10 DIY Homemade Oven Cleaners

homemade oven cleaner

Nobody likes cleaning. Cleaning really should put alongside death and taxes as an unavoidable fact of life. Cleaning the oven ranks alongside cleaning the toilet as the household’s least favorite chore, yet while we all agree that cleaning the toilet should be done regularly, somehow cleaning the oven is always put back. Maybe we all subconsciously persuade ourselves that the germs can’t survive in the oven, so there’s no health risk, and hey, you can’t see the inside of the oven anyway – let’s clean up next time! Or perhaps many are off put by the array of toxic chemicals uses in commercial oven cleaners. You do not have to be particularly green to be concerned about what those chemicals do once down the drain. Whatever your reason for ignoring the oven, why not try a natural homemade oven cleaner. Our recipes for DIY oven cleaner will certainly save you money and maybe help the environment too. What’s not to like?

homemade oven cleaner

Homemade Oven Cleaner



Before you roll your eyes back, shake your head and move onto another site, hear me out. I admit that it’s not the best DIY oven cleaner, but you really can use just water when it’s all you have in your kitchen. It’s worth a shot.

The basic principle relies on the fact that grease and baked-in food becomes much more pliable when hot and steamed. Put some boiling water in a bowl in the large dish, turn up the oven to full heat and let the water boil away. After 30 minutes, put some gloves on and scrub with an iron wool scourer and more hot water while the oven is still hot. (don’t burn yourself).  You’ll find that that the grease and stains will give way to just water and effort.


Ammonia is arguably the best homemade oven cleaner for baked on grease, but it is stretching the definition of ‘natural’ as it is not a particularly nice chemical. Well, you can argue that volcano’s produce it naturally and it’s certainly better for the environment than commercial products. Your call.

Anyhow, if you’re looking for the best homemade oven cleaner without baking soda, this is the also the best option. There are several ways you can use ammonia as a homemade oven cleaner, all of which involve not too much work.

The easiest method is to combine ammonia with the water method above. This time preheat your oven with the boiling water as before, then switch the oven off and place a flat dish of ammonia in the shelf above the water. Close the oven and leave overnight. The next day, remove the bowls and use the remaining ammonia left in the bowl and spray around the oven. Then get to work with your scourer. The grease and stains will fall off.

Note: If you have a gas oven, turn off the pilot light to avoid setting a bomb off in your kitchen. (1)

3.Tin Foil

Not so much a homemade oven cleaner, but more of a simple oven cleaning tip. Always use tin foil on grills or underneath casserole pots to catch the grease and grime. It’s so simple and will save you soooo many hours of cleaning time.


This is certainly the best smelling DIY oven cleaner and the most natural oven cleaner. Lemons are used for fantastic face masks, cleaning all the dead skin from your cheeks, but few would think you can use them as a lemon oven cleaner.

Well, citric acid is the active ingredient, and if you want to pump up the power, you can buy concentrated citric acid from some hardware shops. Citric acid is great for breaking down grease, and it works a lot better if the grease is heated. First off you can add lemon juice (2 lemons will suffice) to the boiling water in equal measure as per method one. This will help prep you greasy stains. When the oven is still warm, spray the oven with the juice of a third lemon or your citric acid concentrate and get scouring.

Finally, use lemon juice and newspaper to clean the glass oven door and why not try lemon juice to clean your jewelry

5.Oven Vinegar steam clean

This is probably the worse smelling DIY oven cleaner. Some people like the smell. Each to their own, I suppose. While vinegar does smell quite pungent, it will deodorize your oven as well as being an effective natural degreaser. Again, supercharged vinegar in the form of acetic acid can be purchased from hardware shops for those who like their homemade oven cleaner with a little more punch.

Spray the vinegar around the oven walls and bottom to prepare your oven for a vinegar steam clean. Add boiling some water in a flat bowl with 50% vinegar and give the solution a bake for 30 minutes. This will effectively clean oven with vinegar steam as the vinegar steam will work its way into all the hard-to-get grease. When the oven vinegar steam is over and the oven is still warm, get scouring using the remaining vinegar and water solution in the bowl. Finally, use vinegar and newspaper to clean the glass oven door.

6.Baking Soda

This is certainly the most fun DIY oven cleaner and probably second best oven cleaner for baked on grease (second only to ammonia). There is a certain satisfaction watching the baking soda bubble away eating away at the grease. Baking soda is to the housewife what WD40 is to the mechanic. Baking soda has so many uses and there really isn’t much you can’t do with this common household product. You can use it on your hair or whiten your teeth and the same product will naturally deodorize as well as clean your oven.

Mix equal volume of baking soda and water in a container and start scrubbing the grime with the paste.

However, for best effects, you can give the solution more punch by adding a third part vinegar and using oven heat to get the cleaning dial up to 11. Watch that fizzing cleaning magic go!

Smear the mixture all around the oven and put the reminder in a flat bowl. Give the oven a quick 30-minute blast and then start scrubbing while the oven is still warm, using the remainder solution left in the bowl. The oven will look like new.

7. Salt

Salt is not the best DIY oven cleaner. It is only really suitable to use on specific stains rather than a wide oven cleaner. First off, make sure you have a good scourer that won’t take your oven finish off along with the stain. Make sure the stain is as damp and saturated as possible. Sprinkle salt on the stain and leave for ten minutes or so. The salt will draw up much of the grease embedded in the stain and destabilize its structure so that it will easily scrape off.

For best results,  don’t allow food to bake in once it is spilled. Sprinkle the salt on the stain while still in the oven, and the salt will stop the mess baking in. Scrubbing the stain will now be a lot easier when you decide to clean.

8. Newspaper

Again not so much a homemade oven cleaner, but more an obvious tip that you really should use. Ovens can accumulate an awfully large amount of burnt food detritus. We all know by now (as you’ve got this far in the article) baked-in-grease is a pain in the backside to clean. When cleaning the oven, people are always surprised quite how much gunk they find and they quickly run out of every clean cloth and paper towel in the house cleaning up the mess.

So when cleaning the oven, after you’ve applied your homemade oven cleaner of choice, clear up the mess with damp newspaper. Scrunch it into a makeshift cloth. It’s cheap, disposable and there’s lots of it. Only on the final approach – that’s when you use your clean cloths.

9. Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is reasonably good at breaking down fat. You can use it as a homemade oven cleaner if baking soda and ammonia aren’t to hand. It works best if the oven is still hot/warm and the grease is already pliable. On a still warm oven, spray rubbing alcohol around the oven and add alcohol to a dampened scrunched newspaper to start scrubbing. Try prepping the oven first with the water technique and one of the additives if available.

Note: Try not to breathe in the fumes if you can.

10. Dish Soap

I’ll be honest. Dish soap on its own is not the best DIY oven cleaner and it’s probably what most people try first when they run out of the hard stuff. But dish soap really does improve the other recipes ten fold. Mix it with your baking soda or your vinegar solutions and the chemistry is there – literally.


Clean spills up when they happen. You will save yourself so much time in the end

Take care with alcohol and ammonia. They can explode if superheated.

Mix the home remedies up at will. Chemistry is fun!

Clean grills in a dishwasher. So quick and no fuss.


Scrape with abrasive cleaners. You will ruin the enamel on your oven

Don’t breathe alcohol and ammonia when cleaning. They are noxious


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