Cleaning My Self-Cleaning Oven Safely

In many kitchens, there are found self-cleaning ovens. The convenience of pressing a button to clean a grimy mess is much more appealing than scrubbing the inside by hand. There are several concerns regarding this not so new convenience. It took only one lesson for me to start cleaning my self-cleaning oven safely.

Cleaning a Self-Cleaning Oven Safely

Cleaning my self-cleaning oven safely

My first ever self-cleaning oven was when we lived in western Montana. I was excited about being able to use the self cleaner to keep from having to really get in there and clean the oven. The first and only time I ever used it just about caused problems for me and my son. During the middle of winter and below zero temperatures, I tried cleaning my oven before my husband got home from work one night. While the oven was cleaning, I noticed a strange feeling of tiredness and a weird headache. Not long after that, the carbon monoxide alarm went off, scaring me to death! After talking with my husband, I opened up all the windows and Jamie and I put on our coats and sat on the back doorstep until he got home. Thankfully, we were okay. But that one experience has me never using the self-cleaning function on my stove.

I use the oven ALL THE TIME except during the middle of hot summer time. The biggest mess makers are pans of bacon and the occasional frozen pizza.  Have you tried baking bacon? Oh my word! The bacon doesn't shrivel in the pan like it does on the stove top, nor does it burn as quickly if you get distracted with something else. Even with a greasy oven,you don't have to worry because this cleaner is AMAZING!

Earlier this year, I began looking for a safer than store bought cans of chemicals to clean my oven. I found several online and finally decided on this recipe to try. I'm glad I did because it is awesome.
The first time I used the recipe, my mixture was not as pasty as I would have liked, but it worked. The second time I made a few adjustments and I ended up smearing the paste on by hand; it went much faster than brushing it on. I also learned how to removed the oven door before the cleaning, so I wouldn’t have to stretch to reach the back of the oven.

Cleaning the oven:
  • Remove your racks to be cleaned separately.
  • Wipe out any dry bits in the bottom of the oven.
  • Mix up the ingredients and wipe all over the inside of the oven and door and close it.
  • The next morning, wipe and scrub the paste. Wet your soap pad and scrub those hard to clean spots.
  •  It will take several rinsing to get the paste completely out of the oven. Do a final wipe of the inside to see the sparkling clean.

While the cleaning paste is doing its thing, I clean the racks with ammonia water. I place the racks in a large garbage bag, spray them very well, tie them up and set them outside in the sun. Several hours later, I use a soap pad to scrub off the grime and spray them down with the water hose. I leave them outside to dry. As you can see, I'm not so concerned with the perfect clean racks. I know, I should be.

  • 2 tablespoons of liquid dish detergent
  • 1 ½ cup baking soda
  • up to ¼ cup vinegar

In a bowl, mix the detergent and baking soda. Stirring, add the vinegar. Only use however much you need to get a good paste that will be easily spreadable. I don’t use a full ¼ cup since it is too liquidy for me.

What do you use to clean your oven?


  1. I must try this ,because I have to turn on fans an open doors when I use the self cleaning on my oven.

  2. You know Lori ,this post is timely. We just moved and the new apartment has an oven already. But it is in such a mess!
    Can't use it until I do so cleaning.

    This is very helpful. Hopefully, I will try it out.

    Enjoy your weekend, Lori.
    God bless.

  3. You should try it. I couldn't believe how easy it was to clean the oven.

  4. Momma, take the doors off before cleaning the inside because it will be a lot easier than trying to climb in there to reach the back.

  5. Thanks for the efficient recipe! I just finished cleaning the oven and your tip definitely worked very good. I've used ammonia for cleaning till mow, but had no idea that few simple ingredients would do such a great job. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I'm glad you like it, Dorene. Thanks for leaving a comment.

  7. This is amazing, Lori! I cleaned my oven over the weekend and am amazed at how easy it was and I didn't have to do any standing on my head to get the stuff off. Thank you!

  8. That’s great to hear, Denise. I’m glad it worked so well for you.


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