Here’s How to Clean a Glass Oven Door Inside and Out

Cleaning the glass door of your oven can be a tough job, but these expert tips can make it easier

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If you ask cleaning professionals about the one job even they find frustrating, it’s bound to be how to clean your oven—specifically, how to clean glass oven doors. Ovens and refrigerators tend to be two kitchen appliances that accumulate the most dirt and grime, thanks to their close regular contact with food, so they’re one of the first places professionals focus on when they’re planning how to clean your kitchen. But ovens in particular can be tricky spots to clean.

For one thing, it’s not always apparent when you need to clean the inside of your oven. While it’s pretty tough to avoid noticing the spills and splatters that signal it’s time to clean the stovetop, the inside of your oven is usually “out of sight, out of mind,” says Melissa Maker, a cleaning expert and founder of Clean My Space. “I usually only notice my oven door needs to be done when I’m going to cook something,” she says, “or when turning it on leads to smoking or smelling because something has dripped in there.”

This isn’t ideal, Maker says, and you should try to include your oven in a regular cleaning schedule. Depending on how often you cook and how messy you are, you’ll want to clean the inside of your oven, including the oven racks and glass door, every three months or so.

For many people, the only way they’ve known how to clean the glass oven door is to use their appliance’s self-cleaning function. This basically superheats the oven to burn away any debris. But while a self-cleaning oven sounds great, it has drawbacks: The process can be smelly, and the fumes have even been found to be toxic to some pets, such as birds. It also won’t do as thorough a job. “If you set your oven to self-clean, it will take care of some of the mess,” says Maker. “But it doesn’t get the whole oven door clean, and it won’t remove all the grease and splatters.”

There’s a reason it’s so hard to clean inside oven glass. The glass on your oven door is designed to retain heat, and repeated cycles of heating and cooling bake on any drips or splatters. Adding to the challenge, “you can’t use anything too abrasive because you’re going to scratch the door,” says Maker.

The only thing that makes knowing how to clean glass oven doors tricky is the fact that there are multiple surfaces to clean: outside the glass oven door, inside the glass oven door and even the space in between, where liquids can drip down and streak. Sometimes the very cleaning products you’re using to clean the oven glass can cause these streaks inside by accident. “You really do need to employ the best cleaning techniques to get this done,” Maker says.

While it’s not the most fun task, a gleaming clean oven can be extremely satisfying and keep odors and burnt bits from ruining the food you cook in it. Knowing the best way to clean a glass oven door can help make the job easier, and cleaning experts have figured out how to do just that. Read on for their advice and tips.

How to clean your glass oven door on the inside

hand using baking soda and dishsoap paste to scrub the interior of a glass oven door with a spongeTMB Studio

Learning how to clean glass oven doors on the inside is a bit trickier than cleaning the exterior of the glass oven window, because more baked-on grease and grime accumulate here. Here are two methods for cleaning them.

The baking soda method

This method may require a bit of elbow grease, but it gets the job done.

Supplies:

Directions:

  1. Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with 3 tablespoons of Dawn dishwashing liquid to make a thick paste.
  2. Apply it liberally and thoroughly to the inside of a cold glass oven door, Maker says. The dish soap lifts off grease and the baking soda provides a microabrasion to scrub away dirt.
  3. Allow it to sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Test a small section of the door using a non-scratch sponge such as Scotch-Brite Dobie to see if the grime scrubs away easily. If it doesn’t, let it rest for another 10 minutes, then check again.
  4. Use the non-scratch sponge to scrub away dirt. Dampen a rag in warm water and use that to wipe each section as you go. This helps avoid any of the paste dripping in between the glass and leaving any hard-to-reach streaks.
  5. For any stubborn residue, use The Skrapr, which is designed not to scratch glass.

Pro tip: Baking soda leaves quite a bit of residue, so you may need to wipe several times to remove it all, but don’t get impatient and start using a dripping wet rag, as that can leave streaks.

The razor method

Rochelle Wilkinson, owner of Dirt Detective Cleaning in Phoenix, Maryland, likes this method because it lets the products do the work and doesn’t require harsh chemicals. As she says, “It works like a charm.”

Supplies:

Directions:

  1. Liberally squirt Frosch Cream Cleaner all over the inside of a cold glass door.
  2. Scrub the glass with a sponge or Scotch-Brite Stainless Steel Scrubber.
  3. For any stubborn stains that remain, use a straight razor and scrape at an angle away from you, or try the pumice stick on wet glass to gently scrape away grime.

Pro tips: When scraping glass with a straight razor, make sure to hold it at a 45-degree angle to the glass to avoid scratching the glass. If using a pumice stick, make sure the glass is wet for the same reason. You can also use a razor to clean a glass stovetop.

How to clean your glass oven door on the outside

hand spraying white vinegar onto exterior of glass oven doorTMB Studio

When your glass oven door needs cleaning, you probably focus on the inside, where most of the grease and grime accumulate. But don’t forget that the outside of the glass oven window can get plenty dirty too. Fortunately, this tends to be easier to clean because it hasn’t been subjected to high heat that bakes on grease. Cleaning it doesn’t require a lot of special supplies or effort.

Supplies:

Directions:

  1. Pour white vinegar into a spray bottle
  2. With the oven turned off, spray the outside of the oven door with the vinegar.
  3. Scrub thoroughly with a non-scratch sponge.
  4. Dampen a cloth with water and wipe the door clean.

Pro tip: For any stubborn residue, use The Skrapr, which is designed not to scratch glass, or a pumice stick.

How to clean between the glass on an oven door

It can be frustrating when, even after cleaning the outside and inside of your glass oven door, you still see streaks and dirt trapped inside. Maker calls these “forever drip marks” and says that to get to them, you may have to take extreme measures. “Be aware that you could void your oven warranty,” she says. Or, to be on the safe side, schedule an appointment with the manufacturer to have them do it for you.

If your appliance is out of warranty, you can clean this yourself, but make sure you first consult the manual that comes with your oven and proceed with caution.

Supplies:

Directions:

  1. To access the space between the glass on an oven door, one of the most difficult spots to clean on an oven, you will have to remove the door from its hinges. Consult your user’s manual on how to do this.
  2. Wrap a long, thin stick like a yardstick with a thin towel and dip it in soapy water. You can also use a tool designed for this, such as an Invisible Glass Reach and Clean Tool or a Coralpearl Gap Cleaning Scrub Brush. Slide this between the panes of glass and work your way up and down the glass oven door until you’ve removed all the dirt and stains.
  3. Use a dry towel to dry the inside completely before reinstalling the door.

Pro tip: Some ovens have glass that can be removed, so you can consult your manual, but this might be a job best left to the professionals.

The best oven glass door cleaners

Can you clean really dirty oven doors?

The previously described methods tend to work for most people, but if you’re dealing with an exceptionally messy situation and wondering how to clean glass oven doors, there are still steps you can take. Your first plan of attack is to apply either method and let it sit overnight. If that doesn’t take care of things, try using a razor blade held at a 45-degree angle to gently scrape off stubborn stains. A pumice stick, similar to the kind you use on your feet, will also work wonders. Make sure the glass oven door is wet with water, then test the pumice stick in a small area to make sure it doesn’t scratch the glass. The mild abrasiveness of the stone should remove just about any baked-on food or sauce. A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser will also work. As a last resort, you can always try Easy-Off Oven Cleaner for tough grease stains, but make sure to wear protective gear and have good ventilation when spraying.

How to keep glass oven doors clean?

Of course, you don’t need to worry as much about how to clean glass oven doors if you can avoid spills and stains on them in the first place! The glass in the oven door is in the prime spot to catch any liquids that bubble over or drip as you’re putting something into or taking it out of the oven.

Making sure to use pans that are big enough to account for what Maker calls “bubble over” can help, as will covering any bubbly foods with aluminum foil.

Regularly wiping down the doors, preferably while the stains are still fresh and the oven door is warm (but not hot), can also help minimize the need to deep-clean glass oven doors. Simply wipe the glass down with a dishrag and dish soap before it completely cools down.

Now that you know how to clean your glass oven door, find out how to clean other oft-overlooked but important items, including your faucet heads, toaster and air fryer.

Sources:

Jill Waldbieser
Jill is a journalist and winner of a National Magazine Award for her work at Women's Health. She has more than 20 years of experience covering home, cleaning and lifestyle topics, and her work has appeared in Runner's World, the New York Times, HuffPost, CNN, Oprah Daily, EatingWell and AARP and has been recognized by the Digital Health Awards and the Best of Edible Communities. She likes to share her culinary explorations and food styling and photography skills on Instagram. She also volunteers with the Bucks County Food Alliance and the American Red Cross and is a passionate advocate for disability rights.