All appliances need regular use and maintenance to function correctly. However, appliances you use to store or cook food usually need the most work – especially if you use them very often. Oven cleaning, in particular, is a tedious, long, and challenging job. It can be so intimidating that a lot of us simply avoid doing it altogether! Especially when we spend a lot of time cleaning it – only to find lingering grease and dirt stains! 

So to help you clean your oven out in an effective way, we’ve compiled a list of ways in which you can clean out your oven! 

Why You Need To Clean Your Oven

Food spills and oil splatters are part of the cooking process in an oven. However, if not cleaned regularly, grime and dirt can build up over time, making it really difficult to clean out.

What’s more, the dirtier the oven, the more inefficient it will become as time goes on. What we mean by this is that the more buildup in the fans or on the sides, the longer it will take to heat up, hindering the cooking process altogether. Not to mention that it will look really rundown and dirty too. 

This then decreases the lifespan of your appliance, which means you will have to replace it sooner than you want to.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need an extensive list of products and tools to clean your oven. 

What You Need For Oven Cleaning

  • Rubber Gloves – Nothing more important than protecting your hands from grime and cleaning solutions!
  • Warm Water – To help loosen grease and wash out your oven.
  • Baking Soda – 1 cup to make the cleaning solution.
  • White Vinegar – As part of a homemade cleaning solution.
  • Spray Bottle
  • Cleaning Brush – To scrub out dirt and grime.
  • Dishwashing Liquid – For your oven racks.
  • Damp Washcloth
  • Scraper

Steps To The Perfect Oven Cleaning

Understanding how to clean your oven the right way starts with knowing the type of oven you own. 

1. Self Cleaning Ovens:

Self-cleaning ovens are usually easier to clean and maintain as compared to their counterparts. 

To clean a self-cleaning oven, you need to:

  1. Securely close the oven door and turn on the ‘self-clean’ function. 
  2. Read the instructions carefully and follow any steps mentioned.
  3. During this process, your oven uses high heat or steam to dislodge and turn grease and food into ash. This process usually takes anywhere between 3-6 hours. 
  4. Once done, you should allow your oven to completely cool down before cleaning the ash out. 
  5. When cool, brush out the ash and wipe down the insides of the oven with a damp cloth. 
  6. Self-cleaning usually doesn’t do a great job with the oven door. So in this instance, you can use water or a combination of vinegar and water to remove any remaining stains on the oven door.
  7. Finally, remove the oven racks and wash them with regular dish soap and warm water. Allow them to air-dry completely before placing them back into the oven. 

Word of caution: Due to the method employed, self-cleaning ovens may sometimes release fumes and smoke out into your kitchen, so make sure your space is well-ventilated at the time of cleaning. 

2. Regular Ovens:

Ordinary ovens are commonly present in most houses. 

To clean a regular oven, you need to:

  1. Remove your oven racks and clean them in your kitchen sink with dishwashing liquid and warm water. In case of tough stains and buildup, allow it to soak in a combination of soap and water for a minimum of an hour before trying to scrub away the stains. 
  2. Allow them to fully dry before placing them in the oven.
  3. You can use a commercial store-bought oven cleaning solution or a homemade one for the rest of the oven. 
  4. If using the store-bought version, then simply follow the steps mentioned on the bottle to clean your oven. 
  5. In case you’d like to use the DIY, homemade method, mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with double the quantity of water and drain into a spray bottle.
  6. Spray this solution generously into a cold oven and allow to soak for a couple of hours. 
  7. Use the scraper to scrape away all the debris, and use more baking soda if needed. 
  8. Wipe down the oven with warm water to finish the cleaning process. 
  9. Then, mix vinegar and water and use this solution to clean the inside of your oven door. Make sure you wipe it down with plain water after this to remove the lingering aroma of vinegar. 

3. Textured Ovens

A textured oven is one where the interiors are coated with a ceramic layer that burns the debris as the oven is being used. These ovens don’t really need cleaning solutions or a lot of work to get them clean. All you have to make sure of is to wipe this oven down from time to time. 

However, while this oven can self-clean its sides, you will still need to clean the oven racks. 

Use the above-mentioned cleaning method to clean the racks, and you’re all set! 

How Often Should You Clean Our Oven?

A general rule of thumb is that you should clean your oven once every 3 months at least. 

But in between cleanings, you should make sure you regularly wipe it down and clean up spills as soon as you possibly can. 

Plus, there are certain times when oven cleanings are very necessary:

  1. After a big meal or a huge dinner party – where your oven underwent a lot of usages. 
  2. In case there was an accident while cleaning – like overcooking or burning food. 

And if keeping up with this kind of cleaning program isn’t for you, you can always schedule a professional oven cleaning from time to time. A professional oven cleaning will free up a lot of time for you – and will get the job done much quicker too! You can always request the cleaning service to use eco-friendly and kid and pet-safe products while cleaning out your oven.