I Cleaned My Oven Door with a Dishwasher Tablet — Here’s How It Went

updated Aug 31, 2022
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Credit: Kitchn

I’ve never met a cleaning hack I wasn’t willing to try (yeah, I’m that person who ​cleaned my oven with a power drill​), so when I read that a dishwashing tablet could easily remove baked-on grease from oven doors, I knew I had to try it. All the tutorials I’d seen referenced Finish detergent, so I picked up a small pack of ​powder tablets​ (I assume liquid gel packets would be too messy?) and got to work.

Buy: Finish Powerball Tablets, $8.50 for 43

Unfortunately for the sake of a good before and after photo, the little window on my oven wasn’t completely disgusting, but it still had a plenty of visible grease splatters that needed cleaning. Before I started I made sure to put on my ​gloves​ — because bleach is an active ingredient in the tablets and I had no interest in having bleach dry out my already-wintery hands. Next, I dipped the unwrapped tablet in a bowl of warm water and started scrubbing.

The Cleaning Process

I started by holding the tablet between my thumb and forefinger (mostly to keep the red power ball from falling out) and moved it in a scraping motion across the glass door. I tried angling it from the blue side first, then the white; not one side seemed better at the job than the other. The results were quick: The baked on grease spots came off within a few scrubs!

The Best Way to Clean With the Tablet

I continued cleaning the glass with that tablet, dipping it in warm water when needed, until it crumbled, then popped open another so I could use the fresh crisp edges along the hard-to-get areas where the metal door frames the glass. I quickly learned that the best way to clean with the tablet was to lay it flat and apply a good amount of pressure with the palm of my hand. As for the power ball, it kept falling out so I let it dissolve in the bowl of warm water. I figured that way I was getting some sort of use out of it.

Once I’d scrubbed the entire surface of the glass window with the tablet I wiped the greasy gunk away with a paper towel, then went back over it with a wet towel, wiping away any leftover residue. The glass was absolutely perfect!

Cleaning the Non-Glass Part of the Oven Door

Next up: the non-glass part of the oven door. My tablet had absorbed quite a bit of water (because of all the dunking from when I was cleaning the glass) and the grease seemed to come off even faster. I’m guessing this was partly because of the water and because I was using a lot more pressure while scrubbing (no fragile glass!).

After I finished scrubbing and wiped the surface clean, I could still see some small bits of stubborn baked-on grime, so I crumbled what was left of my tablet and scrubbed it around the entire surface of the oven door once more. I let it sit and dry for about 10 minutes, then returned with a wet cloth and wiped it clean. It was almost too easy!

Is This Cleaning Method Recommended?

My final thoughts? I 100 percent recommend using this method to clean your oven! There is quite a bit of scrubbing, but it isn’t all that vigorous, and you really don’t need any special tools other than gloves to tackle the job.

My key takeaways for next time: I’ll use a spray bottle, in addition to my small bowl of warm water; the tablet should first absorb a good amount of water before you start scrubbing (but not too much water that it completely crumbles); and you need to use a fair amount of pressure when scrubbing (the palm of your hand seems to work best and covers quite a bit of surface area).

These tablets are tiny secret weapons and I have a feeling this isn’t the last time you’ll be reading about their magic cleaning powers!

Have you ever tried this? Did you have the same great results?