How to Clean the Worst Oven


Cleaning your oven may seem like a chore, but it’s one of the most important jobs you can do in your home. It’s a great way to keep your kitchen germ-free and protect your family from health risks.

Clean your oven as often as possible to prevent the buildup of food, grease, and smoke that can cause a fire. Then it’ll be a lot easier to maintain your oven’s appearance and function.

Remove the Racks

If your oven racks are particularly dirty, you may need to remove them for a more thorough cleaning. Several manufacturers recommend removing the frames before cleaning, including Whirlpool and Samsung.

If you own a self-cleaning oven, the racks can be left in during the cycle and wiped down after it’s finished. This is a great way to get the most out of your self-cleaning feature, but it’s not as effective at getting rid of the baked-on grease that sits on the racks.

High-end cleaning service Little Elves suggests soaking your oven racks in a tub of hot water with a half cup of dish soap. “You can do this overnight or for a few hours,” she says.

You can also try a natural method using baking soda and water to remove tough stains and grease. Make a paste with three baking sodas to one part water, then apply it to the racks and let them sit for 20 minutes or so.

Make a Paste

A paste of baking soda and water is a great way to clean your oven deeply. It is especially effective on tough stains.

Mix about 1/2 cup of baking soda with enough water to make a spreadable paste about the cake icing consistency. Add more water if needed to reach the suitable surface for your oven.

Apply the mixture to your oven’s interior, including the back, sides, bottom, top, door, and corners. Leave it overnight or for 12 hours.

The next day, wipe down the inside of your oven with a damp cloth and clear water. Repeat if necessary.

Spritz your oven with 3:1 water to the white vinegar solution if you need extra elbow grease.

It’s a quick and easy shortcut to clean up your oven when you have a spill or greasy stain. It will also remove odors from your oven.


No one enjoys scrubbing away baked-on spills and months’ worth of grime, but keeping your oven clean can help reduce germs and pollutants, prevent accidental food transfer, and minimize fire risk. Plus, a dirty range can affect temperature management and smoke exposure.

To clean your oven without using cleaning chemicals, a good option is to make a paste of baking soda and water. Spread this around the stove, including the interior walls and inside of your oven door (avoiding heating elements or vents).

Let this sit overnight, and then wipe it down the next day. It will help loosen grease and grime, making it easier to wipe off.

If you’re cleaning a heavily soiled or stained oven, consider using one of the many aerosol sprays on the market. These cleaners typically use lye, solvents, or grease-cutting agents to dissolve old baked-on foods. Some work quickly and can be used for spot-cleaning, while others require a few hours to sit on the interior surfaces and loosen the residue.


A little vinegar goes a long way when cleaning your oven. It can help break up grease and tough baked-on food stains and cut through any lingering smell from past baking.

Vinegar is a solution of water and acetic acid, which forms during a two-step fermentation process that starts with yeast feeding on fermentable sugars from plants or animals. The alcohol produced is then exposed to oxygen, causing bacteria to grow and produce acetic acid.

In the kitchen, it’s a staple ingredient and condiment for everything from meatloaf to cupcakes. Outside of cooking, vinegar has medicinal and household cleaning applications as well.

White distilled vinegar, which is most often made from the fermentation of grain alcohol, contains around 5% acetic acid. Depending on the type, it may contain trace vitamins, mineral salts, and amino acids.