New year, time to clean! Anyone else get really motivated to clean before heading back to school and work after the holidays? I sure do. Seems like once all of the holiday decorations are packed up, it’s time to declutter, organize, and deep clean. This year I started in the kitchen. I’ll admit I’ve neglected my stove over the years. I’ve had it for nearly a decade, but I’ve only cleaned the inside twice. The first time was a disaster with tons of oven cleaning product foam everywhere and not much actual cleaning happening. The second time I ran the self-cleaning cycle and the smell and noise (the smoke detectors were blaring on and off for hours) just about drove us all over the edge. Lucky for me, the third time was a charm. Today I’m sharing how I (finally!) got my oven spotless, including IN BETWEEN THE OVEN DOOR GLASS, where dust, lint, and dog hair mysteriously collects, making the whole oven look dirty.
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Deep Clean the Inside
The first step in getting your oven as spotless as possible is to do a deep clean inside. There are lots of tips and videos out there on how best to do that. For me, oven cleaning products from the store did not work (although, admittedly, I may not have carefully read the directions…). Here are the tools you’ll need, as well as the steps to follow.
Most of the supplies are pretty self-explanatory (that mysterious looking spray bottle is just my DIY glass cleaner) and are things you likely have around the house already. However, you do need one special tool that’s not as common: a TORX screwdriver. I dug through my husband’s tools and found a socket set that had a torx bit tip in it, so I was able to use that as you’ll see in the video below. If you don’t have a torx screwdriver, it’s not a bad idea to pick up a set like this one (comes with tons of sizes, under $10!) so you know you have the right size for your oven door.
Baking Soda + Vinegar Method
A quick trip around Google tells me a lot of people have had success mixing up a baking soda paste. Here’s how.
- Mix 1/2 cup baking soda with 3 Tbsp water into a paste.
- Spread inside the oven, especially on grimy areas.
- Leave it on several hours.
- Wipe off with warm water and a cloth.
- Spray cleaning vinegar all over.
- Wipe off with a clean, damp cloth.
Self-Cleaning Oven Cycle Method
This is the method I used, and I had a lot of success with it…this time. I couldn’t believe how shiny and clean the oven was! Here’s what I did differently to make it work well.
- Remove the oven racks. I didn’t do that the first time and they lost some of their luster and don’t slide in and out as well anymore.
- Scrape off any larger chunks of burned on stuff (ewww, I know….).
- Sweep or hand-vacuum the inside of the oven completely to remove all crumbs, ashes, and assorted crumbly crud. I didn’t do this the first time either, thus the smoke and horrible smells.
- Open a window or two to ventilate the house.
- Run the cycle. After the cycle ends, let oven completely cool before opening it.
- Mix vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio in a small bucket and wipe out the white ashy stuff on the walls, door, and floor of the oven.
- Step back and admire the shine!
I removed the oven racks prior to running the self-cleaning cycle and cleaned them in my bathtub. Place a beach towel in the bottom of the tub to protect it from scratches, run really hot water, and squirt in some Dawn (or other de-greasing dishwashing soap). Let it sit for at least 30 minutes, then wash off using a dish scrubbing pad. My racks haven’t slid into the oven slots well since I incinerated them in my last self-clean cycle attempt, but I put a little olive oil on a paper towel and greased them up a bit before putting them back. They slid right in, almost as good as new!
Deep Clean the Oven Door Glass
It’s a good idea to clean the outer and inner oven door glass BEFORE you clean in between the glass so you can see what remains.
1. Clean the Outside Glass
You can clean the outside of the oven with any standard glass cleaner. I make my own glass cleaner with 1 cup water, 1 cup rubbing alcohol, and 2 Tbsp of distilled white vinegar. You can add essential oils if you want it to smell nice, too!
2. Clean Baked-on Gunk off of Inside Glass
My homemade glass cleaner didn’t cut through the gunk inside my door even after I ran the self-cleaning cycle, so I used the very same Cerama Bryte cleaner that I use on my ceramic cooktop. Just squirt a little on, scour difficult areas with the ceramic-approved scouring pad that comes with the Cerama Bryte, use their razor blade to scrape off any particularly stubborn spots, and buff off with a clean microfiber towel. Follow this with a few spritzes of glass cleaning spray and wipe off with a clean microfiber towel.
3. Clean IN BETWEEN Outside & Inside Glass
And now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the simple steps for cleaning inside the glass in the oven door. First off, let me say that the manufacturers typically do not recommend taking apart your oven door. A lot can go wrong: broken glass, damaged door, etc. GE recommends wrapping a microfiber cloth onto a yardstick and sticking that into the small holes at the bottom of the oven door to clean it. I tried that, but it was too thick to fit through the little slot-holes. So, I went one step further and removed the screws at the top of the door to open it and get my arm inside to clean it. BE CAREFUL doing this as there is the potential of breaking the glass.
Video Tutorial: How to Clean Inside and Between the Oven Door Glass
Here’s a video showing this process, as well as how to use the Cerama Bryte on the inside of the door:
1. Have a place ready to put the door BEFORE taking it off. I recommend a big, flat surface covered with a blanket or towel to prevent scratches.
2. Open the oven door and lift the two hinge locks at the bottom of both sides of the door to unlock them.
3. Lift as if closing the door to about 75% of the way closed, then pull outward at the base of the door to remove it from the oven.
4. Set the door down, inside side facing up, on a soft flat surface.
5. Use the torx screwdriver to remove the two screws at the top end of the door.
6. Gently lift the top portion of the oven glass up a few inches until you can fit your arm inside.
7. Use a microfiber cloth to clean crumbs, lint, and other debris out from in between the glass panes.
8. Spritz glass cleaner onto a second clean microfiber cloth, then wipe the insides of each pane of glass until they are clean.
9. Reassemble the screws in the top of the door, being careful to thread them through the guides.
10. Holding the oven door at about 75% closed, carefully angle it back into the hinges.
11. Once the hinges are back in, open the door all the way and flip the hinge locks back into place.
Deep Clean the Cooktop and Display
This part is probably something you do a lot since cooking is messy. I use my Cerama Bryte cooktop cleaner kit on the burners and cooking areas and my homemade glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth on the display areas and knobs.
Deep Clean the Warming Drawer
Well this was the easiest part, really. All I did was take out the twenty billion cookie sheets and pizza pans I have stored in there, remove all of the crumbs and crud that had trickled down in there over the years, and wipe out the drawer with a vinegar-water mixture. Then of course I put my pans back inside because even though I like warm rolls as much as the next person, I need the storage space.
So that’s it! My oven, including the tricky oven door glass, is squeaky clean for the first time since I got it. And, friends, this was a lot easier to achieve than I thought it would be based on my past failures. And if I can do it, anyone can. Now that my oven’s clean, I guess it’s time to work on my closet again. It’s been a while.