Easy Homemade Oven Cleaner


Today’s post is sponsored by the word: PROCRASTINATION. :-)  It’s a very fitting word for this particular subject matter…because I think if there were a competition for who could procrastinate a particularly onerous chore like cleaning the oven the longest….I would definitely be on top of the winners’ platform showing off my GOLD medal! But wait, it gets WORSE! Before I even got to the procrastinating point….I spent a LONG time RATIONALIZING why I didn’t need to clean the oven in the first place.

“No one sees it besides me!”     “It’s not THAT bad!” (As it went from bad to WORSE!)      “No ones cares what the inside looks like….do they?”

Well, while they might not necessarily CARE….they do notice.  One Sunday a few months ago my daughter in college and her boyfriend came for Sunday dinner, and during the preparations she actually had the NERVE to point out that the oven was pretty dirty.  Unfortunately (fortunately?) that’s what it took to jar me out of my stupor of rationalization and catapult me into the realms of PROCRASTINATION. Which is where I have stayed for the last couple of months.
Thankfully I came across something that piqued my curiosity enough to FINALLY move me into ACTION. It was an article about how to clean your oven using ammonia. Much like the post I did back in January about how to clean your stove burner pans with ammonia. Now we were getting somewhere! I absolutely DETEST the smell, the mess and the cost of store-bought oven cleaners! Not to mention all the nasty chemicals!  This homemade oven cleaner works overnight to loosen and dissolve grease and baked on foods. It’s inexpensive, and it’s much less harsh than typical store-bought products. Although it doesn’t magically clean your oven, this homemade oven cleaner makes a  a difficult job much easier than simply rubbing and scrubbing. Trust me on this.

So without further ado….here’s how it works:

Begin by preheating the oven to 150 degrees F. While the oven is heating, put on a pot of water to boil. Once the oven has reached 150 F, turn it off and pour 1 cup of ammonia into a heat safe bowl or baking dish and place it on the top rack of the oven. Place the pot of boiling water on the bottom rack, close the oven door, and leave them both in the oven overnight.



The next morning, open the oven and remove both the bowl of ammonia and the pot of water. Don’t dispose of the ammonia; you’ll want to use it later. Remove the racks and leave the oven door open to air out for 15 minutes. Add 1-2 teaspoons of liquid dish soap to the ammonia, along with a quart of warm water, and using a heavy-duty nylon scrubbing pad dipped in the ammonia mixture, begin to wipe away the softened grease and grime along the sides and bottom of the oven. It should be a fairly easy job at this point. Wear some kitchen gloves, since ammonia can be caustic to skin. However, I found it interesting that the ammonia was WAY LESS powerful smelling after having sat overnight in the oven.


 I sprinkled some baking soda on the glass to help cut through the gunk. Worked like a charm!


Keeping in mind how greasy and grimy my oven was from years of PROCRASTIZATION…(yes, I meant to spell it that way…it’s a new word I just made up)…I had to do this process TWICE! If I had been willing to spend the entire day at it, I probably could have finished after one overnight ammonia treatment, but the whole idea was NOT to have to scrub until you think you’re going to expire from the fumes and the effort!  So I decided to let the ammonia do it’s thing for one more night. FOR ME (procrastization girl!) it was just the ticket! The next day the rest of the oven cleaned up ALMOST effortlessly. Honestly, the hardest part was just being able to reach in far enough to scrub off the back wall! If I had 6 feet long arms it would have made this job MUCH easier. :-)

So yes, I am sold on this it

Pictures don’t lie. :-)

 Perfect? No. VASTLY IMPROVED? Yes!

A Couple of Warnings:

UPDATE: This should not be done on gas ovens unless the pilot light is out and the gas has been turned off.

Never mix ammonia with other strong cleaning agents, such as bleach or commercial oven cleaners.


Want to know how I got the oven RACKS all shiny clean???

You’ll have to come back tomorrow to find out. :-)

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  1. Heather says

    I had to clean a spill out of my oven a few months ago and was struggling with reaching way into the back. My husband walked in and suggested that I just take off the door. How did he know this and I did not!! Anyway, apparently most oven doors just lift straight up and come off. Makes it much easier to reach the back.

  2. lor says

    It’s been years since I cleaned my oven because I hate the job so much. I think I can now tackle it with
    your trick. Thanks!

  3. Akhila says

    Looks like it’s time for me to clean my oven. I can’t wait to start scrubbing thanks for the push :)

  4. Lauralee says

    I was right in your boat thinking I could do this UNTIL you said no way for GAS ovens. Now what am I going to do? I guess I’ll just wait another year, rationalize and blame it on you!

  5. Casey says

    Oh Jillee~ I began to daydream on how my oven would look…but alas…it’s gas…(HAHA) seriously though…guess I will have to do it the *hard* way ;)

  6. Terri says

    You are so great! And now I’m doing this tonight. Your pics are great and super motivating! I feel like you’re my neighbor! Thanks, love seeing what you do.

  7. Marianne says

    I’m going to try this! Previously I had just been sprinkling baking soda in the oven, spraying it with plain water, then scrubbing away. The flaw in this technique is you can’t sprinkle baking soda on the sides or top of the oven.

  8. Linda says

    I have a new stove and the oven is a vigrin LOL I do not use my oven since I got parrots. But do like your cleaning idea. I cannot use ammonia due to the odor that parrots cannot have around them, even in the next room with an odor as strong as ommonia. I am passing this idea on to my daughter, daugterh in laws and granddaughters. I always look forward to your posts and your great ideas. Take care.

  9. Gale says

    Thanks for another great tip! My oven is a self-cleaning one, but like all others I’ve owned, I’m too afraid to use the self cleaning feature because they get so hot. I’m off work next week for Spring Break, so I’ll be adding this to my “to do” list!


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