Cleaning the oven can be an enormous chore, especially if you’ve been putting it off for a while. But when the oven starts to smoke—whoops!—it’s time to do something about it, especially before the holidays! Here are some pro-tips you can use to clean your oven and stovetop.
To prep your oven before cleaning it, you can do one of three things.
Option 1: Turn on the self-cleaning option the night before you plan on cleaning your oven. It won’t remove everything, but it will reduce most of the stuck-on food to a pile of ash so you can easily wipe it clean in the morning. Of course, there will be other spots that will be a little more difficult to remove. You’ll have to touch up those areas with an oven cleaner and razor blade, or copper pad (except for the glass door).
Option 2: If you don’t have a self-cleaning option, you can use an all-natural method to clean your oven. The night before you plan to clean it, try this: Mix a ½ cup of liquid dish soap with 1-1/2 cups of baking soda and a ¼ cup of white vinegar. Mix it into a paste and smear it around the inside of your oven with a sponge or rag. Allow it to sit overnight. The following morning, wipe away the paste with a sponge/rag and clean water. Like the first option, this may leave spots that are a little more difficult to remove. You can touch up those areas with oven cleaner and a razor blade, or a copper pad (still avoiding the glass door).
Option 3: Use an oven cleaner. We recommend Easy Off Fume Free. Follow these directions for a deep cleaning:
- Pre-heat the oven (200°F) and turn it off
- Spray the cleaner from a distance of 9-12 inches
- For spot cleaning, leave the cleaner on for 30 seconds to 1 minute
- For deep cleaning, leave it for 1 hour and 15 minutes
- Wipe the cleaner away with a wet sponge, cloth, or paper towel
When you use the third method, it’s important to wear long gloves, hold the can upright and point it away from your face, and to always follow all the directions as stated on the product’s label.
Have you tried Magic Erasers? They really are like magic! What’s in them that makes them work so well? You can use them to clean the glass on your oven door. That’s seriously all it takes.
Scrubbing every inch of the wire rungs on an oven rack is time consuming. We always say: Work smarter, not harder, so try this instead. Grab an old towel, old scrub brush, 1 cup of washing powder, and your dirty oven racks before heading to the bathroom! Lay the towel down in the bottom of the bathtub to protect it from scratches and then stack your dirty racks on top of the towel. Plug the drain and fill the tub with hot water until it covers your racks. Sprinkle the powder over the racks and make sure it’s mixed evenly with the water. Leave it to soak overnight. In the morning, scrub the oven racks and give them a rinse. Using this method lets the cleanser and water do most of the hard work for you. Just be sure to line your bathtub with towels so the racks don’t scratch it!
After you’ve decided how you would like to clean the inside of your oven, you can move on to the next step: cleaning the exterior parts of your stove.
Start by pulling your knobs off and soaking them while cleaning your stove top. Rather than trying to use a cloth around the bumps and turns of your knobs, remove them completely and soak them in a warm dish soap and water solution. Grease will dissolve off with no rubbing.
If you think scraping a razor on glass will scratch it, we get it. But don’t be afraid! It doesn’t scratch it. A simple razor blade can make easy work out of those stubborn, burnt-on food marks on your glass stove top. It also eliminates the need for endless scrubbing. Make sure the stove top is wet and hold the blade at a 60° angle. After you scraped all the stuck-on food, follow up with a little baking soda, a non-scratch scrub sponge, dish liquid and water. Rinse well and dry with a paper towel or cloth. (Check out this post for more on cleaning glass stove tops.)
If you have a ceramic or stainless steel stove top, you should never use a razor blade. For ceramic stove tops, it’s best to use a non-abrasive cleaner, such as baking soda, and a sponge. For stuck-on food, we use a plastic blade. It looks like a razor blade only it’s plastic. Rinse well and dry with a paper towel or cloth.
For stainless steel, we recommend nothing other than a microfiber cloth and stainless cleaner. It may be tempting to use paper towels or Windex, but it’s better not to use those. Did you know that paper towels will scratch your stainless steel? And that Windex does not recommend their product to clean stainless steel? Windex, or any other glass cleaner, typically has ammonia as one of their ingredients. Ammonia has been known to wear away the shiny look and sometimes cause rusting.
Onto the grates or drip pans! Again, rather than scrubbing or trying to wipe down intricate shapes, let water, dish detergent and time do the heavy lifting. If you soak the grates/drip pans in boiling water and dish soap, they will come out almost completely clean. If you need a little bit of scrubbing, try baking soda, Bon Ami, or another non-abrasive scrubbing power to finish the job.
Now that you have the step-by-step guide for cleaning your oven and stove top, set your oven cleaning date! You could get on your hands and knees and block out your calendar for the rest of that day, or you could call T.L.C. Home Services to handle some home cleaning, including the dreaded task of cleaning the oven.