How To Steam Clean Ovens

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Clean your oven without scrubbing with these easy methods that teach you how to steam clean your oven.

Dirty ovens are the worst, and I’ve been very guilty of ignoring the grease buildup, especially when I was pregnant and couldn’t be bothered to deal with such an impossible looking task. I’ve only ever been able to successfully clean the oven with strong chemicals and a lot of elbow grease. I wore the large yellow cleaning gloves and bruised my knees kneeling beside the oven and scrubbing for what seemed like forever.

Thank goodness I’ve learned some new tricks when it comes to cleaning the oven and I want to share them with you in this how-to steam clean ovens article.

A lot of these methods don’t even require a lot of elbow grease, so read through them all and find the method that works best for you.

*This post contains affiliate links. Full disclosure here.

How to Steam Clean Ovens: 4 Ways

I know that not every method is going to work for everyone, so I have compiled 4 different ways to steam clean ovens for you to look over and choose the better one for you. All of these methods are tested, and they work really well, it’s just a matter of your preference for which one suits your needs the best.

Vinegar For Steam Cleaning The Oven

I always love a good natural cleaning agent, and Vinegar does not disappoint. If you’re curious about what you can and cannot clean with vinegar, I’ve got a guide for you to follow here: What to clean with vinegar, what not to clean with vinegar.

Let’s let the acid in the vinegar do it’s magic and help you have a spot free, freshly steam cleaned oven with these simple steps.

  1. Warm up the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Warming up the oven will help the particles get nice and loose, and easier to clean up.
  2. Use a pyrex or other oven-safe bowl or pan and fill it with 1/2 cup of vinegar, or more if your oven is rather dirty. You can do a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar, but I personally prefer 100% vinegar.
  3. Place the container on the top rack of the oven.
  4. Steam the oven for 20 minutes to 1 hour, until all of the vinegar has evaporated from the container or bowl in the oven.
  5. Once the bowl is empty, you can turn the oven off and let it cool down.
  6. Once the oven has cooled, open it up and wipe it down with a kitchen sponge or kitchen cloth. For tough, set-in stains, you can use a butter knife or a piece of crumpled-up aluminum foil to scrub it off.
  7. When scrubbing the oven, don’t wait too long because if the oven gets 100% cool, it will be difficult to clean. You’ll want it to be semi-warm.
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Steam Cleaner For Steam Cleaning The Oven

I was so shocked to find out about this method of cleaning the oven because I absolutely love my steam cleaner for my couches and carpets, and I had no idea that you could actually use it to steam clean the oven as well. When I tried this method, I was pleasantly surprised on how well it works.

To steam clean the oven with a steam cleaning machine like this one you’ll want to ensure your oven is completely empty without any racks inside of it so you can get a proper clean. This is how you can use a steam cleaner to clean the oven.

  1. Fill up the steam cleaner tank with water, and only water. You will not need to add in any additional chemicals or cleaners, however you can add vinegar if you like, just beware that it may smell like vinegar for a while after you’re finished with this cleaning project.
  2. Attach your scrubbing brush attachment to the hose and turn the machine on.
  3. Proceed to steam clean the oven with the hose, making sure to reach all of the areas of the oven including the walls, ceilings and the base.
  4. Use a damp cloth to gather and clean up any remaining gunk and debris that the steam cleaner does not suck up.
  5. Once your oven is freshly steam cleaned, pop in the oven racks and clean out the steam cleaner. If your oven racks are dirty, you can use the steam cleaner on them while they are out of the oven, or pop them into the bathtub some towels on the tub to prevent any damage on the tub and add a cup of vinegar to a full hot bath. Dry the oven racks once they are clean and pop them back into the oven.

Use Ammonia to Steam Clean The Oven

If you prefer to clean with ammonia, then go ahead and use this method for oven cleaning. Ammonia is not a personal favorite solution of mine, however I do use it when I need to – for those very tough jobs.

You’ll want to heat up our oven for this method. It is very similar to the vinegar oven cleaning method I mentioned earlier in the article.

  1. Heat oven to 200 degrees. You won’t want it to be too hot so that you can work inside of it while it’s warm, but not on.
  2. Boil hot water and fill up your largest oven-safe dish with it.
  3. Turn off the oven once it has heated up to 200 degrees.
  4. Add 1 cup of ammonia into a new oven-safe dish and place it side by side to the boiling dish with water.
  5. Close the oven and let it sit overnight.
  6. In the morning, your house might smell like ammonia so you’ll want to air out the house and the oven for 15-30 minutes. (This is why this is not my favourite method.) The smell of ammonia is rather powerful and you’ll want to make sure no one is in the kitchen while you’re airing everything out.
  7. For the easy part of steam cleaning the oven, get your favourite microfiber cloth and start wiping the gunk away. You’ll notice that the grime comes off fairly easily so you won’t need a lot of elbow grease or help from a kitchen scrub brush.
  8. Wipe the oven down with water so it is completely free of any ammonia smells.
  9. Air-dry the oven by leaving the door open and letting fresh air into it.
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Cleaning with ammonia has never been my favorite, however I understand that many people do like to use it!

Ammonia Safety Tips From Chemical Safety Facts

When using cleaning products containing ammonia, follow all instructions on the product label, make sure the area is well ventilated (open windows and doors) and wear proper clothing and eye protection. Ammonia exposure can irritate skin, eyes and lungs. Do not mix ammonia with chlorine bleach, as this produces toxic gases called chloramines. Exposure to chloramine gases can cause coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, irritation to the throat, nose and eyes or pneumonia and fluid in the lungs.

Swallowing a cleaning product that contains ammonia can burn the mouth, throat, and stomach and cause severe abdominal pain. If a cleaning product containing ammonia is accidentally ingested, read the product label for safety instructions, or call the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222, and be sure to have the label from the cleaning product in hand.

Medical tests can detect ammonia in blood or urine. But because ammonia occurs naturally in the environment, people are regularly exposed to low levels of ammonia in air, soil and water, so these test results are not considered effective biomarkers of exposure. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) states that “no health effects have been found in humans exposed to typical environmental concentrations of ammonia

Chemical Safety Facts

Use The Oven Self Steam Clean Option

If you have a newer oven, it might have a steam clean option built right in! If that’s the case, then you can clean your oven completely hands off.

To use this setting on your oven, fill an oven-safe bowl with water and press the steam clean button. Allow the oven to do its thing and you’ll be amazed at home clean the oven is when it’s all done. You might have to take an extra step and use a microfiber cloth to clean out any gunk that settles at the bottom of the oven, however, it is quite simple to do as long as you get to it right away.

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Why Should You Steam Clean Your Oven

Ovens are appliances that are used on a daily basis, at least in my family. My oven gets dirty from chicken splatter, casserole spillage and cake batter overflow. Does yours?

Accidents are always happening in my oven, and I really hate to clean it so I try to do everything I can to make the cleaning of the oven task as easy as possible. I use the vinegar method to clean mine every few months, when it gets dirty.

Oven mess is tough to get rid of and it can take a lot of elbow grease and fighting with the oven to get it nice and clean unless you know some pretty decent steam cleaning oven tricks. Many oven cleaning agents will contain harsh chemicals, in order to make the job of cleaning the oven easier, but they do contain so many warnings about touching and inhaling, I worry about using such things in my own home.

That’s all well and good, but why do you need to steam clean the oven? It’s simple. You want to avoid rough cleaning agents and toxic chemicals and use steam instead to get the stains off, and with less elbow grease too.

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Steam Clean Ovens

Does steam clean oven work?

Steam cleaning the oven is an excellent way to get your oven clean and it doesn’t take a whole lot of time and elbow grease. Plus you don’t have to spend money on expensive chemicals that can be harmful to your overall health.

Is it dangerous to use self-cleaning oven?

It can be dangerous to use self-cleaning features on an oven due to the fumes that are released into the air. The self-cleaning feature also emits a pretty unpleasant smell. Dangerous fumes are caused when high temperatures are burning off food particles and heating up the enamel lining of the oven. These fumes can affect your family members. This is why I prefer the steam cleaning methods.

Is Steam clean the same as self-cleaning oven?

Steam clean and self-clean are different features on an oven. Self-clean ovens use only heat to burn off food particles whereas self-steam ovens use water to soften the grime and grease with steam. Steaming is much faster than a regular self-clean oven cycle and only takes about 30 minutes, unless you are using the ammonia method where the solution sits in the oven overnight.

How To Steam Clean Ovens

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5 thoughts on “How To Steam Clean Ovens: 4 Brilliant Ways

  1. I have placed a bowl of ammonia in a large garbage bag with my grill grates and let them sit over night or 24 hours. This works well. I’m going to give it a try. My oven isn’t that dirty so we’ll see.

  2. I was ready to throw out the oven away…but after reading your post, I tried it and the oven looks brand new. This was after I already spent 3 days trying to clean the oven with several commercial oven cleaners.

  3. Just finished cleaning the oven with this method & boy, was I surprised & very pleased with the result. Even though I have a self-cleaning oven, it never left my oven this clean! Thanks for the tip! I Will definitely try others

  4. Oh wow! Just tried it starting yesterday and finishing today. This oven cleaning process made it so much cleaner!!
    Hopefully, I can manage to keep it a little cleaner from here on.

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