Cleaning the oven is an infamously tedious household chore; we’d rather clean our bathroom three times over than tackle all that burnt-on grease and grime. Thankfully, the GHI has put the hard work in and found the best oven cleaners for delivering a spotless finish, faster.
Modern formulations are much easier to apply and far more effective than they used to be. Many contain fewer toxic chemicals, meaning they’re better for your health and the planet, too. In fact, one of our three joint winners is certified as eco-friendly, giving you more choice.
What is the best oven cleaner?
Our expert tester put 16 brands of oven cleaner to the test, including Oven Brite, Ecover, Mr Muscle and Dirtbusters. Here's their top 10 at a glance:
What is the best way to clean a really dirty oven?
For the most thorough results, use a specially designed oven cleaner. Follow the instructions on its label, let fresh air flow through your kitchen and always wear rubber gloves.
To get your oven door looking as good as new, gently lift off heavy dirt with a metal spatula or ceramic hob scraper before applying your oven cleaner. Some ovens allow you to remove the door entirely, which might make cleaning easier.
Note that not all oven cleaners are suitable for glass, so check before you buy. If you're wary, mix bicarbonate of soda with a little water to make a paste. Rub it onto your oven door and leave for 20 minutes before wiping it off with a damp microfibre cloth.
Some oven cleaners come with rack sponges and rack bags to help you clean dirty shelves. If stains remain stubborn, dissolve 250g of soda crystals in a sink full of hot water and soak your racks for an hour, before scrubbing away any burnt-on food with a scrunched-up ball of foil. Rinse thoroughly and allow them to dry before returning them to your oven.
How often should my oven be cleaned?
You probably know what we're going to say, but it's true that the longer you put off cleaning your oven, the harder it'll be!
Aim to clean your oven at least every three months, or whenever you notice burnt-on dirt accumulating. Smoke building up when you're baking is another sign that you need to dig out the oven cleaner.
To make cleaning easier next time, consider lining your oven with an oven liner to catch any spills and splashes.
How we test oven cleaners
Our Good Housekeeping Institute team smeared a sticky mixture of ingredients – including premixed cake batter, cheddar cheese, tomato paste and strawberry jam – onto our lab oven's base, racks and glass door. They baked it on for 30 minutes and left it to cool overnight.
The next morning, they applied each oven cleaner according to the manufacturer's instructions, before judging it on its ease of use, fragrance and overall cleaning performance.