We Tested the Oven-Cleaning Hack That Uses One Ingredient

This oven-cleaning hack couldn't be simpler—all you need is a lemon! But does it really work?

The oven is one of the most difficult appliances to clean. Those stubborn, baked-on stains are hard to remove, and tough stains require tough cleaners. Which is why most oven cleaners are heavy-duty, full of chemicals and fumes. So I was definitely curious (and a little skeptical) when I saw this viral oven-cleaning hack. Can you really clean an oven with just a lemon? I had to give it a try.

Can lemons really clean an oven?

It’s no secret that lemons are great for cleaning. The bright yellow citrus contains both citric acid and ascorbic acid (vitamin C), and acids are effective at removing stains, cleaning off limescale and even fighting rust. Lemons are also naturally antibacterial and can neutralize odors. I’ve used the fruit to clean my microwave and garbage disposal, with positive results.

But the oven seemed a little more daunting. The glass door was brown with stains, and the bottom of the oven wasn’t much better. In the past, I’ve mostly stuck to Easy-Off to clean my oven, and while it works, I’d love to take a more natural approach.

How to use lemons as an oven-cleaning hack

@yagmuronerr this just saved my life 🤝🏼 natural oven cleaning hack 🍋 i will also clean my airfryer& microwave with this way #cleaninghacks #cleaninghack #cleaninghacksforyou #cleaninghacksthatwork #cleaninghacks101 #cleaningasmr #cleaningtips #cleaningszn #cleantok #cleaningtiktok #cleaninghacks #cleanfreshhype #cleanwithmemotivation #cleanmotivation #cleaningmotivation #torontocontentcreator #torontocontentcreators #torontotiktok #submarine #titanic ♬ Ultimate life hacks – Kelly – The Life Bath

I followed the instructions for cleaning my oven with a lemon from the viral video by TikTok user @yagmuronerr (she posted more details in the comments). Read on to conduct your own lemon-cleaner experiment!

Step 1: Preheat the oven

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. The idea behind the hack is that hot water and lemon create a steam and soften the stains inside the oven while the lemon water heats.

Step 2: Slice the lemon

Img 5095 Cleaning Oven With Lemon Tiktok Erica Young For Toh JveditCourtesy ERICA YOUNG

Slice the lemon into thick slices. I sliced my lemon into four slices. I figured with the high temperature, I wanted the lemons to be pretty robust so they wouldn’t simply shrivel into tiny bits while they “cooked.”

Step 3: Add lemon and water to a dish

Img 5101 Clean Oven With Lemon Tiktok Erica Young For Toh JveditCourtesy ERICA YOUNG

Fill an oven-safe bowl or dish with water, then add the lemon slices. I squeezed the lemon slices before dropping them in so the lemon juice would mix with the water.

Step 4: Bake

Img 5104 Cleaning Oven With Lemon Tiktok Erica Young For Toh JveditCourtesy ERICA YOUNG

“Bake” the lemon water in the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Step 5: Cool and clean

Img 5110 Cleaning Oven With Lemon Tiktok Erica Young For Toh JveditCourtesy ERICA YOUNG

After the lemon water has baked for 20 minutes, turn off the oven and allow the water to cool for 10 to 20 minutes. (I attempted to move on to cleaning after 10 minutes, but the water was still too hot to touch, so I let it cool an additional 10 minutes with the oven open.) Once it’s cooled, dip a microfiber cloth in the lemon water, and scrub the oven interior and door.

Results: Not bad!

Img 5116 Img 5112 Cleaning Oven With Lemon Tiktok Erica Young For Toh JveditCourtesy ERICA YOUNG

I’ll admit, I didn’t have high hopes that one little lemon would be strong enough to clean my oven. But it worked pretty well! It definitely didn’t get the oven glass as squeaky clean as a heavy-duty oven cleaner, but you can see how much grime and grease I was able to wipe off with my cloth. It was even more effective on the bottom of the oven, where I was able to remove most of the stains. I think next time, I might increase the baking time as well as the cooling time, hopefully creating more steam. The bottom line: I won’t be giving up my Easy-Off anytime soon, but I think the lemon hack is great as a quick method, used between deep-cleaning sessions.

Taste of Home
Originally Published on Taste of Home

Erica Young
Erica Young is a freelance writer and content creator, specializing in home and lifestyle pieces. She loves writing about home decor, organization, relationships and pop culture. She holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication.