Clean Team: 3 Methods to Make Your Oven Sparkle

Ready to restore your oven to its former glory? Here are a few tried-and-true methods for swapping splatters for sparkles.

From saucy splatters to dripping batter, ovens can take quite a beating. We know that cleaning out crusty food remnants from the inside of your oven isn’t the most glamorous or thrilling task, but it’s important to show your appliances a little TLC to keep things working properly. Too much grease and grime can cause smoke alarms to go off while preheating and even affect the taste of the food you’re cooking.

How often you should deep clean your oven depends on how much you use it, but a good rule of thumb is to scrub down the inside at least a couple times per year (aim for every three months if you’re an avid cook or baker). If you notice a lot of residue on the bottom or sides of the oven, a greasy film on the door, or a burnt food smell as the oven starts to heat up, it’s time for a deep clean.

Ready to restore your oven to its former glory? Here are a few tried-and-true methods to swap splatters for sparkles:

Three ways to deep clean your oven

1. How to clean your oven using the self-clean function

Some ovens come with a self-cleaning feature where the oven heats up to an extremely high temperature and melts away all of the gunk inside. Depending on the model, this function can take anywhere from two to five hours to run. Since it will be incredibly hot (upwards of 550 degrees!) for an extended period of time, plan to stay out of the kitchen and keep any pets and children away from the area to avoid potential burns.

Remove the racks. Slide racks out of the oven and clean them with warm, soapy water in the sink.

Press the “clean” button. Make sure the oven door is locked to contain the heat.

Wipe out the ashes. After the cleaning cycle is complete and the oven has cooled, sweep out any remaining ashes and replace the racks.

It’s important to note that the self-cleaning function is only meant to be used if your oven is moderately dirty—if you have a lot of burnt food scraps, try one of the other methods listed below to prevent smoke and a potential fire.

2. How to clean your oven using a spray cleaner

While this is by far the easiest and fastest method to clean your oven, many spray oven cleaners contain harsh chemicals, such as lye, that can be hazardous to your health. If you choose to go this route, make sure to protect yourself with heavy-duty gloves and goggles or safety glasses.


Steps for cleaning your oven using a spray cleaner:

Remove racks and soak them. Slide racks out of the oven and let them rest in a sink full of warm, soapy water while you focus on cleaning the inside.

Put on your gloves and safety glasses. As we mentioned above, spray oven cleaners contain lots of chemicals that can damage your eyes and skin if they’re not properly covered. Opt for rubber gloves instead of disposable ones—they’ll give you the best layer of protection.

Spray the inside of the oven. If you have a gas oven, avoid the burner tube. If you have an electric oven, lift up the heating elements and spray underneath them.

Let the spray sit. Close the oven door and let the spray settle for the time listed on the label (usually around 20-30 minutes).

Wipe with a damp cloth. Once the time is up, grab a damp cloth and wipe down all of the surfaces. Ue a microfiber sponge to tackle any extra sticky spots.

Replace the racks. Remove the racks from the sink, dry them off, and slide them back into the oven.

3. How to clean your oven using baking soda

Cleaning your oven with a baking soda mixture takes a bit longer and requires more elbow grease, but it’s a great method if you’re concerned about the chemicals in a spray cleaner or if your oven doesn’t have the self-clean feature. Set aside an evening to clean so you can let the baking soda settle overnight.


Steps for cleaning your oven using baking soda:

Remove racks and soak them. Loosen up any grime by placing the racks in warm, soapy water while you tackle the rest of the oven.

Create a baking soda cleaning solution. Mix ½ cup of baking soda and 2-3 tablespoons of water together until you have a spreadable paste. You can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to make your oven smell extra fresh.

Spread the paste across the inside of the oven. Depending on how messy you’re willing to get, you can either put on some gloves and spread the mixture with your fingers or use an old paintbrush to coat the inside of the oven. Avoid the burner tube or any heating elements. Let the paste sit for 10-12 hours or overnight.

Clean the oven racks. Drain your sink of soapy water and sprinkle baking soda on the racks. Pour a bit of vinegar on top until the combination starts to foam. Once the foaming stops, plug your sink and run hot water until the racks are fully covered, then soak them for 10-12 hours or overnight.

Scrub the inside of your oven. After letting the baking soda work its wonders, use a plastic scraper to remove the paste and wipe down all surfaces with a damp cloth. For any stubborn spots, pour some vinegar into a spray bottle and spritz directly on the problem area.

Replace the racks. Remove the racks from the water and scrub them with a sponge until all the grease is gone, then wipe dry and replace inside your oven.

Top tips to keep your oven sparkling between cleanings

Use these simple tricks when you’re prepping dinner to make your next deep clean a breeze:

  • Wipe splatters immediately after they happen so they don’t bake on.
  • Use an oven liner on the bottom of the oven to catch drips. They’re usually reusable and easy to wipe clean.
  • Place baking dishes on top of a sheet pan if your casseroles or pies are prone to overflowing.

Get cookin’ with Sam’s Club

Whether you’re tackling with a spray cleaner or going all natural, Sam’s Club has everything you need to make cleaning your oven a piece of cake. As a Sam’s Club member, you’ll get exclusive prices on the best cleaning brands—and with Easy Reorder, you can stock your cabinet with your favorite products with the click of a button.