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How to Clean an Oven

No one likes the job of cleaning an oven but it’s actually really important for kitchen safety and quality of cooking. Here’s our expert guide on how to clean an oven. 

Ovens are one of the toughest household appliances to keep clean so it’s no surprise that almost a third of Brits* (28%) hate to clean the oven the most. 

Unfortunately, it’s a necessary evil; a dirty oven can not only impact how it functions, it can also impact the taste of your food and in the worst case become a potential fire hazard in the kitchen.

As one of the most used appliances in the home, it’s important to keep it running smoothly. 

But don't worry! Adding it to your regular cleaning to-do list is a little enthusiastic. While there’s plenty that will clean weekly, we recommend that you really only need to tackle this job around three times a year - in the spring, before Christmas and after Christmas if it’s needed. 

Why should you clean your oven? 

It’s not just about aesthetics, although a clean and shiny oven will of course make your kitchen look great. A clean oven has lots of benefits. 


A dirty oven poses a real hazard in your kitchen. Burnt on food that is left produces a lot of smoke as it heats up each time you use your oven and it can quite easily catch fire without you realising. Similarly, grease and dirt can build up within the oven and cause obstruction to the internal fan if you have one which also increases the risk of fire. 


A clean oven means that the heat can spread around and distribute evenly. This means your food is cooked evenly and at an optimum temperature making it taste better. Don’t believe us? Go on and try it!  


Looking for ways to save on energy at home? Cleaning your oven will almost certainly impact your bills. When an oven is clean, it will heat up quicker thus needing less energy. Plus, it will maintain its temperature better which again helps to reduce energy consumption and saves you precious pounds on your bills.

Do you find you have to open the oven door to see how your food is coming along because you can’t see through the grease on the door? That act alone is allowing heat to escape and using up more energy. Time to grab the rubber gloves. 


It’s not only much more hygienic to keep your oven free of burnt food and grease, it’s actually avoiding potential health risks. Studies have found that burnt foods such as meat and fish can be carcinogenic and once they are stuck to the inside of your oven they could quite easily transfer to your food during the cooking process. 

So, there’s no time like the present to finally rid your oven of all that grime - and here’s a simple and effective way to clean an oven. 

Oven racks can be cleaned in the bath for ease.

How to clean an oven 

A lot of modern ovens offer a self-cleaning cycle, which aids the process somewhat. This heats the inside of the oven to a very high temperature to loosen any burnt foods. Always remove the racks before doing this. While this is great, you may find that you’ll still need to run through the following steps for any stubborn foods and grease - although check your manufacturer warranty before doing so, as cleaning your oven yourself can void the warranty on self-cleaning models. 

There are lots of cleaners on the market that promise to degrease and clean your oven, but they contain a lot of harsh chemicals that are no good for you or the environment. Plus, they can cost a lot of money for some of the more well-known brands out there. 

We like to recommend using the powerful duo of baking soda and white vinegar. Baking soda is great as it helps to break down dirt and grease while also having deodorising properties. Vinegar is very acidic and creates a powerful foam when mixed with the baking soda - this tackles tougher stains and burnt dirt while also adding back that sparkle.

Got the cleaning bug? Here’s 7 parts of your kitchen you’re probably not cleaning but should be.

Step-by-Step guide to cleaning your oven

  1. First things first, switch off your oven at the mains and remove the door (if possible) and wire racks. 

  2. Wipe around the oven and hinges with kitchen towel to remove any excess and loose food and dirt. You can also use a scraper to remove larger build-ups.  

  3. If you’re using an oven cleaner, then apply to the interior of your oven paying close attention to the areas that are most affected. Let it sit for around 10-15 minutes or however long is directed on the instructions. 

  4. If you would prefer to use a more homemade method, you can mix up a solution of 4 parts baking soda, 1 part dish soap and 1 part water. Stir it up to form a thick paste. 

  5. Next, apply the paste to the oven - you can use this on the inside of the cavity and around the sides and let it sit for around 30 minutes to allow the paste to work deep into the grime. 

  6. While this is working its magic, you can make a start on cleaning the racks. If you have a bath, it’s easier to clean them here. Lay an old towel along the bottom of the tub to protect the ceramic, then place the racks on top. Fill the tub with hot water until it covers the racks. Mix a scoop of dish soap powder (or laundry powder) with hot water and then pour over the racks. It’s best to leave these to soak for a few hours. After which you can use a soft sponge to wipe clean  - a toothbrush also works well for those hard to reach places. Finally rinse with water and dry for a sparkling shine. 

  7. Back to the oven. Using a heavy duty scrub pad and the scraper if you need it (and a bit of elbow grease) work around the oven to cover all areas, using a circular motion to remove the grease and burnt food. 

  8. Soak a clean, microfibre cloth and wipe around the oven to rinse off the baking soda solution. 

  9. Finally, using a vinegar rinse and a clean microfibre cloth, wipe around to remove any residual grease and to give the oven a lovely shine! 

How to clean your oven glass

Before cleaning the glass, it helps to remove the door from the oven if you are able. This just allows you to have better access to all the dirt, but it’s not essential if you can’t or don’t know how to remove it safely.

  1. First, open the oven door (or remove) and wipe off any loose grime with a kitchen towel. 

  2. Soak a clean microfibre cloth in warm, soapy water and give the glass and door frame inside and out a good wipe and scrub to remove any further bits of food or crumbs. Rinse and set aside as you’ll need this again. 

  3. Mix a paste of baking soda by adding warm water to it in a bowl. Add a small amount of water slowly as you just want a paste like consistency. You can always mix up more later if you need to. 

  4. Spread the paste on the inside glass paying close attention to areas where there is particular heavy grease or grime. Leave this for around 20 minutes to give it time to work deep into the dirt. 

  5. Soak your cloth again in warm, soapy water and wipe off the paste. 

  6. Spray the vinegar onto the oven door, allowing it to foam with any residual paste on the glass. Then wipe away with your cloth to clean and use a damp, clean cloth to buff the glass for that sparkling finish. 

  7. If you find this hasn’t removed all of the dirt, then you can also use a glass scraper to gently lift and scrape away those troublesome areas. Be mindful of using the flat edge so that it doesn’t scratch the glass. Repeat the cleaning process. 

We hope that this article is helpful! Take a look at our other handy how-to guides for more advice and inspiration. 

And if you really want to make life easier in the kitchen - check out our range of boiling water kitchen taps and pull out spray taps.

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