Here's How Often You Need To Clean Your Oven

Unless you're the type to order takeout multiple times a week and use your oven as a place for extra sweater storage (we're looking at you, Carrie Bradshaw), chances are the oven is one of the most frequently used appliances in your home. It's only natural that it gets a little dirty as you bake all those bubbling masterpieces. And, while you may give the exterior a quick wipe down as part of your daily cleaning routine, many individuals avoid really deep cleaning their ovens because, well, it's kind of a pain — all those nooks and crannies are challenging to access.

So, how often do you really need to be cleaning your oven your oven? It depends on how much time you spend in the kitchen. You should be giving it a deep clean every three months or so if you're the type who does a lot of cooking and baking, while takeout experts may be able to stretch that timeline to once or twice a year.

Even if you have an oven with a self-cleaning function, you don't want to rely exclusively on that. While it may be a bit easier for you, Martha Stewart warns that the self-clean function is hard on your oven. Plus, if there's a lot of food residue and other grime that needs to be dealt with, you may have a fire hazard on your hands.

How to make your deep cleans a little easier

If you've resolved to make sure you deep clean your oven every three months as recommended, here are a few tips to make the process a bit easier. 

As PopSugar recommends, try to incorporate a bit of lighter cleaning about once a month or so. While you don't have to remove and scrub every surface, even the simple step of wiping down any burnt-on residue will make it much easier when you deep clean later.

When it comes time to clean, there are a hacks that can cut back on the amount of elbow grease needed. Before you set out to do your deep clean, remove all the elements that can be taken out, such as the oven racks, and allow them to soak a few hours in your cleaning solution of choice. Bob Vila recommends a mixture of vinegar and baking soda — perfect for those who want to avoid harsh chemicals.

For the interior, Martha Stewart recommends you harness the power of steam. This could involve using the steam-clean cycle on your oven, if it has one. If not, Family Handyman says that you can fill an oven-safe pot or bowl with water and allow it to bake for anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes. This will create some serious steam to help loosen up all that residue, making it easy to wipe away once your oven cools down.