How to clean an oven with lemon - the non-toxic cleaning method that experts swear by

When life gives you lemons… clean your oven with them

Kitchen with silver range and blue casserole dish
(Image credit: Future PLC / Lizzie Orme)

The cleaning hack showing people how to clean an oven with lemons has been making the rounds on social media recently. For once we're happy to report that this is a TikTok cleaning trend we can get behind if you're looking for a natural way to make your oven sparkle again.

It's essential to know how to clean an oven, but if you want to clean an oven in a natural and non-toxic way without shelling out a dedicated oven cleaner, lemons are the real deal. They are a staple ingredient in many of our favourite natural cleaning hacks for a reason. The natural citric acid in this fruit is what does the heavy lifting - a little like cleaning with vinegar, but a lot better smelling. 

If you are ready to ditch the bottled oven cleaner and tackle your oven's grease stains and dried flood splodges with a lemon, these are the steps to follow for best results.

Kitchen island with bowl of lemons and vase of flowers

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Mereweather)

How to clean an oven with lemon 

When life gives you lemons, you can make lemonade. But as the grease-busting citric acid found in these fruits is so naturally antibacterial and antiseptic, it would be a shame to leave it there.

What you’ll need


1. Spray the oven with water

While some people find success in cleaning their oven with a lemon and water steam bath, Lynsey Crombie, a cleaning expert who has long championed the benefits of cleaning with lemons on her Instagram @lynsey_queenofclean, isn’t a fan. ‘Putting lemons in a dish of water and heating up the oven does not work, so don’t waste your time!’ she says. 

Not only does this waste energy, but it also takes a lot longer to get the job done. That’s why she prefers putting in some elbow grease and using the lemons as the main cleaning tool.

To begin, spray your oven with water, saturating everything from the walls to the racks. 

Headshot of Lynsey Crombie
Lynsey Crombie

Lynsey Crombie is the UKs No1 home expert, best-selling author and TV presenter. She has shared her cleaning tips on shows such as ITV's This Morning.

2. Cover half a lemon with baking soda

Baking soda has long been one of our favourite natural cleaning products, and it can do everything from cleaning sofas to cleaning limescale from toilets. It works wonders when mixed with lemon, which is why Lynsey loves using it to clean an oven.

While your oven is wet, grab your lemon and cut it in half. Then, sprinkle baking soda on top of the fleshy part. To instigate the chemical reaction between the baking soda and the citric acid inside of the lemon, ‘give the lemon a light squeeze so it starts to bubble,’ explains Lynsey.

3. Scrub the oven with the lemon

To get rid of any stubborn food stains or grease, you need to give your oven a good scrub. But instead of using a sponge or a cloth to do this, use your lemon as your scrubber instead! 

Simply rub the baking soda-topped lemon across all areas of the oven and let these two ingredients work their magic. The naturally abrasive nature of the baking soda should tackle deep and tougher stains, while the citric acid will work as a natural bleach.

4. Leave it to work for an hour

If you want to get the most out of this oven cleaning hack, Lynsey suggests leaving this lemon juice and baking soda concoction in your oven for at least an hour. However, you might want to leave it on for longer if you haven’t tackled your oven for a little while and have tougher stains to remove.

To ensure it works as efficiently as possible, shut your oven door while you’re waiting. 

5. Rinse the oven

When you’re confident that you’ve left your oven for long enough, you can then give it a good wipe down and rinse using a damp microfibre cloth or a cleaning pad. 

Make sure you wipe over every inch of the oven, wiping away any excess lemon juice or baking soda and taking any leftover dirt or grime with it. You should leave behind a sparkling and fresh-smelling oven.


Does cleaning oven with lemons work?

Yes! The citric acid inside lemons acts as a natural antibacterial de-greaser and is perfect for cleaning ovens. By cleaning an oven with lemon, you can loosen up any lingering food debris or stains, allowing you to wipe it off with ease. This will also fill your home with a deliciously fresh scent. 

How do you clean the inside of an oven with lemon?

It’s incredibly easy to clean the inside of an oven with lemon. All you have to do is cut a lemon in half, cover it with baking soda, and use it as a naturally abrasive cleaning tool. 

Citric acid and baking soda work wonders when they’re mixed together, but it’s also a good idea to leave them to work their magic for around an hour before wiping the oven clean with a damp microfibre cloth.

It’s suggested that you do this once every three months to ensure your oven stays clean. However, this isn’t the only way you can use lemon to clean your oven. 

‘The easiest way to clean an oven with lemons is to cut them into quarters and place them in an oven-proof bowl, and fill it about two-thirds full of water. Position the bowl in the centre of your oven. Then turn your oven on and close the door,’ says Joyce French, cleaning expert at

‘After 20 to 30 minutes, your bowl of lemon water should be hot and steaming, but not boiling. At this point, turn the oven off and leave it steaming for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, open the door and wipe over the surfaces of your oven with a soft cloth. The lemony steam should loosen food debris and degrease your surfaces.’

Then, you can simply wipe it clean. 

What is the fastest way to clean the inside of an oven?

While it’s fair to say that the fastest way to clean the inside of an oven would be to use chemicals, that doesn’t mean that it’s the best way to clean an oven. In fact, you can clean the inside of an oven in just over an hour if you use a more natural method - such as the lemon cleaning hack.

All you have to do is scrub it with a lemon sprinkled with baking soda and let the mixture sit in the oven to loosen the food debris and grease inside. After an hour, you just need to wipe it down with a damp cloth.

Sometimes the natural cleaning hacks are classic for a reason - they really do work.

Lauren Bradbury

Lauren Bradbury is a freelance writer and major homes enthusiast. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Chichester in 2016, before dipping her toe into the world of content writing. After years of agency work, writing everything from real-life stories to holiday round-ups, she decided to take the plunge and become a full-time freelancer in the online magazine world. Since then, she has become a regular contributor for Real Homes and Ideal Home, and become even more obsessed with everything interior and garden related. As a result, she’s in the process of transforming her old Victorian terraced house into an eclectic and modern home that hits visitors with personality as soon as they walk through the door.