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How to clean an oven
For safer cooking, follow these steps to learn how to clean an oven.
- Rubber gloves
- Paper towels
- Damp cloths (disposable)
- Commercial oven cleaner (optional)
- Oven scrubber with handle
- Glass cleaner (optional)
Oven lost its like-new sparkle? If you've been busy cooking, your oven probably needs a thorough cleaning. Both baking and broiling can produce spills and fumes that add a layer of greasy goo inside your oven, sending out unpleasant odors and presenting a possible fire hazard.
Step 1. Let oven cool
Before you begin, check to be sure that all oven parts have cooled.
Step 2. Empty oven and clear range-top surfaces
Remove broiler pan, cookware, and oven racks.
Remove all pans and accessories from the top of your stove.
Tip: Though it's tempting to clean oven racks in place, most oven manufacturers recommend against that. Instead, set aside the racks on an old newspaper for cleaning later.
Step 3. Assure proper ventilation for cleaning fumes
Open 1 or more windows to provide fresh air. An inch or so is plenty in cold weather.
If your vent hood duct leads to outdoors, you can run that on low, too.
WARNING: Pet birds have very sensitive respiratory systems and cannot tolerate exposure to harsh chemicals. During cleaning, keep birds away from any rooms that cleaning fumes might reach
Step 4. Wipe up recent or liquid spills
Use paper towels to soak up wet drippings.
Use a plastic spatula to slide under gooey messes.
Leave older, crusted spills in place.
Note: Don't try to clean the oven light bulb (if exposed). Be careful not to touch the bulb when it is on.
Step 5. Clean exterior oven surfaces
- Don’t risk using harsh chemicals on glass or porcelain surfaces.
- Use a mild detergent and water to clean the cooktop, burner pans and gas-burner grates. See our tips for cleaning stove surfaces.
- Pay special attention to the oven frame and parts of the door surrounding the door gasket. Wipe these with a nonabrasive cleaner or detergent and water.
Step 6. Apply oven cleaner
Shake well, then apply the spray cleaner to all interior surfaces.
Be careful not to lean your weight on the oven door.
Spray the door's inside surface last.
Let cleaner stand for the recommended time.
WARNING: Be sure to read label instructions for spray-on cleaners. Even "fume-free" cleaning products carry inhalation risks. You may want to wear a face mask for this step.
Tip: Consider using repeated applications of a water and baking soda solution if you'd rather avoid commercial aerosol products. This method does require more patience.
Step 7. Scrub, scrub, scrub
Put on rubber gloves (if you don't have them on already).
Use an oven scrubber to loosen all soiled areas. Usually, the bottom of your oven will be the dirtiest part.
Use a small bucket of water to rinse out the scrubber as you go.
Note: Be careful when working around any exposed elements or burner ports. Check your owner's manual for specifics.
Step 8. Wipe out all residue
Use a clean, damp cloth to remove dirt and spray from all surfaces. You may need to use more than 1 cloth for best results.
Discard these cloths after use.
Step 9. Clean oven door glass
Wash the oven door glass with soap and a damp cloth.
Or, use glass cleaner applied first to the cloth.
Avoid using too much water, which can seep behind the glass seal.
Step 10. Clean and return baking racks to oven
Wipe racks with soapy water and use a soft scrubbing pad if needed.
If the baking racks don't easily slide back into place, rub them with a small amount of vegetable oil using a paper towel, and wipe dry.
Step 11. Heat up oven briefly
With the oven empty, set a baking temperature of about 400ºF.
Once the oven is fully heated, turn it off and let cool. This removes all traces of cleaning foam.
If your oven smells odd or heats incorrectly after cleaning, you may have issues that need repair. Schedule oven repair service with a qualified professional or see our troubleshooting guide to an oven not heating.
DO clean ordinary spills as soon as possible after the oven cools. Acidic or sugary spills can cause staining if left in place.
DON'T wipe hot surfaces with water or cleaners. Discoloring and burns could result.
DO clean exterior surfaces regularly.
DON'T use abrasive cleaners or steel wool on porcelain surfaces.
DON'T allow a heavy buildup of spills and grease to accumulate inside your oven.
DO consult your owner's manual for specific directions and warnings. Stainless steel appliances require special handling.