If you've ever glanced into the oven after making a particularly messy meal, you know it can be a real disaster zone. Just the thought of cleaning the grease and food-splattered interior of your oven can give you a migraine. A good oven cleaner can help you reduce the frustration of dealing with baked-on cooking grime. Many don't realize that there can be a lot of differences between oven cleaners.
We've researched the best oven cleaners and produced the following buying guide for your convenience. We even included reviews of a few favorites, like our pick for Best of the Best, Mr. Muscle Oven and Grill Cleaner.
Oven cleaner pros and cons
While using an oven cleaner may seem like a given for some, others prefer not to use them because of environmental or health concerns. Here is a list of pros and cons to help you determine if the oven cleaner is right for you.
No heat required
Keeps your oven from developing long-term stains
Some bring heavy fumes
Not necessarily environmentally friendly
Many are toxic
Taking all of these factors into account, most people still determine that an oven cleaner is a convenient way to keep their oven clean and free of unwanted grease and food residue. If you think the oven cleaner is right for you, then continue with our key considerations when shopping for oven cleaner.
Considerations when choosing oven cleaners
Self-cleaning ovens work differently than ovens that don't have this feature. If you have a self-cleaning oven, then you won't have a need for oven cleaner. Self-cleaning ovens have a setting that puts the inside of the oven at a high temperature for an extended period. This high-heat setting is what cleans the debris from the inside of the oven by essentially cooking it off. Only those without self-cleaning ovens need to use oven cleaner.
Type of cleaner
Most oven cleaners come in the form of either a spray, a gel, or a cream. They are equally effective at cleaning, but some users prefer one over the others due to consistency and/or the spread of the oven cleaner's scent.
You need to first be sure that your oven can handle the application of a consumer oven cleaner. Some oven surfaces are not compatible and can be damaged by oven cleaners. Also, pay attention to the internal design of your oven. Seals and other sensitive areas of the oven should not come in contact with an oven cleaner.
Most oven cleaners are made with harsh chemicals that can cause discomfort or injury if they come in contact with the skin. Oven cleaners that contain sodium hydroxide should only be used while wearing gloves. Follow the instructions on your oven cleaner explicitly when cleaning your oven, as doing so will yield the best results, and keep you as safe as possible.
Depending on which of the three types of oven cleaner you choose, the application process may be different. Obviously, spray oven cleaners are the easiest to apply, but they also spread the most particles into the ambient air. Gels and creams must be directly applied to the oven's interior surface by hand.
Most oven cleaners will cost between $5 and $7. The price per container can go down by buying "combo packs."
Q. How often should my oven be cleaned?
A. That all depends on your use. However, you should expect to clean your oven at least two or three times every year. This will keep food particles and other burnt remnants from collecting in too thick of a layer on your oven's surface.
Q. Is oven cleaner safe for use on an outdoor grill?
A. Some oven cleaners are specially formulated to use on outdoor grills. Keep in mind, spraying an oven cleaner on the painted outer surface of your grill may damage or fade it. Keep the cleaner solution contained to the grill section.
Oven cleaners we recommend
Best of the best: Mr. Muscle Oven and Grill Cleaner
Our take: Extremely powerful commercial grade cleaner.
What we like: Works hard to clean grease without the need for too much hand scrubbing.
What we dislike: Strong fumes.
Best bang for your buck: Easy-Off Heavy Duty Oven Cleaner
Our take: Cleans well and reasonably priced.
What we like: For a spray cleaner, the fumes are not as bad as some others.
What we dislike: Nozzle can be problematic.
Choice 3: Astonish Oven and Cookware Cleaner
Our take: Mild cleaner without the nuisance of fumes.
What we like: A biodegradable paste that works on multiple surfaces, beyond just ovens.
What we dislike: Not as strong as other oven cleaners.
Adam Reeder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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