Natural Oven Cleaners: An Update

Credit: exitfromreality


About a month ago, I put out an urgent plea for tips, tricks, and recipes for natural oven cleaning. If you remember, my poor oven was a disaster area coated with baked on grease and grime.

Well, many of my readers came to the rescue and offered their best natural cleaning tips! As promised, I tried (almost) all of them and want to give you the results:

* Pat’s ( Corn in My Coffee) Suggestion:“Why not place an oven proof pan with vinegar and water inside a warm oven (after you’ve baked already) and then let it sit a while and then clean it.”

Results: I allowed my vinegar/water solution to sit in my oven for around 4 hours. Unfortunately, it didn’t really seem to loosen any of the gunk. However, perhaps I should have left it for a longer period of time? Or maybe my grime was just too baked on. This still might work for lighter messes.

* Lisa (Country Kids) and Christine’s (The Homesteading Wife) Suggestion: Make a scouring paste out of baking soda and water (Lisa suggestion adding Dawn dish soap as well).

Results: I was excited about this idea, as I usually use a baking soda paste on my kitchen sink and bathtub and love the results. And this paste did work somewhat on my oven mess. It takes a little elbow grease, but it effectively removed the initial layer of grime. Unfortunately, my baked on grease remained.

* Jay’s Suggestion: “Try warming the oven to 150-170 degrees. Put a pan of ammonia in the oven and let it sit for 24-48 hours. Then, scrub or try the vinegar and baking soda (10% pickling vinegar works best.)”

Results: Unfortunately, I didn’t have any ammonia on hand. So I didn’t give this one a try. However, I did heat my oven a bit before scrubbing. I couldn’t tell a huge difference, but perhaps it softened things a bit.

* Marc’s (Minimalist Freak) Suggestion: “Moisten oven surfaces with sponge and water. Use 3/4 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup salt and 1/4 cup water to make a thick paste, and spread throughout oven interior. (avoid bare metal and any openings). Let sit overnight. Remove with spatula and wipe clean. Rub gently with fine steel wool for tough spots.”

* Ann’s Suggestion: “Sprinkle oven with warm water. Cover with baking soda. Leave it for a while. Then scrub it with a steel wool pad. Rinse clean with damp rag.”

Results: Since Marc’s and Ann’s ideas were somewhat similiar, I combined them. As I began to apply Marc’s paste, I noticed that the salt immediately went to work on removing the tough grime. Eureka! I allowed it to sit overnight and scrubbed the next morning. It worked really well. I still had to use some elbow grease, but it did a great job of removing the baked on stuff. I think the salt gave it a bit of extra oomph! The only thing I noticed about this mixture is that it was a little difficult to get it to stick to the oven walls. It kept wanting to fall off. Next time, I may try thinning it with more water.

* Donna’s (A Daily Cup of Faith) Suggestion:

“1 cup of baking soda
1/2 cup of washing soda
3 tablespoon liquid dish soap
Hot water
1/4 cup of white vinegar
Use on a cool oven. Wipe the inside to remove anything that’s loose. Combine all the dry ingredients and gradually add hot water until you have a thick paste. For really greasy ovens, you can add another 1/4 cup of the washing soda. Add vinegar, it will fizz. Coat all oven surfaces and leave it overnight. Wipe off with warm water the next morning.”

Results: This was my favorite recipe so far! It removed the baked on grease and grime fairy easily, AND the foaminess (from the baking soda/vinegar reaction) made it a cinch to apply to the oven walls. I think I might try it again and add a bit of salt for even more scouring power.

* Lisa and Robin suggested looking into a cleaner made by the Norwex company. I have never tried their products, but they get rave reviews, so it might be worth looking into!

Also, Kirstin suggested making a paste of Rockin Green diaper detergent, applying it, then letting it soak. I’ve never tried this product either, but might look for it in the future.

So, the final conclusion?

I have some great suggestions here, and I’m going to keep building on them! My oven doesn’t quite look brand new (YET!),  but it’s a far cry from where it was when we started!

THANK YOU so much to all of my helpful readers! I appreciate your ideas and suggestions so much. Keep ’em coming!

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  1. says

    Thanks so much for sharing your results from this experiment!I really need to clean mine, but had been dragging my feet because I hate the idea of the chemicals. I’ll have to give this a try.

  2. says

    Jill~ Thanks for letting us know the results of your little experiment. I’m especially happy, that I didn’t have to do all those TESTS! …{smile}…
    as for my method… It works in the microwave!

    I need to clean my own oven …really. So the salt and vinegar and 2 kinds of soda sound like they may really do the trick.
    Do you think the dish liquid helps as a binder to keep it on the walls of the oven…while you scrub?
    As for the 2 products you listed at the last part of the post… are they *NATURAL* ?

    I personally would rather use Natural (including a little elbow grease) rather than use harsh chemicals. I guess some prefer to spend pennies over time, not sure.

    Loved this post– Pat

    • Jill says

      Hi Pat!
      Yes, I think the dish liquid helps act as a binder, as well as adds a bit more grease-cutting action, perhaps?
      You know, I think those 2 products are natural, but I really haven’t looked into them yet. Thanks for the reminder.
      I agree. A little elbow grease definitely beats breathing in harsh fumes.
      Glad you enjoyed the post! :)

  3. Sonja says

    the singularly most offensive ovenmessing up substance seems to be partially hydrongenated fats, or more commonly known as (among other things) margarine. I learned to use it for greasing pans, because it is more economical, but Butter will simply burn the PHF turns in to the sticky mess the black icky looking spots which I don’t seem to be able to get off. So once you have the beast really clean the first step to keeping it that way may be to skip those. In my experience the rest isn’t so bad. Motsly I feel one needs a really GOOD durable brush (and somebody to take of the front door.;))

  4. Jayne says

    I am going way out on the transparency/confession limb here…but I have a question: with cleaning an electric oven do you cut the power?, remove the heating elements?, are there other safety issues to consider? I’ve never really had to clean the oven before…..I sure need to now!

  5. Wanda says

    I haven’t tried this, but a salesperson told me once to mix her product with shaving cream as it would stick to the bathroom wall tiles. Maybe this would work for ovens as well? I am going to try the salt,h2o, baking soda paste this evening, I hope.
    Thanks, ladies, I learn something new every day!

  6. Morganna says

    Donna (a cup of faith) posted a mixture that includes washing soda. Would washing soda be a laundry detergent. Where can I purchase washing soda. Thank you so much, I have a desperate oven.

    • says

      Washing soda is a common additive for laundry stuff, but it’s handy for other uses as well. You should be able to find in the detergent aisle of *most* supermarkets. Good luck with your oven!

  7. Morganna says

    Hi Jill:
    Thank you so much for your response. I did a search yesterday and discovered that Arm & Hammer also manufactures a washing soda that you can purchase at Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc. Although I’ll certainly check the supermarket to see what they have.

    Take good care and have a lovely day.


  8. says

    HA! That’s a term I use a lot. Stands for Happy Accident. I purchased Easy Off “Professional” Super Strength Oven Cleaner yesterday to clean the baked on stove top (which is removable so I took it outside). Well, I couldn’t find the Easy Off after unpacking all my groceries. Still don’t know what happened to it. So before going out to buy another can, I thought of googling homemade solutions. Yours is the first and only stop. For one thing, there are lots of ideas, and I’ll try your favorite first. But mostly I’m staying here because of your design. I’m a professional graphic designer, and the talent that you’ve put into your website is candy to my eyes. The colors, typestyles, layout, even that good ol’ fashioned Village Green ad, all add up to a very attractive and entertaining visual treat. Even the copywriting is superb. Finally, your tag at the bottom, To God be the Glory, reflects the tag on my emails: Appreciate good design, especially God’s design.
    Okay, enough procrastination. Now let’s see if the oven cleaning solution works…

  9. Debbie Hayes says

    Jill, this stuff worked magic on my really nasty oven–with no elbow grease! Thanks for posting!

  10. says

    Dr. woods pure castile soap with tea tree oil 😉 ( 1 and done! and… it is half the price of Dr. Bronners and also works on baked on food in pans!

  11. Chloe Smith says

    Just a quick comment to say thanks a lot for your post and also ask (including other commenters) if they have ever had to clean a cooker when moving in to a new house and has that made a difference to how they’ve cleaned it? I don’t know what it is but I just can’t bring myself to cleaning someone else’s grease and grime, especially in the oven! I don’t know if I’m weird but it really makes me cringe haha. I usually get my OH to do it, but I have been known to get the professionals in too I won’t lie! When we last lived in the area I got oven cleaning sutton coldfield to come and do it. Anyone else?

  12. susan says

    I have so many harsh cleaners that I have stocked up on! I wish I have seen this sooner! At least every product I have I can refill them with all natural cleaners! A friend of ours is coming over and making our own laundry detergent! Can’t wait to try other natural cleaners that I can make at home!

  13. Emma W says

    I don’t know if this would work on an oven but this is what we use for our microwave and it works like a charm!????

    Fill an oven safe pan with a healthy amount of lemon juice and lemons. Bake for 15-25 mins (1 min 30 sec in the microwave).And wipe out with a warm,damp cloth. I hope this helps!