Mom Hack: Easy Way to Clean the Oven - Polk County Moms

The holidays give my oven a workout. Unfortunately, they also leave the oven smelly and dirty. Luckily I found this hack a few years ago and I use it often. The oven gets cleaned and the house smells amazing. I have a self-cleaning oven that has a steam option and instead of plain water I use this mixture. 

Not a fan of lemon? You can easily change the lemons to limes or oranges and change the herbs from rosemary to eucalyptus or thyme. Use whatever you have on hand!



  • Baking Pan
  • Paper Towels or Scrubbing Sponge
  • 2 Lemons, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Rosemary Sprigs
  • Black Peppercorns (optional)
  • Baking Pan
  • 8 to 12 cups of water


Step 1

Preheat oven to 350

Step 2

Thinly slice 2 lemons and juice the 3rd lemon. 

Step 3

Pour water into the baking pan and add lemon juice, lemon slices, and rosemary sprigs. Add peppercorns if using. 

Step 4

Place the baking dish in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the pan in the oven for 1 hour. Do not open the oven. 

Step 5

Remove the pan from the oven carefully as it may still be hot. The steam from the lemon water helps loosen the grime inside the oven. You can now wipe the inside of the oven down with a cloth or paper towel. If you need to scrub any remaining grime mix a little lemon water with a tablespoon of baking soda to create a cleaning solution. 

I reuse the liquid the next day. I place the liquid in a pot and simmer it throughout the day. It smells amazing. 

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