The Best Way To Clean The Inside Of Your Stove (Hint: It’s Not The Self Clean Feature!)

Have you ever wondered the secret of how to clean the inside of a stove? Check out this post and learn how to get even the toughest grime off the inside of your oven without scrubbing!


Ever wondered how to clean the inside of a stove without having to do a ton of scrubbing? The secret is ammonia! It can handle tough built up grease and fat, and even baked on gunk in your dirty oven. Ammonia does 90% of the work for you overnight while you sleep, and it works great for both gas and electric ovens.

Cleaning inside an oven using ammonia

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After you clean the inside of your stove, check out these tutorials for the best way to clean a stove top and how to clean stove top grates.

How to Clean the Inside of a Stove

Ammonia works better than other oven cleaning alternatives, such as the self-clean feature, commercial oven cleaners, or baking soda and vinegar. The self-clean feature can actually harm your oven and cause undue wear and tear. Commercial oven cleaners work but they still require a lot of scrubbing, and baking soda and vinegar is a great natural alternative to the commercial cleaners, but it still requires scrubbing. Ammonia does most of the work for you while you sleep, and loosens tough burnt on gunk and grease so you can just wipe it away, instead of scrubbing!

Ammonia is highly recommended as a way to clean electric ovens, but it actually works great on gas ovens too! The only thing is, ammonia fumes are flammable, so if you have a gas oven you have to take two extra steps to avoid any potential flames. But it’s super easy to do; the video below shows you exactly how to clean the inside of your oven, whether it’s gas or electric!

Want some other great cleaning tips?! Check these out!

The Best Way To Clean The Inside Of Your Stove

  • Time spent doing stuff: 30 minutes
  • Time spent waiting around: 8-12 hours (or overnight)
  • Total project time: 30 minutes plus overnight


  • household ammonia
  • liquid dish soap
  • boiling water
  • scrubby sponge
  • two oven-safe containers


Check out the video below for the full tutorial! (You can find written instructions below the video.)

Before we start, a few safety precautions:

  • Ammonia fumes can be pretty stinky; make sure you open the windows, turn on the exhaust fan, and generally air out the area while you work. Wear a respirator if you’re sensitive to the smell or have respiratory issues. Wear rubber gloves if your skin is sensitive.
  • NEVER combine ammonia with bleach-based cleaners; the reaction of the two can create a toxic gas.
  • Ammonia fumes are flammable. If you are using ammonia to clean a gas oven, make sure the gas is turned off and the pilot light is blown out (more details below in the Gas Oven section).

For an electric oven or gas oven with an electric ignition system

If your oven is electric, or is a gas oven with an electric ignition system, you can follow the steps below to clean your oven without any extra precautions.

TIP: Most modern gas ovens have electric ignition systems. You can tell if your ignition system is electric if you have to turn the burner knobs to the “Lite” position and then you hear some clicking before the stovetop burner ignites. Electric ignition systems don’t have a pilot light; they use electricity to create a spark to ignite the gas on the stovetop burners and in the oven itself.

For a gas oven with a pilot light

If your gas oven has a pilot light (a small blue flame that is always burning), then you’ll need to turn off the gas and blow out the pilot light before cleaning the inside of your stove with ammonia. The pilot light can usually be found under the stovetop, inside the oven itself, or under the oven behind the warming drawer or storage drawer.

Usually if you pull the oven away from the wall, you’ll see the gas line going into the wall, and it should have a small knob or valve on it. Turn the knob all the way to the right to turn off the gas to the oven. If there is no valve right behind your oven, you’ll have to turn off the main gas line.

After the gas to the oven is turned off, find the pilot light and blow it out.

Once the flame is out and the gas is turned off, it’s completely safe to clean your oven using ammonia!

How To Clean An Oven Using Ammonia

Start by preheating your oven to 150 degrees Fahrenheit (or as low as your oven will go). While your oven is preheating, boil a pot of water.

Once your oven is preheated, turn off the oven. Put 1 cup of ammonia in an oven-safe container on the top rack of the oven and put 3-4 cups of boiling water in an oven-safe container on the bottom rack.

Using ammonia and water to clean the inside of an oven

Close the oven door and let the ammonia and water sit inside the oven overnight. You may be able to smell the ammonia through the oven vents, so make sure to ventilate your kitchen well! Open windows and turn on the vent hood or exhaust fan to keep the air moving.

The next morning open the oven door and if it still smells, let it air out for a few minutes.

Pull out the water and ammonia and set the ammonia aside. Add a small amount of liquid dish detergent to 4 cups of warm water and add the ammonia you pulled out of the oven.

Soak your scrubby sponge in the ammonia/soap mixture and use it to wipe out the inside of the oven.

The ammonia should have loosened the burnt on gunk and grease and it all should just wipe away pretty easily. Make sure you rinse the sponge and oven often to remove the dirt that has been cleaned off the surface.

For the oven racks

Pull the oven racks out and set them in aside. Once the inside of the oven is clean, you can use the same sponge to wipe down the racks. Again, the grease and gunk should come right off. If it doesn’t you can always try this trick that I use for cleaning stove top grates. Just bag up the oven racks in a giant trash bag with some ammonia and it should get any stubborn stains out!

For super stubborn stains

If you have stubborn stains in your oven, pour a small amount of ammonia straight out of the bottle onto the stain and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then wipe it up with your scrubby sponge. You may need to scrub slightly if the stain is really really really baked on there. 🙂

Look how clean the oven door got! Not only did the ammonia cut all the brown grease and fat on the door and window, but it also got that big black burnt on stain off the window as well!

How to clean the inside of an oven using ammonia

It’s hard to see in the photo, but the rest of the oven is sparkling clean too! All of the burnt on black spots are gone, and the whole oven is no longer a gross shade of greasy brown!

The best way to clean the inside of an oven is with ammonia

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Jessi Wohlwend

I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!

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Reader Interactions

  1. jolene says

    4 years ago

    I just wondered about the ammonia fumes the affect on pets ?

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      4 years ago

      The general side effects from being too close to ammonia and ammonia fumes are things like irritation or burning in your eyes, nose, mouth, throat, lungs, or anywhere else where there is sensitive skin or a mucous membrane. It will be the same for pets too, but potentially more irritating for them than for people because their noses are generally more sensitive, and they are smaller so the exposure can feel “larger” to them. I would say follow the same precautions with your pets: open the windows when you can, keep them away from the oven and move any cages out of the area overnight, etc. But in general, if you and/or your pets aren’t sticking your head in the oven with the ammonia, or if you’re not working in a very small enclosed kitchen with no airflow, you may notice the ammonia smell and it may be irritating, but won’t harm you.

  2. Lorraine says

    4 years ago

    I am in a studio apartment with everything is in one room. It is all connected. S that a problem using ammonia in the stove since I sleep in same room?

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      4 years ago

      Hmm, it might be, depending on how much of the fumes escape the oven through the vents. If you leave the apartment to go to work, perhaps you could try setting it up in the morning before you go to work? The other option is just to open some windows to help air out the fumes; after they escape the oven they aren’t helping anymore anyways, and you just don’t want to be breathing them in cuz they are pretty strong and smell bad.

  3. Richard Erickson says

    4 years ago

    Cleaning the grates worked excellent! But the oven method didn’t make a dent and had the same baked on mess in the morning. I suspect the fumes just went out the oven vent – maybe plugging it? Or use more than a cup of ammonia?

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      4 years ago

      You don’t want to plug the vents because you don’t want the fumes to build up inside the oven. You could definitely try again with more than a cup of ammonia, and be sure the oven is warmed up first (but then that you turn the oven off before adding ammonia!)

  4. Molly says

    4 years ago

    Do you leave the oven on 170 over night?

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      4 years ago

      No, you need to turn the oven off before adding the ammonia; ammonia is very flammable, so make sure the oven is OFF first!

  5. Trish says

    4 years ago

    Hey Jessi,

    Your YouTube video embed seems to have lost it’s plugin. Thought you would want to know. I simply hightlighted the YouTube URL displayed and opened in a new tab so that I could watch it.

    I tried a homemade oven cleaner and it did NOT work as an Amanda MacDonald claimed it does (found on Pinterest). Her recipe was 1/4 cup dish soap, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1 cup of vinegar, 1 1/4 cup of water. What a waste of time THAT was for me, as it did NOT take off much baked on gook.

    Will definitely be trying your method, so THANKS for posting this!

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      4 years ago

      Thanks for letting me know, I’ll fix it now! And I hope this method works for you!

  6. Ruth says

    4 years ago

    Can the glass rectangular pan that held the ammonia be used for food after going through the dish washer? Or does one need to dedicate a glass pan for ammonia use only?

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      4 years ago

      After you wash the pan it is food safe again, that’s the great thing about glass is that it isn’t “porous” and doesn’t retain any the ammonia after being washed.

  7. Pat says

    6 years ago

    Girrrrl, you absolutely ROCK! So glad I found you. Keep those tips coming.

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