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How To Clean An Oven

Kitchen, Cleaning & Organization
By on Nov 18, 2018
How To Clean An Oven

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Like most home cooks, you likely rely on your oven to get a lot of food prepared. But, like any appliance, upkeep is necessary keep your oven running properly. Furthermore, a clean oven can prevent future fire hazards. That’s why if you’ve never done so before, it’s time to learn the best way to clean your oven.

For those with self-cleaning ovens, the job is fairly-easy to get done. However, for detailing and manual cleaning, you’re going to want a few of these tips to help. Here’s how to clean an oven.

When cleaning your oven, you might discover that you have a broken part that needs replacement. Leave this job to the pros. Contact a contractor today for quotes from pros in your area, for free!

Why Clean Your Oven?

If you’re a first-time homeowner or even a renter, at some point, you’ll have to clean your oven. Among other kitchen tasks, oven cleaning can be looked over. However, it’s extremely important to the wellbeing of your home.

“In most homes, ranges, stoves and ovens are used daily,” Chris Zeisler, Repair Clinic technician, said. “Due to the nature of these appliances, maintenance and cleaning are essential for proper and safe operation and to avoid costly repairs. Spills and buildup pose a safety risk if not taken care of, so regular oven cleaning is a must.”

When was the last time you cooked a casserole that may have baked a bit over the top? Or maybe a pizza that was a little too crispy. While you take the food out, the food residue is forgotten. If you’ve noticed smokiness or burning smells coming from your oven, it’s time to get it clean.

How Often Should You Clean Your Oven

How Often Should You Clean An Oven?

Oven cleaning, like other home improvement tasks, should happen on a regular schedule. Don’t wait until there’s a problem to clean it. If you’re wondering how often to clean your oven, you’re not alone. However, the answer may surprise you.

“You should clean the interior of your oven three to four times per year, or more often depending on spills and other messes,” Zeisler said. “If you're hosting a big-cooking holiday like Thanksgiving, run your oven’s self-cleaning feature a few weeks in advance just in case there’s an issue with the door latch or an electrical component.”

Start making a schedule of when you clean your oven and remind yourself to do so before large gatherings. It can help prevent a potential problem when the big day arrives!

Self Cleaning

Self-Cleaning Ovens

If you’re a homeowner with a self-cleaning oven, you’re in luck. This chore is just a bit easier with the push of a button. It’s an interesting process that’s virtually hands-free to clean the inside of your oven.

“This feature heats the interior of the oven to a temperature so high, it incinerates food particles and spills,” Zeisler said. “The length of the process varies from model to model but generally lasts for two to four hours. It’s also important to never use a cleaning solution to clean the interior of a self-cleaning oven unless it is made specifically for self-cleaning ovens.”

He also advises to follow the manufacturers instructions, as every model is different. Not adhering to them can be a dangerous mistake. Be sure to remove your racks while in the self-cleaning more, otherwise they can warp due to the intense heat.

Cleaning Your Oven For The First Time

Cleaning your Oven For The First Time

If you don’t have a self-cleaning oven and you’re ready to get it looking brand new again, its time to get to work. You’ll need an oven cleaner to start this task. Some homeowners prefer to make their own natural solution, while others prefer to simply buy one at their nearest home improvement store. Regardless of what you choose, wear gloves to protect your hands.

“Simply wait until the oven is cool to the touch, remove the oven racks and spray oven cleaner directly onto the interior surface. Wipe with a clean rag,” Zeisler said.

A natural solution you might find works for your oven is to make a baking soda paste that sits overnight. In the morning, use vinegar in a spray bottle. Wash your racks and get off any residue before replacing in your oven. Zeisler shared a few more oven cleaning tips you should use regularly.

“Spills and drips should be removed as soon as possible, he said. “As they will smoke and may eventually catch on fire. Avoid detergent/soap use inside of an oven for both self-cleaning and non-self-cleaning ovens.”

Exterior Oven Cleaning

Once your oven is clean inside, focus your attention on the range and exterior of the oven. This will make your kitchen look even cleaner! I find that the control panel and knobs can become the most dirty and difficult to clean. Thankfully, Zeisler had some advice.

“Use a light-duty cleaner or simply soap and water with a rag,” He said. “Using abrasive pads or too harsh of a cleaner can wear off the decal indicators, which identify the knob controls for each burner. If these decals get worn off from overzealous cleaning, the whole control panel may require replacement.”

The window to the oven can also be covered in food residue and fingerprints. Be sure to clean this regularly as well.

“Keeping the front panel, window, and outer door glass clean is important because it prevents spills from staining the panel or glass when it heats up during oven operation,” Zeisler said. “Only clean the front when your range or oven is completely cool. For spills on the front panel that are tough to remove, use a heavy-duty degreaser.”

When To Contact A Pro

A really great reason to clean your oven three to four times regularly is so you can inspect as you go. If you notice a broken part or difficulty with the control panel, it’s time to contact a pro to help. The average national cost to repair an appliance, like an oven, is $173 with most homeowners spending between $140 to $191.


Cleaning an oven is an important task to complete once every few months. It will keep your kitchen working properly so you can keep on cooking. Use these tips on how to clean an oven to accomplish this task successfully.

Looking for more tasks to tackle? Read Home Maintenance Checklist.

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