Commercial oven cleaners and all-purpose cleaner often contain a list of chemicals harmful to you and the environment. But these days, many people are turning to eco-friendly oven cleaners made from natural ingredients and without toxic chemicals. These handy eco-friendly products take the toxins out of cleaning.
As eco-friendly and natural oven cleaners don’t contain harsh chemicals, bear in mind that they will be more gentle on dirt. So you’ll need to apply a little more elbow grease than you would when using conventional cleaners.
How often should you clean your oven?
Most people recommend giving a household oven a deep clean every three months. This is sensible for most people who use their ovens a few times a week. However, if you’d like to avoid using harmful chemicals, we’d recommend doing this more often as eco-friendly cleaners are usually more gentle than their chemical counterparts.
For the most effortless clean, clean your oven using a gentle degreaser once a week and do a more vigorous clean once a month; this should help avoid grime build-up.
Another handy trick is to use an oven tray at the bottom of your oven to catch any bits when it falls down. You can then wash the tray after use or put it in the dishwasher once a week. Wiping the glass door every week is also handy as it minimises the sticky residue that accumulates on the oven glass.
If you clean regularly, you won’t allow oven grease to bake in, making cleaning less complicated. Of course, cleaning after every use will give you the best results, but yes, we know this isn’t always possible, so try to be as regular as your schedule allows.
Here are our favourite eco-friendly oven cleaners so you won’t need to worry about the adverse effects on your family and environment.
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6 eco-friendly oven cleaners for a chemical-free scrub
Astonish has been around for 40 years. Their oven and sustainable cookware cleaner are heavyweight degreasers. It tackles dirt without much fuss and is formulated without harsh chemicals. You won’t even need gloves to use it.
Astonish products are animal friendly, cruelty-free and vegan certified.
It is a clay-like product and will require a bit of elbow grease to get the job done, but there’s no chemical smell whatsoever. You can use it on the glass oven door and grill trays.
For tough baked in grime, apply and soak for a bit before washing the area. Combine with a scourer to pack extra cleaning punch.
Citra Solv Concentrated Cleaner is made from clear D-Limonene extracted from the peel of the orange, orange oil, and a biodegradable coconut-derived surfactant.
It’s a super versatile solvent-based cleaner and degreaser, and it smells like juicy oranges. You can use this at full strength for tough cleaning jobs or dilute it with water for less demanding jobs. That means you don’t necessarily need an array of cleaning products to stay on top of your chores as it appears to work on carpets, floors, ovens, fireplaces, grills and even cars.
To make this work well as an oven cleaner, use a higher concentration, spray it on, and let it sit for a while. You might need a bit of elbow grease if the oven is super dirty, but it should otherwise work really well.
It’s also pretty good at getting crayon marks off the wall, which is especially useful if you have small children!
This cleaner is made in the USA by Grab Green. The company owner and mother of two, Patricia Spencer, has made safety her top priority as she wants to create products that aren’t harmful to her family.
Recommended for all ovens and safe for stovetops and microwaves, you can use this product to clean both interior and exterior surfaces.
It’s Phosphate Free, Bleach Free and Solvent Free, easy to use and doesn’t smell like chemicals. In addition, it is genuinely fume-free, so it should be safe if you have asthma.
Apply using the spray nozzle and wipe with a damp cloth. For burnt-in grime, leave to soak for up to 3 hours. Once soaked, give it a bit of a scrub with a scourer, and it works without a great deal of effort.
Ecozone is sold under the name Yonder in the USA and Ecozone in Europe. It’s a good quality oven cleaner and is safe to use if you have sensitivities. This product contains three ingredients; Aqua (water), Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Pumice. The US version also contains salt.
Pumice is a scrubbing agent, and Sodium Laureth Sulfate is a surfactant both these are listed as safe ingredients. Sodium Laureth Sulfate is often used in personal care products such as shampoo. It’s a strong foaming agent. However, it can, in some cases, be contaminated with dioxin. For this reason, we’d suggest using gloves when working with the product.
It’s a gel-based product, can be used inside and outside of the oven, and won’t cause inhalation issues as it’s nasty chemical and odour free!
The container is recyclable, and the ingredients are PETA approved, cruelty-free certified and vegan. Allergy UK also endorses it.
Apply with a sponge, leave for a few minutes and scrub away.
Ecover started in a shed after a bunch of Belgian scientists decided to find a phosphate-free cleaner that doesn’t damage waterways and aquatic life. It was a bold move for 1979!
But we’re glad these guys took the plunge to look for a natural alternative! Their Oven and Hob cleaner is a pretty decent eco cleaning product, handy when you’re trying to tackle grease and burnt-on food particles in the oven. You can also use this for general pots and pans. It uses a plant-based formula with biodegradable ingredients and smells like jasmine and mandarin.
It works well for a mildly dirty oven. Anything more stubborn might need a few passes before getting the desired result. But at least you won’t have to deal with the effects and smell of chemicals.
The Ecodoo eco-friendly oven cleaner is another concentrated product. It contains organic lemon essential oils and is free from caustic soda, strong acid and ammonia. It’s also ECOCERT Certified.
To use, give it a good shake about and spray. Avoid plastics, aluminium, wood, and painted surfaces as they can erode them. It will lift most oven grime. However, you will have to apply and scrub a few times for a filthy oven.
The ingredients are 99% of organic origin and include potassium hydroxide and nonionic and anionic surfactants.
Common oven cleaning ingredients to avoid
The most common harmful oven cleaning ingredients to avoid are:
- Butoxydiglycol, rated F by EWG, is a surfactant used in many household cleaners. It is a respiratory irritant and can affect the central nervous system, cause headaches, nausea, vomiting and possibly diarrhoea.
- Sodium hydroxide is a caustic soda commonly found in supermarket oven cleaning bag kits and sprays. In waterways, it will change the pH level of the water and can turn into vapour to become airborne. It can cause skin burning and be lethal if exposed in concentrated quantities. It’s rated F by EWG.
- Ethers can be intoxicating when inhaled in large concentrations. It can even cause unconsciousness and other breathing issues and irritate the eyes. Be careful as hot surfaces can ignite the vapours.
- Monoethanolamine is a neurotoxin and can damage the nervous system. It has also been identified as a possible carcinogen. Inhaling this ingredient can cause coughing, breathing issues, dizziness, confusion and fatigue. And it’s also harmful to aquatic life.
What is the best natural way to clean an oven?
If you’re looking for a natural cleaning alternative to store-bought oven cleaner, you can always use baking soda to create your own homemade oven cleaner. Some also recommend baking soda with white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide but we find that baking soda on its own works really well.
Baking soda is a brilliant cleaning agent. To use, mix with a dash of water until it turns into a paste. Apply the eco-friendly paste thickly to the inside of your oven and let it sit for around 20 minutes, and wash clean. If the dirt is stubborn, you may need a natural scourer to scrub the last bits. There are many natural formulas for oven cleaning available online, but this one is the most effective and easy to use in our experience.
How do you clean the glass on an oven door?
Most oven doors can be taken apart and lifted out of position to wash inside and in-between the glass panels. However, be careful when dismantling the door, as you can easily break the glass! Oven doors vary, so you may need to google your oven model to see how you can take it apart.
Once you’ve dismantled it, you can leave it to soak in warm water if you have a big sink or scrub it with warm water, soap, and a scourer. Once clean, dry all sides of the glass and put the door back together again. Glass is less likely to scratch, so using a scourer shouldn’t be an issue, but pay attention to ensure you don’t damage the door.
How to choose an eco-friendly oven cleaner?
Eco-friendly oven cleaners shouldn’t contain any toxins and should be kind to you and the environment. We’d recommend avoiding products that could damage aquatic and human health.
The chemical manufacturing process can also cause damage to the environment, so make sure that there aren’t any hidden pitfalls within the process of making a product. Always look out for products that contain biodegradable and plant-based ingredients.
Packaging plays an integral part in the environmental footprint of a product. So if you can avoid single-use plastic and go for products that offer refills, that is the best option. And then, of course, make sure products aren’t tested on animals!
Watch out for greenwashing! Always check the label and go for products that contain fewer ingredients and less complicated formulations.