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How to clean your oven: A non-toxic cleaning guide

With this natural oven cleaning guide you’ll never need to reach for those chemical baddies again!

It’s fair to say that if you’ve been giving your dirty oven the side eye, you probably aren’t alone – and for good reason. It takes time, it’s messy, and those conventional oven cleaning products need a full hazmat suit, they are so full of caustic nasties! Sure, they can get the job done but not without some pretty worrying health concerns, especially if you are asthmatic or pregnant. All those fumes that make you cough and burn your skin are absolutely best avoided. And as for awful smell that taints your food and lingers in your home for days….. gross!

We’ve cleaned thing up by straight up eliminating those nasty chemicals – they are gross, and you don’t need them to get things spiffy!

This is the much better alternative for oven cleaning. It’s the guide that will get your oven sparkling clean without nasty chemicals, that will change your mind about oven cleaning & that you are going to tell all your besties about! I have had such great success getting even the grottiest, overlooked oven back to clean, and so will you!

What do you need?  All you need is a couple of cleaning staples that you recognise, trust and know are safe for you, your family and the planet. We’re going to get back to basics and harness the cleaning power of:

  • Baking soda,
  • Pure castile soap,
  • Washing soda,
  • Vinegar,
  • Some time and a little elbow grease.


That’s it. All ingredients you recognise!

You’ll also want a cloth for wiping out, a scrubbing pad and a pair of gloves if you’ve had your nails done!

Let’s get oven cleaning.

But first, the crumbs…

Grab a fish slice or brush and give the bottom of your oven a quick going over – you’re trying to loosen any deliciousness that bubbled over and that charred crouton that dropped to the bottom of the oven. Then use a damp cloth to wipe out anything that will come away easily.

Now that the crumbs are taken care of, let’s get rid of the easiest to tackle grime. Turn on your oven to bake at 100 -150 C, fill an oven safe dish with a cup of hot water. Steam your oven for 30 minutes. This is to soften greasy build up that will actually wipe away quiet easily once steamed. When the oven has cooled to a safe temperature, start wiping it out with a soapy cloth. Set yourself up with a bucket of soapy water & put in a bit of elbow grease, the more loose grime you can get off at this stage, the better.


Oven trays, racks and rails ready to sparkle…

After steaming your oven, put the racks and trays to one side. Fill a tub or sink with ¼ cup Washing soda (soda ash dense not crystals) and 2 tablespoons Figgy & Co. Home Cleaning Castile Soap (speciality cleaning soap) dissolved in hot water. Make sure the trays and racks are submerged & soak the trays and racks for about an hour or overnight if it suits better. In some ovens you will be able to unscrew and soak the side rails too. If you do unscrew anything take a photo if you might forget how it goes back together and pop the screws in a cup for safe keeping! After soaking, the baked on grease and grime will be much softer. Use a scrubber pad on the trays and racks, to easily remove the baked-on grime. This is so satisfying as the metal comes up shiny so easily.


It’s time to see how less really is more

This is were the magic really happens, we aren’t using harsh chemicals – and we certainly aren’t here to choke on toxic fumes. Instead, a simple paste of baking soda and Castile soap will do all the heavy lifting, safely. Baking soda is an awesome scrubber, its a gentle scourer that has just the right amount of grittiness to lift away messes with each pass. Natural soap quiet literally dissolves grease and grime. To make a cleaning paste, take one-part Figgy & Co. Home Cleaning Castile Soap and 4 parts baking soda and mix together in a wide mouth jar or bowl. If you would rather not DIY, use pre-made Figgy & Co. Cleaning Paste.

Here’s a tip if you find yourself really keen to wrangle your oven but only have baking soda to hand. Simply omit the soap & make a slurry of baking soda and water instead. It’ll be a bit more scrubbing but will absolutely get the job done.

The key to success is a good covering

Spread your cleaning paste all around the inside of your oven – If its tricky to spread because its a bit dry, just add a little with water to thin it down to a smearable consistency. You’ll find the paste dries out once smeared on the inside of the hot oven. That’s fine and actually helps with the scrubbing.

With the paste covering the oven walls, roof and bottom, take a scrubby pad and start cleaning. Work in small circles and use some elbow grease and enjoy not choking on fumes! If you find it easier add a little water again to help move the paste around in circles. Be sure use a non-scratch scouring pad on your glass.

Once it has all been scrubbed over, let the paste sit in the oven for an hour or so.

Then give it another scrub over, and with a fresh cloth, wipe out the oven to see your good progress. Repeat the cleaning paste process if needed. For really stubborn baked on grime – you might find it is easier to let the cleaning paste sit in the oven overnight and scrub it out the next day.

An oven door tip

You might find it easier to reach into your oven with the door removed. Most oven doors can be unclipped and removed from the oven. And the bonus  cleaning the door glass up at bench height will save your back from bending over. If you are unsure how to unclip your oven door, refer to your oven manual – If you can’t find your manual, check online for a copy there.

The final sparkle

Be sure to give your oven a good wipe out with a freshly rinsed cloth to remove the last of the baking soda paste. At times baking soda cleaning paste can get stuck in the oven joins and be tricky to wipe out. The easy fix is a diluted vinegar spray. The vinegar and baking soda will react and fizz. This makes easy work of left over baking soda in hard to reach spots.

Get ready to cook and clean less often

Put your oven back together, check that photo if you need to and get ready to enjoy a home cooked meal immediately (!) after cleaning! That lack of stinky fumes lingering in your home and oven really is brilliant! If you have unscrewed or unclipped any parts be sure to replace these appropriately. Here’s a tip To keep your oven looking cleaner for longer and reduce the need for big cleans – after using your oven, take a damp cloth and give your oven a quick wipe out. Grease and grime is always easiest to clean when it’s fresh and before it’s been baked on. Not sure you will commit to that?

Here’s a cheeky plan ‘B’ and I totally recommend it. Make a habit of wiping over the glass door each time you turn your oven on with a damp dish cloth. Just keeping the glass clean will be a win, now you can easily check on your cooking without needing to open the door. Win win!

Now enjoy your clean oven and pat yourself on the back for all the nasty chemicals you’ve avoided in the process!

Fuss free with Figgy

We love keeping it simple. Figgy & Co. is the home of everyday, non-toxic home cleaning. We’re here so you can get the cleaning done, no fuss and without the bad for you nasties! Check out our blog for more tips and tricks to help you clean your home naturally. Better for you, your family, and our planet.

And our little shop on the internet has our full range of natural and non-toxic home cleaners and DIY cleaning supplies to keep natural cleaning at your home easy! Looking for inspiration and some guidance to make your own non-toxic home cleaners? Check out our recipe booklet It has easy to follow instructions & tried and tested home cleaning recipes for every room and job. Nothing fancy just the cleaners you’ll reach for everyday! Our recipe booklet is available in print and E-book.