The Surprising Answer to Cleaning Your Oven Lies in Your Laundry Room

published Aug 19, 2021
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

When it comes to cleaning the kitchen, I like to keep an open mind. In fact, many of my go-to cleaning tools actually come from other rooms. Allow me to explain: I love using my wand vac to clean up crumbs in drawers, hydrogen peroxide to clean my cutting boards, and an old toothbrush to scrub tile grout. Turns out, my next great oven-cleaning solution involves an ingredient from the laundry room!

Credit: Ashley Abramson
Could Tide turn out to be useful in the kitchen, too? I was ready to find out!

Here’s the scoop: The social-media famous cleaning company Go Clean Co swears by a solution of Tide powder detergent, bleach, and hot water to clean pretty much everything — from your dishwasher to the inside of your fridge. I’ve always been curious about the method, but haven’t tried it yet because I’m a bit bleach-shy (Go Clean Co encourages me I absolutely shouldn’t be!). But when I found a similar approach that doesn’t require bleach, I ran to my laundry room to get started!

The Science Behind Why Tide Breaks Down Grease

A member of a Facebook cleaning group, who was familiar with the bleach-water-Tide method, says she swears by Tide and water alone — particularly for cleaning her oven. (Supposedly, Tide is a great degreaser!)

Go Clean Co explains a bit about why this is true on their “Why Tide?” Instagram story. Basically, Tide powder is a surfactant, which means it can easily break down grease and grime. Surfactants also disperse dirt in a way water alone can’t, so the two work well together. And because Tide contains enzymes, you can count on it to break down food stains in your oven.

But first, I wanted to check that it was completely safe. Pro cleaner Austin Miller, founder of Spruse Clean in Seattle, says this combo is uncommon, but together they would act like a makeshift Bar Keepers Friend to remove cooked-on grease. While he says it’s safe to use, it’s important to keep the oven turned off throughout the process and make sure it’s totally cooled down while applying the mixture. Keeping all of that in mind, off I went to test it out for myself!

How I Cleaned My Oven with Tide Powder

To begin, I mixed my secret solution. Go Clean Co typically recommends 1 teaspoon of Tide powder per bucket of hot water, but I knew I’d need less water for this job. I filled the bucket about a quarter full and used 1/4 teaspoon of Tide. Then, I immersed a sponge (I chose one with an abrasive side and a soft side) and went to town on my oven door. Guess what happened?

Credit: Ashley Abramson
Cleaning my oven with Tide!

My Honest Review

Right away, I noticed the solution cuts through grease splatters and food. I only had to scrub for a few seconds until the layer of oil totally disappeared along with stuck-on, burnt food bits. What the solution didn’t accomplish was removing the set-in stuff. That red, rusty-looking splatter remained throughout the door, no matter how hard I scrubbed. 

I was pleasantly surprised, though, that the Tide method didn’t leave streaks behind like other door-cleaning methods I’ve tried. All I had to do was wipe away the excess solution with a damp microfiber cloth, and it was nearly as good as new! I’d definitely try the Tide way again, but next time I’ll use it in tandem with my go-to baking soda method, which is a proven winner at removing deep-set stains.

Have you tried the Tide powder method to clean your oven? Tell us in the comments below.