How to Clean Your Oven

Get ready for the baking season with a shiny clean oven.

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Cleaning your oven is one of those household tasks you want to forget about. Who’s going to look in your oven anyway? After months of use, those bits of crust and cheese that fell off your take-and-bake pizza and the greasy spatter from your Sunday roasts start to accumulate. With the holiday baking season around the corner, it’s time to get your oven in tip top shape. Grab some comfy clothes and rubber gloves—it’s time to get cleaning.

Stainless Steel Oven

How to Clean Your Oven the Right Way

Cleaning your oven is a necessary task at least once a year.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe


  • baking soda
  • vinegar
  • dish soap
  • aluminum foil
  • scrub
  • towels
  • spray bottle
  • rubber gloves (optional)

Self Clean and Paste

Bowl of Baking Soda Paste and Spoon

Make a Baking Soda Paste

Make a paste of baking soda and water.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

If your oven has a self clean option, go ahead and run it. This part is optional, but it makes the process much easier.This feature is made to get most of the tough, baked-on debris in your oven by burning it at a high temperature (usually about 880 degrees Fahrenheit). Your oven door will lock (for safety) and run for about three hours. Make sure the area is well ventilated in case of smoke from the oven. Once the cycle has run and cools, make a paste of baking soda and water. You will need it to be the consistency of yogurt.


Gloved Hand and Ball of Aluminum Foil

Use a Ball of Aluminum Foil to Scrub

Use a ball of aluminum foil to scrub stains.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Remove the oven racks. Use a shop vacuum to suck up any ash and debris from your oven. Then, rub the baking soda paste all over the surface. If the paste seems too thick, add more water. Make sure you get into any nooks and crannies. Let it set for an hour or so. You can go ahead and clean the racks while you wait. Now here comes the hard part—the scrubbing. You can use a sponge for the first pass, but to get that stuff that’s really stuck on, ball up a sheet of aluminum foil. This will get the really stubborn stains off your oven without scratching the surface. Wipe off all the baking soda paste with a clean, damp cloth.


Hand with Spray Bottle

Spray the Solution Inside the Oven

Spray the vinegar and soap solution inside the oven.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Mix a spray bottle with vinegar and a squirt of dish soap. Shake to mix. Spray the entire surface of the oven with the vinegar mixture. You will see some of the areas foam up due to the residual baking soda. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then wipe down with a clean damp cloth.


Screw Driver and Screw

Remove the Screw Holding the Door

To remove the glass in front of the oven, you need to remove the screw holding it in place.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Ovens have a double/triple glass wall in the door. This is what keeps it insulated and allows you to see inside while the oven is baking. Unfortunately, sometimes dirt and spills get in between the glass. Regardless of how well you clean the glass from the inside and outside of the door, it’s still going to look dirty if there is gunk in between the glass. To get to this part of the door, you will need to partially disassemble it. At the top of the oven door, there should be two screws (double check your oven’s assembly instructions). Place a block or box under the door to catch the front part of the door, then remove the screws.


Oven Door Diassembled

Remove the Inner Oven Door

To clean in between the glass, you'll need to remove the inner oven door.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Carefully clean the glass in between the doors. When finished, reassemble the door.

Insert Racks

Inside of Oven

Inside of Oven

Your oven is clean and ready to go for holiday baking.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Reinsert the racks and voila, a shiny clean oven. The best way to celebrate such a feat is to bake a batch of delicious cookies.

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