Kitchen cleaning

How to clean an oven: common problems and solutions

The thought of cleaning your oven doesn't have to give you nightmares! Simply, follow our guide on how to clean an oven in 10 steps or fewer!

Knowing how to clean an oven is important, but understanding the best way to clean an oven will not only save you time, but money, too. While a bit of elbow grease is unavoidable, if you clean your oven regularly you’ll not only protect it in the long run, but also do it without mess or stress.

There are three types of oven – traditional (gas or electric), self-cleaning, and textured (also known as continuously cleaning). The best way to clean ovens will depend on the type of oven you have. Here are our steps for cleaning a traditional oven, a self-cleaning oven, and a continuously cleaning oven.

How to Clean an Oven in 10 Steps: Traditional Ovens

Be alert to dirt. Traditional ovens are the toughest to clean, but wiping the oven when it’s still warm will be a lot easier than attempting to clean it once the mark has cooled and hardened. However, no matter how vigilant you are, a build-up of grease and grime is unavoidable, and you will still need to get inside the oven to give it a really deep clean every once in a while.

  1. First, make sure that the oven is off and cool. It’s also a good idea to put on old clothes – cleaning the oven can get messy!
  2. Remove the shelves and leave to soak in hot water and washing up liquid.
  3. Choose your oven cleaning product, and follow the instructions on the label and take any necessary safety precautions first. Choosing one with a spray nozzle will allow you to reach the corners without too much effort, while the foam helps lift the grime. Using a specialist oven cleaning product like Cif will be the best solution.
  4. Leave the solution to soften the stubborn burnt-on food.
  5. Meanwhile, take a scourer and scrub the oven racks clean in the sink. Be sure to turn them halfway through to ensure that you clean it well on both sides. Rinse with clean water and set aside.
  6. Now back to the oven. Often you will need to wait for several minutes (if not hours) to allow the product to take effect. Following the manufacturer’s guidelines on the label throughout the process, take a damp sponge and wipe the inside of the oven until sparkling, repeating step 3 if necessary.
  7. For the finishing touch, make your glass door shine – a glass scraper is the best way to clean oven doors covered in stuck-on food. Grease and oil will easily wipe off with hot water and cleaning solution.
  8. Insert the glass door back into the cooker and give the whole oven a wipe down, removing any excess cleaning solution and residue.

How to Clean Ovens in 2 Steps: Self-Cleaning Ovens

This one is easy. Make sure you read the manual before starting to clean the self-cleaning oven, and make sure that it is empty before beginning to clean it.

  1. A quick flick of the switch will heat up your oven from the inside and take care of the grease.
  2. After that, all you need to do is wipe up the ashes, making sure everything is sufficiently cool. Specific times and instructions will vary between models, so it’s vital that you read the manufacturer’s guidelines first.

How to Clean an Oven in 1 Step: Textured (or Continuously Cleaning) Ovens

How can an oven continuously clean itself? By having a textured base. Made from a special porcelain interior, the rough textured ovens gradually burn off food as it’s heated, so all you need to do is:

  1. Simply wipe up the residue with a damp cloth. Be careful not to use strong chemicals or abrasive scouring pads as this could damage the porcelain – a simple mix of baking soda and warm water is more than enough to leave your oven sparkling.

How to Clean an Oven: Common Problems and Solutions

Problem: Smoky oven

Solution: A smoky oven is often the result of burnt-on food. Although a common problem for any budding chef, it’s not only unhygienic but also potentially dangerous. Methods for removing burnt-on food will depend on which type of oven you have, but the best way to clean oven spillages is to instantly remove them with a spatula. Sprinkling baking soda on the charred food overnight will help soften the charcoal and enable you to wipe it away the following day.

Problem: Baked-on grease

Solution: There’s nothing fun about scrubbing baked-on grease, but with the right cleaning solution it doesn’t have to be a chore. Placing an encrusted baking tray in the sink and soaking it in hot water with washing up liquid will help loosen the stains, and you can attack stains on a hob or range top with any good detergent.

Problem: A dirty oven door

Solution: Many oven cleaning products will also tackle stains and grease on oven doors – just follow the directions on the label. To prevent any unwanted puddles on your kitchen floor, place some old newspaper on the floor, under the gap between the oven and the door where it hinges open.

So there you have it: a clean oven in 10 or fewer steps.

For more information on the ingredients in products mentioned in this tip, visit What’s in Unilever Products here.

Top Tip


There are different types of oven so it’s best to consult the manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning. Most homes will have a traditional oven that can be tackled with a commercial oven cleaner like Cif Oven Spray for effective results.