How to steam clean an oven: A step-by-step guide

The easiest and most effective ways to steam clean your oven.

Steam cleaning oven

by Kat de Naoum |

Steam cleaning is one of the safest, most hygienic, and easiest ways to clean stuck-on filth and grime from ovens and barbeque grills to bathrooms and grout — and the best part is that you don’t have to use any harmful chemicals. We’ve found that the most effective way to steam clean an oven is by using plain water or simple everyday ingredients that you most likely already have at home, like vinegar, or lemons, making it spotless in less time and with hardly any elbow grease.

Although oven cleaning sprays, foams and liquid detergents are good at getting rid of dirt, they’re not at all eco-friendly and aren’t exactly the best thing to be inhaling. These products will ruin any fabric they get on and can be quite corrosive to the oven itself if left on too long.

Related: The best oven cleaners for effortless degreasing

Another popular way to clean an oven is by making a paste using baking soda and vinegar, applying a thick layer of this mixture all over the oven, and letting it soak all night. Although effective, there’s still quite a bit of scrubbing involved, especially if we’re talking about serious build-up.

Most newer ovens have self-cleaning functions, but a lot of people seem to avoid using that option as, if not done with extreme care, it essentially just further cooks/burns food remnants and can end up setting the fire alarm off. Using water and vinegar to steam clean an oven is such an easy and quick method, that anyone can do it (could be a good time to delegate this dreaded task), and there’s hardly any scrubbing involved.

Related: 44 uses for bicarbonate of soda

Below, we set out a step-by-step guide to steam cleaning your oven with vinegar or lemons and we’ve also included a couple of handy how-to videos. Before you start, here are a few economical items you’ll need to assist you in your oven-cleaning endeavour:

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this page, we never allow this to influence product selections. Find out why you can trust us here********__.

Oven-cleaning gloves

TRIXES Pair of Rubber Gloves

TRIXES Pair of Rubber Gloves
Amazon

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When cleaning an oven, regular dish-washing gloves wonu2019t cut it, simply because they are short so when reaching right into the back of your oven, itu2019s highly likely youu2019ll end up getting grime on your sleeves. These extra-long rubber gloves are Amazonu2019s choice of best oven gloves, keeping your hands safe and dirt-free.

Review: "The length on these is excellent especially when cleaning the oven. The gloves are of a decent thickness and the 'sleeve' has a well elasticated top to keep them in place."

Oven-cleaning brush

4-in-1 Oven & Hob Cleaning Brush

4-in-1 Oven & Hob Cleaning Brush
Amazon

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Another Amazonu2019s Choice product, this time for best oven cleaning brush, this super economical 4-in-1 oven and hob cleaning tool is great for getting into those hard-to-reach corners, effortlessly cleaning grates, racks, and griddles, and it even has a scraper for that really stuck-on muck.

Review: "Been using knives, blades and acids to clean the grills from my oven and BBQ — this is so much easier and quicker. Recommended and great value."

White vinegar

Jocker Woods White Vinegar for Cleaning, Pickling, Marinations & Cooking

Jocker Woods White Vinegar for Cleaning, Pickling, Marinations & Cooking
Amazon

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This massive five-litre bottle of distilled white vinegar is a must in any kitchen because you can use it for food, whether marinating or pickling and for all-round cleaning purposes too. It can even be used as a weed killer.

Review: One customer explained that they use this "vinegar extensively in the kitchen as an eco-friendly and efficient cleaner," adding that it’s also "great to decant into a cleaning spray bottle."

Baking soda

Arm and Hammer Baking Soda

Arm and Hammer Baking Soda
Amazon

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To give yourself a head-start before your oven vinegar steam-cleaning venture, the above-mentioned method of leaving a baking soda and vinegar paste in the oven overnight will ensure that your oven steam-cleaning experience will be easier than ever.

Review: Arm & Hammer is bicarb royalty, and one buyer wrote that they were "very impressed with the way it cleaned the glass door on my oven," and another exclaimed that they "did not know it had so many uses; from cleaning stoves to cleaning dentures!"

Steam-cleaning an oven using vinegar or lemon

Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to getting your oven spotless in the most natural way possible; using just vinegar or lemons. If your oven is fairly new or clean already and you just want to freshen it up, you can omit the extra ingredients and just use water.

  1. Remove everything from the oven, keeping just one rack in the middle towards the top.
  1. Put an oven-proof tray or dish, like a Pyrex, on the oven rack.
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 250 degrees.
  1. In an easy-pour jug, mix one-part water to one part vinegar. If you go down the lemon route, you’ll need the juice of two or three lemons instead of vinegar.
  1. When the oven’s nice and hot, open the door and pour your mixture from the jug into the oven dish till it’s about half-way full.
  1. Close the oven door and leave the oven on for around 20-60 minutes, or until the water and vinegar or lemon mix has evaporated.
  1. Switch the oven off and wait around 30-60 minutes for it to cool down (use your discretion; don’t do it too soon and risk burning yourself, but don’t wait too long for the filth to get solid again).
  1. Get your gloves on (this is the elbow grease part), remove the rack and dish from the oven, use the oven cleaning brush all around and in the corners, nooks, and crannies, using the spatula side if needed, and wipe down with a cloth.

Steam cleaning an oven using a steam cleaning machine

Want a handy gadget that does the work for you? A steam cleaning machine will be your new best friend.

Belaco Multipurpose Steam Cleaner 1050W

Belaco Multipurpose Steam Cleaner 1050W
Amazon

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This awesome and inexpensive steam cleaner comes with nine accessories allowing you to clean everything from your oven, hob, sink, tiles and every single nook and cranny in your kitchen and bathroom, to even clothing and upholstery.

Review: One happy buyer explained, "[it] degreased the top of the oven (been trying to do it for ages without success); with the help of a toothbrush [it] came up a treat," and another wrote, "I bought this multipurpose product to clean my kitchen tiles mainly but I used it on so many things such as shirts, linen and silk. Weight of steamer is similar to iron and easy to use."

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Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us