How to Clean an Oven Without Using The Self-Cleaning Feature: 6 easy methods

How to clean an oven without using the self-cleaning feature? Self-cleaning ovens offer the most convenience in terms of cleaning. However, you still need to clean them occasionally to maintain their working conditions.

Self-cleaning features don’t always clean properly, especially if the build up is too extensive. With time, the grease and other build-up materials could hinder optimal performance and even cause a fire.

In addition, a dirty oven could overheat and burn the fuses and circuit boards. Eventually, they could stop heating at all. Manual cleaning is the best way to stop these from happening.

You’ll first have to learn how to clean a self-cleaning oven manually with the right products and procedures.

Some of the best products to use include ammonia, citrus, and baking soda.

The cleaning process usually differs depending on the type of oven you have. Some may take longer, up to 5 hours, while others will be done within 3 hours.

Others can be done within a few minutes. Be sure to wear gloves to protect your skin, and have junky towels on hand to catch drips.

Know how to clean oven

Cleaning inside the oven

The first step in cleaning a self-cleaning oven is creating room for the actual cleaning. Remove everything from the oven, including the racks.

Be careful not to remove fragile elements like the heating element.

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You should also remove any debris from the oven using a spatula or any other tool that can scoop easily. Large chunks of burnt/dried food need to be removed manually first. Get that pizza crust and melted cheese out while the oven is still cool.

Next, choose a cleaning agent to remove the grime from the oven. How to clean an oven without using the self-cleaning feature.


One of the best advantages of using ammonia is that it can quickly dissolve any grease making it easier for you to wipe them away.

Mix equal amounts of water and ammonia in a bowl then place the bowl inside the oven.

Make sure the oven is off. Leave the mixture overnight for it to evaporate and interact with the grime.

It will soften and in the morning you’ll be able to wipe it off. Use the remaining mixture in the bowl when wiping the oven.

Once you’ve removed all the hunk, you can wipe the oven with paper towels.


Citrus is great at producing a refreshing smell and is, therefore, the most ideal if you have a foul-smelling oven.

Mix lemon juice and water in a bowl, about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and half a cup of water.

Turn on the oven then place the bowl with the mixture inside. The goal is to make the mixture evaporate so the oven has to be over 400 F.

Once it has evaporated you can turn off the oven then scrub the surface.

Wait for the oven to cool and use a soft fabric like a scouring pad. All the dirt will come off easily.

Baking soda

Baking soda is one of the best cleaning agents to use in a self-cleaning oven as well as other appliances in the home.

In most cases, it has to be used with other agents like vinegar. In most cases, baking soda helps in tooth whitening and making garden soil better.

When used in the oven it can penetrate even the toughest grease making it very effective.

Mix the same amount of vinegar and baking soda and add the mixture to the water. If you use 1/4 cup of vinegar and a similar quantity of baking soda, you can use 3/4 cup of water.

Apply the resulting paste on the areas with grease. This procedure doesn’t require heat or scrubbing.

Wait for a minimum of half an hour then use a paper towel to wipe off the surface.

Cleaning the oven racks

Like the interior, knowing how to clean the oven racks is also part of knowing how to clean a self-cleaning oven. Any of the methods below will work.

Dryer sheets

This is one of the simplest ways of cleaning the racks of your self-cleaning oven. Lay the oven rack in your bathtub on top of dryer sheets.

Fill the tub with warm water then add dishwasher liquid. Make sure the racks are covered. Leave to soak an overnight then use the wet dryer sheets to scrub the racks.

Baking soda

For this method, but the racks inside the bathtub then sprinkle some vinegar on them. Pour vinegar on top then leave overnight.

Expect some foam to form as a reaction of the mixture. Wipe with a towel in the morning to remove all the grime.

In case you encounter some stubborn stains, add kosher salt to the water to make the mixture more abrasive.


You should soak the ammonia in a trash bag and add some ammonia. Tie the bags and let soak through the night.

Open the bag in the morning then spray with water to remove the dirt.

Remember to wear protection such as gloves, masks, and goggles when opening the bag to prevent you from inhaling or being in contact with the fumes.

cleaning oven glass

Cleaning the oven glass window

A self-cleaning oven window can be manually cleaned using some common household products such as :

Alcohol and vinegar

Mix running alcohol, vinegar, and water in a spray bottle and mix thoroughly.

You’ll end up with a cleaner that is effective in removing grease and evaporates easily. Spray the mixture on the glass as you wipe the surface.


This mixture will give you a cleaner surface since it penetrates the tiny cracks and removes all the stains resulting in a shiny and spot-free glass.

Mix the same quantities of alcohol and vinegar then add double the amount of water and half quantity of cornstarch.

Mix the solution thoroughly until all the cornstarch dissolves. Spray the solution as you wipe the glass.


Most homes already have vinegar which is why this method is the most cost-effective.

Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to 2 cups of water then add a few drops of any essential oil you may have.

Pour into a spray bottle then use a cloth to wipe the glass as you spray the mixture. Although vinegar has a strong smell, the essential oil will overpower it.

Conclusion: how to clean an oven without using the self-cleaning feature?

One of the best advantages of these products is that they don’t have harmful chemicals.

Instead of buying cleaning products that are filled with aggressive chemicals you can use these products that you already have in your home.

They are also easy to clean and will not leave any streaks and spots on the oven surface.

Remember to clean corners and hidden spaces of the oven with a toothbrush and dry off the oven with paper towels when done the cleaning.

Place back the racks when they have completely dried and kept the inside dry before reusing the oven.

Use the above steps regularly and your self-cleaning oven will not have any problems.

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