Social media is raving about this lazy oven cleaning hack – but experts warn against trying it yourself

Experts warn against this viral oven cleaning hack using a dishwasher tablet

A kitchen with an oven and houseplants
(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

There’s a new oven cleaning hack on the block, making the rounds on TikTok and Instagram that almost seems too good and easy to be true. And it turns out that it’s exactly that as experts warn against this latest viral cleaning method.

The hack shows how to clean an oven with a dishwasher tablet, a gel tablet to be specific, by placing it in an oven-proof dish, filling it with water and turning the oven to 100°C for an hour. Supposedly, this process is meant to loosen up the burnt-on grime in the oven that’s usually tough to get rid of.

But despite these videos racking up millions of views across the social media platforms, experts warn against this hack for a variety of reasons. 

Open oven with a dish inside

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Experts warn against viral oven cleaning hack

In the past month or so, many have taken to social media to sing praises of this lazy method for how to clean an oven, including @healthy_eating_fitness, whose TikTok has attracted a whopping 4.3 million views.


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But according to oven cleaning experts, this is nothing more than another oven cleaning mistake.

‘Every week there seems to be a new hack for how to clean an oven with minimal effort,’ says Mike Harris, cleaning expert and owner of Oven Rescue. ‘Some of them are great and work well, but others, much like this new trend, are little more than clickbait.’

So what’s so wrong with this way of cleaning an oven?

‘I wouldn't recommend it because the high heat involved, even at only 100°C, I assume, combined with the chemicals in the tablet, can possibly damage the oven's interior surfaces or affect its seals and components,’ says Petya Holevich, Fantastic Services' domestic cleaning expert and supervisor.

Kitchen with white cupboards and a built-in oven

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

Mike continues, ‘You may find you remove some grease and grime when wiping the inside, but it’ll usually only be the very top surface grime you remove, with the more burnt-on food staying stuck, thus leaving food debris behind. This is especially true when it comes to your oven glass, racks, and fan. As the tablet cannot penetrate in the same way a specialist oven cleaner or other products do, it will usually not get rid of burnt-on food on those elements.’

But apart from its ineffectiveness and potential damage to your best oven, the method can also produce fumes, which can be both unpleasant and even harmful to your health.

A kitchen with an oven and houseplants

(Image credit: Future PLC/James French)

‘Using a dishwasher tablet in this way can cause unpleasant fumes. As dishwasher tablets are designed for use in a specific appliance and at set temperatures, there is a risk that exposing them to water and environments that are hotter can cause fumes. These, at best, are not nice to smell, and at worst, could be bad for your health,’ Mike warns.

So next time you clean your oven, best stick to a specialised oven cleaner or another effective way how to clean an oven without chemicals, using lemon, vinegar and baking soda for example.

‘Many experts you ask will actually tell you that the most effective and best method to clean the oven is with paste made from baking soda and water,’ Petya concludes.

News Writer

Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home decor and interiors, as well as trend-led pieces, shopping round-ups and more. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors, working with the likes of 91 Magazine and copywriting for luxury bed linen brand Yves Delorme among others. She feels that fashion and interiors are intrinsically connected – if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.