How to Clean Ovens

Cleaning the oven is one of those household chores that people can put off. After all, it's not the most fun job in the world.

However, the buildup of grease and food particles can affect the performance of your oven and may cause unpleasant odours – not the most appetising thing when cooking!

From how often to clean your oven to DIY oven cleaning tips, here, we're discussing everything you need to know to keep your oven spick and span.

How often does the oven need cleaning?

To keep your oven in top condition, wipe away any grease marks, fat marks, or spilt food as quickly as possible after cooking, as soon as the oven is cool enough to touch. Wiping up dirt immediately stops it from setting in and becoming more difficult to remove at a later date.

For deeper cleans, the frequency needed will depend on how often you use your oven and what kind of cooking you do. If you're regularly cooking, roasting, or cooking a lot of fatty or greasy foods, you may need to clean your oven more often. As a general guideline, you should thoroughly clean your oven every 3 to 6 months.

How to clean the oven with oven cleaner

The easiest way to clean the oven is with a traditional oven cleaner. These products are designed to tackle tricky-to-remove food and grease stains, leaving your oven pristine.

To clean your oven with oven cleaner:

  1. Choose a time when you don't need the oven

Many oven cleaning products need to be left to soak for a few hours. Before starting your oven cleaning, check the product you're using and ensure you have plenty of time to complete cleaning before using the oven.

  1. Make sure the oven is completely cooled

Similarly, if you've just used the oven, ensure it is completely cooled before cleaning it.

  1. Remove racks and trays

Next, remove any trays and racks and leave them to soak in warm, soapy water while you tackle the oven's interior. If the racks are particularly dirty, you can leave them to soak overnight.

  1. Spray the interior of the oven

Apply cleaner to the interior of the oven, following the instructions of your oven cleaning product. Most will need to be left for a specified amount of time. This can be from around 10 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the product you're using.

  1. Scrub the inside of the oven

Once your product has sat for the specified amount of time, clean it up. A sponge and clean water will work for lighter marks, while a scrubbing brush or scouring pad will help tackle more stubborn stains.

  1. Rinse the trays and racks

Once the oven trays and racks have soaked, rinse them thoroughly to remove any cleaning residue. Use a clean, dry cloth to remove excess water, and then leave the racks to air dry thoroughly before you return them to the oven.

  1. Rinse the oven interior

Finally, you should rinse the oven's interior. Wipe around the inside of the oven with clean water to ensure any product is removed, and then wipe up any excess water with a clean, dry cloth. Ensure the oven and racks are completely dry before using the oven.

What else can I use to clean the oven?

If you're looking for a DIY solution, there are some products that you'll find around the house that can clean the oven.

How to clean your oven with a dishwasher tablet

If you want to clean your oven but don't have a specific oven cleaner, a popular DIY method is to use a dishwasher tablet.

To do this, you'll need a dishwasher tablet in solid form (not a liquid capsule), a bowl of warm water, a sponge or cloth to clean with, and gloves for protection.

  • Dissolve the tablet in a bowl of warm water. You may need to break it down with your fingers (while wearing gloves) to help it dissolve faster.
  • Once the tablet is dissolved, use the sponge or cloth to apply the solution to the oven interior. Leave it to sit for up to an hour to break down grease and stains.
  • After the solution has sat for a while, use a sponge or scrubbing brush to clean away the loosened dirt and residue,
  • Rinse the oven thoroughly with clean water to remove any product.
  • While you're cleaning the oven, you can soak the trays and racks in the sink in warm, soapy water, if needed. Ensure both the racks and oven interior are completely dry before replacing them and using the oven. 

How to clean your oven with lemons

If you're looking for a natural, eco-friendly way to clean your oven, lemons are a great option.

You can steam-clean your oven with fresh lemons or bottled lemon juice. You'll also need an oven-safe bowl, water, and a sponge, cloth, or scrubbing brush.

  • Fill the oven-proof bowl with water. Take one or two lemons, depending on the bowl size, and squeeze the juice into the water.
  • You can cut a lemon in half and rub it directly onto any tricky stains or grease marks for additional cleaning.
  • Preheat your oven to a low temperature, about 120°C.
  • Place the bowl inside the oven and leave it to work its magic. Keep an eye on the solution to ensure it doesn't boil over. Once the water starts boiling, turn off the heat and allow the oven to cool while the bowl is still in place. This allows the steam to circulate and loosen any grime.
  • Once the oven has cooled, remove the bowl and wipe down the oven's interior with a sponge and clean, warm water. You may need to use a scrubbing brush or scouring pad on trickier stains or grease.
  • Wipe around the oven's interior with a clean, dry cloth to remove any excess water, and leave to dry thoroughly before using the oven.

Lemon is a natural degreasing agent and helps bring a shine to glass, so you can also create a solution of lemon juice and water to wipe down the stovetop and oven door.