Oven Cleaning Tips & Tricks

January 4, 2018 by Jason Loper


The oven gets quite a workout over the holidays. Turkeys have splattered and pies have spilled over. Casseroles have dripped and bread crumbs have collected. Now that the last of the leftovers have been eaten and the holiday guests have all gone back home, it’s time to clear away what remains in the oven. Here are a few tips and tricks to make oven cleaning a little easier.

Generally speaking, self-cleaning ovens work by heating up to an extra hot temperature and turning all those leftover food bits into dust. If your oven has a self-cleaning option, refer to the directions for your model. You can find directions for using the self-cleaning mode in your owners manual. (If you can’t find the owners manual for your Kenmore oven, look for it online at Sears Parts Direct).

If you don’t have a self-cleaning oven, you can get the job done the old fashioned way: with a little cleaner and elbow grease. Here’s how:

• Remove the oven racks. Place them in a large sink or bathtub, fill with water and allow to soak. Use the scratchy side of a sponge to scrape away the burnt food bits. Rinse the oven racks and dry with a towel.
• Make a baking soda paste by mixing a little water into a bowl of baking soda. Spread the paste inside the oven.
• Allow the baking soda paste to sit overnight.
• The next day, fill a bucket of water and use a sponge to wipe away the baking soda paste.
• If any dried baking soda paste remains, use a little vinegar to clear it away.

• Remove the oven door. Again, refer to the owners manual for your specific oven model. Removing the door makes it easier to reach into the oven and get a good thorough cleaning.

• Collect the crusty burnt bits that have collected in the bottom of the oven before you start cleaning.

• You can also clean between the glass and the oven door. This post on Hometalk provides instructions for cleaning the glass between the oven door. Refer to the owners manual for your specific model for specifics.

• Use the ammonia method on an electric oven. This post at Readers Digest gives all the details for cleaning your electric oven using a bowl of ammonia. Per the post: “First, turn the oven on, let it warm to 150°F (65°C), and then turn it off. Place a small bowl containing 1/2 cup ammonia on the top shelf and a large pan of boiling water on the bottom shelf. Close the oven door, and let it sit overnight. The next morning, remove the dish and pan, and let the oven air out awhile. Then wipe it clean using the ammonia and a few drops of dishwashing liquid diluted in a quart of warm water — even old burned-on grease should wipe right off.” (This method is not for gas ovens.)

For more cleaning tips and tricks, check out these other Kenmore Community posts:
5 Tips for Cleaning Stainless Steel
5 Dishwasher Hacks That Will Make Life Easier
Launder Smarter: Tips for Removing Food Stains
Tips to Refresh, Restore, and Preserve Your Appliances

Jason Loper

Jason Loper is a self-professed doyen of the domestic arts. In other words, he hasn’t met a household project he hasn’t enjoyed tackling. His latest project is renovating a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed American System-Built Home in Iowa.