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Published on Aug 16, 2021 | Updated - Dec 4, 2023
If there’s one cleaning job most of us do our best to avoid, it’s scrubbing the oven.
And we don’t blame you.
Cleaning the oven is difficult, messy and time-consuming, but we may have a solution to make it a little easier.
Here’s how you can clean your oven using all-natural ingredients.
In recent decades, toxic chemicals have been the go-to for cleaning your oven. And it’s not exactly safe. I remember my mother accidentally spilling oven cleaner in the oven door crevice many years ago and for weeks, the house would smell like this chemical every time she’d turn it on.
Some oven cleaners may also cause damage to your skin, eyes and respiratory system if not used correctly. Here are some of the more common ingredients in oven cleaners.
Cleaning an oven doesn’t have to involve a toxic cocktail of chemicals. Our natural cleaning method is super effective, although it probably involves just a little more time and elbow grease than the nuclear option.
The best thing about this method is that you probably have most of these ingredients already in your kitchen.
What you'll need
Step 1 - Combine baking soda, dish-washing detergent and salt
Combine the detergent, baking soda and salt to make a paste that looks similar to toothpaste. Stir together gently and keep mixing with a little extra water until you get the consistency right.
Step 2 - Soak the oven racks in warm soapy water
Pull the racks out and soak them with warm water and detergent. Flip the racks halfway through the soaking time and run some fresh water/detergent to make sure all sections are cleaned. This may take some time if your racks are particularly grubby.
Step 3 - Coat the inside of the oven with baking soda paste
Coat the inside of the oven with the paste and leave for at least a few hours. It may be necessary to reapply the paste after you’ve scrubbed the first layer off.
You can leave it overnight for stubborn messes or hardened areas, but it can be hard to find a night when the oven isn’t being used!
Step 4 - Wipe the inside of the oven clean with a sponge and water
Wipe the inside of your oven down with your sponge or cloth and some warm water. I personally used kitchen cloths, which I threw out once this job was done, but you can use paper towels instead. Scrub until removed - you may need to use a scouring pad for more stubborn grime.
Step 5 - Clean the baking soda paste residue with vinegar solution in a spray bottle
Mix together a 1:2 solution of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle, then spray inside the oven and wipe down to remove paste residue. Wipe dry with a clean towel.
If you've successfully completed step 4, just spray and wipe away this solution.
You can use this solution to clean the overdoor as well - just spray and wipe away.
The smell of the vinegar will dissipate once it dries.
Step 6 - Scrub the oven racks with a scouring pad
Scrub the oven racks with your scouring pad and dry them before putting them back!
After you’ve cleaned a really dirty oven, you’ll be motivated not to let it get to that state again. This is how to keep your oven shining clean.
This is an effective method because the natural citric acid and di-limonene from the lemon rind soften the grime to make cleaning so much easier. Our Ultimate Guide to Cleaning with Lemons tackles all other ways you can you this method at home!
You should also be wiping the oven down right after cooking (especially if there’s a mess) before spills have a chance to dry.