Easy Homemade Oven Cleaner Recipes

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With the exception of one of the recipes below, you can make oven cleaners that are much safer for the environment than commercial products containing harsh chemicals. They’re also much more frugal!


DetailBaking Soda
Dish Detergent

  • Fill a spray bottle with water and spray surface generously.
  • Generously sprinkle baking soda over the water. Leave overnight.
  • The next day wipe out much of the baking soda and grime.
  • Soak a sponge in hot water, squeeze out excess water and scrub away grime with liquid dish detergent first drizzled over the sponge.


Baking soda

  • Preheat to 200° then turn off.
  • In a heat safe glass dish, fill with ammonia and set on middle rack (about 1 to 2 cups of ammonia).
  • In another dish, fill with boiling water and set on bottom rack (2 cups).
  • Leave overnight.
  • The next morning, remove dishes and wipe down the inside with a hot wet sponge first drizzled with baking soda.


3 tsp Borax
1/4 cup vinegar
1/8 cup liquid dish soap
2 cups hot water

Baking soda (do not add to mix)

  • Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and shake to mix.
  • Spray mixture generously to cover surface completely.
  • Sprinkle generous amounts of baking soda on top.
  • Spray liquid mixture over the baking soda.
  • Leave overnight.
  • The next morning wipe out the mixture and wash the surface with hot soapy water.


1 cup baking soda
1/3 cup table salt

  • Spray surface well with water.
  • Mix together the dry ingredients then sprinkle over the water.
  • Spray again with water.
  • Leave overnight. Wipe out the next morning and wash with hot soapy water.

You can also use this softscrub for the next day’s scrubbing after using one of the methods above.


  • Place the racks in an extra large heavy-duty garbage bag, pour in a cup of ammonia and tie the bag closed (tightly).
  • Set the garbage bag outside away from children and pets.
  • The next day remove the racks and wash them in hot soapy water.

If they aren’t that grimy, you can choose instead to soak them in hot soapy water. Scrub with a baking soda and water paste.


  • Wipe the surface with vinegar to remove any residue left behind by cleaner.
  • Do a quick wipe inside the oven while doing the dishes, washing up any spills and splatters (wait until it’s cool enough to do so). Your appliance won’t need as many deep cleaning jobs and will never be nasty again!
  • Line the bottom with a large foil baking sheet or a strip of aluminum foil to catch spills and drips.

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Published: December 16, 2008
Updated: August 18, 2012

What Readers Are Saying:
40 Comments to “Easy Homemade Oven Cleaner Recipes”
  1. Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship says:

    Sprinkle salt on the spill while it’s still HOT and you can usually just wipe it out as soon as the oven’s cooled down with little trouble.

  2. Jamie moody says:

    I use Baking soda,Vinager and water, Spray oven with water generasly sprinkle with baking soda spray with strait vinagar and let set over night, wipe off and scrub really touph spots with baking soda on your spounge,(if dont have scrubber) rise with water and wipe out! I clean the tub the same way only dont let it set over night just for an hour or so!

  3. Veronica says:

    Another way to clean the racks is to wrap them in alfoil, then place into a laundry tub that you’ve dissolved one cup of washing soda crystals with hot water. Press them down, and leave until water has cooled enough to put your hands in. Remove foil – only as much as you are going to clean – and wash off the grime.

    • Jan says:

      Another way for oven racks is to use biological clothes washing powder dissolved in hot water, soak rack(s) in the solution for 15 mins or longer, then use either a ‘Brillo’ type pad (wire wool pad) or a scrubber pad (the green coloured part of your washing up sponge/the green coloured individual scrubber pads)- the enzymes in the washing powder dissolve the grease and grime and it rubs off easily with the scrubbing pad.

      Also – please be careful using ammonia or ammonia-based products – always use only where you have adequate ventilation and DO NOT inhale the fumes as they do cause breathing problems; in asthmatic/breathing compromised people, this could be lethal!!

  4. carole says:

    can this be used on self cleaning oven?

    • Vicky says:

      I’m with Carole, does any or all of these tips work with a self cleaning overn? I’ve got to clean mine out and would love to clean it without having to use one of those terrible oven cleaning sprays that stink up the house. My children have asthma and I really need to have something that want cause them to have an asthma attack just cause my oven needed cleaning up. lol Thanks to everyone for the tips.

      • mjxfingers says:

        I bought a self-cleaning oven *before* I did the research. The chemicals used are toxic and can kill animals in the vicinity. Please Google dangers of self-cleaning ovens. Plus this new oven says not to put down aluminum folk on the bottom (to catch the drips). I found out the hard way – didn’t notice the raised letters (b/c they’re the same color as the floor of the oven) until it was too late. The a.f. stuck to the bottom of the oven & I couldn’t get it off. Whatever happened to the Good Old Days? All I use for cleaning it now is water & baking soda.

  5. tanya says:

    My mom swears by using Ketchup for the tough stains.
    Surprisingly it works well!!

    Just warm the oven up – squirt the ketchup where-ever then scrub into the surfaces with a nice scratch free scrubby.
    Leave on for 5 minutes or so, and the mess wipes right up!

  6. Kim says:

    which of the above recipes works best to clean the oven door/window?

  7. pam says:

    I used a pumice stone. Yes, what people usually use on their feet. Wet the pumice stone with water and have an old wet cloth to wipe off the area after using the pumice. It did not scrape the finish off my whirlpool oven either. You may want to try an area on yours to make sure. It was great and no chemical smell. Just a “small amount” of elbow grease- Easy! You may use a little dish detergent on the pumice if you desire. The pumice stone will crumble only slightly with the cooked-on crusty stains. Your oven will look like new! I used the pumice on the racks too and again no fumes from oven cleaners! Easy! Cleaning both the oven and racks were quick and easy!

  8. lori says:

    what about the oven glass door? I have spot in between the glass. It looks awful. Any suggestions?

    • Sue says:

      You have to take the front of the door off…it’s easy. It’s just held on by a few screws. Clean in between then reattach.

      • anty es says:

        I also have this problem but was concerned if there was any asbestos between the front and back of the door. Do you have any thoughts on this?

  9. Laura says:

    NEVER leave aluminum foil on the bottom of your oven, it will melt in the heat and you will be very, VERY unhappy because you will never get it off. Trust me. Don’t do it!

    • Denise says:

      Laura, I agree. I tried this foil on the bottom of my oven and I’m very sorry. It fused to the base of my gas oven.

      • Donna says:

        I did the same thing, Laura. Had to order a new bottom for the oven for $40 in 2004. The gas oven I grew up with in the 50’s didn’t act like that.

  10. melissa says:

    Thanks a bunch for this great cleaning advice. I’ve used these tips to clean my working antique Chambers stove and it sparkles like new. I also wanted to add that I’ve cleaned the wire racks by placing them in a garbage bag with a cup or two of ammonia and left them sit in the sun on the patio for an hour or two. Just remember to open the bag away from your face when you remove the racks. A little scrubbing wtih a micro fiber cloth and they’re good as new. Now just toss the bag with the ammonia in the trash.

  11. msuphd says:

    do you know how to clean between the glass on an oven door (electric)?

    • Vicki says:

      try using Softscrub, or 409, place a paper towel soaked with 409, and let it sit for a few hours, your oven door will be open, and use a nylon scrubby for tough spots, soft scrub will not scratch the glass, or find any stove glass/smooth top cleaner…

      • Darlene says:

        I believe you need to take apart the oven door frame front and back (glass is in between. Look for skrews on the top and sides. This is the only way you will get between the glass as msuphd wants to know.

  12. sue says:

    do you know how to clean the top of a gas stove?

    • sammie says:

      Get a razor blade in a holder and scrape the Crust off. Then get the polish they sell for these stoves and squirt out on the glass and rub it around, let it dry then buff the white film off

  13. Nancy says:

    I took my oven door apart to clean between the glass, it was not hard and it looks so much better!

  14. Holly says:

    The tin foil also messes with your temperatures in the oven. It takes longer to cook something when the foil is in the oven. I do like the idea of using not harsh chems to clean the oven and the self clean option is brutal!

    • Darlene says:

      Good to know! No wonder my food hasn’t been cooking the same!

      • Julie says:

        I also was taught toi use heavy aluminum foil to proitect the bottom of my electric oven.I had a repair man come out to the house and he told me to take it out because it messes with the thermostat. It used to take 5-10 minutes to heat my oven..it now takes 15-20 minutes.

      • Julie says:

        I also was taught to use heavy aluminum foil to protect the bottom of my electric oven.I had a repair man come out to the house and he told me to take it out because it messes with the thermostat. It used to take 5-10 minutes to heat my oven..it now takes 15-20 minutes.

  15. Dorothy-Anne Pelkey says:

    I clean my oven door(inside), with vinegar and baking soda. I also use i/2 vinegar snd 1/2 blue Dawn dish detergent to clean my glass top stove. The stove top seems to attract less dust, and I use the $ Store package of little green scrubbers . The don’t scratch the surface

  16. Kirsty O says:

    Another great tip for cleaning the wire racks in your oven.. Line your laundry trough with aluminum foil. Fill with hot water and laundry powder. Put the wire racks in and leave overnight. Wipe of grease in the morning!! Fantastic!!

  17. kim says:

    for the top of your range a mr. clean magic eraser works for spots or stains and a razor blade for boil overs. For everyday cleaning or lite cleaning of glass surface I use a non ammonia glass cleaner

  18. Catherine says:

    Soak your oven racks with warm water and liquid fabric softener the grease just scrubs off.

  19. janel says:

    All these tips are safe to use on my gas stove i dont have shut the pilot offor anything im not going too blow up the house right

  20. Lydia says:

    Easiest way I’ve found to clean the oven (so much so that I do it after most uses of the oven) out a bowl of freshly boiled water in the bottom of oven while the oven is still hot and let it cool – grease and burn just wipes away once the oven has cooled down…

  21. Colleen says:

    I bought the product that came with my stove and soon realized I’m not willing to pay that much when Baking Soda (or even Bar Tenders Friend or BonAmi will do the same).To clean glass top, first wipe off any crumbly stuff, then mix baking soda with a little water making a paste. Rub paste over the glass top, this will get most of the burnt overflow. Baking Soda will not scratch the surface. If unable to get tuff spots, then a razor to scrape off residue. After then rinse and wipe dry.

  22. ConnieG. says:

    Holly! Yea! I think you solved the problem of the temperature in my oven.
    I didn’t connect the foil to the temp..and was going to call a repairman, thinking my thermostat was broken. I have bought two oven thermometers and
    have to set my oven for 400 if I want the temp to be 375.
    Duh! I’m going to go remove the foil right now and see what happens the next time I use the oven. Thanks, ahead of time for the suggestion. Connie

  23. Dorothy Maxwell says:

    This sounds brilliantly safe and simple. I’m having my oven professionally “gleamed” next week, afterwards I shall use this tip and hope never to have to have it done again!

  24. Anne Jones says:

    Is baking soda the same as bicarbinate soda