Cleaning Guides

Make Your Oven Sparkling Clean with the Power of Steam!

Africa Studio /

Cleaning a dirty oven in the weekend is no one’s idea for resting. There is a lot of scrubbing included in the process, not to mention the usage of a lot of harsh chemicals. But did you know that there is a healthier, quicker and easier way to clean the oven?

You can do it using only water in the process. To learn how to steam clean the oven properly, it’s good to be familiar with the two main steam cleaning methods available:

  • Placing a pot filled with water in the oven and heating it.
  • Using the steam cleaning function of your oven.

Below we will go into detail about both of these cleaning techniques, so you know how to use them later for your oven. The best part is that most of the work is done by the oven. How awesome is that?

Table of contents:

DIY oven steam cleaning method

To make your steam cleaning solution you only need a hot oven, an oven-safe pot or a metal bowl and water. Adding extra ingredients like vinegar, baking soda or fresh lemon juice will make the solution more effective, especially for treating older, stubborn stains.

Step 1: Clean the oven racks

Remove the oven racks and place them in a tub of warm, soapy water. Let them soak for 15 minutes. The hot water will loosen up the food residue. Remove them from the mixture and scrub them off to remove any grime. Dry them out with a microfibre cloth and place them back in the oven.

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Step 2: Wipe off easy to remove grease

Although this step is not mandatory, wiping off easy-to-remove residue will make the whole cleaning easier. You can use a brush to remove crumbs. Take a cloth or a sponge and wipe off the entire interior of the oven – including walls and bottom.

Step 3: Place an oven-safe bowl with water in the oven

Place back the clean racks inside the oven. Fill a metal pan or an oven-safe bowl with water. You don’t want to use a bowl that is too deep. Otherwise, the steam from the bubbling water won’t rise high enough and won’t be able to reach the entire interior of the oven.

Using a baking pan will be perfect for the job. The pans are wide and deep enough to hold enough water and still allow the steam to fill up the oven’s interior. Place the filled pan in the centre of the oven.

If there are old stains that won’t be easily removed with just water you can add a cup of white vinegar or lemon juice to the mixture. The steam from the water will loosen up the stains and the vinegar/lemon will destroy them. The vinegar will emit some smell that may irritate your eyes and nose. The smell is not toxic, but it’ll be best to ventilate the kitchen during the cleaning.

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Step 4: Heat up the oven to 250°C

Close the oven door and heat the oven to 250°C. Let the solution steam up for 20-30 minutes. Don’t leave the oven unattended and periodically check if there is still water in the bowl.

Turn off the oven after 30 minutes. Put on gloves and remove the bowl from the inside of the oven. Be careful not to burn yourself.

For even better results, you can spray the interior of the oven with more water and vinegar mixture and leave it there while the oven naturally cools down. Close the door and leave the mixture for an extra 30 minutes.

Step 5: Wipe off the grease from the walls, bottom, top and door of the oven

The grime and food residue will loosen up from the steam, so it should clean straight off. Wait until the oven is still warm but cool enough to touch. Don’t wait too long, though, or stains may harden up again.

Soak a sponge in water and start wiping off the interior of the oven. You can use the abrasive part of the sponge to make sure you remove all stubborn stains. Start from the oven roof, wipe off the walls, then the racks and finish by cleaning the bottom.

How to use the steam cleaning function of the oven

Some of the new oven models have a steam cleaning function. This cleaning cycle uses a lower temperature and it’s faster than the traditional self-cleaning function, which can take up to 3 hours. In comparison, the steam cleaning cycle takes around 30 minutes, the door is not locked and it’s safe to open while the oven is steaming.

The steam cleaning option is perfect for quick and frequent cleaning of food spills and stains. Pour a cup of water onto the bottom of a cool oven. Close the door and select the steam cleaning function. After the cleaning cycle is complete, leave the oven to cool down and wipe off the moisture and the residue with a soft cloth.

Another advantage is that you can leave the racks, trays and pans inside the oven during the steam clean. This is not recommended for the traditional self-cleaning cycle because the high temperature may damage them. By choosing the steam cleaning function of the oven, you are also saving yourself the extra manual cleaning of racks, trays and pans, which needs to be done with the DIY steam cleaning method.

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Benefits of steam cleaning your oven

  • Steam cleaning the oven will save you time – Both steam cleaning methods are easy and quick and most of the work is done by the oven. You can use steam cleaning regularly to avoid stubborn stains and save yourself a lot of scrubbing time.
  • No harsh chemicals are used when steam cleaning the oven – It doesn’t get more eco-friendly than that! The steam cleaning method uses only water. This means, no potent smell or chemical residue after you’re done cleaning, just better-tasting food.

Steam cleaning is perfect for regular oven cleaning. Still, when it comes to very old stains, it’s incredible how stubborn they can prove to be. So in particular cases, you may need to spot treat the stains with some homemade oven cleaning recipes. If even that doesn’t give the desired results, then it’s time to call in some extra help.

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