A dirty oven really creeps up on you. One minute you’re loving your lovely, shiny, clean cooker – the next, billows of smoke and funny smells burst out every time you light the oven! Keeping your oven clean is not only a good thing to do from an aesthetic point of view, it is also important for safety and hygiene.
If you are cooking the old bits of food that have dropped or spattered around your oven every time you turn it on, you are not doing your food safety standards any good, and it can be a fire risk. Plus there is the possibility that everything will come out tasting like burnt food!
We have looked into the best do-it-yourself oven cleaners available on the UK market, taking into account busy lifestyles and the need to make oven cleaning as easy and safe as possible.
Key Considerations when buying the Best Oven Cleaner
Obviously, the very first thing you want to know is – does it actually work? You don’t want to spend money on a product, bring it home from the shop or wait for it to arrive, follow all the instructions and then find out that it doesn’t do what it says it does.
There is no point buying a product to do a job then finding out that it was a waste of time and money; you want a product that does what it says on the tin.
You may have read that you can use all sorts of household products already on your shelves to clean your oven, or you may wish to just get in there and give it a scrub, and there is definitely a time and a place for that. But if you’re not using the right product for the job you will end up feeling like you’ve wasted your time.
b. Ease of use
When you’re looking for the best oven cleaners, one of the things you will be thinking about, first and foremost is, is it easy to do? No one wants to come home from a long day’s work and have to deal with the even harder job of scrubbing clean an oven that has months or even years’ worth of grime encrusted on it.
You want a cleaner that uses the least effort and gives the best results. Having a convenient, easy solution such as leaving the oven cleaner to do its job while you make a cup of tea is absolutely priceless. Obviously you will have to put in some effort, but scrubbing for hours and hours is nobody’s idea of fun!
Another consideration is safety. As we all know, it can be really hard to clean an oven using just a sponge and a bit of elbow grease – otherwise why would you be looking for a good oven cleaner?
Obviously, getting an oven sparkly clean may involve some harsh chemicals, but you can also buy environmentally friendly products that don’t contain any nasties.
If you have inquisitive pets or small children who like to open doors, you don’t want the potential for unpleasant chemicals getting on little paws or hands.
Also, you don’t want to have to worry about any leftover harsh residue getting into whatever it is you are cooking. Making sure that your oven cleaner won’t leave anything horrible in your oven is paramount.
Smell is another consideration. If you’ve spent months and months wrinkling your nose at the smell of burnt food that comes from your dirty oven, you won’t want to replace this with the smell of unpleasant chemicals – the oven is meant to smell delicious, not repulsive!
Many cleaners come in a pleasant fragrance that, although it’s not quite as good as fresh-baked bread, is at least not too offensive.
The Best Oven Cleaner Reviews
We have selected a few of the very best oven cleaners out there, so read on to find out which is suitable for you…
1. Oven Mate Complete Deep Clean Oven Kit for Easy Cleaning
This is a comprehensive oven cleaning kit, containing absolutely everything you need to make your oven shiny and sparkly again. It covers everything from the cleaning substance itself, to the bags for cleaning the shelves, and even includes a pair of gloves if you don’t have any Marigolds lying about in your cupboards!
This is an ideal kit for those who have never cleaned an oven before, and need everything in order to do it. If you have an oven that is caked with years’ worth of grime, you’ll want a really good kit to clean every component of it and leave it shiny and new again, and that is exactly what this kit provides.
What we like about it:
- Complete kit for cleaning an oven and all its components
- Does what it says on the tin, even for really dirty ovens
- No scrubbing needed, just apply, wait, and wipe off
- Leaves a pleasant smell
2. Oven Pride 3X Complete Oven Cleaning Kit 500ml
This is a complete oven cleaning kit in a small package – but remember what they say about small packages? It’s definitely true of this product! You barely have to make any effort to get your oven looking like new again; simply apply the product, wait for a couple of hours then wipe away many meal’s worth of caked-on filth.
It’s a very hardworking product that delivers results quickly, and with very little hard work for you. A seriously strong and powerful cleaner, this will restore your old oven to its former glory in no time – just make sure you wear gloves and don’t get the product on your skin, as it does contain chemicals that may cause irritation.
What we like about it:
- Comes with bags to clean the shelves
- Does the job well with very little effort on your part
- Much cheaper than paying for a professional oven cleaner
- Returns even the worst ovens to a nearly-new state
3. Stardrops Pink Stuff Paste 500g
A fantastic all-round cleaning paste, you can use this one on more than just your oven! It is suitable for most other kitchen appliances too, even pots and pans. It will bring a sparkle back to your oven; just apply it and leave it for a while (long enough to make and drink a cup of tea is good, plus it’s a great excuse for a cuppa!) then wipe away, revealing a clean oven underneath.
You may have to scrub a bit harder for really stubborn muck, but your efforts will be rewarded. For those who want a sparkling oven but don’t want to use harsh chemicals or spend a fortune, this one gives great results. You will have to work a little harder at scrubbing to see really good results, but it’s definitely worth it.
What we like about it:
- No harsh chemicals means that you don’t have to worry about getting it on your skin
- Offers fantastic cleaning results
- Can be used on other appliances, all the way to the kitchen sink
- A very inexpensive oven cleaning solution
4. HG Oven, Grill and Barbecue Cleaner 500ml
A quick and easy way to clean your oven, this one comes in a spray for easy application. It’s really simple to use, and gives great results. Unlike most oven cleaners, it requires the surface be slightly warm before you start, as this helps the spray do its work. All you need to do is spray it onto a warmed surface, and you can practically watch the grease fall off by itself!
This cleaner is a really easy solution to your filthy oven. Just a few squirts and a bit of a scrub, and your oven will be back to its old shiny self in no time at all. The fact that it comes in a spray bottle also means that you don’t have to worry about the product getting onto your skin, as long as you wear gloves for the scrubbing part.
What we like about it:
- Suitable for barbecues with heavy soiling as well as ovens
- Really easy to use as it comes in a spray bottle
- Gives great results even on very greasy dirty ovens
- No need for intensive scrubbing
5. Dirtbusters Professional Oven Cleaning Paste 5L
This is a commercial strength oven cleaning paste, but unlike many others it contains no caustic chemicals and is eco friendly. This makes it great for a household with pets or small children, who may be able to get their mitts on the chemicals and do themselves some damage.
You may think that you have to buy an oven cleaner containing horrible chemicals to get the best results from your oven cleaner – Dirtbusters is here to prove that you don’t! This cleaning paste gives brilliant results after application with a scourer.
What we like about it:
- Eco and environmentally friendly, unlike many other oven cleaners
- Does the job it’s meant to, and leaves you with a beautifully clean oven
- No unpleasant fumes or odours
- Designed for professional oven cleaners and commercial kitchens
Frequently Asked Questions
How to clean an oven with oven cleaner?
Once you have chosen your oven cleaner, it’s time to get cracking!
- Wearing gloves and eye protection to prevent any accidents, remove all the racks and any other loose parts in your oven.
- Lay newspapers on the floor around the oven, and have a bin bag on standby to collect large pieces of debris.
- Spray the cleaner all over the oven, including the tops, sides and back. If you have a gas oven you should avoid spraying where the gas comes out, and if your oven is electric then lift up the heating elements and just spray under them.
- Close the oven door and let the spray sit to do its job (this is usually around 20 minutes to half an hour).
- Spray the oven racks outside, or at least in a well ventilated area. Place them into bags and tie the bags shut. Leave them for the same amount of time that you do the main oven cleaner.
- Once the time is up, open the oven and wipe everything down with a damp cloth. You may have to use a scouring pad if there are really heavily soiled places.
- Take the racks out of the bags, and wash them in the sink with hot soapy water before replacing in the oven.
And that’s it! It’s super easy and simple, and although no one really likes cleaning the oven, it will reward you with a clean cooking environment.
How to get oven cleaner smell out of oven?
The chemical smell from oven cleaner can be unpleasant, but thankfully it’s easy to get rid of.
- Simply place a cup of vinegar and a litre of water into a large dish, and pop this into the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C, and place the dish on the lowest rack.
- Leave the dish in the hot oven, boiling away, for about an hour.
This should remove the smells of the chemicals. You can also try slicing a few lemons in half and placing them inside the oven, and leave them overnight (it’s best to not have the oven on for this tip!)
If all else fails, slice an onion and place it in a dish at the bottom of the oven. Leave it overnight (again, with the oven cold) and by the morning the chemical smell should have evaporated.
Ok, your oven may now smell of onion, but this is preferable to the stinky chemicals, right?
What chemicals are in oven cleaner?
Oven cleaner’s chemicals are actually pretty nasty – this is why you are advised to always use face and eye protection when you clean your oven!
- Lye is one component; this one is dangerous and can cause chemical burns when it is combined with water.
- Ether is another common addition; this one is particularly dangerous to breathe in.
- Ethylene Glycol is poisonous, but only if it is actually ingested – no tasting the oven cleaner, please!
- Methylene Chloride is a solvent, excellent at removing grease and caked on particulate, but it is also considered a potential carcinogen.
- Petroleum distillates and other medium grade solvents are also present in your oven cleaner, again for the cleaning ability and degreasing properties.
You can, of course, make an entirely safe and effective oven cleaner yourself, using baking soda and water, mixed together to form a thick paste. Spread this all over the oven, leave it for between 6 and 10 hours, and you should find that all the grease and grime have melted away!