Is it time to give your oven a deep cleaning? Learn how to clean a gas oven with our deep cleaning guide. We’ll cover how to clean both the inside and the outside of your oven using natural, chemical-free supplies that you probably already have around your home!
We’ve all been there. You’re right in the middle of cooking dinner and open the oven to be greeted with a faceful of smoke from little bits of food that are stuck in the bottom of the oven burning. Yucky!
Or you step away for just a second and the pot filled with water boils over on your cooktop. Whatever the reason, your oven needs to be cleaned. Deep cleaned!
Today we’re going to take you through the entire process of deep cleaning a gas oven. From the inside to the outside, we’ll cover it all!
Gas ovens are powered by natural gas, unlike ovens powered by electricity or fire. Like any other oven, gas ovens accumulate dirt and burned-on debris over time. Removing this grime is imperative from the oven interior, as can seriously affect the efficiency and longevity of your oven.
Also, no one wants to have that yucky smoke from the burning food residue get into the food you’re cooking, right?
This deep cleaning guide for gas ovens contains affiliate links, but nothing that I wouldn’t recommend wholeheartedly. Read my full disclosure here.
Wear rubber cleaning gloves
One of the best things you can do to make cleaning your gas oven easier is to wear rubber gloves during the entire process. Even if you’re using our natural oven cleaner recipe instead of harsh chemical cleansers, rubber gloves are helpful.
Even if you use a mild cleaner, gloves will keep your hands from soaking up water and the cleaning solution, along with grease and oven debris.
Be patient and use a little bit of elbow grease
Patience is an essential part of cleaning your gas appliances. Just as the food inside an oven gets baked over time, the food residue will only break down and come off with time, too.
Apply your oven cleaning solution and leave the interior of the oven to soak for an hour or more. This will allow time for the chemical process to do its job, making the good scrub and debris removal that much easier once you return to the task.
Use scouring pads
A soft cotton microfiber cloth and paper towels are fine for detailed finishing work, or for rinsing and drying the clean oven, but will have little effect on harsh grease and baked-on food.
Make your own oven cleaner without the harsh chemicals
There are several basic cleaning solutions that you can make yourself, rather than spending money on chemical cleaners or risking the health effects of bringing chemicals into your kitchen.
The best oven cleaner is a baking soda paste made with simply baking soda and water. Mix 1 cup of baking soda with a couple of tablespoons of warm water. Add more water if needed. Stir well until it becomes a paste-like consistency.
For more troubling ovens, make a slightly stronger and harder-working paste from 5 tablespoons baking soda, 3 drops liquid dish soap, and 4 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide.
Apply this paste and let it eat away at the oven grime for 20 minutes or so before scrubbing it clean with a non-abrasive scouring pad. Because this one has soap and hydrogen peroxide, you want to make sure to rinse it well afterward.
Avoid heating elements
Whenever you clean a gas oven (whether inside or the top of the stove), avoid getting the heating elements wet. This is more of a challenge with gas ranges where the burners are exposed, especially when cleaning the broiler section just below the heating elements.
If you get cleaner or water on the heating elements and gas burners, test the oven to see if it will still light. If not, use a dry cloth or paper towel to dab the heating element where it appears wet.
If the oven still doesn’t ignite, you may need to wait for the water to fully dry. Use a hair dryer and paper towels to speed up the process.
Manual vs self-cleaning cycle
Self-cleaning ovens have a feature that allows the oven to heat to high temperatures for a particular length of time during this cycle. Start by checking your gas oven to see if you have the option of using a self-clean cycle or if you’ll need to manually clean the inside. Most newer ovens have a self-cleaning function and it’s a worthwhile feature!
How does the self-clean feature work?
When the self-clean cycle is used, the oven will lock and use high heat to cook off any food residue from the inside of the oven. The interior surfaces of the oven become so hot that they essentially burn off any dirt, debris, or stains inside the oven.
Once the cycle is over and the oven cools, any leftover ashes from cleaning may be brushed or vacuumed up and discarded.
Regular ovens do not have a self-cleaning feature and require that you manually clean them. No worries though, we cover both processes below!
How to clean a gas oven: step-by-step deep cleaning
There are two ways to clean a gas oven: the manual way and the automatic way. Of course, the automatic way is only available on ovens with a built-in self-cleaning feature.
Only clean a cooled oven
When you’re going to be deep cleaning your oven and it has been used recently, be sure it has fully cooled off first.
Cleaning the oven racks
- Take the racks out of the oven and shake them over the trash can to remove any loose debris. Place the stopper in the kitchen sink and fill it three-quarters of the way with hot water.
- Add two squirts of dish soap and stir with gloved hands. Put the racks in the sink to soak for 20 minutes. If they are too big to be fully submerged, soak one half for 20 minutes, drain and replace the soapy water and then soak the other half. Alternatively, you could also let the oven racks soak in your bathtub!
- Use a non-abrasive scrubber pad to scrub any stubborn debris off of the racks. Then rinse them under the tap with lukewarm water.
- Set aside and let dry.
Cleaning the inside of the oven: self-clean option
- The self-cleaning feature can take an hour or more. The door will need to be locked the entire time and the stovetop cannot be used. Keep that in mind before starting the process.
- If using the self-clean feature, remove the oven racks first. It gets very hot and could melt or warp them.
- Start by vacuuming or wiping up any dried, loose bits of food from the bottom of the oven.
- Remove the lower drawer under the oven before running the self-clean cycle. If you can’t remove it, empty the contents and keep it open while the self-clean mode is running.
- Do not use oven cleaners when using the self-cleaning cycle on the oven. Commercial cleaners or oven liners should never be used in or around any part of the oven. Residue from oven cleaners will damage the inside of the oven during a self-cleaning operation.
- Do not force the oven door open during the self-cleaning cycle. The door automatically locks when the self-cleaning cycle is started and stays locked until the cycle is canceled and the oven temperature is below 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- You may notice some fumes while the self-clean function is running from the food bits and grease being burned. You can run the fans and open the windows to help with this.
- Keep children and pets out of the kitchen while you are cleaning the inside of your oven. The outside surfaces of the range get hot enough to burn if touched.
- Stand away from the range when opening the oven door after a self-cleaning cycle. The oven will be very hot and the escaping hot air and steam can cause burns.
- Once the inside of the oven has cooled, you can wipe away any leftover ash and put the clean oven racks back in.
Cleaning the inside of the oven: manually
- If you don’t have a self-cleaning oven or don’t want to wait for it to run or deal with the fumes, you can manually clean your gas oven with homemade non-toxic cleaners. Even after running the self-cleaning function, I still need to clean some tough spots inside the oven manually and the glass on the door.
- Start by using a handheld vacuum to get any small crumbs up from the bottom of the oven.
- Take a paper towel and wipe out the top, bottom, and sides of the oven. Don’t neglect the corners.
- Mix baking soda paste in a small bowl with 1 cup of baking soda and a couple of tablespoons of warm water. Mix and add more water if needed until you get a paste consistency.
- Use rubber gloves on your hands and spread the paste over the entire inside of your dirty oven. As mentioned earlier, be sure to steer clear of the heating elements inside your oven. Those are not supposed to get wet at all.
- Don’t add the paste to the glass on the inside of the door, which usually gets pretty dirty.
- Let the paste sit and work its magic for 12 hours. Overnight is ideal.
- Wipe off the paste with a damp rag. If needed, you can use a scraper, like a spatula, or a non-abrasive scrubber for any hard stops. However, most of the grime so wipe right off. Do not use scouring pads or steel wool.
- Once most of the paste is wiped away, you can spray everything down with white vinegar and wipe it again. The vinegar will help dissolve any left behind baking soda.
- You may need to do the oven glass on the door again. Use the same baking soda paste recipe. Spread it thick on the window and let it sit open (horizontally) for 20 to 30 minutes or more. Wipe clean with a clean and damp rag.
Cleaning the exterior of the oven
Even if you regularly clean the front of your oven, after the inside is all nice and sparkly clean, it is nice to give the exterior a cleaning too! You can use an all-purpose cleaner (love this one!) for this in a spray bottle and a cleaning cloth.
Alternatively, a mixture of water and vinegar also works great. If you don’t love the smell of vinegar, add a few drops of essential oils. I love lavender!
On most ovens, you can pull off the knobs to remove them easily, which makes cleaning easier. The knobs clean up well in the sink with some soapy water. Be sure to dry them before putting them back.
Cleaning the cooktop of your gas oven
Last, but not least, it is time to tackle the gas stovetop. Now, I find that I have to clean our cooktop much more often than the inside of the oven. I usually wipe our entire cooktop down at least one time per week; whereas we only deep clean the inside of our oven every 6 months or so.
- Make sure it is all cooled down before cleaning the cooktop.
- Remove the grates over the gas burners. Ours are cast iron so usually I wipe them down with a damp rag. If needed, I soak them in warm soapy water and then rinse them clean. A non-abrasive sponge can also be used if needed on the grates. Vinegar can also be used in the water if there is built-up grease on the grates. Once done, dry them thoroughly with a clean towel.
- The burner caps on top of our gas burners also come off easily if they need to be cleaned. Again, I used hot soapy water for these and rinse them clean. Dry before returning.
- I try not to mess with the burner bases at all because nothing must get in the hole where the gas comes out.
- For the surface of the cooktop, use a soft cloth slightly damp with warm water (avoiding the burner bases as I wipe). If needed, you can spray some vinegar to help with the cleaning. Spray the vinegar on the cloth, NOT on the cooktop, to avoid getting it on the gas burner. You can also get a cleaner that is made specifically for gas ranges if you prefer, but I find that water and vinegar usually do the trick for me!
Regular Maintenance for Cleaning the Oven
Going forward, it can be helpful to wipe away any crumbs or drips from your oven and cooktop after you use it once the oven cools. If you notice anything in your oven simply wipe it away before it has a chance to get cooked again, which leads to the baked-on grease, which is hard to remove.
A regular maintenance cleaning of your oven can be as simple as wiping down the interior with a soft cloth and hot water. Use a bit of dish soap if needed and rinse with a clean damp cloth.
We hope you enjoyed the deep cleaning guide on how to clean a gas oven. Did you learn anything new? Do you have any other tricks that you use how to clean a gas oven that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments!
- Remove oven racks and start self clean
- Clean the oven racks
- Scrub inside with paste if no self clean
- Clean the exterior of the oven front
- Clean the oven top