I Cleaned My Oven with a Pumice Stone — Here’s How It Went

updated Dec 3, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Hand holding a pumice stone in front of an open oven
Credit: Joe Lingeman

I’d heard before that you could use a pumice stone to clean tubs, tiles, toilets, ovens, casserole dishes, and more, but I wondered about it leaving scratches on those items. Plus, before this test, the only pumice stones I actually knew about were the ones sold in the beauty aisles. Curious, though, I started looking into things — and discovered that pumice stones have been used for ages in cleaning. The one ​I ended up buying​ has been manufactured for the purpose of cleaning for more than 75 years.

My “Pumie Scouring Stick” cost $1.88 at Walmart. (You can also find it on Amazon for a little more.) The package — which I read after I used the stick, because that’s just how I do things — says not to use the stone on “soft, highly polished metals, unbaked enamel finishes, glass, fiberglass, plastic, corian, and porcelain decorative tile,” and listed ovens, barbecues, grills, and iron cookware as areas the pumice stone worked best on.

Buy: Pumie Scouring Stick, $9.25 for two

Credit: Ashley Poskin

The cleaning process was so simple. To start, I filled up a small bowl with a bit of water, unwrapped half the pumice stone from the package, and dipped it in the water (you must scrub with water). Then I targeted baked-on stains and got to work. The first area I cleaned was the oven door and I saw immediate results with very, very little scrubbing.

Credit: Ashley Poskin

I was amazed. How was this thing working? Pumice stones are formed from volcanic rock and are very lightweight — I was surprised that the stone didn’t crumble under the small amount of force I used while scrubbing. Not only did it hold strong, but it also cut through grease and grime with one glide. The tougher baked-on food spillage took a few passes before they broke apart and came up, but they did come up. I kept a damp soapy sponge handy to wipe away anything the stone left behind.

Another thing I really loved about using a pumice stone was that it cleaned without leaving too much of a mess behind, and the mess was easy to contain. I also found that it was really easy to clean hard-to-reach spots by scrubbing the same area over and over, shaping the stone to the exact shape I needed it to be to clean the spot.

Credit: Ashley Poskin

My stone was about five inches long, and it wore away as I applied force. I ended up only needing about half the length of the stone to clean the entire oven door and all of the inside. (Cleaning the inside of the oven was just as easy and effective as cleaning the door.) I could have easily stopped and saved the rest of the stone by rinsing it with warm water and soap, but decided to take it to my toilet bowl to see if I could get the hard water lines off the bowl. (It worked!) This is one of those cleaning tools where once you see the results, you just want to keep cleaning.

Credit: Ashley Poskin

My final takeaway: The pumice stone is amazing for cleaning your oven. That said, you might still want to bring a little vinegar and baking soda or warm soapy water to the party to get it sparkling. After I’d finished cleaning all the gunk out of the oven with the stone (before I moved to the toilet), I sprayed down the oven walls and door with a mixture of water and vinegar, and wiped everything down with a clean rag — just for a finishing touch. Out of all the tips and tricks I’ve tried on my oven over the years (there have been many!) this is by far the best when it comes to tackling baked-on food and grease. There is a reason these non-toxic stones have been used by cleaning professionals for so long, and why I’m adding them to my cleaning caddy — in bulk!

Do you have any pumice stones in your cleaning caddy? What do you use them for?

Credit: Kitchn