The Best Homemade Oven Cleaner Recipes | Baking Soda, Vinegar & Lemon Juice

homemade oven cleaner


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Wondering how to *really* clean an oven with baking soda? Perhaps you’re scouring the internet for DIY methods to help you create a homemade oven cleaner with lemon juice or vinegar that works.

No matter what the case may be, we’ve got you! The SKL team is always excited to explore and try more natural solutions for cleaning – without using harsh chemicals, of course.

We’ve put dozens of eco-friendly cleaning products and DIY recipes to the test to find the ones that deep clean ovens effectively and safely.

In this guide, you’ll find tips and easy solutions to whip up natural cleaners using simple ingredients you already have in your pantry, like baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice. 

Pst! For pre-made, natural options, check out the 7 best non-toxic oven cleaners for baked-on grease in 2024.

DIY oven cleaner recipe

Tips For Cleaning Oven With Lemon Juice, Baking Soda & Vinegar 

We’ve all been there, staring at our oven racks and walls, wondering how on earth they got so grimy. If you fill your bakeware with delicious cookies or prepare healthy meals every single day, then you already know how hard it is to keep your oven perfectly clean all day, every day. 

Now, I know – It’s tempting to reach for those commercial oven cleaners that promise quick results with minimal effort.

But, to be very blunt, please DON’T! 

These quick-fix sprays and liquids are amongst the most toxic household items. Ever notice how your eyes start watering and your throat feels scratchy the moment you start spraying? 

That’s because many commercial cleaners contain corrosive chemicals that can irritate your respiratory system and skin, or in some cases oven cleaner poisoning

So much so that experts warn us that many conventional drain and oven cleaners are packed with one of the deadliest household chemicals: Sodium hydroxide, also known as lye or caustic soda.  

But it’s not just the immediate effects that are cause for concern. Residues from these chemical cleaners can linger in your oven, mingling with your food every time you cook. 

Plus, unlike our favorite natural, homemade oven cleaner that works, when those chemicals get washed down the drain, they end up in our waterways, harming aquatic ecosystems.  

Now, let’s talk about the safest alternatives: DIY natural oven cleaners. These homemade solutions are not only gentler on your skin, eyes, and nose but they’re also kinder to your health and the environment. 

Ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice work wonders at cutting through grease and grime, leaving your oven sparkling clean without the need for harsh chemicals.

Most Effective Natural Ingredients for Cleaning an Oven 

Baking Soda: This humble pantry staple is a powerful natural solution when it comes to cleaning. Its gritty texture works wonders at scrubbing away grease and grime without scratching surfaces. Baking soda also has natural deodorizing properties, which help eliminate stubborn odors from your oven. When mixed with water or vinegar, it forms a paste that can be applied to surfaces, and break down tough stains. No wonder why it’s in every list of simple zero-waste cleaning swaps for a healthy home.

Vinegar: White vinegar is another versatile ingredient that can tackle oven messes effectively. Its acidic nature makes it great for cutting through grease and dissolving buildup. Vinegar also has antibacterial properties, making it a safe and natural option for disinfecting surfaces. Plus, when we combine a homemade oven cleaner with vinegar and baking soda, the solution creates a fizzing reaction that helps lift stubborn stains, making them easier to wipe away. Personally, I use it as the main ingredient in most of my DIY zero-waste recipes for the bathroom and kitchen. 

Lemon Juice: The citric acid in lemon juice makes it an excellent natural degreaser and stain remover. Lemon for oven cleaning is particularly effective at cutting through baked-on food residues and leaving surfaces smelling fresh and citrusy. Like vinegar, lemon juice also has antibacterial properties, making it a great choice for sanitizing your oven.

Salt: While it may seem surprising, salt can be a handy ingredient for a homemade cleaning solution for oven messes. Its abrasive texture helps loosen stuck-on food particles and absorbs grease. Sprinkling salt over spills while the oven is still warm can prevent them from hardening and make them easier to wipe away later. Plus, salt is inexpensive and readily available, making it a budget-friendly option for an effective, natural homemade cleaning solution for oven grease.

How to Clean With Baking Soda and Vinegar

best home remedy oven cleaner

Cleaning an oven with baking soda and vinegar is easy and perfectly safe. First, let’s gather all the necessary ingredients.

Ingredients and supplies you’ll need:

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Sponge or scrub brush
  • Old towels or newspapers
  • Gloves 

Step 1 – Prepare the cleaning solution: Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with water in a small bowl until a thick paste forms. The consistency should be spreadable but not runny. Adjust the amounts as needed to achieve the desired texture.

Step 2 – Apply the baking soda paste: Wearing gloves, evenly spread the baking soda paste over the interior surfaces of the oven. Pay special attention to areas with stubborn grease and grime buildup, such as the oven walls, floor, and door. Also, make sure to avoid applying the homemade oven cleaner to heating elements or other sensitive components.

Allow the baking soda paste to sit for at least 12 hours or overnight to penetrate and break down tough stains and grease.  

Step 3 – Wipe away residue: After the designated time, dampen a sponge or scrub brush with water and use it to gently scrub away the baking soda residue. Take your time to make sure that you’ve treated all areas with heavy buildup. P.S. For stubborn stains, apply a bit more pressure while scrubbing.

Step 4 – Spray with vinegar: Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and spray it over the surfaces of the oven where the baking soda residue was removed. This homemade oven cleaner spray with vinegar will react with any remaining baking soda, creating a foaming action that helps loosen and lift away remaining baking soda, grease and grime.

Using a clean damp cloth or sponge, thoroughly wipe down the interior of the oven to remove any remaining vinegar and residue.  

Clean Oven Racks

clean oven with baking soda and vinegar

Start by removing the oven racks and any other accessories from the oven. Place them on a protected surface such as old towels or newspapers to catch any drips or spills.

Then, spread the baking soda paste you’ve created for the oven evenly over the oven racks and accessories and make sure that they are entirely covered. Focus on areas with stubborn grease and grime buildup.

Allow the baking soda paste to sit on the racks and accessories for at least a few hours.

When enough time has passed, fill a basin or bathtub with hot water and add a few cups of white vinegar. Place the racks and accessories into the solution and let them soak for an hour or two. 

The vinegar will help break down any remaining grease and grime.

Dry them with a clean towel or allow them to air dry completely before placing them back in the oven.

Use Salt for Quick Oven Cleaning Fixes

cleaning an oven with baking soda and vinegar

Have you spotted an extremely greasy area in your oven that requires a quick fix? Start by sprinkling a generous amount of table salt directly onto the spilled or greasy areas inside your oven.

The salt acts as a mild abrasive that helps to loosen and absorb the grime. Allow the salt to sit on the affected areas for at least 10-15 minutes. 

After the salt has had time to work, dampen a sponge or cloth with water and use it to scrub the salt-covered areas. The abrasive nature of the salt, combined with the water, helps to lift away the grime and leave your oven looking sparkling clean.

Once you’ve scrubbed away the residue, rinse the area with clean water and wipe it dry with a cloth, and voila!

Create a Homemade Oven Cleaner With Lemon Juice

homemade cleaning solution for oven

Creating a homemade oven cleaner with lemon juice is not only easy but also leaves your kitchen smelling fresh and citrusy.

Here’s how to use lemon to clean the oven effectively:

Step 1 – Prepare the lemon juice solution: Start by juicing several lemons to extract their juice. If fresh lemons are not available, bottled lemon juice can be used as an alternative. Mix the lemon juice with an equal amount of water in a spray bottle. The acidity of the lemon juice helps to cut through grease and grime, making it an effective natural cleaner.

Step 2 – (Optional) Add baking soda: For added cleaning power, you can mix baking soda with the lemon juice solution to create a paste. Baking soda is a mild abrasive that helps to scrub away tough stains and residues. Simply sprinkle some baking soda into the lemon juice mixture and stir until a thick paste forms.

Step 3 – Apply the cleaner: Liberally spray the lemon juice solution onto the interior surfaces of the oven, focusing on areas with stubborn grease and grime buildup. If using the baking soda paste, spread it evenly over the oven. When you’re all set, allow the cleaner to sit for at least 15-30 minutes to penetrate and loosen the dirt.

Use a sponge or cloth to scrub the oven surfaces, working in circular motions. Once you’ve scrubbed away the dirt and grime, rinse the oven surfaces thoroughly with water to remove any remaining cleaner residue. 

Alternatively, Clean Your Oven With Lemons

baking soda vinegar to clean oven

This DIY method is amazing – my dad has been using lemon for oven cleaning for years.

Start by cutting a lemon in half. You’ll want enough lemon pieces to cover the areas of your oven that need cleaning.

Preheat your oven to a low temperature, around 250°F (120°C). This gentle heat will help activate the cleaning properties of the lemons.

Once the oven is preheated, place the cut lemon(s) directly onto the oven racks or any areas with stubborn stains and grease. 

Then, close the oven door and let the lemons sit inside the warm oven for about 30-60 minutes. As the lemons heat up, their natural acidity will begin to break down grease and grime, making it easier to wipe away.

Lastly, remove the lemons from the oven. If there are still stubborn stains remaining, use a sponge or scrub brush to gently scrub the affected areas.

The Vinegar Steam Clean Method

best homemade oven cleaner recipe

For a natural and effective way to loosen stubborn grease and grime using the power of steam, this homemade cleaning solution for the oven is quick and simple.

Start by filling a heatproof dish with white vinegar and place it in the oven. Heat the oven to a low temperature (around 250°F or 120°C) and let it run for about 30 minutes. The vinegar steam will help loosen grease and grime, making it easier to wipe away. 

After about 30 minutes, turn off the oven and open the door carefully to release any built-up steam. The softened grease and grime should now be much easier to wipe away with a damp cloth or sponge.

Homemade Oven Cleaner With Baking Soda and Dish Soap 

oven cleaner vinegar baking soda

Grab 1/2 cup non-toxic dish soap liquid and 1 1/2 cups of baking soda and mix them in a small bowl. Aim for a thick, spreadable consistency, similar to that of toothpaste.

The dish soap helps to break down grease, while the baking soda acts as a gentle abrasive to scrub away tough stains.

Then, using a spatula or spoon, apply the paste to the stained areas inside your oven. Focus on spots with a heavy buildup of grease and grime.  

Once the paste is applied, allow it to sit for about 15-20 minutes. This gives the dish soap and baking soda mixture time to penetrate and loosen the dirt and grime, making it easier to remove.

Lastly, use a sponge or brush to scrub the oven surfaces – the solution will lift away stubborn stains and grease.

What is the best homemade oven cleaner?

The most effective and versatile homemade oven cleaner is a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar.

Baking soda is a natural abrasive that helps to loosen and scrub away grease, grime, and food residues from oven surfaces. Its gritty texture makes it effective at lifting stubborn stains without scratching the oven’s finish.

White vinegar is acidic, making it an excellent degreaser and stain remover. When combined with baking soda, it creates a foaming reaction that helps to lift away tough residues and neutralize odors.

What is the fastest way to clean your oven without chemicals?

Begin by creating a thick paste using baking soda and water, then spread it generously over the interior surfaces of the oven, targeting areas with stubborn grease and grime.

Let the paste sit for about 15-20 minutes to allow it to penetrate and loosen the dirt. Meanwhile, fill a spray bottle with white vinegar. 

After the designated time, spray vinegar over the baking soda paste, causing it to foam up and break down tough stains. Grab a damp sponge or cloth and scrub the oven surfaces, working in circular motions to lift away the grime.

Finally, rinse the surfaces thoroughly with water to remove any remaining residue, and wipe the oven dry with a clean cloth or towel. 

How often to clean your oven?

It’s a good practice to clean your oven every 3 to 6 months as part of regular maintenance to help prevent the buildup of grease, food residues, and baked-on spills.

If you use your oven frequently or for cooking greasy foods, you may need to clean it more often. Consider cleaning your oven every 1 to 3 months to prevent excessive buildup of grease and grime. 

Tip: Clean up spills and splatters in your oven as soon as they occur to prevent them from baking on the surfaces and becoming more difficult to remove later. 

This was your full guide to homemade oven cleaner solutions!

There you have it – homemade oven cleaners with baking soda, vinegar, and lemons. Unlike harsh chemical cleaners, these natural alternatives don’t release harmful fumes or leave behind toxic residues, ensuring a safer cooking environment for ourselves and our families.

Additionally, using lemons or baking soda vinegar to clean the oven is a very budget-friendly solution, as it utilizes ingredients that are commonly found in our kitchens. 

The best part? Not only are homemade cleaning solutions for ovens effective at removing tough stains and grease, but they also leave our ovens smelling fresh and clean without the need for artificial fragrances.

We hope this guide helped you with many ideas on how to use natural ingredients like lemon to clean the oven.

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homemade oven cleaner

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