Remember that night when your lasagna bubbled over in the oven? Yep, the cheese and sauce — while burnt — is still there. Same with the juices from your Thanksgiving turkey. And the cookie crumbs from last weekend. Not only is an oven’s grime and grease a fire hazard, it also influences how your food cooks and tastes. To prevent buildup, Carolyn Forte, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, recommends deep cleaning your oven two or three times a year. But if you really want to stay on top of things, wipe it down once a month or when you notice it’s starting to look dirty.
Shutting the oven door and pretending that it’s not full of grime, grease, and bits of food is not a cleaning solution. Instead, follow this guide by to make your oven look — and cook — as good as new.
How to Clean Inside the Oven
Wipe down loose bits of food on the inside with a damp sponge or cloth. If available, use the self-cleaning cycle on your appliance to ensure that every nook and cranny is touched.
Hold up: Isn’t the oven’s self-cleaning function usually more trouble than it’s worth?
It depends. If you use this function regularly — every four months like Forte suggests — then you won’t deal with foul odors or smoke, which many people complain about. However, it’s important to remember that for the function to work properly, the inside of the oven reaches insanely high temperatures to burn off any leftover food and grease. That means some smoke and a funky burning smell are inevitable.
If you don’t own a self-cleaning oven or aren’t in the mood to deal with the smoke alarm aftermath, use Easy-Off Professional Fume Free Max Oven Cleaner to effectively remove any spills. For a more natural approach, sprinkle table salt to absorb fresh spills and wipe it up with a damp sponge or cloth once the oven is cool.