Cleaning Oven with Baking Soda: 5 Easy Steps

Cleaning Oven with Baking Soda

Cleaning oven with baking soda is a natural alternative to harsh oven cleaners. While the oven is one of those universally dreaded chores, that baked-on grease feels impossible to get off, and the idea of spraying super harsh chemicals where you cook food is just plain icky.  Turns out, baking soda can actually do a decent job of breaking down some of the grime, even if it’s not a miracle solution. At least you won’t need a hazmat suit to clean.

Benefits of using baking soda for cleaning

Benefits of using baking soda for cleaning

The best thing about cleaning with baking soda is that I always have it on hand, which means I have no excuse to put off cleaning even longer. Because sometimes the hardest part is just getting started. It also makes me feel better to use something that isn’t scary-toxic, especially in the oven where I cook food!

Baking soda does a decent job of scrubbing off grime without scratching up your stuff, and it actually helps get rid of weird smells (which is important when you’re as bad at cooking as I am and tend to burn things).

Overall, it’s not going to make your kitchen look like a magazine photo, but it’s a good way to get things basically clean without resorting to those super harsh chemical cleaners.

Preparation: Gather supplies, remove oven racks

Preparation Gather supplies, remove oven racks

The first step of any cleaning project is realizing you don’t actually have everything you need halfway through. To avoid having to pause your cleaning to go rummaging through cupboards, get it all together at once: baking soda, something to mix it with water in, a spray bottle with some vinegar, and some rags or scrubby sponges. And rubber gloves, because this gets kinda gross.

Once you’re ready, take out the oven racks. It’s much easier to get the inside of the oven clean if you can actually reach all the way to the back without those in the way.

Baking Soda Paste: Make paste with water, apply

Benefits of using baking soda for cleaning

You don’t have to be super precise about the baking soda paste – just mix it with enough water that it spreads easily, but isn’t totally watery. Then, it’s time to get your hands a bit messy. Smear it all over the inside of your oven, paying extra attention to those really baked-on greasy spots. Don’t really glop it on there.

Also, it’s safe, so you don’t have to worry about breathing in toxic fumes. The downside is that it needs time to work its magic. The longer you let it sit, the easier the gunk is going to come off, so try to let it soak for a few hours (or even overnight if your oven is a disaster).

Honestly, baking soda won’t make your oven look like it did when it was brand new. But it’s a good way to get rid of the worst of the grime without using those chemical cleaners that freak me out.

Soaking Method: Sprinkle baking soda, add water

Soaking Method Sprinkle baking soda, add water

If you’re the kind of person who likes cleaning to be as easy as possible, the soaking method is for you. Basically, you sprinkle baking soda all over the bottom of your oven, add enough water to make it kind of pasty, and then you just walk away and go to sleep. Ideally, let it sit overnight. That gives the baking soda time to loosen up all that baked-on gunk.

The next morning is still going to require a bit of scrubbing, but it’s way easier than trying to scrape off dried grease with your fingernails. It’s also nice that you’re not using any harsh chemicals that might linger in your oven. Definitely a better way to get things cleaner without too much effort on your part!

Scrubbing and Wiping: Use a sponge or cloth rinse

Scrubbing and Wiping Use a sponge or cloth rinse

After you’ve let the baking soda do its thing, it’s time for the part where you realize this isn’t quite the magic solution you were hoping for. A regular kitchen sponge or dishcloth will technically work, but be ready for a workout. Your arm will get tired, the gunk will smear all over the place, and you’ll probably end up using way more paper towels than you intended. The corners are especially annoying, and you might wish you had one of those tiny detail brushes dentists use.

You’ll likely have to go over the really bad spots a few times, which gets old fast. Also, rinse it all out really, really well. So, The thought of baking soda cookies is not appealing.

It won’t be perfect, especially if there’s ancient, fossilized grease in there. But getting your oven somewhat cleaner is better than nothing. 

Final Touches: Replace racks, turn on the oven

Final Touches Replace racks, turn on the oven

While your oven is drying out, it’s time to tackle the racks. Hopefully, you remembered to take them out in the first place; I always forget until halfway through. Soaking them in warm, soapy water usually does the trick unless they’re truly disgusting. In that case, you might have to bust out the steel wool and resign yourself to having scratched-up racks forever.

Once everything’s dry, put the racks back in and turn your oven on low for a little while. This helps get rid of any weird cleaning smells and also burns off any baking soda residue you missed.


Cleaning the oven is always going to be a bit of a pain. But baking soda makes it slightly less horrible. It’s cheap, you probably already have it, and it does a good enough job of tackling the grime without making you worry about weird chemical residue. Knowing there’s a simple way to get things cleaner makes it easier to actually get started, and that means you can feel less bad about how long you’ve been putting it off.


Can I use vinegar with baking soda for extra oven-cleaning power?

Yes! The vinegar makes the baking soda foam up, which looks cool and might help a little with really stubborn oven stains. Just spray it on after you’ve spread the baking soda paste.

Is baking soda actually safe to use for oven cleaning?

Definitely! It’s a good way to avoid the harsh chemicals in regular oven cleaners. I always feel better about cooking food in an oven that hasn’t been blasted with a bunch of weird chemicals.

How often do I really need to clean my oven?

That depends on how often you use your oven and how messy of a cook you are. If you spill stuff a lot, you might want to do a deep clean more often. If you’re like me and mostly just use your oven to reheat takeout, you can probably get away with cleaning it less.

Can I also use baking soda to clean the oven racks, too?

Absolutely! Use the same method: spread the baking soda paste on there, let it sit, and scrub. The racks can be a pain, though, so you might need to soak them in soapy water as well.

Do I need to preheat the oven for baking soda cleaning to work?

Nope! It actually works better if your oven is cool.

Will baking soda leave a weird taste in my oven?

As long as you rinse everything well after cleaning, it shouldn’t. If you’re worried, you can always run the oven on low for a little while after you’ve rinsed it all out.

Are there any other natural oven-cleaning tricks?

You can try using lemon juice mixed with water; it cuts through grease and smells nice. Honestly, though, baking soda is the easiest and best for oven cleaning because you probably already have it.

Scroll to Top