Jul 05, 2023
How to Clean an Oven
This workhorse kitchen appliance will look good as new if you follow these expert-approved steps. If you're a regular cook or baker, you know that consistently cleaning your oven is important. Spills
This workhorse kitchen appliance will look good as new if you follow these expert-approved steps.
If you're a regular cook or baker, you know that consistently cleaning your oven is important. Spills and splatters on the appliance's walls, racks, and door can build up over time, leading to unpleasant odors when your oven is hot or—worse—longer cook times. This is why routine cleaning is a must. To help, we tapped two experts, who shared their tips for making every element of your oven sparkle again.
The best cadence for deep cleaning is every three months, says Leanne Stapf, the COO of The Cleaning Authority. Keep in mind that this all depends on how often you use the oven. "If you are an avid cook or baker, or notice burnt food, lingering smells, other leftover spots, grease, or dirt, you should clean it more frequently," she says. "However, if you rarely use your oven, every four to six months may be enough."
Routinely cleaning and maintaining your oven will help it work efficiently, says Kathy Cohoon, the director of franchise operations at Two Maids. "Giving your oven a quick wipe down after each use will help keep grime and buildup at bay," she says.
Why double down on the elbow grease when your oven can clean itself? While this setting is safe to use if your oven is in good working order, it does have some drawbacks, says Vera Peterson, president of Molly Maid, a Neighborly company. "It can create some inconveniences and is best done when your home can be well ventilated," she says. "Fumes, including carbon monoxide from incinerating food particles, can emanate from a self-cleaning oven. This mode can also produce smoke that sets off your fire alarms and chokes your home."
To err on the side of caution, Peterson recommends opening your windows and using the range hood's vent. Keep in mind that enlisting your hood means loud white noise for hours at a time—and perhaps humid or cold, drafty air coming into your home (so time this task accordingly).
So, how do you clean your oven's interior? Ultimately, it depends on the type of cleaner you'd like to use. According to Peterson, a conventional commercial oven cleaner is a sound choice—however, some people may want to work with an eco-friendly DIY formula. Whatever your preference, we have steps for each option below.
Follow Stapf's go-to steps to clean the oven's interior:
This essential part of the oven will require routine cleaning to remove stubborn spills and stains.
Here are Stapf's tips to clean oven racks:
Avoid using any harsh chemicals when cleaning the outside of your oven door, as this can create toxic fumes, says Cohoon. Stay away from abrasive items, which can scratch metal and stainless steel, as well.
Materials You'll Need
Follow these expert-approved steps to clean oven doors:
The oven door's glass acquires spills and stains, even in the space between the inner and outer glass panels. Luckily, you can get every part of it clean. "Oven glass can be tricky to clean but even the slightest smudge can negatively impact the overall appearance of your oven," says Cohoon. "To get this glass sparkling and remove residue, make sure to wipe down spills right after they happen (once the surface is cool, of course!)."
She recommends cleaning the space between the oven glass once or twice a year to prevent buildup; steer clear of overly abrasive sponges or steel wool that can cause scratches.
Materials You'll Need
Follow Cohoon's instructions to clean the space in between oven door glass:
Don't forget about these often-overlooked parts of your oven, which are actually the elements you touch most. As a result, food buildup, oil smears, and fingerprint smudges accumulate over time; routinely clean them when you tackle the rest of this kitchen appliance.
Here's how Stapf suggests cleaning oven knobs and handles:
Kelsey is a freelance writer for MarthaStewart.com.For commercial cleaners: For eco-friendly DIY cleaners:Materials You'll NeedMaterials You'll Need