No-one likes cleaning their oven. NO-ONE.

But successfully reviving a filthy oven that had fatty chickens roasting in it 5 nights a week, every week, for almost 5 years has made me somewhat of an expert in what works and what doesn’t.

After finally having cracked the way to take it from super filthy to gleamingly clean again, I can talk ad-nauseum about which methods work and when.

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The Best Way To Clean Your Oven

When trying to select the best way to clean your oven, it’s probably best to start with the worst-case scenario and work your way back.

Here are the categories and the methods that will work for each stage, from the most horrible back to the easiest and most palatable.

 

If your oven is filthy

Simply put, if your oven is filthy there is no saving you.

There. The truth has been told, no matter how unpleasant.

The Best Way To Clean Your Oven Filthy Oven Door

You’ll know if your oven is filthy because there will be baked on grease literally everywhere – layers of it on the roof, walls, and base of your oven, that’s been there for months, possibly years. And you definitely won’t be able to see through the oven glass. Like, not at all. Not even a remote chance. There could even be a smell of smoke when you cook on some settings now, and possibly little black flakes dropping onto your food here and there.

If this is your category, the best way to clean your oven is to either get yourself some Easy-Off Oven cleaner and follow the instructions or get someone to clean it for you.

Don’t beat around the bush trying other products or methods, they are highly unlikely to work for you in this situation and you’ll simply waste time and money.

For this method you will need:

  • Long sleeved rubber gloves suitable for working with household cleaners
  • Protective eyeglasses to prevent oven spray getting in your eyes
  • Disposable dust/mist mask to prevent inhalation of oven spray particles

Important Safety Message:

  • If you have a gas oven, make sure the pilot light is out and the gas has been turned off before you start cleaning
  • If you have an electric oven, make sure the power is disconnected at the mains before you start cleaning
  • Never mix oven cleaner of any sort with other strong cleaning agents, such as bleach or commercial cleaning products.

 

If your oven is past dirty

Again, there isn’t going to be an easy, ‘no-effort’ solution here.

The Best Way To Clean Your Oven Beyond Dirty

But you might find you can get by with a product that doesn’t smell like it’s going to rip your lungs out quite so much – like OzKleen’s Oven Cleaner Power Kit – instead.

This product was actually quite effective on our oven in that it did lift a fair bit of grease, but sadly wasn’t strong (read full enough of harsh chemicals) enough to eradicate the super baked on stuff.

Impressively, it did come with a really great durable plastic bag for encasing your oven racks in the cleaning solution for an easy and problem free method of cleaning oven racks.

For this method you will need:

  • Long sleeved rubber gloves suitable for working with household cleaners
  • Protective eyeglasses to prevent chemical splashes getting in your eyes
  • Disposable dust/mist mask to prevent chemical splashes getting your mouth

Important Safety Message:

  • If you have a gas oven, make sure the pilot light is out and the gas has been turned off before you start cleaning
  • If you have an electric oven, make sure the power is disconnected at the mains before you start cleaning
  • Never mix oven cleaner of any sort with other strong cleaning agents, such as bleach or commercial cleaning products.

 

If your oven is dirty

Now, this is where things start to get considerably easier and more pleasant.

If you have been pretty good at looking after your oven, you don’t roast in it all that often,  and have cleaned it thoroughly maybe 3 or 4 times in the past year then the overnight ammonia method from One Good Thing by Jillee will probably work for you.

The Best Way To Clean Your Oven Ammonia Method

Basically, what you do is pre-heat your oven, turn it off and place a big pan of boiling water on the bottom rack with a cupful of cloudy ammonia in a dish on the top rack, and let the steam do the work overnight.

In the morning you let it air briefly and then take advantage of the steam having softened all the gunk to scrub/wipe it off easily using the ammonia and some dishwashing liquid.

This method was actually quite effective on some parts of our oven and had our cleaning cloth coming out covered in black grime.

After using this method, the very back part of our oven (where the least build up was) came up shiny clean – oh, the relief!

We’ll happily use this method again now that we’ve got the message and know to clean the oven regularly.

For this method you will need:

  • Long sleeved rubber gloves suitable for working with household cleaners
  • Protective eyeglasses to prevent ammonia getting in your eyes
  • Disposable dust/mist mask to prevent inhalation of ammonia fumes

Important Safety Message:

  • If you have a gas oven, make sure the pilot light is out and the gas has been turned off before you place the ammonia in the oven
  • If you have an electric oven, make sure the power is disconnected at the mains before you place the ammonia in the oven
  • Never mix ammonia with other strong cleaning agents, such as bleach or commercial cleaning products.

 

If your oven is only moderately dirty

If you’re pretty good at making sure you clean your oven regularly and it isn’t overly dirty, we’re pleased to say this natural cleaning method from The Kitchn really does work at this stage.

It harnesses the power of leaving the bicarb soda paste on overnight so that when it dries, it lifts grease and grime off with it.

Important Safety Message:

  • If you have a gas oven, make sure the pilot light is out and the gas has been turned off before you start cleaning
  • If you have an electric oven, make sure the power is disconnected at the mains before you start cleaning

The Best Way to Clean Your Oven with Bicarb Soda and Vinegar

Although this method won’t eliminate scrubbing completely, and there will be some cleaning up to do from scraping off the dried bicarb, the benefits are pretty good:

  • There aren’t any harsh chemicals meaning you breathe easy,
  • It’s eco-friendly, and
  • There’s no need to purchase special cleaning products, you only need a spray bottle for the vinegar.

And spraying with the vinegar quickly turns the dried bicarb into a liquid that’s easy to wipe away quickly.

A good method if you are disciplined and clean your oven regularly.

The Best Way to Clean Your Oven - Finished Clean Oven

There you have it, 4 methods to clean your oven regardless of how clean or dirty it is to start with.

Have you had success with any of these methods, or do you have a different method to recommend?

Let us know in the comments below.

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Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes readers step-by-step through her revolutionary KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. 

Turbo-charge your cleaning routine and get your home feeling clean, fresh and sparkling.

Divided into easy to follow sections, this checklist is great for ‘room a day’ routines, delegating to family members, or simply making sure you’ve got everything covered.

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