It goes without saying that cleaning the inside of an oven is one of the most dreaded household chores. It’s easy to overlook – just shut the door – but neglecting it can lead to a nightmare of hard-baked grease and grime over time. You might consider buying a commercial oven cleaner, but the harsh chemicals and warning labels might make you think twice.

Fortunately, there’s a safer and easier way to clean your oven using items you likely have at home, which we’ll discuss below. Follow this guide, and your oven will be sparkling clean and ready for cooking in no time!

Oven cleaning guide

When should you clean your oven?

When it comes to home oven cleaning, it’s advisable to perform a swift clean of your oven’s interior surfaces after each use when it’s still somewhat warm, to prevent the hardening of food residues. Maintaining a routine cleaning schedule can minimise the necessity for aggressive chemical cleaners. Ideally, comprehensively cleaning the inside of your oven should happen at least once a month (or even more often, based on your usage frequency). This practice not only keeps your oven in top condition, but also aligns with the best and easy way to clean your oven, ensuring it’s always ready for your next culinary adventure.

If you notice a smoky odour emanating from leftover residues, or if your oven isn’t functioning as efficiently as before, this is a clear sign that it’s time for a cleaning session. Additionally, if the glass door is grimy and difficult to see through, or if there are crumbs gathering around the door seal or hinges, these are indicators that your oven needs attention. Addressing these signs promptly can make the process of cleaning your oven, whether you’re aiming for a quick refresh or a deep clean, much more manageable and effective.

What You’ll Need for Cleaning Your Oven

The secret to a sparkling oven lies in understanding how each component of your cleaning toolkit works in harmony to tackle dirt, grease, grime, and buildup. Here’s a closer look at the powerhouses among your cleaning supplies: baking soda and white vinegar.

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a versatile cleaning agent that excels at removing tough stains without damaging surfaces. When applied to the grimy areas of your oven, baking soda acts as a mild abrasive – this means it can physically break down the bonds between the dirt or grease and the oven’s interior surfaces. Unlike harsh chemical cleaners, baking soda accomplishes this without scratching or leaving harmful residues behind. Moreover, when baking soda is mixed with water to create a paste, it adheres better to vertical surfaces, allowing it to work its magic where it’s needed most.

When baking soda is combined with white vinegar, a dynamic chemical reaction occurs. White vinegar, an acetic acid solution, reacts with baking soda, producing carbon dioxide gas. This effervescent action helps to loosen and lift dirt from surfaces, making it easier to wipe away. The acidic nature of vinegar also cuts through grease and grime, dissolving these stubborn substances without the need for toxic chemicals. Together, these two ingredients form a potent duo that can penetrate and dissolve oven buildup, leaving behind a clean, residue-free surface.

Here’s the Best Way to Clean Your Oven


Initiate your oven cleaning journey by ensuring the appliance is completely switched off and has cooled down to avoid any potential hazards. Begin this meticulous process by carefully removing the oven racks – this step is indispensable, as it allows each component to be cleaned with precision, guaranteeing a thorough cleanse and maintaining the integrity of your oven.

Make a Dual-Action Cleaning Paste

Start by mixing half a cup of baking soda with just enough water to make it spreadable, like a thick paste. Then, add a little bit of white vinegar to the mix. You’ll see it fizz a bit – that’s normal! This mix of baking soda and vinegar works great for cleaning because it’s strong against dirt but still safe and natural. This way, you don’t have to use harsh chemicals to get your oven clean.

Apply the Paste

Equipped with protective gloves, start applying the paste with an even hand across the interior surfaces of your oven, including the often-overlooked glass door. This step underscores a commitment to a holistic cleaning method that is both efficacious and eco-friendly, ensuring your oven is devoid of harmful residues.

Let It Sit

Allow the applied baking soda/white vinegar paste an ample dwell time of at least 12 hours, or overnight. This interval is not merely a pause in the cleaning process but a strategic component that enhances the paste’s effectiveness, breaking down grime with minimal effort.

Wipe Down

After the paste has done its duty, employ a damp cloth to gently but firmly wipe the interior of your oven. For areas where grime resists a gentle touch, a spatula can be a useful tool, carefully dislodging stubborn deposits without damaging the oven’s interior. Use a fresh, damp cloth to perform one last comprehensive wipe-down – this final sweep ensures the removal of any remaining cleaning solution and dislodged grime, preventing the mere redistribution of dirt and securing a truly clean environment within your oven.

Replace Racks and Enjoy

With the interior of the oven and its components restored to their original cleanliness, meticulously replace the racks to their designated positions. Your oven now stands ready to assist in the creation of sumptuous meals once more!

How to clean your oven’s exterior quickly

Even with “fingerprint-resistant” claims for stainless steel, it’s common for grease to accumulate on the surface of your oven. Moreover, those modern touchscreens may lose responsiveness without regular cleaning. To tackle these issues on stainless steel exteriors, address small areas sequentially to avoid streaks.

Before trying the following techniques, verify that they’re compatible with your oven’s care instructions:

Cleaning the inside of an oven – what about self-cleaning ovens?

Numerous ovens feature “self-cleaning” capabilities, like pyrolytic or catalytic cleaning. Pyrolytic cleaning involves the oven heating to approximately 500°C for two to three hours, turning food remnants into ash that can be easily wiped or vacuumed once the oven cools down. The door locks automatically during this process, and only unlocks once temperatures drop to safe levels.

While pyrolytic cleaning is effective, it’s worth noting that it can generate a lot of heat and smoke, requiring several hours and adequate ventilation – making it prudent to keep children and pets away from the kitchen during this time. Additionally, this function consumes a significant amount of electricity, so ensure your household’s electrical system can support it.

Need Oven Repairs? Give Us a Call

Should your oven require professional attention, National Appliance Repairs is here to help. We offer efficient and reliable service for both residential and commercial ovens across Australia, and even combi ovens too. Whether you need a simple fix or more complex repairs, we’re your go-to solution for all your oven concerns.


Can I clean my oven racks using the same baking soda/vinegar paste?

Yes, the baking soda and white vinegar paste can also be effectively used to clean your oven racks. Simply coat the racks with the paste, let them sit overnight, and then scrub with a brush or sponge under warm water to remove grime and grease.

How often should I clean my oven if I use it frequently?

If you use your oven very frequently, it’s advisable to clean it deeply once every 3 to 4 weeks to prevent buildup of grease and grime. Additionally, wiping down the oven after each use when it’s still warm can help minimise the need for deep cleans.

What should I do if the baking soda paste leaves white residue after cleaning?

If you notice a white residue from the baking soda paste after cleaning, simply use a vinegar spray to remove it. The vinegar will react with the baking soda residue, making it easier to wipe away with a damp cloth.

Is the baking soda and vinegar cleaning method safe for all types of ovens?

Yes, the baking soda and vinegar cleaning method is safe for most ovens, as it uses natural ingredients that are gentle and non-abrasive. However, if your oven has specific cleaning instructions or materials that might react differently, it’s always best to consult your oven’s manual or manufacturer recommendations first.

Can I use this cleaning method on a self-cleaning oven?

While the baking soda and vinegar method is generally safe, it’s important to note that self-cleaning ovens have a specific cleaning cycle that uses high temperatures to burn off food residue. Before using any manual cleaning methods, check your oven’s manual. For light cleaning, the baking soda and vinegar method should be safe, but avoid interfering with the self-cleaning mechanisms or coatings inside the oven.

How do I prevent my oven from getting too dirty between deep cleans?

To minimise buildup between deep cleans, wipe down the interior with a damp cloth after each use, especially after cooking messy or greasy dishes. Additionally, placing a sheet of aluminium foil or an oven liner at the bottom can catch drips and spills, but be sure to follow your oven manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure safe use.

How can I remove a smoke smell from my oven after cleaning it?

After cleaning, if your oven still smells like smoke, you can place a bowl of water with half a cup of white vinegar inside and heat it at a low temperature for about an hour. The steam and vinegar will help neutralise and remove lingering odours.