Homemade oven cleaner
All ovens need cleaning simply because they get used so often. However, it’s one of those jobs that most of us hate doing – me included! Once I close the door, it’s “out of sight, out of mind.”
Personally, I’m not too fond of the toxic fumes that come off store-bought oven cleaners, and there’s a real risk of harm if they’re not used correctly.
Many times I put off cleaning my oven until it got so bad, just because I couldn’t stand the chemicals needed to clean it!
I always wanted to know the secret of how to clean an oven without oven cleaner, which is why I was delighted when I discovered a natural solution.
This is precisely what I’m sharing in this post here. It’s my favorite natural oven cleaner recipe.
The recipe is 100% toxin-free and smells lovely and fresh, so it’s great to use around kids and pets. Plus, it cleans really well too. I love it!
Why make your own oven cleaner?
Well, the main reason is that it’s safer and healthier for you to use a natural homemade oven cleaner, and it’s cheaper and better for the environment too.
That’s not to say that mishaps can’t happen when using natural products, so still wear gloves and be careful of spills.
And do follow the instructions below in the recipe for guidelines on ingredients and soaking times.
The great thing with this natural oven cleaner is you can make one batch, and it’ll last several oven cleans, whereas many store-bought cleaners are a once-only application.
Plus, with conventional oven cleaners, you end up pouring chemicals down the drain, which can be a concern for the environment.
How often should you clean an oven?
It entirely depends on how dirty your oven gets. I typically clean my oven along with my range hood every 3-4 months, but some people do it more frequently and others only once or twice a year.
There’s no fixed schedule when it comes to oven cleaning. However, if the oven glass becomes difficult to see through, or there is build-up/burnt food around the burners – that’s a telltale sign; it’s probably time.
Although the great thing is, when using natural ingredients like baking soda for cleaning or lemon juice as a natural degreaser, you aren’t restricted from a safety point of view from fumes or toxins, etc.
How to clean a really dirty oven
This is the question we all want answered – how to clean a dirty oven!
There are times when an oven is so dirty that fat and grime are stuck fast after months of use.
When this happens, I recommend using a baking soda and water paste mixture (see the recipe below).
You coat the oven in the paste (avoiding the heating elements) and leave it at least for one hour, but you can leave it for longer if the oven is crazy dirty.
On the heavily built-up areas (for example, burnt-on fat), you can add a sprinkling of salt and let it sit. This will help to lift the grime.
After the waiting time, simply scrape it off with a plastic or silicone scraper and then wipe it down with a damp cloth and a vinegar & lemon juice cleaning solution.
How to clean oven racks
You can use the same baking soda and water paste mixture to coat the racks, leaving it on for 4 hours before washing or wiping off.
Or alternatively, take the racks outdoors and use an outdoor hose to spray off the paste once the 4 hours are up.
Why is vinegar good for cleaning
Vinegar is one of the ingredients you’ll find in my natural oven cleaner recipe below.
I recommend using a vinegar and water solution after the baking soda paste, to remove any lasting fat or grime from the oven surface.
Vinegar is acidic, meaning it cuts easily through grease and grime, leaving a clean, streak-free finish.
I use vinegar in many of my natural home cleaning products because it’s so good!
It’s affordable, natural, free of toxins and does a really great job at cleaning stubborn stuck on grime and fat.
How to clean an oven without baking soda
If, for whatever reason, you don’t want to use baking soda on your oven or even know how to clean an oven glass door without baking soda, then the other two natural ingredients will still work well, the vinegar and lemon juice.
Simply pass on the baking soda step (step 1 in the recipe) and go straight to step 2.
You may want to spray on the vinegar and lemon solution and leave it to soak for 30 minutes or so. Then check by wiping or giving a gentle scrub with a sponge to see how well the grime lifts off.
If it’s staying stuck fast, you may need to leave it a little longer, or use a scraper to get it moving.
Always remember to wear gloves whenever you use any natural oven cleaning solutions to protect your hands.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Get my full disclosure HERE.
Homemade natural oven cleaner recipe
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 3 tablespoon water
- Soft brush or cleaning cloth
- 2 cups vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup of lemon juice
There are two steps to this oven cleaning process. If you don’t want to use baking soda, simply skip step 1 and go straight to step 2.
Remove the baking racks from the oven. These will get washed separately.
Mix the baking soda and water to form a paste.
Coat the whole oven with the paste, avoiding the heating elements, using a soft scrub brush or a cleaning cloth. Remember to wear gloves at all times to protect your hands.
Then sprinkle salt over the really grimy areas. The salt will help to loosen grime and stains.
Let the mixture sit for at least 1 hour or until it dries. Once complete, remove the paste using a cloth or a scraper if preferred.
Combine the vinegar, water, and lemon juice in a spray bottle. Spray the liquid mixture all over the oven, taking care to avoid the heating elements.
Wipe clean, including any remaining baking soda, with a soft cloth.
Cleaning the oven door:
Simply wipe the door using the vinegar spray bottle solution and a soft cloth.
Cleaning the oven racks:
Use the same baking soda/water mixture and spread it onto the oven racks. Let it sit for up to 4 hours before scrubbing clean with a scouring pad, or take it outside and hose it off!
I hope you enjoy making and using this homemade natural oven cleaner. Leave a comment below and let me know how it worked for you!
And for more great household DIYs, check out these how-tos below!
- Woodstove glass cleaner
- Beeswax furniture polish
- Hands-free toilet cleaning bombs
- Natural mattress freshener
- 1/2 cup of baking soda
- 3 tbsp of water
- 2 cups of vinegar
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of lemon juice
- Remove the baking racks. (we'll wash these separately)
- Mix the baking soda with the water to form a paste.
- Coat the inside of the oven, minus the heating element.
- Sprinkle a thin layer of salt over the excessively grimy areas.
- Let it sit for at least an hour before removing it with a plastic scraper or cloth.
- Combine vinegar water and lemon juice in a spray bottle.
- Spray the mixture over the entire inside of the oven, including the glass. (again, avoid the heating elements)
- Let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it clean with a dry cloth.
Use the same baking soda/water mixture to clean the oven racks. Let it sit up to 4 hours before scrubbing clean with a scouring pad. Or take it outside to wash clean with a garden hose.