Cleaning the oven and preventing the build up of bacteria causing old food absolutely does not require the use of caustic chemicals. The automatic cleaning features on many modern ovens can help prevent grime from forming in the oven to a decent degree, but just typically does not work well for a true (and natural) deep cleaning.
The self-cleaning oven feature on any stove I have ever owned takes multiple hours to work, stinks, makes the kitchen feel like a sauna even with the windows open, leaves steaks on the glass door window – and still requires wiping out of the oven interior afterwards. That is a whole lot of mess, time, and chemical fumes to get just a so-so clean oven.
Oven cleaning avoidance is usually the primary cause of grime and grit mess inside of the stove and on the glass door window. The desire to have a low tox home AND not spend an hour or more scrubbing inside a dirty oven far too often deters regular cleaning of this high use home appliance.
I remember how beautiful and shiny my dream gas oven was when we bought it and moved it onto the homestead I didn’t think I would ever allow it to get dirty… but I did. Life just happens like that sometimes, especially when you are busy repairing fencing and helping birth livestock.
But look at it now:
Using potentially toxic chemicals in my home (you know, the ones where the label all but warns you that wearing a hazmat suit in an extremely well ventilated room is required) was not going to be an option.
So, I started playing around with different variations of my favorite natural cleaning ingredients until I found some that worked incredibly well on even the most neglected of ovens.
Oven Cleaning Prep and Tips
- Wipe out the oven with a dry cloth to remove any loose debris or ashes. This will prevent a great deal of sludge from forming during the cleaning process. That will in turn, need to be wiped out before the oven can actually be deemed clean.
- To get the best results from the natural oven cleaning recipe you choose below, allow the mixture to settle in the oven for about 15 to 30 minutes (depending upon the level of grime in the oven) before wiping it out.
- When cleaning the oven, do so using a circular motion of the rag in your hand. This helps to dislodge any thick or firmly baked on grease and grime. If using a baking soda-based natural cleaning recipe, I recommend scooping out a bit of the baking soda first, after it has had time to settle, but before scrubbing in a circular motion.
- Spraying the oven with distilled white vinegar after completing the cleaning step will bring up any baking soda that is left inside and help remove any last bit of baked on, caked on, grime that still remains without the need of more intensive scrubbing.
- Wipe the oven with a slightly dampened cloth and then you are done. You’ll have a nice clean oven even the pickiest of mothers-in-law could not complain about!
- To clean the glass oven door, simply mix together one and a half tablespoons of warm water with two to four tablespoons of baking soda, and spread the paste over glass of the opened and level door. Let the mixture settle for about 15 minutes and then wipe clean. Spray a little distilled white vinegar onto the glass and wipe as you would when cleaning a mirror, to achieve a streak free shine.
Top 5 DIY All Natural Oven Cleaners
Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide DIY Oven Cleaner Recipe
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide
- 3 tablespoons baking soda
- 1 tablespoon liquid dish soap
- Combine all of the ingredients thoroughly together.
- Slather the oven cleaner inside of the oven.
- Allow the mixture to settle for about 30 minutes.
- Rinse with a spray of distilled white vinegar (optional).
- Wipe out the oven.
Baking Soda and Distilled White Vinegar Recipe
- ¼ cup distilled white vinegar
- ¼ cup baking soda
- Sprinkle the baking soda in and all around the interior of the oven.
- Spray the distilled white vinegar onto the baking soda covered areas. Yes, it will bubble up just like you are making a volcano project for the science fair.
- Allow the natural oven cleaning mixture to settle for about 15 to 30 minutes.
- Wipe the interior of the oven clean.
- Spray the distilled white vinegar rinse inside the oven (optional).
Watch the video on how to make apply the recipe above:
Baking Soda and Water Solution Oven Cleaner Recipe
- 1.5 cups water
- 2 – 4 tablespoons baking soda
- Mix the two ingredients together to form a paste. The consistency should be like a slightly watery gravy.
- Slather the paste inside of the oven, covering the surface to be cleaned thoroughly.
- Allow the mixture to settle for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Wipe clean with a damp cloth.
- Finish with a rinsing spray of distilled white vinegar (optional).
Watch the baking soda and water recipe in the vide below:
Dish Soap and Cornstarch DIY Oven Cleaner Recipe
- 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Combine the cornstarch and lemon juice until it is heated through and thickened to form a paste.
- Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
- Add in the liquid dish soap, and stir to combine thoroughly.
- Slather the mixture into the oven so it covers the surface being cleaned.
- Allow the DIY natural oven cleaner solution to settle for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Wipe clean with a damp cloth.
- Finish with a distilled white vinegar spray rinse (optional).
Dish Soap and Rubbing Alcohol Oven Cleaner Recipe
- ¼ cup water
- 7 drops liquid dish soap I prefer to use Blue Dawn
- ¼ cup rubbing alcohol
- Combine all of the ingredients and stir to thoroughly combine.
- Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
- Squirt the inside of the oven with the natural oven cleaner.
- Allow the mixture to settle for 15 minutes to a half an hour.
- Wipe clean and finish with a distilled white vinegar spray to rinse, if desired.
The video for the recipe above is below:
Watch the video below to see the results of the three natural cleaners I demonstrated how to make and use in the videos above:
Natural Oven Cleaner Warnings
Sometimes you are excited about a new cleaning recipe and want to try it right away, but do not have all of the required ingredients on hand – or, you love the cleaning power of natural ingredient X and figure why not throw it into the mix as well.
Even though these recipes are all naturally based, there are some ingredients that should never be used together or have their noted amounts altered.
Combining too much water with baking soda, for example, decreases its cleaning and scouring power significantly. Some combinations of natural cleaners, like hydrogen peroxide and distilled white vinegar, could actually be harmful to your health or lungs.
When vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are combined they create peracetic acid. Although both the peroxide and vinegar are excellent natural cleaners and disinfectants, they should never be used in the same recipe or the corrosive acid noted above, will be created.
Peracetic acid can irritate your lungs, skin, and eyes while also being potentially corrosive on some types of common household surfaces, especially coated ones like the interior of an oven.
You can, however, safely use a hydrogen peroxide based recipe and AFTER it has been wiped clean, go over it with distilled white vinegar to add even more deep cleaning or a streak free rinse and shine to the oven or other cleaning surfaces.
How to use them effectively: You can use hydrogen peroxide and vinegar while cleaning, but always think of them as one-two punches…NEVER mix them into a cleaning solution bottle!
My favorite natural oven cleaners are Recipe #1 and Recipe #5. They both seem to work exceptionally well when used on even the dirtiest of ovens. You know, the type that a well meaning homesteading cook has managed to neglect for months on end.
Baking soda is almost always one of my essential natural cleaning agents. It is abrasive enough to be super cleaner of all types of icky stuff, but not so abrasive that it will remove the finish off of an appliance or surface.
Baking soda breaks up the grime quickly, even if it has been baked on deeply for an extended period of time – and it is about the cheapest cleaning agent, natural or otherwise, that you can buy.