This Is How You Should Clean Your Oven Glass (Hint: It’s Not Self-Cleaning Mode)

published Jul 9, 2024
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head on shot of someone opening an oven door
Credit: Ryan Liebe

Don’t be fooled by your oven’s “self-clean” mode. It might make hands-free work of cleaning the oven’s interior, but it won’t do much, if anything, for the cooked-on grease building up on the oven door

This doesn’t mean that after spending hours of cooking you also have to spend hours scrubbing, though. With the right cleanser and a bit of elbow grease, you’ll be able to see through the glass door of your oven once more. Here’s how to clean the oven glass door, inside and out.

What You’ll Need

Cleaning an oven door is all about degreasing and scrubbing, says Tanu Grewal, chief cleaning officer at Pinalen Multipurpose Cleaner, Cloralen Bleach, and Ensueno Laundry. As such, your supply list isn’t very long:

  • A degreasing agent. This “can be anything from a pine oil cleaner to dish soap to break down all of the oils on the glass and start to clear things up,” Grewal shares. You could also use Easy Off Oven Cleaner or Goo Gone Oven & Grill Cleaner. For a natural option, Grewal recommends using baking soda and vinegar as the foam makes scrubbing easier — more on that in a moment. 
  • A scrubber. “Some people like to stay classic and use a sponge, but you can also opt for a clean rag or even a soft brush,” says Grewal, although she recommends choosing something with a grip for easier scrubbing.
  • A clean sponge or rag. 

How to Clean Oven Glass

“Luckily, oven glass is just like other glass you’d clean around the house, making it pretty simple to clean,” Grewal says. Here’s how it’s done.

Credit: Ryan Liebe

Step 1: Wait until the oven cools off.

You won’t get very far trying to clean a piping-hot oven door, so keep it closed until it’s completely cool, Grewal says. (Note: This might take several hours after use, so plan accordingly.)

Credit: Ryan Liebe
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Step 2: Apply oven glass cleaner and start scrubbing.

If you’re using a commercial oven cleaner, be sure to follow all instructions, ventilate the area, and/or wear a mask to avoid any fumes. Spray or otherwise apply the degreaser of your choice directly to the glass. Grewal recommends wiping the glass in small circles to get the cleanser foaming. This will also help dissolve oils on the surface, she says. Use some elbow grease to scrub away at the grit and grime that’s accumulated on the glass.

If you prefer a natural cleanser, Grewal recommends baking soda and vinegar, especially if your oven is in “tough shape:”

  1. Add a bit of water to some baking soda to make a paste.
  2. Spread the paste on the glass, walls, and trays.
  3. Let the paste sit for a few hours.
  4. Spray or wipe vinegar onto the paste until it starts to fizz.
  5. Once the bubbles stop, wipe clean. 
Credit: Ryan Liebe

Step 3: Wipe Off the Cleanser

With a clean sponge or rag, wipe off the excess cleaning product. Do this for as long as needed until the oven glass is clear.

What to Avoid When Cleaning Your Oven

The interior of your oven is constantly exposed to high heat and food, so Grewal recommends avoiding harsh chemical cleansers for oven glass. “Specifically, bleach should never be used in your oven as it can create toxic fumes and is extremely dangerous,” she says.

How to Get Brown Stains off the Oven

Tired of scrubbing at those brown streaks that won’t seem to budge? Grewal says you’ll need a different technique because those stains are actually between the glass door, not on the surface. “This usually signals the seal on the glass is worn or broken, and the only permanent solution is to replace the barrier,” Grewal explains. Otherwise, you can remove the door screws and pop the glass out for a deeper clean. 

Why the Self-Cleaning Mode Won’t Work on Oven Glass

Grewal agrees that the self-cleaning mode on your oven is quite misleading. “What that function actually does is heat the oven as high as it can go to literally incinerate whatever is inside,” she explains. “While this may help with the grit and stuck-on food particles, unfortunately, it won’t help clean the glass itself, and you’ll likely end up with an even bigger mess of ash to wipe down.”

How Often Should You Clean Oven Glass?

Grewal says it’s probably fine to clean your oven glass only once every three to four months. However, your own oven’s cleaning timeline depends on how often you’re using it and what’s on the menu. “Once it becomes visibly dirty or if there are large pieces of food stuck, it’s probably time for a good cleaning,” Grewal says.