earlier.) Don’t want to pull out the vacuum? Just use a rag to sweep things up.

9. Wash your oven liner.

If you use an oven liner to make cleaning the bottom of your oven easier, pull it out and give it a wash in your sink with some warm water and dish soap.

Got anything else to add to this list? What are some little things you do to get your oven clean?