Having a nice-looking kitchen is only one reason why cleaning your oven is important. When you heat up a dirty oven, stuck-on food can result in unpleasant odors in your kitchen and undesirable flavors in your food. Learn four processes that can help you get your oven clean, inside and out.

How to clean oven racks
How to clean the inside of an oven
Getting rid of oven odors
Cleaning the outside of an oven

An open oven with multiple oven racks

How to clean oven racks

Just like the rest of your oven, your oven racks can collect grease and spills. Soaking and scrubbing them can help remove the grime.

What you’ll need:

  • Dish soap or laundry detergent 
  • Old towels 
  • A rag or dishcloth 
  • A stiff bristled cleaning brush
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Step 1: Soak racks
Remove the oven racks from your cooled oven and place them in a large sink. If your sink isn’t big enough to lay the racks flat, you can use your bathtub lined with old towels to prevent scratching. Fill with enough hot water to cover the racks, then pour in ½ cup of mild dish soap or ¾–1 cup of laundry detergent. Soak for at least two hours or overnight, depending on the dirtiness of the racks.

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Step 2: Scrub racks clean
Use a stiff bristled cleaning brush to scrub the racks, then use a rag or dishcloth to wipe them clean. Rinse your oven racks completely.

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Step 3: Dry and replace racks
Use soft cloth towels to completely dry the racks and avoid rust or corrosion. Replace the racks unless you're also cleaning the oven interior.

A hand wiping the inside of an oven

How to clean the inside of an oven

Did you know that commercial oven cleaners can contain harsh chemicals and release fumes that can linger in your oven after cleaning is done? You should instead try cleaning your oven with mild cleaners that you probably already have at home.

What you’ll need:

  • Baking soda
  • A rag or dishcloth
  • Plastic scraper
  • A brush or flexible silicone spatula
  • White vinegar or lemon juice
  • Spray bottle
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Step 1: Prepare to clean
Starting with a cool oven, remove all pots, baking sheets or other baking accessories, as well as your oven racks. Place towels or a plastic trash bag under your oven door to help catch drips.

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Step 2: Clean your oven with baking soda
Pour ½ cup baking soda into a bowl and add 3 tablespoons of water to create a thin, spreadable paste. Using a brush or flexible silicone spatula, spread the mix throughout the inside of the oven, coating the top, sides, bottom and door, including the glass. Let rest anywhere from 20 minutes to overnight depending on the dirtiness of your oven.

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Step 3: Wipe up with vinegar or lemon juice
Spray the oven interior down with white vinegar or lemon juice and wipe everything with a damp rag or dishcloth. Use a plastic scraper to remove stubborn spots. Repeat this step until all of the baking soda paste is removed.

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Step 4: Clean oven door glass
Spray the glass surface with white vinegar or lemon juice and wipe down with a damp cloth. Repeat this process until all of the baking soda paste is removed. Spray down one last time with vinegar or lemon juice, then dry with a soft cloth.

Cleaning tip: Looking for an easier way to clean your oven? Self-cleaning ovens can turn grease into a powder that you can wipe away. Shop self-cleaning ovens and ranges or learn more about how to run a self-cleaning oven cycle.

An oven with baking dishes of food inside

Getting rid of oven odors

Cleaning the inside of your oven should help take care of most odors, but some pesky food smells like fish are harder to combat.

What you’ll need:

  • Oven-safe baking dish
  • Lemon juice, white vinegar or vanilla
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Step 1: Prepare oven deodorizing solution
Preheat the oven on low heat. Fill an oven-safe baking dish with about an inch of water. Add either a teaspoon of lemon juice, white vinegar or vanilla, depending on your preference and what you have on hand.

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Step 2: Heat deodorizing solution in oven
Place the baking dish in the oven at a low temperature for about an hour, adding water if too much evaporates. Remove when the smell is neutralized and enjoy your refreshed oven.

The clean exterior of an oven in a kitchen

Cleaning the outside of an oven

Cleaning the outside of your oven the right way doesn’t just make things look cleaner. It can also help protect your oven’s finish.

What you’ll need:

  • Vinegar or glass cleaner
  • A spray bottle
  • Mild liquid cleaner or stainless steel cleaner
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Step 1: Clean exterior oven door glass
Close your oven door and spray the exterior of the window with vinegar or glass cleaner. Wipe with a soft cloth.

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Step 2: Clean exterior surfaces
For porcelain enamel surfaces, spray with a glass cleaner or mild liquid cleaner and scrub with a non-abrasive scrubbing pad. Gently clean around the model/serial/rating plate because scrubbing may remove numbers. To avoid surface staining on models with metallic paint, do not use abrasive cleaners, cleaners with bleach, rust removers, ammonia, or sodium hydroxide (lye). If the outside of your oven door is stainless steel, use a special stainless steel cleaner.

Care tip: If you have a porcelain enamel exterior, make sure to clean up spills containing acids like vinegar and tomato as soon as the entire range is cool to avoid damaging the finish.

What to clean next

How to clean a Whirlpool® microwave

How to clean a microwave inside and out

Learn how to clean your microwave quickly and simply, from the interior to the turntable.

How to clean a Whirlpool® dishwasher

How to clean a dishwasher in 3 easy steps

Keep the inside of your dishwasher clean to make sure dishes stay sparkling.

An over-the-range microwave over a working stovetop

How to clean and replace a microwave filter

How long has it been since you cleaned your microwave filters? Our guide will show you how to keep both styles of Whirlpool microwave filters clean, fresh and in tip-top shape.

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