I Have Never Cleaned the Inside of My Oven — And I Don’t Intend To

updated Dec 17, 2019
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(Image credit: Minette Hand)

I am, by all measures, a very clean and organized person. This is probably because I am the product of two of the cleanest, most organized people I know. My German mom taught me almost everything I know about cleaning. The rest — including the best way to rid rugs of dirt, dog hair, and whatever else ends up embedded in them — I learned from my dad.

I say all this as a preface to something I must get out in the open: I have never cleaned the inside of my oven. Any oven. I have had a few (ah, the rental life!). And, honestly, I don’t intend to.

Why I Have Never Cleaned the Inside of My Oven

Honestly, I haven’t ever given much thought to the inside of my oven or its cleanliness (or lack thereof). While I’ve read that a dirty oven can impact the taste of your food or the effectiveness of your oven, I haven’t had any issues. And so, I have no plans to clean the inside of my oven. For someone who believes in regularly moving my appliances (oven included) to sweep and vacuum behind them, this is admittedly odd.

Maybe it’s the heat which, in my mind, zaps all germs and ensures that there’s no mold or mildew growing inside?

Maybe it’s the fact that cooking things in the oven is not inherently messy? The mess is mostly confined to whatever container — be it Dutch oven, sheet pan, or cast iron pan — you’re cooking in. And even if it is messy, it’s not like I’m putting my food directly into the oven. My chicken or bread or whatever sits in a pot, pan, or, at the very least, a piece of aluminum foil!

It’s also possible that my oven is my weakness. Even the cleanest, most organized person has one. For my mom, it is laundry. For as long as I’ve known her, which is 40 years now, she has been terrible at laundry. Also, she is kind of terrible at loading the dishwasher. (Sorry, Mom.)

Should You Want to Clean Your Oven

Whatever the case may be, I’m more likely to toss my sponges on a weekly basis, clean my dish towels daily, and wipe down the inside of my sink every night before I go to bed than I am to clean my oven.

Do you clean inside your oven? Is there something else that you never clean and don’t plan to any time soon? Share in the comments — promise I won’t judge!