While some find it relaxing, for many, 'cleaning the oven' is the definition of dull. But it's an important task that removes stuck-on food, grease and other waste that can attract harmful bacteria. A spick-and-span oven can also make your food taste better — another reason to move cleaning it to the top of your list!
Our frequently asked questions are here to make a boring job bearable. Follow along and learn everything from how to clean oven racks to the materials you'll need and more.
What you’ll need to clean your oven
You can raid your kitchen cupboards for most of these ingredients. And you won’t necessarily need everything on the list either.
Things you might need:
- Your preferred cleaner
- A mixing bowl or container
- Rubber or nitrile gloves and a face mask
- A plastic sheet, old towels or newspaper
- Microfibre cloths and old rags
- Nonabrasive cloths and sponges
- Glass cleaner
- A plastic scraper or an old plastic spatula
Step-by-step guide to cleaning your oven
Now you’ve gathered your materials, let’s run through how to clean the different parts of your oven. Before you start, remember to lay out newspaper or an old towel to protect the kitchen floor.
1. Remove and soak the oven racks
Cleaning oven racks is easy. You can take them out of the oven and you don’t have to wipe and scrub the oven near floor level. Simply spray them with oven cleaner and leave them to sit overnight. It’s best to do this outdoors because of the fumes (you can lay the racks on a plastic sheet or newspaper). The next day, it should be easy to wipe the dirt away with an old cloth. Finish by rinsing the racks with water and giving them a quick dry.
If you want to use non-chemical cleaner, scrub the racks with the solution then leave them to soak in warm, soapy water.
2. Remove burnt-on food
If there are recent food spills, wipe them away before tackling any burnt ones. Cover the burnt areas in your preferred cleaning product then leave for a few minutes. With store-bought cleaners, check the instructions on the packaging for tips on how to apply the cleaner and exactly how long to let it soak. Be careful not to get any cleaner on the oven's heating element.
Use a damp rag or microfibre cloth to wipe away the product. You can remove larger pieces of food with a plastic spatula or scraper.
3. Clean the inside of the door
As with the rest of the inside of the oven, you do have options for cleaning the oven door glass. Again, you might choose to opt for a chemical cleaner or the alternative of the baking soda and vinegar mixture.
If you’re using a chemical oven cleaner, check the bottle to see if you can use it on the glass. Some cleaners are too strong and abrasive, which can lead to cracks or shattering.
Spray the inside of the door with your cleaner then use a damp cloth to wipe away the dirt and grease. Make sure to use one that is nonabrasive — to avoid scratching. If the door is filthy, coat it with a mix of baking soda and water. Let this paste sit for 20 minutes before removing it with the cloth.
4. Wipe down the outside
Spritz the outside of your oven door with glass cleaner. Then, wipe the glass with a damp, nonabrasive cloth in a circular motion until the grime has disappeared. Finish by buffing the glass with a clean, dry cloth.
To clean the oven knobs, pull them off and let them soak in a bowl of white vinegar or hot, soapy water. Rinse them under water then leave them to dry for a few minutes on an old towel. While they’re drying, use a sponge to clean the area where the knobs would usually sit. If you can’t remove the knobs, spray them with vinegar or scrub them with soapy water instead. If there’s any residue that won’t budge, add a pinch of baking soda to the sponge.