oven whole

I have big issues with cleaning my oven.

My oven has a “self-cleaning” mode, which for all I can tell, does absolutely nothing to clean it. All it does is stink up and heat up my house.  Then I have a stinky, hot house with a dirty oven. It’s no good.

I’m embarrassed to admit that my oven was in really horrible shape.  Really Bad. About 2 months back, I decided to try a homemade oven cleaner method.  It consisted of making a paste of baking soda and water, turning the oven on 400 degrees and baking the baking soda mix for an hour.  Umm… it didn’t work very well.  I scrubbed and scrubbed, nothing came off, and I ended up with a thick yucky baking soda residue in my oven 🙁

My mom came to visit me for the Thanksgiving holiday, and told me she recently cleaned her oven with a baking soda mix.  I was perplexed that she had such success with the same ingredients, when my attempt was such an epic failure. So what was the difference in our methods?  My mom didn’t use heat.  She also had the great idea to add some vinegar to the mix, and vinegar is a miracle cleaner.

Here’s what you need

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • an empty spray bottle
  • 1/2 cup vinegar

Here’s how you do it

  1. Mix together 1/2 cup baking soda with 1/4 cup of water (more or less) to make a paste.
  2. Remove racks from the oven
  3. Rub baking soda paste onto the inside of the door, floors and walls of the oven
  4. Add 1/2 cup vinegar to a clean spray bottle.  Spray vinegar liberally on top of the paste.
  5. Set a timer for 20 minutes… and wait!
  6. Using a rag, wipe off the oven, making circular motions to remove tough grease spots.  It takes a little time and some elbow grease, but it should come off a LOT easier than before.
  7. For any really thick, tough grease spots, you can use a metal spatula to assist in scraping them off.
  8. Once you’ve cleaned everything, spray on a little more vinegar and wipe clean with a paper towel.


What method works for cleaning your oven?

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9 Responses to My Dirty Oven

  1. Sherry Young says:

    Your post says that you first used “baking powder”, but then later you said “baking soda”. Those are two different products. You might want to clarify. You can delete my post; just trying to be helpful.

  2. Grace Pitman says:

    It’s quite simple recipe, but also very efficient. I just finished cleaning my oven and I’m so glad I found your post. I’m definitely recommending it to my friends. Thank you for sharing!

  3. sheila ressel says:

    Thanks so much for posting this. I have put off cleaning my oven for months because I can’t handle the fumes from oven cleaners (I usually make hubby do the cleaning). I’d much rather use natural cleaners like this which I can actually use myself. My lungs thank you very much!

    • Andrea says:

      Hey Sheila – I couldn’t stand the smell either, and I found them to be mostly ineffective. This method requires more elbow grease, but it’s definitely worth it!

  4. Gosh my oven looks way worse. It’s a much older model and is very hard to clean. Today I made pita pockets and the whole house was filled with smoke because there was stuff on the floor of the oven that was burning (bacon grease and old bits of food that fell off in the process of taking it out of the oven). I may have to try this right now. Thanks a bunch, Andrea! 🙂

    • Andrea says:

      It is crazy how fast it gets so bad! It’s about time for me to clean my oven again, as well. Vinegar and baking soda are wonderful household cleaners 🙂

  5. Andrea says:

    See, I was having such a great time, I didn’t even realize how much time had passed :p Thanks for clarifying!!

  6. Teresa says:

    Thanks for the kuddos….it is actually 20 minutes to let the baking soda work. Pretty amazong stuff, vinegar and baking soda!

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