The Best Ways to Clean an Oven, According to Professional Cleaners

updated May 4, 2020
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A stainless steel oven inside a white kitchen with cleaning products nearby
Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

The task of cleaning your oven can feel like one of the most laborious jobs on your entire list of chores — especially if you’re not sure which supplies or methods are going to be the most effective (read: painless). But sooner or later, we all have to hunker down and, well, do it. Because the smoke alarm shouldn’t go off every time you want to bake something.

While we have our own method that we recommend here at Kitchn (it’s pretty hands-off and easy!), there’s obviously more than one way to do it. Curious to find out what other people recommend, we talked to some cleaning pros about the methods they swear by.

Here’s how some top cleaning experts clean their ovens.

1. Heavy-duty degreaser and stainless steel sponges

Justin Carpenter, owner of the Dallas-based cleaning service Modern Maids, relies on two ingredients when cleaning the interior of ovens: a degreaser and a stainless steel sponge. His method is pretty simple — just apply the degreaser, wait, and scrub.

“Let the degreaser sit for at least 10 minutes — the longer you wait, the easier the job will be — then start scrubbing away with a stainless steel sponge and you’ll notice the combination of degreaser and steel cutting away burnt-on grime.”

Looking for specific products? Carpenter recommends the following: 

Credit: Diana Yen

2. Baking soda paste

Angela Bell and Georgia Dixon, from Grove Collaborative, swear by a DIY baking soda paste. It’s simple to whip up, but it’ll take some time to do its work. “This process requires a 12-hour processing period, which you can start in the evening after you’ve wrapped up any cooking projects,” they say. Their method is pretty similar to ours, only they recommend the Grove Collaborative Coconut Scrubber for cleaning out the paste the next morning.

3. The oven’s self-cleaning function, followed by scrubbing

If your oven has a self-cleaning function, then Joseph Berger, president of You’ve Got Maids, recommends you use it as a first line of defense against built-up grime.

After the self-cleaning process, Berger suggests spraying your oven with an oven cleaner compound, allowing it to sit for a few minutes, then scrubbing top to bottom and left to right with white terry cloths. (Just keep several on hand to do the job.)

Credit: Joe Lingeman

4. Freshen it up with some citrus

Norma Capin, operations manager at Dallas Maids, has a fun tip up her sleeve. To give your oven a quick spa treatment, leave it on after you finish baking, then let half a cup of lime juice sit in it for 15 minutes. “The lime will help you get rid of smells,” she says. “And after doing it, you just have to wipe the oven since it will loosen grease from the walls.”

How do you clean your oven? Tell us in the comments below.