Natural Oven Cleaning Recipe

Natural Oven Cleaner Recipe

Oven cleaning stinks. It is time consuming and the chemicals that are used in most conventional oven cleaners are toxic! I’ve been working on switching all of my cleaning to more natural methods

That is why this particular tip is one of my favorites because it is so easy, cheap and natural!

Natural Oven Cleaning

If you are like me, your oven occasionally (or once a week in my case) gets burnt on food on the bottom, splattered food on the sides, or dried food stuck on the rack.

I do not have a self-cleaning oven as some do, so I had to find a way to solve this problem. (As a side note, I’ve read a lot of cases of self-cleaning ovens experiencing problems after using the self-cleaning cycle as some sources suggest that they high heat may cause fuses or elements to burn out more quickly. There are also some concerns about substances released into the air from the high heat of the self cleaning cycle.)

I also checked our specific oven cleaning products at the store, and definitely did not want those ingredients in my oven around the food I was cooking for my family. I tried a variety of natural treatments before stumbling on the best oven cleaner, natural or not, that I have ever found: baking soda!

Baking Soda Natural Oven Cleaning

Though it seems like a simple fix, baking soda is really effective and makes the daunting task of oven cleaning a little easier. All I have to do to get a shining oven is spray the whole oven down with a water bottle so that it is damp, and pour on a thick layer or baking soda, especially on the bottom, until there is about 1/4 inch layer of baking soda paste on the bottom. If any of the baking soda is still dry, I mist it with the water bottle.

Then, I walk away, and leave the baking soda there for a few hours (with the oven off, unless you want to see some amateur special effects… I don’t recommend this!) After a few hours I simply wipe up the paste with a cloth and all the grime comes with it. For really baked on grime, this may take a couple applications, but it always works and it is 100% natural!

I’ve found that it is important to make sure that the baking soda residue has been completely removed before using the oven as any remaining baking soda may smoke if left in contact with the heating element.

See some of my other natural cleaning ideas here!


Did you get here by clicking on a post about how I’ve also used a product called Branch Basics to clean my oven? That post has been redirected to this one while I do further research on the company and their proprietary formula as recent information has emerged that calls into question the disclosure of the ingredients used in their formula.

For oven cleaning: Baking soda is a safe and effective way to clean an oven and I would recommend this method either way. I’ve also found that Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds is an effective substitute for many cleaning products when used in correct dilutions. I share many of my uses in this post.

How do you clean naturally? Share your tips below!

For natural oven cleaning, Baking Soda and water make a very effective, natural and non-toxic oven cleaner that costs pennies to make!

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Reader Comments

  1. Wonderful recipe and tip for oven cleaning.
    I use baking soda paste for cleaning all kinds of stains in my whole kitchen, no only in the oven. I love how it works on baked-on grease. 

    • I wet down the oven with water and then put the baking soda on, but then I spray with white vinegar and let it bubble up and wipe clean. Might take more than once if really baked on.

    • Sink scrub recipe with Castile soap and baking soda works great since its a paste for walls and roof of oven for those of you asking. Grease came off right away.

  2. I DID THIS!!! It worked wonderfully!  I had a disaster of an oven–literally–thick, burned drippings on the bottom of my oven and now it’s smooth and clean.  I am sooo glad that I could do it without toxic chemicals!! thank you for this!

    • you’re welcome 🙂 Thanks for reading!

      • Will this work on the top of my stove. I have tried everything to clean the burner wells and can not get the great out.

        • I have been reading all these comments
          I am trying to get the bake in carbon on the roof of the oven
          getting better but want to get it all off the sides and back of the oven are
          pretty good racks came up awesome used citrus bench cleaner
          so all I am looking at is getting the roof of my oven smooth again
          anyone help me

  3. Trying it right now…It is so bad every time I open the oven door the smoke detector was going off. I tried a fume free oven cleaner and it didn’t solve the problem not to mention smelled awful, so much for the fume free.

  4. I just tried the baking soda and water method of cleaning my oven….perfect!! So happy I found you and your idea on Pinterest. Thanks!

  5. where can I find lip balm for chapped lips, searching..

  6. Can I use this in a gas oven?

    • Omg..Really? You can’t be serious.

  7. It’s so annoying that baking Soda isn’t available in my country, as it is used in almost anything.

    • Do you have anything named sodium bicarbonate? At the chemist/pharmacy? The are the same thing.

    • Hi Astrid
      if you have “natron” available it should be the same.
      If you are danish/norwegian/swedish you might be able to get something out of this:

  8. BTW, I have a self cleaning oven and was told every time I use that feature, I shorten the life of the part that lights the oven ! I’ve had it replaced twice now, so I’m definitely using the baking soda !!!!!

  9. Can you do this with an electric oven also?

  10. This totally worked for our post Thanksgiving oven disaster, ie; turkey grease spilled and a pie made with maple syrup bubbled over, sticky mess and grease both gone.

  11. I know this is a pretty old post, but I just need to say that I had an awful stain on my glass toaster door; A bag of carrots got a little too close to the hot door and left a blue paint/plastic mark. I tried everything- glass cleaner, and even the high powered toxic oven cleaner. It didn’t even fade. I finally tried this and IT’S GONE. It also doesn’t leave that residue that the toxic stuff leaves. Who would’ve thought just simple vinegar and baking soda could do that? Thanks Wellness Mama!

  12. Problem: new pizza stone is refusing to go no-stick no matter how much coconut oil you rub into it.
    Solution: bake a full rasher of bacon on the thing. That’ll teach it!
    Problem: bacon grease has dripped all over the bottom of your oven. Have you ever seen an oven fire due to grease on the floor of the oven? I have. It’s not pretty.
    Solution: layer of baking soda & water, leave to sit for a few hours.
    Problem: well, now the baking soda is turning into bacon grease baking soda paste.
    Solution: squirt of dish soap over the whole thing, then rinse well.
    Yay! It worked!
    So, if you’re having a problem with the baking soda not picking up grease, try a squirt of a good dish soap on top, and just rinse. The dish soap will cut through the grease and you’ll be golden. And the combination of good dish soap + baking soda + grease might leave you with very soft, moisturized hands. Seriously, it’s kinda crazy how nice my hands feel right now.

    • Oh, my, goodness! Your post was the funniest I’ve ever read! Informative as well! Thanks!

  13. Hi there! Does this also take the grime off the glass door in the front? Mine is NASTY for the very reason oven cleaners literally take my breath away until I feel like I’m going to die from them, they’re so harsh!

    • I realise this is an old post but I just used a magic eraser on my oven door and was gobsmaked! Ten years I have not been able to see through that oven door (it came with the house) and I gave it a gentle rub in a circular motion and it is like new. I even had witnesses. We just stared at each other in awe. LOL. Rubbed my fingers across it . . . squeaky clean!

  14. Just tried the baking soda paste and the result on the thick food stains were immediately. It came off just a few minutes ( 2 or 3) after applying it. Let it set for a while to see what it can do about the thin food stains on the bottom part of my oven. Will let you know….

  15. Hi,
    I will try this within the next few days. I just have one question: How do you get the baking soda everywhere? Like on the sides and the oven ceiling?

  16. Hello I was aware of this but am scared to try it as my elec fan oven has grill heaters at the top can these be done… The roof is coated in grease but I can’t get there 🙁

  17. What about spraying with vinegar first and then using the baking soda? I feel like to two would work better together as they create a fizzy reaction to help lift the gunk up?

  18. I had a spaghetti squash literally explode in the oven and splatter over the floor, wall, countertop, cabinet drawers, refrigerator, and me (the oven door was open and the squash was on a baking sheet with the oven rack pulled out part way). If the colossal mess weren’t enough, I’m still sporting the burns to remind me to NEVER relive that experience again.

    Anyway, I’ve been a little intimidated by the spaghetti squash being EVERYWHERE in the oven…even on the upper side of the broiler element. I haven’t used the oven since it happened for fear of making the problem worse. It is stuck/baked on like stringy glue and I was wondering how to get the baking soda “paste” to all those areas other than the oven floor. Any ideas?

    Many thanks!

  19. I need to know if I can use this in a gas oven

    • Patsy,
      I’m pretty sure it can be used on a gas oven. I’ve been afraid to use the nasty chemicals from the store because I have a gas oven. It just didn’t seem to make sense to spray that stuff where a pilot is always lit, not to mention the fumes in the house! I’m trying it tonight and will let you know how it goes.

  20. LOVE this! But how do you clean the racks? 🙂

    • Since I live in a rental apartment, I clean my oven racks in a big black garbage bag in the bathtub. It needs to be a fairly thick bag. I use approximately 8 cups of hot water, 1 cup of amonia, and 2 Tablespoons of dawn dish detergent. It’s potent and powerful. Let soak for several hours and turn the bag over every so often. Pour the sludge out of the bag and rinse thoroughly.

  21. Hi

    I clean my microwave and oven with water and lemon juice.
    I put a cereal bowl of hot water into the microwave with 1/4- 1/2 cup of lemon juice and set it up for highest setting for 7-10 minutes until it boils and steam. Then wearing oven glove I wipe steam of microwave with paper towel. cleans great.
    The similar technique I use for oven, big bowl of water with lemon juice, set up max degrees and leave it for boiling. it is great to kill smells as well.

  22. Thank you so much for this cleaning tip!!! I used it today on my stove top. It had gotten so nasty around the burners. I thought there was no way to get the disgusting brown/black mess off that had been accumulating for years (gross I know!). Then I found your post. Baking soda, water, and elbow grease got my stove top completely back to all white. Couldn’t believe it! Thank you again!!!

    • I’m so glad it worked for you! Thanks for reading!

  23. For the side and racks will the baking soda stick yo the sides, how about the racks.

  24. I can’t wait to try this. Im a cleaner and the canned stuff just doesn’t do it properly and is not good for me all the time! My tip:
    An easy way to make your glass and racks spotless….i use a magic eraser!!!

  25. Hi Katie, I’ve been following Wellnessmama for some time now and I’d just like to say thank you for all of the tips!

    I tried cleaning with baking soda but just couldn’t get all that hard stuff off! I’m in the UK and when I looked around for a oven cleaner I noticed that Ovenu say that they are only using natural methods too which I was quite surprised by as I thought they would just be using horrible caustic soda or something.

    I’ve not used them yet but I’d prefer to get someone else to do the scrubbing or am I just being too lazy LOL

    What’s your take on using the pro’s who say they are natural and green or shall I shall just stick it out and persevere?

    Eleanor 🙂

  26. Will this work on the top of the oven where the element is,as mine has caked on Greece..Thank you..

  27. I’m unsure as to why so many are asking whether this method will work on a gas/electric oven. Heat is heat, no matter the source, and you are not going to be cleaning the surfaces while the oven is on anyway. If you clean the baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) well enough (and that’s the point, right?) it won’t matter whether it is gas/electric. Should you NOT clean it well enough, it STILL won’t matter since sodium bicarbonate has been used for years as a fire retardant especially in grease (not Greece) fires. Thanks Wellness Mama…you are the bomb!

  28. Getting ready to try this and after reading all the comments/responses, am left wondering the same thing as many others (unanswered): How to get the baking soda to “stick” to the top, sides, and racks? Having used baking soda as my “abrasive cleaner” in the tub and sink, I know firsthand that no matter how wet I get the tub, I can’t seem to fling baking soda onto the sides thick enough to matter…I end up using my microfiber cloth or sponge and rubbing the excess from the bottom of the tub up onto the sides. That works for the tub, so is that what I have to do with the oven also? Any solutions out there?

    • I made it a paste in a bowl, then applied it to the oven with my hand and a rag. It stuck really well. I had a thick layer over every inch of the inside of my oven.

      I just got through cleaning my oven with this method. It took 3 and a half hours:-( I am 31 weeks pregnant. If not for nesting, I SOOOOOO would have just wiped it off and left it nasty. I’m talking no breaks, scrubbing until my hands are raw for 3 and a half hours. My back is killing me from being bent over scrubbing with steel wool for that long. I left mine overnight instead of just a few hours. Maybe that’s where I messed up?

  29. I use baking (bicarb) soda only – heat the oven, or alternatively, do this after you have used the oven. In a heated oven, (heat turned off) place a dish with water and bicarb soda (Just judge the amount, a couple of spoons of bicarb to a dish of water) – leave in the oven until the oven is cold – you can then wipe out the oven – sometimes elbow grease is required, depending on the spills. The oven racks can then be removed and scrubbed. If you also leave the baking dish in the oven, that can be scrubbed too.

    • I really like this works good thanks

  30. I’m using this now on oven, I also used a little vinegar and a touch of dawn dishwasher liquid as it helps with grease so amazing.also cleaned the pans of the eyes on top of oven.just water on actual plates.but it has been on for 2 hrs and paste was perfect as far as sticking to the oven.I know using dawn may not be “green “exactly but it’s still so much better than oven cleaner.its dry now so I think I will rest for a while and go tackle the clean up! Will post on how it this site.

  31. I just spent 2 hours cleaning my oven with a paste of Comet and water. It hadn’t been cleaned for 10 years. Is that how long this method usually takes, or how long should it take to clean an oven?

  32. I tried this as a paste with baking soda and dawn. It worked wonderfully, but as it looks like I removed everything, and the oven is clean even to the touch, everytime I turn the oven on I have a residue falling from “somewhere” I wipe it clean again, and the next time I turn oven on the residue is back. I’ve been using the lower oven as I only cleaned the top to try it out. Any hints how to finally get the hidden residue gone?

    • Just a thought off the top of my head — maybe wipe down w/white vinegar? Or a combination of vinegar & baking soda? I’d hesitate to use more cleaning ingredients than absolutely necessary, but my guess is that there’s some soap, or soap-and-baking soda mixture, hidden deep in the crevices of your oven, and it’s only coming to the surface when heated. Sooooo, maybe the “bowl of lemon juice” trick w/a heated oven, or just spraying w/vinegar to try to coax out the hidden residue (if there’s baking soda in the residue, vinegar will hopefully react & maximize the effectiveness). Anyway, thank goodness you have another oven to use while this one’s acting up! I’m planning to do the same thing: clean one oven at a time, so I have one to use no matter what! Keep us posted 🙂

  33. HELP! I used the paste of baking soda and water with a bunch of Dawn. After the initial clean, I rinsed it with water three times. I turned the oven on and it smelled really bad…like melting wax and burning tires. I tried rinsing it with water and vinegar a couple times today. I turned it on and it still smelled. So, I decided to open all the windows and turned the ceiling fans on, then blasted it at 500 degrees for a half hour.

    Anyway, it still smells. Any suggestions?

    • Matthew, the same thing happened to me. I thought some paste got into the fan. Here’s what happened for me: check the “floor” of your oven and see if it’s removable. Mine looked screwed into the back wall but it actually wasn’t. When I lifted it up and out I found chunks of the paste underneath. It was baking everything I turned it on. Vacuum it if you have to and wipe with dry towel first, then wet and vacuum again if necessary. It was an immediate fix for me! Good luck.

  34. Thanks for posting this! It worked amazingly 🙂

  35. Katie, when you have a spill in your oven, while you are still cooking sprinkle salt over the spill to cc over. This will cut down on the smoke and at the end of the cooking process you will be able to lift the spill away with a spatula. Once the oven is cool it is very simple to wipe away any excess salt.

  36. Great post Katie. I use a variation of your method which I love.
    I just put the empty oven on a high heat, 200 deg C, for 5 or 10 minutes, or I do this after I’ve just used the oven as it’s already piping hot. I then pour a small amount of hot water on to the floor of the oven so that it sizzles and steams. This alone has easily lifted baked on grease, sugar etc. that’s been left for a couple of weeks or er…months (same as how chef’s ‘de-glaze’ their pans). It’s so easy to then wipe away. Not even bicarb is needed.
    Anything that’s left on the oven floor and then to clean the oven sides, door etc. gets a covering of bicarb and water paste for an hour and again wipe off. Low cost, minimal effort required and most importantly it’s another job that I don’t dread 🙂

  37. Is it ok to spray the mixture on the grill heating element?

  38. My baking soda mixture was like rock in the morning and won’t come off hardly….any ideas

  39. Just tried the baking soda method to remove grease from my oven. WOW! It works beautifully and easily! When my son noticed it, he actually said it looks like I had bought a new oven! For him to even notice on his own is a miracle in itself! Thank you for the tip. Baking soda is its own miracle!

  40. Per my sister’s request (and not thinking it through), I used a regular OTC toxic cleaner last night. After waking up with a migraine and a mostly clean oven, I need to start round #2.

    Questions: What can I do to get the nasty cleaner residue out of the oven? Is there anything I can put on the bottom of the oven to prevent future messes that won’t compromise the cooking process?

    Thanks, Suzanne

  41. I want to add my big discovery. I recently bought some razor scrapers from Amazon. I tried this morning one of them and to my surprise it removed the burned sugar/grease like a peel, living the oven floor super clean. I used it under an angle, changing the direction as some spots were easier to remove in a certain direction. I had to keep removing the scraped grime. At least my oven is made of some sort of super hard ceramic like metal. It is very resistant to scratch. I wouldn’t use the scraper on any stainless steel or painted surface, unless you intend to remove the paint. But at least the bottom of the floor got easily cleaned without any other thing, maybe just some water from the moist cloth I used for cleaning the scrapings. I also used the scraper for the door glass widow. It worked very well without any scratching. The scraper is not so good for the walls (they are not straight at all), and weird to use on the top under the grill. The top and walls are not so dirty, and I don’t know yet what to use for cleaning-backing soda or bar tender. My oven has auto clean, but I have a quaker parrot so I try not to use it.
    As for the oven racks I use the bathtub with 2-3 dish cleaning pods and 6-7 drying sheets (I only use these for cleaning the 2 racks). Keep the racks in water for more than 4 h and a little scraping is all they need.