Natural Oven Cleaning

I couldn't put it off any longer our oven needed a jolly good clean. I won't go into detail but it was getting past disgusting. This is a job I usually put off for ever and normally only attempt in the summer when, because I  usually use commercial oven cleaning sprays, I can have lots of windows and doors open.
Not only is it too cold for having all the windows and doors open right now I am really beginning to question the chemicals used in these sprays. Many contain lye and ammonia which work very quickly but are dangerous to breathe in and can harm the skin because they are caustic (they can cause chemical burns). The smell is very toxic and lingers in the oven afterwards which is worrying. They also make a horrible mess on the kitchen floor even if it is well protected. Careful storage of commercial oven cleaners is also an issue due to the high chemical content. 

When I searched for 'best oven cleaner' on line only the commercial products came out at the top of the search lists. Interestingly these products are not cheap. Yet many people rate natural and cheap products such as bicarbonate of soda, white vinegar and lemons as being just as effective. Aren't natural and cheaper oven cleaning products better? Better for our health and safety, the environment and our pockets. The fact that most of us loathe cleaning our ovens is a weakness that seems to have been seized upon and exploited by the commercial world. If it costs a lot of money it must be good, right? Well I decided to give these commercial products a run for their money by testing these natural products on my repulsive oven. It was relatively easy. 

This is how.

Natural oven cleaning method

  • remove the shelves from the oven and put them in the dishwasher on a high temperature cycle. 
  • spray the bottom of the oven with water
  • sprinkle a light layer of bicarbonate of soda over the area
  • leave this for a couple of hours or longer
  • add a small amount of white vinegar over the same area (which will cause the mixture to fizz excitedly) 
  • leave this mixture for another hour and then use a scourer to scrub the bottom and sides of the oven with the mixture
  • then remove the gunk like mixture with wet cloths 
  • clean the glass door separately with a small about of bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar
fizz fun...

You can use essential oil mixed into this mixture to give a wonderful smell. Lemon juice and halved lemons squeezed into a small bowl of water baked at a medium temperature for about 30 minutes will also help loosen grease and fragrance your oven.

Other tips for making this job more manageable are to line the bottom of the oven with foil or a liner and to clean your oven little and often.

The results were good for a first attempt. Maybe not quite as perfect as using commercial oven cleaners but the experience felt much safer and more pleasant. Cleaning my oven this way will be less of a chore and one I'm more likely to keep up with.

Ta-dah! One cleaner oven and one effervescent blogger.



  1. I did this too because I HATE the smell of oven cleaners. I didn't use vinegar for mine, but that would definitely work! I find it works fine. Also, a bicarb soda/water paste left around any hobs will get the cooked on gunk off. I find natural cleaners just as good as the chemical ones and a fraction of the price. Vinegar is the business!

  2. I so agree with the vinegar and bicarb approach and have been using it successfully too. You probably also know that white vinegar is a very good substitute for fabric softener in the rinse cycle of a washing machine. I first heard of this a few years ago when visiting one of my husband's cousins in Denmark and was able to test for myself that it didn't leave a vinegary smell on the clothes as I had feared :)

  3. Definitely worth changing to this method, I hate the smell of oven cleaners. I can't think why I never thought to put the shelves through the dishwasher before - I'll remember that for next time!

  4. I so need to do this - our oven is disgusting! Thank you for the much needed kick in the right direction! :)

  5. Your oven looks fantastic. I hate the smell of artificial cleaners too and hate using them too. The vinegar and bicarbonate soda is also good for cleaning toilets.
    Sarah x

  6. I'm also going to try this. Will take some before (if I have the nerve to publish!) and after photos. Thanks for the tip xx

  7. oh well done, I fear mine is too far gone! I was thinking about this the other day! but i have manage a little de-clutter in the kitchen and a bit of re-thinking the space. Heather x

  8. Lemon juice and water in the microwave works really well for cleaning the microwave easily. Set for a minute or so and just wipe down. The kitchen smells great too.

    1. Yes, I must clean my microwave now. Thanks for commenting Margaret.

  9. All effective in their own ways, it would still take a really long time to finish the task, and usually make a bigger mess. The stones are difficult to get out and usually extremely hot. They were even more difficult to clean no matter what I would do.

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  10. Thanks for the tips to tackle this onerous, vile and always at the end of my to-do list task! I'd better tackle it now before my nerve weakens - I'll let you know how I get on.

  11. I have tried the bicarbonate paste methodology too and notice it works to some extent, and solely on horizontal surfaces (which are going to be fine for your pie leaks).

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  12. Cleaning a great oven is probably the the majority of monotonous in addition to time-consuming jobs, according to the majority of folks. A different motive is that will washing cookers entail the usage of hard element remedies.
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  13. It's funny really - you spend your whole life buying chemical cleaners because that's just "what you do" and then you read posts like this and everything changes... the simple things can be so good sometimes!

    Just wanted to say thanks - I've been doing my best to be far more frugal recently. The birth of my 2nd wasn't half as scary as the first... I feel like I can be a good housewife as well as mamma - fingers crossed! One of the things I used to do was use professional oven cleaners. I can't say a bad word about them to be honest, at my various houses over the years I've had them in every few months. I'd been using oven cleaner solihull and I don't mind recommending them, however I am ashamed to say that it's only been recently that I even knew what the word frugal meant! So thanks again for posts like this to help me on my way to being a better stay at home mamma :) x

  14. Thanks for the advice. I've recently started trying a few green/natural/checmical free techniques, it's been kind of eye opening to see what you can achieve without toxic chemicals! My husband and I spend quite a lot of time away from home at work, but with a few teenage kid yet to leave home the place can get a bit messy, it has to be said! Particularly the cooker... they don't seem to enjoy cleaning that themselves :P Both our home and holiday home are fairly modest in size so we can manage most of it ourselves even with our busy schedules, though we have in the past used professional companies to come in and do the cookers. The two we use are oven cleaner sutton coldfield and oven cleaner medway, and it's nice to know that as well as doing a fantastic job, they don't use harsh chemicals either. But whether you go for that route or the D.I.Y. route, you can always get a decent job done without nasty chemicals! Thanks again for the informative post :)

  15. Nice work! I got to say, I am impressed with the results you have gotten, given what you used. You must have used plenty of the old elbow grease too! If you were based in Sheffield you would make a great oven cleaner sheffield.

  16. 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?

  17. Thanks guys for your appreciative efforts, you really have done the awesome searching for your blog!
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  18. I hate cleaning my oven too. It gets to looking so bad. I’ve had to use a razor blade to get mine clean, but next time I’m giving this recipe a try. Thanks!

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