Non-Toxic Homemade Oven Cleaner Recipe: Baking Soda and Water

I cannot stress how much I hate cleaning the oven. But I cleaned my oven anyway. I’ll confess, I’m not the best at keeping on top of that unpleasant task. And of course, living in a rental, we have a basic oven. Not self cleaning. Bummer. Still, I needed to clean the oven before we move out of the house, so I decided to tackle the dreaded task over the weekend. I didn’t have any oven cleaner in my cleaning cabinet, because the fumes make me sick. So I searched the internet for a better solution to my problem than Easy-Off. I found it. But would it work?

On Saturday afternoon:

  • I sprinkled about 1/4 inch of baking soda on the bottom of my oven.
  • I also sprinkled some on the door, because there was some grime there, too.
  • Then I took a spray bottle filled with plain tap water and sprayed the baking soda until it was damp.
  • Every couple of hours I’d spray it some more.

Sunday evening I went to work. I took a basic scrub sponge and began to scrub out the baking soda.

I was surprised at how quickly the baked on grime came off! I definitely had to scrub some, but it wasn’t any more difficult than using commercial oven cleaner, and it sure smelled a lot better. I didn’t have to worry about burning my hands, either!

When I finished the inside of my oven, I used the same baking soda and water trick on the section under the stove top coils. Only this time I only sprayed the baking soda once and only waited 20 minutes or so. It still worked well!

I used some soapy water to wipe down the outside of the oven, and voila! All clean!

And the next tenants won’t have to smell Easy-Off the first time they use their oven!

Photo by SuperFantastic.


By , on Aug 26, 2008
Lynnae McCoy I'm Lynnae, wife of one and stay-at-home mom of two. I'm committed to getting out of debt by being frugal with my choices in life.


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  1. bone7:

    I want to clean my grids on the top of my gass stove. The oven is self cleaning. That old stinky Easy Off is the only thing that I have ever found that really works and I can’t find a store in my area that sell the stuff anymore. I really don’t want the spray kind. I used to be able to get it in glass jar with a brush. I can take the grids off to clean them. I can’t put them in the oven to clean because it gets too hot and will pop the enamel off. Help! Wal-Mart does not have it here.

  2. majorpayne:

    I tried the dollar store brand to clean my oven. Smelled bad, but did NOT work even a little!! I am delighted to try this baking soda thang. I am even more glad to find this website. Thanks!

  3. Dee:

    Note for Danielle on getting spots out of beige carpet: Make a thick paste of borax and water. Using a spoon, apply the paste to the stain. Then with a stiff brush, sort of push it down into the pile of the carpet. Wait an hour or two and vacuum. You might need to repeat for a stubborn stain, but it’s worked for me for years. Good luck!

  4. I was just looking in my oven yesterday, and dreading the upcoming cleaning task. I am so excited now! Thanks for posting this…..the smell of cleaners also makes me sick. This will be great!

    Enjoy cleaning with a new purpose—getting into your own place! :-)

  5. Linda in San Diego:

    My grandmother would take off all the “plates and racks” in the oven, then she would place them in black trash bags, add vinegar and then place the bags in the sun. Hours later, she showed us how the “ucky stuff” practically rinsed off.

  6. Danielle:

    Thanks for the timely tip! I’m moving as well, and was dreading spending more money on cleaning supplies!

    Are there any similar frugal fixes for getting small spots out of beige carpet?

  7. CarlaF:

    Wow! I’m going to give it a try.

  8. Marci:

    Mom had always told me to soak the burned food pots/pans with baking soda and a little water in the bottom over night and then the burned on stuff would come out easily the next morning. I’d just never thought of it for an oven cleaner! Thanks!

  9. Uncommonadvice:

    Thanks for the heads-up! It’s tips like this that make being frugal a joy.

  10. Lisa:

    I thought the reason ovens had doors was so I wouldn’t have to clean them. Kinda like my teenage son’s room 8-)

  11. Great tip! I hate commercial cleaner too. I’ll definitely try this next time.

  12. That is excellent news, will keep that in mind if I ever decide to clean my oven.:)

  13. Easy Off makes me sick too. The fumes keep me a bit nauseous for a day or two. Thanks for the baking soda tip!

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