How To Clean Your Oven

Loading and cleaning the oven is one of those tasks that doesn’t get done until there’s burnt pizza cheese sitting at the bottom of your range, stinking up the whole kitchen. Just like any other appliance in your kitchen, it’s important to clean the oven every so often to avoid bacteria and grease from accumulating in the machine. Below, we’ve asked two cleaning experts for their best tips and tricks on how to clean the oven effectively (so you can do it less often).

Considerations Before Getting Started

When cleaning your oven, try to avoid using harsh oven cleaners or using the self-cleaning feature. “Toxic oven cleaners are not needed to clean an oven effectively,” explains Sara San Angelo, a professional home cleaner and founder of Confessions of a Cleaning Lady in Charleston, South Carolina, “And using the self-cleaning feature can be dangerous to yourself and your oven.”

According to San Angelo, the self-cleaning mode raises the oven’s temperature to 800 to 1000 degrees, which can give off harmful fumes as it incinerates food particles. “Also, raising the oven’s temperature that high can risk mechanical failure of many elements of your oven like wiring, the control panel, and your oven’s thermostat,” she explains.

So, it’s best to avoid the self-cleaning function on your oven and manually clean your appliance using the steps below.

For easier cleans

Wipe out the crumbs with a paper towel or rag.

Wet the sponge and squeeze about five drops of dish soap directly on the sponge (scrubber side) or spray a liberal amount of Dawn Spray on the sponge.

Wipe the bottom of the oven and walls. Scrub off baked-on particles. You may need to let these soak a bit, so ring some soapy water on them from the sponge.

Wipe out with a damp rag or paper towel. Repeat until any soap residue is gone.

For tougher cleans

Gather all your supplies, including baking soda and vinegar.

Mix the baking soda and vinegar to make a paste in a small bowl.

Wipe down the inside of the oven with a damp microfiber cloth.

If there is tough baked-on food, take a small amount of baking soda and vinegar paste on a cloth and gently work this around the inside of the oven. This will act as a gentle abrasive and degreaser to work the stuck spots and pull all loose food particles.

Use a damp microfiber cloth to remove the paste.

For cleaning the oven knobs

Gather your supplies, including baking soda.

If removable, you should remove the knobs and place them in a bowl with warm soapy water for a few minutes to loosen the buildup.

For harder-to-clean spots, you may need to take a small amount of baking soda on a cloth to work the area loose.

Use a microfiber cloth or a non-abrasive sponge to scrub the knob gently.

For buildup on the backside of the knobs, try using a toothbrush to get into the tight spaces.

Rinse and allow to fully dry before replacing them.

How Often To Clean Your Oven

The frequency with which you clean your oven really depends on how often you use your range and if there are a ton of food crumbs that have dropped to the bottom. “You should, on average, clean your oven every two months or if you notice smoke or a smoke-like smell when using it,” explains Jessica Ruenz, Vice President of Maid Right. “The best practice is to clean spills immediately to ensure it doesn’t get baked on the bottom of the oven and stick.”

Tips For Keeping Your Oven Clean

To continue to keep the oven spotless long after you’ve deep cleaned it, San Angelo recommends covering your dishes while baking. “Also, wipe up spills immediately after the oven is cool,” she suggests.

Ruenz agrees, stating, “My best advice is to clean up any spills following a meal you just cooked in your oven. This will help maintain your hard work and will make it that much easier the next time you do an oven deep clean.”

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