Of all the tools in your kitchen, the oven can be the grimiest. The cooking vessel takes a lot of wear and tear, thanks to quick weeknight pan-sheet dinners, weekend roasts and those drippy, cheesy appetizers we make when entertaining. So, giving your oven a good clean every once in a while is necessary.
Luckily, deep-cleaning your oven also doesn’t have to be arduous. Read on for tips and tricks on how to get — and keep — your oven sparkling clean.
How Often Should You Deep Clean Your Oven?
Cleaning your oven can take time and planning, so it’s no wonder most people aren’t eager to take on the task. Still, if you want to avoid bottom bits from prolonged burning and keep your food tasting fresh, it’s a necessary job.
Aim to thoroughly clean your oven every three to four months, depending on how often you use it. That’s the best way to stay on top of dirt and grime build-up from daily (or occasional!) use.
What Equipment Do You Need to Deep Clean Your Oven?
Before cleaning, ensure you have all the necessary supplies. A good oven cleaning typically requires rubber gloves to protect your hands, clean cloths for wiping, a scouring pad for scrubbing tough spots and a spray bottle to disperse the cleaner.
Should You Use Commercial Or Natural Cleaner?
Whether you clean your oven with a store-bought cleaner or a natural concoction is a matter of personal preference. If you want a natural cleaner, many people swear by a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar. Mix equal parts to create a paste, then add more if needed.
How Long Does it Take to Deep Clean Your Oven?
If you’ve got dishes to bake, you may want to schedule your oven cleaning for another time. It is a time-consuming process that takes 12-24 hours, depending on how grimy the oven is. The good news is that you don’t need to scrub your oven actively during that time: most of it involves rest time as the cleaner works its magic.
How to Deep Clean Your Oven, Step-By-Step
Remove the racks: Remove them after dinner and allow them to soak in soapy water or any other cleaning solution you choose.
Get rid of loose food bits: Look inside your oven and remove any bits of food that will come off. If it’s really on there, don’t worry about it just yet.
Spray away: If you have a commercial oven cleaner, spray the inside of your cool oven now. (Warm ovens can spread dangerous fumes from the cleaner and leave unwanted stains.) If you’re sticking with a natural paste, apply a thick coat all over the inside of the oven. Don’t forget the top! Then, allow it to sit overnight.
Wash the wire racks: The next day, wash the wire racks and give them a good scrub.
Wipe out the oven: After several hours, tackle the inside of the oven. Hopefully, you can easily wipe away most debris with clean, wet cloths. However, you may need to scrub tougher portions with a scouring pad.
Clean the glass: Don’t forget to give the inside and outside of your glass door a good clean. If you have a filthy glass door, apply a mixture of baking soda and dish soap to the surface and allow it to sit for about 30 minutes before scrubbing.
Don’t forget the burners: While the glass door sits, clean the burners. Most food will burn off the coils during cooking, but they’ll still need a good wipe-down. Remove them and clean the cavities, but never submerge the coils in water.
Put it all back together: By now, all oven elements should be sparkly clean. So put it back together, then order a pizza for dinner. You deserve a night off from the kitchen.
Oven Cleaning Hacks
Want to make deep cleaning even easier? Try some of these hacks between cleans:
- If your oven has a self-clean function, follow manufacturer guidelines and use it consistently.
- Once a week, place a heat-safe bowl full of hot water on the top oven rack after cooking and let it heat up at a high temperature for 20 minutes. When the inside cools off, wipe down the surface with paper towels.
- Use oven liners to catch spills and drips easily, or line the bottom of your oven with aluminum foil.
- When roasting meat or chicken, use a roasting bag. It will also help you lock in extra flavours while cooking.
- Clean your oven regularly. After all, the longer you put it off, the worse it will get.