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My Steam Clean Oven Hack

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Meet your new favorite cleaning hack: the steam clean oven! My steam clean oven method is the best natural way to clean an oven, and is so very easy. This method uses a steam cleaning machine and very little effort to clean your oven without chemicals. It will also work on surfaces throughout your whole home!

Pinnable image with text that says How to Clean Your Oven Naturally! No Chemicals or Stinky Smell. The text is overlaid over the image of the interior of an oven

Clean Your Oven: A Cautionary Tale

I vividly remember buying our first house, and the process of heading into other people’s homes to see if it would one day become our home.

On the day of our first showing, I was so excited to get there. Me being me, I was super excited to check out room sizes, layout, and anything else that had to do with aesthetics and design.

But when we actually walked into the first house? Our agent took us immediately to the kitchen, and more specifically the oven. He opened the oven door, and inspected inside to see how clean the oven was.

A Clean Oven is a Clean Home?

Our realtor explained to us he does this at every single house he shows, and it’s the first thing he checks. He said it’s almost always a good indicator of how well the homeowner keeps up with the rest of their home maintenance.

As the theory goes, if you’re cleaning your oven regularly, you’re also probably changing your air filters. If you clean your oven regularly, you also probably keep the dryer vents clean. And on and on.

Apparently, you can tell a lot about a person’s cleaning habits by how the cleanliness of their oven.

Oven Cleaning vs Life

I vowed then and there that I would always prioritize oven cleaning. But….life happened.

School schedules, holidays, extracurricular activities, and dentist appointments.

It’s crazy how busy life can get, and some of those home maintenance basics like oven cleaning can just fall by the wayside, right?

Basically, you should ever look inside my oven.

The dirty interior of an oven, showing a before image in a tutorial about how to steam clean oven

How to Clean Your Oven Without Chemicals

Part of my hesitation around oven cleaning is that I can’t stand the self-cleaning function that’s built into the oven. The smell is absolutely horrible and gives me a terrible headache.

Plus, it takes hours! Seriously, why does it take so long??

I’ve tried using well-known cleaners, but have always found the chemical smell lingers.

The next time I turn on the oven, it inevitably smells like bleach or ammonia. Even if I wait a bit between using the self clean function, or using elbow grease with oven cleaner, and then using the oven again? It always seems like the heat intensifies the chemical smell.

Not something that I want my food to smell like! Or even my kitchen.

Using Oven Cleaners When Cleaning Your Oven

I’m really not a big fan of oven cleaners that use a lot of chemicals.

We’ve been moving away from chemicals in cleaners for years now, and often choose more natural brands, or go for vinegar, baking soda, and lemon when we can. Seriously, baking soda is impressive and powerful!

The truth is, many household cleaning products aren’t that great for our health or the planet. And since there are better, safer, and more natural alternatives, why wouldn’t I use them?

Which is why I love this steam cleaning method to clean your oven.

What You’ll Need for My Oven Safe Steam Method

To DIY this at home, you’ll need a steam cleaning machine of some sort.

I used two different machines to clean my oven: a steam mop and a full steam machine.

However, the steam cleaning machine is a lot more versatile, so if you’re going to buy something new, I recommend getting the full steam cleaning machine over the mop.

(The steam cleaning machine in this post is the Wagner Tech One. The mop shown unfortunately is no longer available for sale, but you can find other brands that make them).

A handheld steam cleaning machine steaming a ceramic stove top

Why You’ll Love to Steam Clean Your Oven

Using a steam machine to steam clean your oven is a bit of a revelation.

This thing is literally the answer to all of my previous cleaning dilemmas. And when you steam clean your oven, you can count on:

  • No chemicals
  • No smell
  • It works incredibly well
  • It’s FAST
  • It’s an oven safe method that works on every part of the oven and stove!

Steam Clean a Ceramic Stove Top with a Steam Machine

I started with steam cleaning my stove top.

For the most part, I’ve managed to keep this pretty clean. We had one spill over 2 years ago, though, that I just couldn’t get clean.

You can see the dark stains and burn marks in this photo. These stains are 2 years old, seem to get even harder to clean after every use of this burner.

I’ve tried many cleaners and a razor blade with no success…until I tried a steam cleaning machine.

A before photo showing a stain and burn mark on a glass stovetop, illustrating before and after of using a steamer to clean a stove and oven

I used the  nylon brush attachment on the steam machine, and some distilled water, and it was gone in minutes.

It never fails to amaze me how much heated water and a little elbow grease can clean stubborn marks and stains so well!

An after photo showing a glass stovetop after using a steamer to clean it and remove a burn mark and stain

Steam Clean Your Oven Door with a Steam Cleaning Machine

Then I moved inside the oven. This is where it gets embarrassing: our first real estate agent would be horrified!

The door is absurd. Despite what it looks like, I actually do clean it a few times a year.

But I also use my oven A LOT, and apparently I’m not the neatest!

A dirty oven door before steam cleaning it

For this job, I mostly used the copper wire brush and the squeegee attachment for the inside of the oven.

A steam cleaning machine being used to steam clean an oven

You can see here where I took two quick passes with the steam machine. This was literally right after I started. Just two passes with the copper wire brush attachment removed that much built-up gunk!

An after photo showing the results of steam cleaning an oven door

After a bit more work, you can see a huge difference!

I still need to work on the frame around the oven door window, but I am so amazed about how clean this got without using chemicals or commercial cleaners of any sort!

The interior of an oven after steam cleaning

Steam Clean Your Oven Interior

For the bottom of the oven, I first moved the oven racks up to the highest position (or you can just remove them completely). 

I used the copper wire brush for this part of the job as well.

This is where I (embarrassingly) started:

The bottom of an oven before steam cleaning, showing many stains and grime

And after about 15 minutes, this is how much better it was already starting to look!

The bottom of an oven after steam cleaning, showing how the stains and grime have mostly been removed

For Extra Tough Jobs…

If you find you need some extra cleaning power after using your steam cleaner on your oven, you can try the following.

Traditional Steam Method for Your Oven

You can try this before or after using your steam cleaner to clean your oven.

Basically, fill an oven safe pot, such as an earthenware casserole dish, with water. Then turn your oven on to 450F, and place the water-filled dish inside on a middle rack. Leave it for around an hour to steam up your oven.

When you come back, you should find some of the more stubborn grease, food crusties, etc have been loosed from the steam room you created inside the oven.

Wait for the surfaces to cool, and then use a bit of elbow grease to scrub and wipe the grime away.

Other Benefits of Having a Steam Cleaner or Steam Mop at Home

One of my favorite parts of a steam machine is how versatile it is. I end up carrying it from room to room, and it can tackle so many different surfaces.

The same steam machine that worked its magic on my stove top, can move into the living room and tackle the carpet.

I’ve also used my steam machine to clean our patio furniture, our grill, our shower, floors, vehicles and so much more! It’s my favorite versatile tool and I love that it’s the best way to clean naturally!\

Quick Hack to Organize Your Steam Cleaner

I use one of these organizers to keep track of all the attachments.

The top row is for all of the attachments that go with the Steam Mop. The bottom row is for the steam machine attachments.

No more searching between boxes and on the garage floor for attachments that have rolled off!

Shoe organizers are awesome for organizing bits and pieces like this!

An over the door show organizer being used to organize and store attachments for a steam mop and steam machine

Final Thoughts

I hope this post inspired you to use fewer chemicals to clean your oven. If you don’t have a steam cleaning machine yet, or don’t want to buy one, the old fashioned method of creating a steamy environment inside your oven will do the trick – and baking soda and vinegar or lemon always helps!

If you know someone who has a steam cleaner, please share this post so they can get the most out of it!