Oven Cleaning: Baking Soda, Vinegar and Elbo Grease – It Works!

Below is a picture of our oven, when we started. No, you do not have a true picture of the real beginning because I did not want you to see how dirty the  oven really was before we started, and the truth is, I forgot to take the picture. This is the next morning after I had applied the baking soda/water paste coating.

(Recipe for Oven Cleaner to follow below)

We have a self-cleaning oven that smells up the house for months after it is used. Therefore, I was looking for a non-smelly, non-toxic alternative to clean the oven.

This is where we started.  Yes, I know you are disappointed in the “Fairy”, but stuff happens when you are flying around as I do taking care of other things.


Note: the balls you see in the picture. They are “wads”, that is a southern word,  of Reynolds Aluminum Foil,  squished into balls. I did not have stainless steel cleaners and had read on someone’s blog site to make foil balls to make cleaning pads from sheets of aluminum foil squished. Whoever you are, thank you and please forgive me for not remembering who/where I saw this great idea. However, let me tell you, the foil balls WORK! better than anything else I used including window scrapers with razor blades. The balls contour into the curves of the oven and you can keep turning them over for a fresh surface.

Here is the outcome. GREAT! No harsh chemicals, no odor, no burned smell throughout the house from the self-cleaning oven or the smell or drips that can damage cabinets from chemical oven cleaner.

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Oven cleaning with baking soda, vinegar and “Elbo Grease” 

Recipe for Baking Soda and Vinegar Oven Cleaner:

Remove oven racks.

Make a paste of 1 cup baking soda and about 1/2 cup water. It needs to adhere to the oven surface but not run, if possible. I used a pastry brush to spread.

Coate the entire oven surface with the baking soda/water paste.

Close oven and leave overnight.

Next day organize the items needed:

     1. Bottle of spray vinegar

     2. Roll of paper towels

     3.  Scraper for burned on items

     4.. Tin Foil to create scrubbers

     5.. Pan of warm water with dishwashing detergent and old rag to wash over after cleaning

Spray the interior of the oven with vinegar from the spray bottle and note the fuzzing. This is what is working on the burned/grease areas, try not to wet  the surface to the running stage

Scrape or use foil balls to remove burned areas throughout the oven

Wipe oven with paper towels to remove as much moisture and paste as possible

Touch up areas that need help with more baking soda and vinegar and clean with foil ball or scraper

Wipe thoroughly with paper towels to remove as much of the baking soda paste as possible

Rinse the entire oven inside and out with the dish washing detergent wash and wipe dry with a dry, clean, cloth

It will look like this when you finish:


The Racks:

The night before, when you put the paste in the over remove the racks and start the rack cleaning process.

One a can of outdoor grill cleaner

Scrub the racks as the cleaner works

Submerge the cleaned racks in a large container

Use hot water to submerge the racks in the container

     ( measure the racks and find a plastic container that is large enough to submerge them)

    I used buckets of  hot water  in the plastic container and Dawn dishwashing detergent ( about 1/2 cup) to cover the racks and soak overnight

      (One blog I read said to submerge the oven racks in water and dishwasher detergent in the bathtub overnight. However, with the grill cleaner we through the water and dishwashing detergent was enough and it proved to be sufficient. ) Plus, I did not want to have my bathtub tied up for that length of time.

Here is where we started:


And, here is where we ended up.  Well, worth the two hours work and elbow grease!


 I offer a very special thanks to Cochise for all his help. He did an outstanding job because he could reach into the back of the oven. His arms are longer mine.

 I am so proud! Let the “Fairy”  know what you think.

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