If your oven is smelly, there are several methods that can be used to clean and remove odors. One method is to clean with baking soda and white vinegar. Another method uses vanilla to give the oven a pleasant vanilla scent. Oranges, lemons, vanilla, and vinegar can also be baked in the oven to remove unpleasant odors. Store-bought oven cleaners are another option for you to consider.
1. Clean with baking soda and white vinegar
A great non-toxic way to clean and deodorize your oven is to use baking soda and white vinegar. The chemical reaction that occurs when the baking soda reacts to the vinegar lifts off stubborn stains and grease. The baking soda does most of the deodorizing, as the chemicals in baking soda are perfect for neutralizing the acids that cause unpleasant odors.
Follow these instructions to clean and deodorize the oven with baking soda and vinegar:
- Sprinkle 1 cup of baking soda across the bottom of the oven
- Fill a spray bottle with 2 cups of white vinegar
- Spray the vinegar over the baking soda to create a paste
- Spread the paste onto the walls of the oven
- Spray vinegar onto the oven walls as required
- Let the solution sit for 20 minutes
- Scrub the oven with a steel wool sponge
- Wipe down the oven with a clean cloth.
The oven should now be clean and without any smelly odors. If the oven is still smelly or you would like a more pleasant odor, try one of the other deodorizing and cleaning methods listed below.
2. Freshen up the oven with vanilla
Vanilla is great for freshening up the oven after it has been cleaned with vinegar and baking soda. While vanilla has some cleaning properties, it is best to apply vanilla after cleaning the oven with a more effective cleaning solution.
If you are choosing between vanilla extract and vanilla essence, both will do a good job, but vanilla essence (also known as artificial vanilla) is preferable because of its more potent scent.
Follow these instructions to freshen your oven with vanilla:
- Rinse a clean sponge in warm water
- Wring the sponge out to prevent the sponge from dripping
- Apply some vanilla to the sponge
- Thoroughly wipe down the inside oven walls with the sponge
- Dry the oven with a clean cloth or paper towel.
You should now notice a pleasant vanilla smell coming from the oven.
3. Use lemons or oranges to deodorize and clean the oven
Either lemons or oranges can be used to deodorize the oven. The citrus power of these fruits is another natural, non-toxic method to remove odors. The citrus also helps loosen grease and make the oven easier to clean.
If using lemons, squeeze the lemon juice into an oven-safe dish with about an inch or so of water. If using an orange, grate or peel the orange and put the skin in an oven-safe dish.
Follow these instructions to deodorize with lemon juice:
- Fill an oven-safe dish with about an inch of water
- Cut 2-3 lemons into small quarter chunks and squeeze the lemon juice into the water
- Place the lemon chunks in the water inside the oven-safe dish
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit
- Place the oven-safe dish in the oven and leave for one hour
- Remove the dish from the oven
- When the oven has cooled down, wipe the oven down with a clean, damp sponge
- Dry the oven with a clean cloth or paper towel.
The oven should now have a fresh, pleasant lemon smell, and stuck-on grease should be easy to remove.
Follow these instructions to deodorize with lemon or orange peel:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Peel two oranges or lemons and place the skin into an oven-safe dish. Alternatively, you can grate the lemon or orange skin into an oven-safe dish.
- Put the dish into the oven once it has reached 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Leave the peel to bake in the oven for one hour.
After an hour, any unpleasant odors should be gone, leaving your oven with a pleasant citrus scent. If necessary, wait for the oven to cool, then wipe the oven down with a clean damp cloth or a paper towel.
4. Use vanilla or white vinegar to deodorize your oven
If you don’t have any citrus fruits, or you prefer a vanilla scent or a more odorless scent, vanilla or vinegar can be used in much the same way as citrus to deodorize your oven.
Follow these instructions to bake either vanilla or vinegar to deodorize your oven:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Mix a teaspoon of vanilla with about an inch of water in a small oven-safe dish. Alternatively, fill an oven-safe dish with about an inch or two of white vinegar
- When the oven temperature reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit, place the oven-safe dish in the oven for one hour.
After an hour, any unpleasant odors should have been removed, and the oven should have a pleasant vanilla or slight vinegar scent.
If you used vinegar, it may have loosened grease or baked-on debris inside the oven. If so, once the oven has cooled, wipe it down with a clean, damp sponge, then dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.
Either baking soda, white vinegar, vanilla, or citrus fruits can be used to freshen up a smelly oven. For the best results, we recommend cleaning the oven with baking soda and white vinegar, and then freshening the oven with vanilla (as described in steps 1 and 2).