Oven Cleaning Using Simplest of Ingredients

Baking soda & vinegar to clean my dirty oven. I had my doubts. I rarely (can’t say never, because in 8 years, I have cleaned it once, maybe twice) clean my oven. If the stuff burnt on the bottom doesn’t catch fire, I can wait until later to clean it, right. Is it bad to admit that one of the two times that I cleaned my oven was because I did catch the baked on pot pie filling on fire?


My first time cleaning it was with that oven cleaner in a can. I hated every minute of it. My mind kept wandering to, “What am I breathing in?” I made the kids go outside while I sprayed it and it sat in the oven. The next time was much less traumatic. I felt so smart when I thought to use baking soda. This time I remembered to get the camera out to take before and after pictures! So proud of myself – nothing like an idea for a blog post to motivate me to stop procrastinating!

What you will need…

1 box of Baking Soda – I started ¾ of a box (the big box) and I still had some left when I was done. Remember, my oven was beyond gross so you might need as much.

2-3 cups Water – you can put it in a spray bottle or just sprinkle it from a measuring cup.

2-3 old wash cloths or rags & pail of water for clean up

Rubber gloves

Spray bottle

Optional – ½ to 1 cup Vinegar and scrubby cloth (i.e. non-scratch Scotch Brite)


Prep work needed

1-I took off my oven door and took out the heating element. OK, my husband did, but I was about to clean the oven (no where near my list of things that I want to do), a little help is acceptable.

2-Mix the vinegar & water together in a spray bottle and shake well.

Here is how it went…

Off came the door and out came the heating element. Not necessary, but makes it a bit easier. Out came the vacuum (shop vac suggested if you have one) to suck up all of the loose crunchy stuff. I did mention that my oven was filthy, right?!

Heavy sprinkles of baking soda (enough to cover the bottom) especially on the crunchy black areas. Next came lots of spraying. I wanted to see the paste sitting at the bottom of the oven. At some point, I remembered the sides of the oven, so I sprayed them with the water & vinegar mix, then gently tossed some baking soda onto the sides. Little sloppy, but most of it stuck to the sides enough to do the job.

Then I just let it sit. If your oven isn’t that dirty, you might just wait 30-45 minutes. Mine was bad and besides that we had plans that took us out of the house for the rest of the day. When I got home 8 hours later, I sprayed a bit more of the vinegar & water mix to keep the baking soda moist. My hope was that it would continue its cleaning action while we slept.

Huge success! Easy to wipe up and only a little elbow grease needed to get it sparkling! I had to scrub more the time I used the store bought cleaner in a can. Easy, cheap, supplies already on hand with no fumes and it worked! All criteria for natural home cleaning solutions met!

Note to self for future oven cleaning – remember to clean the back wall of oven AND be careful not to push the connectors for the heating element into the hole at the back when wiping the back wall (oops).