Our easy tips will make this cleaning task a lot less daunting.

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From sauces that bubbled over to drips of gooey cheese now burnt, your oven is a canvas for spills and splatters of all kinds. And when it comes to cleaning it, chances are you're not. But tackling this appliance doesn't have to be a heavy lift, and you don't need to spend extra money on special cleaning products, either. In fact, all you need to make your oven sparkle again are two pantry staples, likely already in your kitchen: baking soda and vinegar.

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Credit: Johnny Miller

"These ingredients are great, all-natural cleaning agents, especially in place of many conventional oven cleaners which can often leave harmful residual vapors in your oven," says Melissa Poepping, natural cleaning expert and author of the Chemical Free Home series. Both non-toxic and safe to use around food surfaces, baking soda (a natural alkali) and vinegar (a natural acid) work together to help lift off stubborn stains and grease for easy wiping. Smell of vinegar turn you off? Poepping says you can easily enhance your homemade cleaners with two to three drops of essential oil, particularly tea tree oil which can act as a natural degreaser. "For cleaning the oven glass, I also like to make a spray of equal parts water and distilled white vinegar with a few drops of added lemon oil for scent," she says.

As for how often you should really be cleaning your oven, Poepping recommends every few weeks, though this will vary depending on how often you use your oven. And while the self-cleaning function can be a great "quick-fix" cleaning alternative, she notes, "You should still aim to deep clean your oven regularly! Think of it as less of a chore, and more of a preservation of your appliance. You likely spent a lot of money on your oven, why shouldn't it be well-taken care of?"

Ready to roll up your sleeves? Here's how-to give your oven a deep clean.

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Credit: Johnny Miller

Make a Paste

Stir together 3/4 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup warm water, noting that a large oven may require more paste. If you are adding any essential oils, you can do so here (two to three drops should suffice, but you may add more if desired).

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Credit: Johnny Miller

Clean Oven Racks

Always take your racks out even if you are using your oven's self-cleaning function; the heat during the cycle can warp racks. Once removed, let them sit in dishwashing liquid for a few hours, scrub with a scouring pad, and then rinse well and dry. If racks need heavy-duty cleaning, apply the paste. Only use on stainless steel racks; baking soda can discolor aluminum.

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Credit: Johnny Miller

Apply the Paste

Fill any openings in the oven with foil. Using a paintbrush, spread the paste throughout the oven's interior, avoiding bare metal surfaces and the oven door. To get into tight corners and tough spots, you can use an old toothbrush. Leave overnight.

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Credit: Johnny Miller

Clean It Out

Remove the paste with a plastic scraper, wetting as needed. Wipe with a damp cloth, repeating to remove streaks.

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Credit: Johnny Miller

Wipe the Door

Using a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar, clean the oven door with a soft cloth. Avoid wetting the gasket.

Comments (16)

Martha Stewart Member
January 8, 2021
I’ll try this! I’ve carefully used a razor blade to remove tough build up. I’ll spritz with Mrs Meyer so the blade glides, being careful not to gouge anything.
Martha Stewart Member
January 8, 2021
I’ll try this! I’ve carefully used a razor blade to remove tough build up. I’ll spritz with Mrs Meyer so the blade glides, being careful not to gouge anything.
Martha Stewart Member
January 8, 2021
I’ll try this! I’ve carefully used a razor blade to remove tough build up. I’ll spritz with Mrs Meyer so the blade glides, being careful not to gouge anything.
Martha Stewart Member
May 6, 2019
Leaving the paste overnight - can you do this in a gas oven with a pilot light?
Martha Stewart Member
February 2, 2019
It depends on how dirty and baked-in the oven is. For really tough job, I use Diversey https://amzn.to/2MKVzak .
Martha Stewart Member
November 24, 2018
The baking soda paste works like magic! It made a hard job shockingly easy.
Martha Stewart Member
May 4, 2018
You need to take the door apart. Take the door off and get out your screwdriver.
Martha Stewart Member
March 3, 2018
How do you clean between the glass on an oven door?
Martha Stewart Member
July 23, 2017
how do I clean behind the glass on the oven door? can u send me a video on how i do that? i have a frigidaire stove.
Martha Stewart Member
April 5, 2017
I would like to know how to clean between the glass doors. Paid a few thousand for the stove and I thought I would never have this problem.
Martha Stewart Member
March 11, 2017
I have some thin tinfoil baked on to the bottom of my oven and have been unable to remove it. Suggestions?
Martha Stewart Member
March 8, 2017
Try soaking racks in coke cola, moves grease easily, some racks may need a little extra scrubbing with soap and Steelo or Jex (Australian cleaning items) after soaking. Geraldine
Martha Stewart Member
March 7, 2017
I soak my racks in the bathtub using washing powder works wonderfully every time.
Martha Stewart Member
February 20, 2017
This method does NOT clean oven racks. My racks aren't even that dirty, and virtually nothing comes off after soaking. Don't waste your time with this method.
Martha Stewart Member
February 29, 2016
I just used this method, and would NOT recommend it. I brushed the paste over the interior walls, bottom and door. Scraping it off the next day was very difficult and tedious. I ended up spraying it with water and going through a whole roll of paper towels, trying to get all the crusted paste off. It didn't remove the smaller drip-stains at all, but did a fairly good job of removing about 80% of a larger stained area. It would be easy on a flat surface, but the ridges of the oven make it tedious
Martha Stewart Member
August 19, 2015
How can a continuous clean oven be cleaned? I've had some splatters and over flows that I don't know how to clean. The interior is matte, not shiny and smooth.