If you are someone who uses the oven a lot to cook delicious roasts, bake cakes and more, you may be wondering what the guidelines are for how often your oven needs cleaning. Preventing burnt food buildup and keeping the interior nice looking are good motivators to develop consistent oven cleaning habits. But what exactly is the recommended oven cleaning frequency to aim for?

The experts at Dirtbusters Cleaners (visit dirtbusterscleaners.co.uk) suggest following a basic routine of giving your oven a quick wipe down after each use to get any obvious spatters and spills. Then plan to tackle more thorough oven cleaning every 3-6 months. Setting phone reminders can help so you don’t let the oven cleaning chore slip too far down the schedule.

Read on for detailed tips on how often to clean an oven by zone, what cleaning products to have on hand, cleaning methods that work and other oven cleaning tips from the pros.

Oven cleaning frequency by zone

To simplify oven cleaning routines, it helps to break the jobs down into:

  • Light cleaning after each oven use
  • Periodic surface cleaning
  • Deep cleaning the oven interior

Here is guidance around timing and tasks for each zone:

Light oven cleaning after every use

After you finish roasting chicken, baking pies and other oven recipes, make a quick 1 minute sweep of the interior while still warm to:

  • Wipe up any obviously visible food spills or splatters
  • Remove excess grease drippings
  • Use towels or high-heat resistant rubber gloves
  • Avoid burnt hands on hot surfaces

Getting into this quick wipe down habit prevents fresh spills from getting baked on and becoming 10 times harder to remove later.

Surface oven cleaning every 1-2 weeks

Plan to hit the external oven surfaces, racks and door more thoroughly around every week or two when you deep clean the rest of the kitchen:

  • Remove racks and soak to loosen residue
  • Scrub racks in hot soapy water
  • Clean exterior oven surfaces
  • Wash glass oven door with dish soap & water or glass cleaner
  • Avoid abrasives that could scratch finishes

Getting into a weekly surface clean regimen keeps racks clean for cooking and the outside of your oven nice looking between periodic deep interior cleans.

Deep clean oven interior every 3-6 months

Ideally do a thorough deep clean of the oven interior at least twice per year. Every 3-6 months is reasonable for medium oven usage levels:

  • Remove everything from oven before applying cleaners
  • Choose cleaning method based on oven type/condition (see more detail later in article)
  • Let cleaners work to penetrate grime
  • Agitate/scrape deposits
  • Rinse surfaces extremely well afterwards
  • Avoid toxic fume inhalation from intense chemical cleaners

This periodic deep cleaning of oven walls and surfaces prevents built up grease deposits from carbonising and getting out of control.

What oven cleaning supplies do you need?

Having the right gear makes cleaning the oven much easier. Here’s a checklist of handy oven cleaning kit items to have on hand:

  • Oven gloves & masks – Protect skin & avoid inhaling strong fumes
  • Scrub brushes – Help agitate stuck-on stains
  • Steel wool – For extremely stubborn deposits
  • Specialty oven cleaners – Foaming gels work best
  • Natural acid cleaners – Vinegar, lemon juice, etc
  • Baking soda – Helps scour off burnt grime
  • Microfibre cloths – Removes grease easily
  • Oven liners – Catch future spills

Stock up on a selection of the above oven cleaning supplies so you’ll be ready to tackle oven messes with the right tools for the job when reminder alarms go off indicating it’s time for your periodic deep clean.

Top oven cleaning methods

When it comes time for tackling the periodic deep cleaning of your oven interior, having a plan of attack is key. Here are 5 of the most popular oven cleaning methods to consider:

1. Vinegar steam cleaning

Plain vinegar works to naturally cut grease. The acetic acid in vinegar dissolves grime.

How to steam clean an oven with vinegar:

  • Pour vinegar into oven-safe bowl
  • Place bowl inside cold oven
  • Heat oven to 250°F/120°C until vinegar steams (20-30 mins)
  • Condensation softens oven grime
  • Remove bowl carefully with gloves
  • Wipe with cloth while still warm

No harsh chemicals needed! The vinegar steam helps loosen deposits for easier wiping.

2. Baking soda abrasion

Baking soda is a mild abrasive. When mixed with water and elbow grease it lifts stains.

Cleaning oven with baking soda instructions:

  • Sprinkle baking soda liberally on all interior oven surfaces
  • Spritz surfaces with a water spray bottle
  • Let paste sit for 15-30 minutes
  • Scrub with brush or scouring sponge
  • Wipe clean with damp cloth
  • Rinse surfaces well after scrubbing

Baking soda is inexpensive, non-toxic and helps deodorize as it cleans without scratching oven surfaces.

3. Specialty oven cleaning sprays

Look for industrial strength oven cleaning aerosol sprays designed to cling to vertical surfaces longer while penetrating burnt-on deposits.

How to use heavy duty oven cleaner spray:

  • Remove oven racks
  • Ensure room ventilation
  • Cover bare skin & eyes
  • Shake can & spray liberally over entire oven interior
  • Let foam work minimum 6 hours for heavy buildup
  • Wear gloves – chemicals can irritate bare skin
  • Agitate stubborn deposits with brush
  • Wipe away softened grime
  • Rinse thoroughly after cleaning

These caustic commercial oven cleaners save scrubbing effort on extreme grease buildup. Handle carefully due to harsh ingredients.

4. DIY oven cleaning cubes

For a non-toxic oven cleaner, create homemade cleaning cubes using hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish detergent.

Mix & use DIY oven cleaner cubes:

  • Mix hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and soap into an ice cube tray
  • Freeze overnight
  • Pop a cube out & place in cold oven
  • Turn oven to 200°F/90°C
  • Steam softens grease for 20 minutes
  • Wipe grime away while still warm

These fume-free cubes lift deposits gently through cleaning agent release as they melt. Re-freeze extras to store.

5. Self-cleaning oven mode

Newer oven models may have built-in self-cleaning modes. This uses very high heat to burn food residue to ash for easy wiping out afterwards with a damp cloth.

How to use self-clean setting:

  • Hand wash oven door gasket area
  • Remove racks & foil
  • Empty crumb tray
  • Select self-clean setting (2-4 hours)
  • Ventilate kitchen to dissipate potential burning smells
  • Wipe out ash deposits by hand afterwards
  • Replace oven racks

The intense heat of self-clean modes eliminates scrubbing work. Ensure oven interiors are empty first for optimal results.

Oven cleaning tips

Here are extra pointers when tackling oven cleaning:

  • Allow freshly cleaned oven to fully air dry before reheating
  • Avoid mixing cleaning products – can produce toxic chlorine gas
  • Test cleaners on small hidden area first to check for damage
  • Use caution with commercial oven cleaners around pets
  • Enable ventilation during and after cleaning sessions
  • Wipe up acidic cleaners like lemon juice & vinegar to avoid metal corrosion over time


While scrubbing down a dirty oven is nobody’s idea of fun, keeping up with regular lightweight cleaning after each use combined with periodic deeper cleaning every 3-6 months prevents grime from getting out of control. Implement reminder alerts on your calendar app tied to your chosen cleaning schedule.

Stock your oven cleaning kit with the right tools and masks/gloves to protect yourself while tackling the various zones and layers of grease buildup. Getting into consistent oven cleaning routines allows you to keep your oven safe and usable for all your baking, roasting, toasting and other oven cooking needs!