The Best Oven Cleaners for Removing Baked-On Messes, Tested 

Bubbled-over, spilled-on oven messes can be difficult to clean without a product that dissolves the gunk. Oven cleaners can make the job easier.

Best Overall

A can of Easy-Off Fume-Free Oven Cleaner on a white background.

Easy-Off Fume-Free Oven Cleaner

See It

Best Bang For The Buck

Two cans of Bar Keepers Friend Powder Cleanser on a white background.

Bar Keepers Friend Powder Cleanser

See It

Best Quick Clean

A can of Easy-Off Heavy-Duty Oven Cleaner on a white background.

Easy-Off Heavy-Duty Oven Cleaner

See It

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn More ›

To keep a kitchen running efficiently, cleaning the oven is a vital chore. Trying to scrape away rock-hard, baked-on messes can scratch and damage the oven’s interior surface. The best way to clean an oven is to apply an oven cleaner, wait for the mess to dissolve, and then simply wipe it away. We researched and tested top cleaners in the industry to find the formulas that cut through the grease and baked-on scum to leave an oven sparkling. 

The best oven cleaners work quickly and don’t leave behind smelly or hazy residue. This list of top contenders considers common uses for oven cleaners. Our results reflect how well the products cleaned, their ease of use, and other findings to help shoppers choose the best options as part of regular kitchen cleaning routines.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Easy-Off Fume-Free Oven Cleaner 
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Bar Keepers Friend Powder Cleanser
  3. BEST QUICK CLEAN: Easy-Off Heavy-Duty Oven Cleaner
  4. BEST RACK CLEANER: Carbona Oven Rack & Grill Cleaner
  5. BEST FOR LIGHT MESS: Kona Safe/Clean Oven & Grill Cleaner Spray 
  6. BEST NATURAL: Method Heavy-Duty Degreaser 
  7. MOST CONVENIENT: Mr. Clean Extra-Durable Magic Eraser
A can of Easy-Off Fume-Free Oven Cleaner next to a burner cap during testing.
Photo: Stacey L. Nash for Bob Vila

Before You Buy an Oven Cleaner

Oven cleaners are viable options for removing stuck-on food grime and residue from ovens that see frequent usage. But depending on your preferences, some options may be better than others. For example, some good oven cleaners are made with harsh chemicals or come in application types that may not be ideal for certain ovens. 

When selecting the ideal oven cleaner, be sure to always consider the ingredients used in the formula and steer clear of harsh chemicals if you can. Plus, ensure the oven cleaner is compatible with your oven and decide whether a paste, powder, spray, or foam offers the most convenient usage. 

Finally, check the oven manufacturer’s recommendations for using chemical cleaning products. Some manufacturers do not recommend using cleaning products in self-cleaning or continuous- cleaning ovens. Chemicals could wear away the lining over time, which could lead to damage during the self-clean cycle. While some oven cleaners claim to be safe for these types of ovens, the oven manufacturer may not honor a warranty if chemical oven cleaners have been used. 

How We Tested the Best Oven Cleaners

We tested oven cleaners with a self-cleaning oven, which meant there were certain products we couldn’t use inside the oven. Instead, we tested these products on removable oven racks, stove inserts, and barbecue racks as long as the products’ labels specified those items were recommended for cleaning. If the cleaners were safe for use on other surfaces, we tested them on as many as possible. The cleaners were then scored according to an established rubric, evaluating how well they removed baked-on stains and debris, along with their odor and ease of use. Scores were calculated based on the quality and performance of the cleaners.

Testing Stats

  • Products tested: 9
  • Hours spent testing: 19
  • Tests performed: 4
  • Average price (or other relevant stat): $14.06

Our Top Picks

These effective cleaners are tough enough to remove hardened, greasy, and sticky spots quickly without damaging your oven. We tried each of them out ourselves to see if they fulfilled their promises. 

Best Overall

Easy-Off Fume-Free Oven Cleaner

See It

Our Ratings: Ease of Use 4/5; Effectiveness 5/5; Versatility 4.5/5; Value 5/5

Product Specs 

  • Type: Spray 
  • Natural vs. chemical: Chemical 
  • Working time: 30 seconds for spot-cleaning, 1 hour 15 minutes for standard cleaning, overnight for deep-cleaning

Pros

  • Requires no scrubbing for proper usage 
  • Easily dissolved light to moderate buildup of foods and liquids 
  • Offers several cleaning options and times based on the oven type and the stain severity

Cons

  • Takes a while to work; may require multiple cleanings 

Easy-Off has created a powerful aerosol oven cleaner that doesn’t produce fumes. This formula tackles tough burned-on spots and stains with ease. It soaks on the surface for 1 hour 15 minutes and then wipes away, taking the dissolved gunk with it. 

We put it to work tackling buildup on a stove insert, oven rack, and barbecue rack. We were particularly impressed with how it performed on a well-used barbecue rack. After spraying and waiting, we were able to wipe up most of the buildup, except for joint areas where the spray had difficulty reaching. (We also recommend spraying both sides of the rack to break up the buildup all at once.)

There’s also an option to leave the spray on overnight, but we didn’t need to because it dissolved buildup so well. While the manufacturer says the formula is safe for self-cleaning ovens, the stove manufacturer did not recommend using this type of product. 

Although this product took slightly longer to work than some of the other cleaners we tested, the results were better. Plus, its fume-free formula lets the entire family breathe a little easier while it’s working. It’s also designed to be easy on the skin, though the directions include a warning to wear gloves, which we did. The application is simple using the spray foam and damp cloth. This Easy-Off formula is lemon-scented, but we didn’t notice much scent when testing, which is a good thing. 

Get the Easy-Off fume-free oven cleaner at Amazon, Lowe’s, The Home Depot, or Target.

Best Bang for the Buck

Bar Keepers Friend Powder Cleanser

See It

Our Ratings: Ease of Use 3/5; Effectiveness 4/5; Versatility 5/5; Value 4.5/5 

Product Specs 

  • Type: Powder
  • Natural vs. chemical: Chemical 
  • Working time: Immediate

Pros

  • Inexpensive and doesn’t require a lot of product to be effective
  • Offers a strong abrasive to remove dried-on food
  • Versatile for use in other areas of the home

Cons

  • Requires a lot of scrubbing for best results
  • Has the ability to scratch some surfaces

Bar Keeper’s Friend is an inexpensive, versatile product that can be used in many places throughout the home, including the kitchen and bathroom. It’s made of a glass oxide abrasive, oxalic acid, and a surfactant. The powder is applied directly to the oven’s surface and then scrubbed with a damp cloth or paper towel. We tried it on a stovetop insert, oven rack, and barbecue rack, where it did a decent job of removing tough, cooked-on buildup. 

This product is labor intensive compared with sprays, but it’s a versatile powder to keep around. We also happened to be testing it as a general bathroom cleaner, where it was effective at removing mold and hard water buildup, too. 

Whether you’re using it in the kitchen or bathroom, it’s important to take care, since the formula can easily scratch some surfaces (namely polished stones like granite, and lacquered or painted surfaces). That same abrasiveness made it effective on the crusty buildup on a barbecue rack, however. We would keep this one around as a general abrasive cleaner for when some scrubbing is necessary to keep the house clean.

Get the Bar Keeper’s Friend powder cleaner at Amazon (two 12-ounce containers), The Home Depot, or Walmart.

Best Quick Clean

Easy-Off Heavy-Duty Oven Cleaner

See It

Our Ratings: Ease of Use 5/5; Effectiveness 4/5; Versatility 3/5; Value 4/5 

Product Specs 

  • Type: Foam
  • Natural vs. chemical: Chemical 
  • Working time: 5 to 20 minutes for deep-cleaning 

Pros

  • Suitable for regular or heavy-duty cleaning 
  • Handy for spot-cleaning as needed 
  • Worked well on oven and barbecue racks in removing newer stains and debris

Cons

  • Didn’t work as well on old, hard-baked stains

Easy-Off Heavy-Duty Oven Cleaner has been a top seller for decades for good reason. If you don’t have time to allow a stain to soak, apply this Easy-Off formula to cut through the grease and light crusty debris quickly. We tested it on a stove insert, oven rack, and barbecue rack. It got rid of light to medium messes and struggled only with older, heavier built-up stains, which required multiple applications to make a difference (but not completely remove). 

Easy-Off sprays on as a liquid that quickly develops into a foam coating to dissolve gunk and grease. When sprayed on a mess in a warm oven, Easy-Off can dissolve the mess in as little as 5 minutes—cold-oven application takes as little as 20 minutes. We couldn’t apply it directly in the oven, so all of our testing was done cold and outside of the oven. However, once the mess dissolved, debris wiped away with a clean, damp washcloth. 

Get the Easy-Off heavy-duty oven cleaner at Amazon, Ace Hardware, Walmart, or Target.

Best Rack Cleaner

Carbona Oven Rack & Grill Cleaner

See It

Our Ratings: Ease of Use 4/5; Effectiveness 5/5; Versatility 1/5; Value 4/5 

Product Specs 

  • Type: Liquid 
  • Natural vs. chemical: Chemical 
  • Working time: 8 hours 

Pros

  • Comes with cleaning solution, bags, and disposable gloves 
  • Can be used on both stainless steel and enamel racks and grills 
  • Effective on old, baked-on stains 

Cons

  • Takes a long time to fully clean racks 
  • Only 1 or 2 racks fit within the included bags 
  • May require turning over 1 or 2 times while soaking 

Cleaning oven racks can present a challenge because most oven cleaners require users to remove the cooking racks from the oven before applying the cleaner to the oven’s interior. That’s where the Carbona two-in-one oven and grill cleaner comes in handy. It only involves placing one or two oven racks into an included large, plastic cleaning bag. You then pour in the liquid Carbona cleaner and zip the bag closed, letting the rack soak in the cleaner. We followed the directions and turned the bag over once or twice to disperse the cleaning solution evenly. The rack then rested in the sealed bag for 8 hours. 

When the time was up, all we needed to do was remove the racks and rinse off the residual cleaner. We rinsed the cleaner off along with an impressive amount of baked-on buildup. We also wiped down the rack, which removed more buildup, though the instructions stated wiping and scrubbing isn’t necessary. Each 16.8-ounce bottle comes with disposable gloves and a bag that holds two racks. However, you must use the entire bottle, making it less economical and more of a once-in-a-while cleaning solution than a weekly treatment.

Get the Carbona oven cleaner at Amazon or Ace Hardware.

Best for Light Mess

Kona Safe/Clean Oven & Grill Cleaner

See It

Our Ratings: Ease of Use 5/5; Effectiveness 3.5/5; Versatility 4/5; Value 4/5 

Product Specs 

  • Type: Spray 
  • Natural vs. chemical: Natural 
  • Working time: 1 minute for general cleaning, 10 minutes for deep-cleaning

Pros

  • Water-based, biodegradable, and eco-friendly formula for the eco-conscious household
  • Versatile food-safe degreaser for grills, ovens, stainless steel, cookers, smokers, and microwaves
  • Easy to apply; simply spray on, leave for 1 to 10 minutes, then wipe off 

Cons

  • Requires heavy-duty scrubbing for removing stuck-on grime 

Grills and ovens need routine cleaning to remove food residue or burnt bits. For light cleaning in an oven or grill, you can trust the biodegradable yet effective Kona Safe/Clean Oven and Grill Cleaner Spray. 

This formula isn’t designed specifically for the oven, though it can tackle similar messes. It’s meant for the heavy grease associated with frequent barbecuing. We tried it on a heavily used barbecue rack and a stainless steel cooking area around the grill. While it couldn’t cut through deep buildup, it easily cut through light grease on the racks and on and around the cooking surface. Those who barbecue frequently can keep grease from building up a sticky film by using this product regularly. 

This eco-friendly, water-based, and food-safe degreaser is gentle on cooking racks and oven walls. The 23-ounce container holds enough product for multiple cleaning tasks and regular light cleanings. It can also be used for stainless steel, grill wheels, cookers, smokers, and microwaves. Simply remove any solid grime or materials when the cooking elements and racks are cool, apply the cleaner, wait up to 10 minutes, and wipe off. 

Get the Kona oven cleaner at Amazon, Walmart, or Kona.

Best Natural

Method Heavy-Duty Degreaser

See It

Our Ratings: Ease of Use 5/5; Effectiveness 3.5/5; Versatility 4/5; Value 4/5 

Product Specs 

  • Type: Spray 
  • Natural vs. chemical: Natural
  • Working time: Up to 3 minutes for burnt-on messes 

Pros

  • Nontoxic, plant-based formula is ideal for chemical-conscious households
  • Adjustable spray nozzle is easy to use for quick cleaning 
  • Versatile formula can be used on multiple surfaces 
  • Leaves a light lemongrass scent behind after use 

Cons

  • May not be suitable for very tough grease stains or spills

Oven cleaners don’t have to stink, and disagreeable fumes are a thing of the past with the Method degreaser. This cleaner makes quick work of greasy oven spills while emitting a fresh lemongrass scent. Of the cleaners we tested, Method had the most pleasing aroma. We used it in and on a microwave, stovetop surface, stove insert, and inside the oven. It was more useful for light, regular cleaning than tackling deep, built-up staining. 

The Method cleaner contains nontoxic, plant-based ingredients. The product comes in a handy spray for applying directly to small spills or for coating the entire oven interior when a deep- clean is necessary. Using Method spray regularly can help keep drips and spills from building up and glazing, and we would recommend having it on hand for regular spot-cleaning. Just keep in mind that although the formula cuts through greasy residue, it can’t do much for tough stains.

Get the Method oven cleaner at Amazon, Target, or Menards.

Most Convenient

Mr. Clean Extra-Durable Magic Eraser

See It

Our Ratings: Ease of Use 5/5; Effectiveness 4/5; Versatility 5/5; Value 4.5/5 

Product Specs 

  • Type: Scrubber
  • Natural vs. chemical: Chemical 
  • Working time: Immediate

Pros

  • Easily removes light liquid stains, especially on stovetops
  • Easy to use and store for quick cleanups
  • Easy to store and use again until scrubber becomes too small

Cons

  • Heavily built-up stains can shred the scrubber

Mr. Clean Extra-Durable Magic Erasers are one of the easiest cleaners to grab. All you do is wet the scrubber/sponge and get to work. The scrubber is treated with an undisclosed chemical mixture that the manufacturer simply calls “microscrubbers.” The scrubber has a textured surface that adds to the overall cleaning power. 

In testing, we found the Magic Eraser to be easy and convenient, though not the most powerful cleaner we tried. The scrubber performed well on minor baked-on liquids and newer food debris. We used it on the stove inserts and inside the oven. It didn’t do as well on hard, baked-on food, which shredded the scrubber. 

We also happened to be testing the Mr. Clean Heavy-Duty Magic Erasers for use in the bathroom, where they performed well on bathroom staining and buildup in the bathtub. So they’re handy for the kitchen and oven, along with applications throughout the home. As long as you stay on top of spills, a Magic Eraser will make quick work of them. However, you might need a hardier cleaner if you end up with a large baked-on mess. 

Get the Mr. Clean oven cleaner at Amazon, Walmart, or Mr. Clean.

Or, DIY Your Own Oven Cleaner 

Buying an oven cleaner is a viable option for keeping an oven sparkling clean. But for quick cleanings, a DIY oven cleaner can be made with some things that may be just sitting around the house. Here is our recipe for an effective homemade oven cleaner and how to use it: 

  1. Gather a glass bowl, baking soda, water, essential oils (optional), a mixing spoon, a spray bottle, a metal spatula, some newspaper, a microfiber cloth and sponge, and a dish rag. 
  2. Combine 2 cups of baking soda and ¾ cup of water in the mixing bowl. For an added fresh scent, add 8 to 16 drops of your favorite essential oil. Mix with the spoon until the baking soda mixture becomes a gritty paste.
  3. Ensure the oven is off and completely cool and wipe the interior with the dish rag to loosen up any grime and residue. Remove the oven racks and place to the side. 
  4. Scrape any stuck-on grime with the metal spatula from all the oven surfaces and remove any crumbs from the chamber. 
  5. Apply the DIY oven cleaner (avoiding the heating elements) to all the oven surfaces, including the back wall. Leave for 6 to 8 hours.
  6. Open the oven door and apply any remaining oven cleaner over the surface of the window. Leave for 15 minutes. Tip: Protect your kitchen floors by laying newspapers down below the open oven door. 
  7. Wipe down the window with a damp cloth or rinse with water. Use a damp sponge to wipe the cleaner off the entire interior. Repeat as necessary. 
  8. Rinse and clean the oven racks and place them back inside the chamber. 

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing an Oven Cleaner

Ovens get messy; that’s just a fact of life. And cleaning an oven isn’t among the most appealing of household chores. Rather than making a DIY oven cleaner, finding the right product can make the task quicker and less messy. When selecting an oven cleaner, take the time to consider a few factors such as the type (and amount) of burned-on mess, how you must apply the product, and whether you prefer natural ingredients over harsh chemicals. 

Whichever is the case, for the best results, don’t let oven messes build up until there’s a month’s worth of burnt-on sugar, unsightly carbon deposits, and hardened spills on the oven’s bottom. The best way to clean an oven is to do it regularly to keep the gunk from accumulating.

Intended Use

The more challenging the spills, the more cleaning power is needed. Mild oven cleaners are well suited for cleaning the entire oven to remove minimal spills and debris. For built-up messes that have been in the oven for weeks, meaning they’ve glazed over and hardened, heftier cleaners are often necessary. Cleaning such messes may also require multiple applications of a cleaner and even some scrubbing. 

When selecting an oven cleaner, you might not need, nor want, the most potent cleaner, which usually goes hand in hand with harsh fumes. In general, use the mildest cleaner that will still get rid of carbon deposits and burned-on spills.

Application and Texture 

Different types of messes call for cleaning an oven in different ways. Cleaners come in a handful of types, and some are better suited than others to specific oven-cleaning tasks. Within the following types, shoppers will find products designed for use in either a heated oven or a cold oven. Some are suitable for either temperature option, with the cold option requiring more time to work. Most products also are ideal for cleaning stove burners as well as oven interiors. 

  • Liquid concentrate: For frequent oven cleaning, a concentrated liquid makes sense. This type of product requires dilution with water before applying by sponge or spray to the oven surface. The upside to a concentrated cleaner is that the concentration can be strengthened if the burned-on messes are especially difficult to remove. They’re typically also budget-friendly and come in bulk-size containers for enough product to clean commercial cook spaces.
  • Spray: Just spray and wait for the product to work before wiping away with a sponge or soft, damp cloth. Many oven cleaners come in spray form, each requiring different wait times depending on strength. With nothing to mix, spray cleaners are easy to use and versatile.
  • Foam: Foam oven cleaners also go on as sprays, but rather than liquid running down the oven walls, the spray quickly expands into a foam that sticks, making it more efficient for cleaning vertical oven walls. Like with liquid sprays, the user simply wipes away the foam and, along with it, the dissolved mess. Foam also works well for cleaning oven window glass; it clings to the glass while softening and dissolving carbon stains so they wipe away easily.
  • Paste: For cleaning small areas, such as a small burned-on spill in an otherwise clean oven, paste cleaners shine. Apply the paste directly to the spill. When the mess dissolves, it’s simple to just wipe it away.
  • Selfclean: We would be remiss not to mention one of the handiest types of oven-cleaning methods around: the self-cleaning oven. To use this function, cooks lock the oven door and then select the self-cleaning function. Rather than removing oven racks, which is necessary when using a chemical cleaner, the racks remain in place during the self-cleaning process. The oven heats to a scorching 900 degrees or so, which burns off stuck-on messes without the use of cleaners. Self-cleaning ovens typically take 2 to 4 hours to complete this cycle, and the oven remains locked until the process is complete. 

Natural vs. Chemical Ingredients

Until the past decade or so, nearly all commercial oven cleaners contained caustic or harsh chemicals that filled the kitchen with fumes disagreeable enough to run most family members out of the house. Chemical cleaners still are big sellers because they’re effective at removing stubborn burned-on messes, but a handful of oven cleaners containing less caustic, natural ingredients are also available. 

These eco-friendly cleaners might contain baking soda, vinegar, or lemon to help remove oven messes. Natural ingredients typically are not as potent as chemicals, but if the messes are minimal, these cleaners are a practical and eco-friendly option. Plus, oven cleaners with natural ingredients are less smelly than those with chemicals.

Application Time

How long it takes an oven cleaner to dissolve heat-hardened messes depends on the thickness of the mess, the strength of the product, and whether the oven is heated. Some oven cleaners will dissolve light messes in as little as 15 minutes, and others work best if applied and then left on overnight. It doesn’t hurt to have a couple of different types of oven-cleaner products on hand to suit cleaning and baking schedules. 

FAQs

When oven spills are neglected, they can smoke and put off odors that affect the taste of baked goods, and they can trigger oven fires. Keeping an oven clean doesn’t have to be a disagreeable task. Those who are new to oven cleaning will likely have a few questions about choosing the best oven cleaner for their needs.

Q. Will an oven cleaner damage a self-cleaning oven?

It very well could. Using a cleaner on self-cleaning ovens can cause etching of the oven’s interior liner and could interfere with the oven’s self-cleaning process.

Q. Should I use the oven cleaner on a hot oven?

Some cleaners are hot-oven safe, and others are not, so read the directions carefully.

Q. How do I get baked-on grease off my oven?

Use a cleaner specifically made for dissolving greasy spills, such as our “Best Natural” pick in this lineup, Method Heavy-Duty Degreaser.

Q. What is the fastest way to clean the bottom of the oven?

Before applying the oven cleaner, place a pot of boiling water on the oven’s lowest rack and close the door for 15 minutes. The hot steam will help loosen the baked-on spills so the oven cleaner works quickly and effectively. Apply the cleaner and wait the recommended amount of time for it to clean effectively, then wear gloves to scrub or wipe the cleaner, grime, and grease with a cloth or sponge. 

Meet the Tester

Stacey L. Nash has written about home and garden products, home design and decor, and general indoor and outdoor home improvement for 5-plus years. She’s passionate about research and hands-on testing to find the products that add true value to homeownership and daily life. She lives on 12 heavily wooded acres, where she and her family put home and outdoor products to the test while avoiding bears and cougars. 

Additional research provided by Glenda Taylor.

Share

Stacey L. Nash Avatar

Stacey L. Nash

Contributing Writer

Stacey L. Nash has written for BobVila.com since 2020 and more widely for the past 6 years about home products, home decor, and general home improvement. Diving into research is one of her favorite parts of writing, but she especially enjoys hands-on testing to get a feel for how products really function in everyday life.  

WHY YOU CAN TRUST BOB VILA