Cleaning your oven is one of those chores that is easy to put off. You only briefly look inside it a couple of times a day at the most, so it’s easy to let the problem remain out of sight, and out of mind. But I’m here to tell you that cleaning your oven is actually way easier than you might think! Today I’ll be showing you a super easy way to clean your oven that doesn’t require expensive store-bought cleaners, or massive amounts of elbow grease.
The keys to this method? Simple household ammonia, and time. (This method actually has a lot in common with the way I clean my nasty stove burners!)
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Inexpensive ammonia helps to loosen and dissolve those tough baked-on messes inside your oven. Instead of scrubbing for hours, you’ll be able to wipe your oven clean in just a few minutes. Although this homemade oven cleaner doesn’t do all the work for you, it does make a difficult job much, much easier!
But before I show you how it’s done, let’s get a couple of important warnings out of the way:
- If you have a gas oven, make sure the pilot light is out and the gas has been turned off before you start cleaning.
- Never mix ammonia with other strong cleaning agents, such as bleach or commercial oven cleaners.
- Work in a well-ventilated area. At the least, open up the windows while you work.
Okay, now let’s get started! :-)
How To Easily Clean Your Oven
- Baking dish
- Pot of water
- Dish soap
- Scrubbing pad or sponge
- Cleaning gloves
Step 1 – Prep
Start by preheating your oven to 150 degrees F.
While the oven is heating, put your pot of water on your stovetop and bring it to a boil.
When the oven has reached 150 F, turn it off. Pour 1 cup of ammonia into a baking dish, then place the dish on the top rack of your oven.
Finally, place the pot of boiling water on the bottom rack of your oven, and close the oven door.
Step 2 – Wait
You’ll want to give the ammonia and hot water several hours to work their magic inside your oven. The most convenient way to do it is to do the prep right before you go to bed, and let it sit overnight.
Step 3 – Empty The Oven
In the morning, open your oven and remove both the bowl of ammonia and the pot of water. (But don’t dispose of the ammonia; you’ll want to use it later!)
Remove the oven racks as well, and leave the oven door open to air out for about 15 minutes.
Step 4 – Scrub
Now that the ammonia has had time to work it’s magic, it’s time to scrub all that nastiness away.
Add 1-2 teaspoons of dish soap to the dish of ammonia, along with a quart of warm water. Then pull on your cleaning gloves and grab a scrubbing pad.
Dip the scrubbing pad into the ammonia mixture, and use it 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!)
If you’re willing to give it a try, I promise this will be the easiest way to clean your oven you’ve ever tried! (And if your oven racks look like they could use some love too, check out the link below!)
Bonus Tip #1 – Remove Your Oven Door
If you’re having a hard time reaching the back of your oven, you can make it much easier by removing the oven door. I know, it sounds complicated – but it really isn’t! To remove the door from the oven at our studio, we simply pulled it all the way open, then used a grilling fork to pry open a latch on each side. It came right off, and was very easy to put back on.
If your oven door doesn’t have latches like ours, just Google “remove oven door on [your oven make and model]” and I’m sure you’ll find the right instructions!
Bonus Tip #2 – Keep Your Oven Clean
Once your oven is clean, you can help keep it that way by utilizing oven mats. I’ve lined the bottom of my oven with these washable, heat-resistant mats. When the mats get dirty, I just pull them out and give them a quick wash in some soapy water. I’m just sorry that I didn’t start doing it sooner! :-)