Cleaning Guides

How to Steam Clean an Oven

Steam cleaning an oven is one of the most effective ways to remove burnt-on food and grease. After all, who doesn’t want to cook on a squeaky clean stove?

But learning how to steam clean an oven is an entirely different thing. Although it’s considered the easiest and safest way to clean your oven, steam cleaning can be done in many ways. Not to mention the hundreds of cleaning products you can choose from.

From using the self-steam clean function on your oven to placing a bowl of vinegar and turning up the heat, we’ll go through the best and most effective ways to eliminate unpleasant smells, smoke, and food residue.

So, if:

  • You just moved in, and the oven needs a good cleaning;
  • You’ve bought a new stove and want to keep it sparkling;
  • Or your old, trusty cooker needs a deep clean.

Then, read on.

Steam clean oven with vinegar

White vinegar is a long-time proven home remedy for achieving brilliant cleanliness. Easy to get, vinegar can break down the bacteria and odours that come from burnt-on food. Here’s how to steam clean an oven with vinegar:

  1. Gather supplies: White vinegar, water, an oven-safe bowl, baking soda, a clean cloth or sponge, and a dry towel.
  2. Remove the oven racks: Let them soak in hot soapy water or the same vinegar solution used for the oven. Put back one of the racks in the centre of the oven. You can clean the racks while the procedure is ongoing. Vacuum or wipe away any loose debris from the inside.
  3. Preheat the оven: Turn on the oven to the highest possible temperature and let it preheat for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Create the vinegar solution: Fill a large, oven-safe bowl or saucepan halfway with water and half a cup of vinegar.
  5. Place the solution in the oven: Leave it for over 20 minutes, but no longer than an hour, allowing the steam to loosen grease and grime inside the oven.
  6. Wipe down the oven: After cooling, wipe the residue with a clean, dry cloth or a sponge. Rinse the cloth/sponge in clean water and wring them out. Repeat several times.
  7. Make a cleaning paste: If the oven hasn’t been cleaned in a while and is visibly in bad shape, continue combining 120ml (4oz) of vinegar, 150ml (5oz) of water and two tablespoons of baking soda. Apply the paste on a sponge and scrub any remaining stains. Rinse the sponge and wipe the oven clean. Finally, dry with a soft cloth.
  8. Replace the oven racks: Once the oven and the shelves are completely dry, replace the oven racks in their proper position.

Use ammonia to clean the oven

Remember: Always follow the instructions on the back of the product. Do not mix ammonia with bleach or detergents that contain bleach.

Another way to get your oven clean without the use of toxic chemicals is by ammonia steam cleaning. Ammonia is cheap and easy to find, and although there might still be some stuck-on stains left after steam cleaning with ammonia, there won’t be anything little elbow grease can’t get rid of.

Here is how to steam clean an oven using ammonia:

  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees, then turn it off.
  2. Fill an oven-safe bowl with 1 cup of ammonia and place it on the top rack. Fill another bowl with boiling water and put it on the lower rack.
  3. Close the oven and let the fumes do their magic. Let it stay overnight or for 8-12 hours—open windows for good ventilation.
  4. On the next day, wipe clean with a damp cloth or sponge.
Warning: Ammonia is considered to be an industrial cleaning solution. With that said, although it can be effective in oven cleaning, it can also be dangerous. Most websites do not explain the danger ammonia poses, such as skin burns, eye irritation, and if mixed with chemicals that have bleach, it can produce a deadly gas.

How to use the self-steam cleaning option your oven has

Probably one of the easiest ways to clean your oven using steam is to turn on the steam cleaning function. A lot of the newer models have it. On SMEG ovens, you can also find it as a “Vapor Clean” setting.

To ensure that you’ll get the best results with the steam clean option, read the manual that came with your appliance and follow the instructions. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use the self-steam cleaning option on most ovens:

  1. Remove all internal parts of the oven, such as the racks and the foil. Let them soak while the steam cleaning cycle runs, and then clean them by hand. 
  2. Pour some water into an oven-safe bowl and place it inside the appliance. 
  3. Flip the self-cleaning switch. Depending on the oven, the steaming can last from 30 minutes to 3 hours. Check with the manufacturer’s instructions.
    • Don’t worry if you see smoke. Self-steaming ovens are designed to reach very high temperatures to scorch the grease and dirt. 
  4. Let the oven cool down, and use a damp cloth to remove debris and ashes. 
  5. Clean the outside of your oven. This part won’t be affected by the self-steam cleaning. Use a damp cloth and any detergent of your choice to remove any dirt.
Pro tip: For a nice, freshly scented oven, add a few slices of lemon in the water bowl.

Using a steam cleaner

Steam cleaners are excellent tools for cleaning stuck-on dirt and debris. Luckily, you can use them in your oven. Frankly, it is a pretty simple process. Follow those three easy steps and bring back the original shine of your stove.

  1. Preparational work: Allow some time for your steam cleaner to heat up. In the meantime, you can prepare your oven for cleaning. Empty the oven of all racks and the foil. Use a damp cloth to remove any loose debris.
  2. Steam clean: Begin from the inner side of the oven and work your way towards the front. Leave the inside part to stir while you are working on the open oven door. Once the door has been steam cleaned, wipe it with a clean cloth.
  3. Repeat the process: Go over the inside of your oven with the steam cleaner again, followed with a clean cloth and wipe away any melted grease and debris left behind. For stubborn stains, hold the steam cleaner a few extra seconds before you brush.
Pro tip: If you haven’t cleaned the oven in some time, spray white vinegar on the inside. It will help break down the grease build-up. You can also add a water/vinegar solution to your steam cleaner.

Book a professional oven-cleaning expert!

Let’s be honest, DIY-ing can only get you so far. So, if you want to ensure your oven serves you delicious meals for a long time to come, call a professional to do the job.

When you book with Fantastic Club, you get preferential rates. You will get a squeaky clean oven, and a professional oven cleaner will clean the seals between the glass doors and even change the light bulb. Not to mention that you can combine your oven cleaning with extra appliances, so why not treat your kitchen, right?

Wonder how to steam clean your oven?

Get in touch with Fantastic Services today!

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  • Steam cleaning is excellent for achieving a spotless, grease-free oven without chemicals.
  • Some ovens have a self-steam oven option or use a steam cleaner.
  • You can use homemade solutions for steam cleanings, such as vinegar, baking soda and ammonia (but be careful with the last one).
  • Ovens with a long grease and dirt build-up might require professional help.


Have you tried steam cleaning your oven? Let us know in the comment section below!

Image source: Shutterstock / Vershinin89 

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