How to Clean a Self Cleaning Oven by Hand

Written by kimbry parker
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How to Clean a Self Cleaning Oven by Hand
Clean your self-cleaning oven by hand occassionally for a deep, thorough cleaning. (green kitchen image by Leonid Nyshko from

A self-cleaning oven has a special feature that allows the oven to clean itself. Although this feature is ideal for light cleaning, an oven can sometimes become caked with burnt food and carbon. When this happens, you will need to clean the oven by hand. Ammonia and baking soda are two household products that are effective at cleaning an oven.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Bowl
  • 2 cups household ammonia
  • Sponge
  • Rags
  • Water
  • Empty spray bottle
  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • Funnel

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  1. 1

    Wipe out loose ash and crumbs from the oven with a damp rag. Shake out the rag frequently to avoid reapplying the crumbs.

  2. 2

    Fill a bowl with 2 cups of household ammonia. Dip a sponge into the bowl and wring it out lightly.

  3. 3

    Sponge the ammonia onto the tough spots inside the oven. Squeeze the sponge slightly to thoroughly saturate the spots. Anywhere that you notice burnt or caked-on food or black spots (carbon), saturate with ammonia.

  4. 4

    Allow the ammonia to sit on the spots for about 30 minutes. Wipe down the top, sides and bottom of the inside of the oven with a wet rag. Rinse the oven thoroughly so that the ammonia does not transfer to your food later on. Dry the inside of the oven with a clean rag.

    Baking Soda

  1. 1

    Fill an empty spray bottle with 3 tsp of baking soda. Use a funnel to transfer the baking soda into the bottle.

  2. 2

    Fill the spray bottle with warm water. Shake the bottle to dissolve the baking soda.

  3. 3

    Spray the solution onto the walls, top and bottom of the oven. Make sure that the oven is cold before spraying.

  4. 4

    Continue using your oven as you normally would. Do not rinse or wipe the baking soda off the oven. Reapply the baking soda mixture to the oven after each use.

  5. 5

    Watch over the course of several days as the carbon and caked-on food begins to fall loosely to the floor of the oven. Depending on the severity of the grime, this process could take just a day or two or possibly a week or more. As tempting as it may be, do not wipe the baking soda off until all of the grime and carbon has been loosened.

  6. 6

    Wipe down the floor of the oven with a damp rag once all of the debris has been loosened and fallen to the oven floor. The baking soda, along with the carbon build-up, will settle together on the oven floor.

Tips and warnings

  • Always clean the oven when it is cold to avoid chance of burns.
  • Wear rubber gloves and open windows while working with ammonia.

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