How to clean a REALLY dirty oven: repeating it for good measure

Miss Thrifty6 February 25, 2011

clean a dirty oven About a year-and-a-half ago, I wrote a post called How to clean a REALLY dirty oven. It was more of a recipe, really.

I’ve just had an email from a reader who found it and tried it:

Dear Miss Thrifty,

I googled how to clean a really dirty oven and came across your website. How easy: bicarb and water. The only messy part was cleaning up the gunk afterwards. No smell, no headaches, no gloves, what can I say…fantastic…terrific!
This li’l Aussie will be using your method from now on and I’ll also mix up the bicarb and water in a spray bottle to keep it clean in between.

Thanks so much – I’ll be passing on your method to all my friends.



How sweet is that? It’s nice to know that people are still drawing upon these old posts and finding them useful. Many more people read this blog now than did a year-and-a-half ago, so I thought I’d run a repeat, BBC1-at-Christmas style, for those who missed it the first time around.

How to clean a REALLY dirty oven

You will need:

* Liberal quantities of bicarbonate of soda.
* Water.
* A bowl.
* A cloth.
* A wallpaper scraper.

Yes, that is all! I don’t use the supermarket bicarbonate of soda, which comes in small pots in the home baking section; instead, I buy bicarb in bulk from Summer Naturals, because I put the stuff to various uses.

This is what you need to do:

1. Mix the bicarb and water into a thin paste.
2. Smear the paste across the oven door/walls, using the cloth to ensure an even distribution.
3. Leave for at least 30 minutes. Those tacky brown stains will begin to soften and melt.
4. Remove stains, using the wallpaper scraper. Afterwards you can rinse the scraper under the tap – the bicarbonated brown/black gloop will simply fall off – and return it to its rightful place in the garden shed.

Your oven will be clean and sparkling within minutes! Also, you can avoid the breathing difficulties and expenses associated with the powerful chemicals that purport to do the same job. I always used to feel a little uncomfortable about cooking food in an oven that I had daubed with stinking chemical nasties. But the bicarb doesn’t pong, and rinses off easily.

You can find the original post here. Since this post was first published, readers have left additional warnings and tips in the comments section, so I recommend checking that out if you decide to give it a go.

Image credit: tshein.

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6 Responses to “How to clean a REALLY dirty oven: repeating it for good measure

Teresa says:

I read your original post and even bought BoS in bulk from Summer Naturals but never got around to using it to clean my oven!
I think my reticence stems from the fact that I can’t find a large enough container for the BoS. It came in a double bag because the inner one had already split so I anticipate a right mess if I open it.
What do you put yours in? It’s almost spring cleaning time and I’d love to give it a go!
Teresa x

February 25, 2011 at 11:13 am

Johnny Debt says:

I am sure that this would also be a good method of getting the Bar-B-Q clean just before our next long and glorious summer!!

February 25, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Miss Thrifty says:

@Teresa Well, let’s see. In my experience the bicarb from Summer Naturals always comes in a double bag, for extra strength. I cut one of the top corners off with scissors, pour out what I need, and secure the bag with one of those plastic freezer bag grips. I pour the bicarb into a mixing bowl or empty carton. I hope this helps.

@Johnny I like your thinking, Mr Debt! Please let me know how you get on – if it works I’ll write a post about it….

March 9, 2011 at 12:08 am

Its good to hear you are happy about people using your tips. If I can help in anyway with other problems please email me. Id be more than happy to share a wealth of cleaning knowledge with you.

April 2, 2011 at 8:34 am

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