Short answer: To get rid of oven cleaner smell: ventilate, clean thoroughly, use baking soda/vinegar, and employ odor absorbers like citrus or activated charcoal.

Dealing with the lingering smell of oven cleaner can be quite bothersome after cleaning your oven. Whether you’ve used a commercial cleaner or a DIY solution, the odor can persist and affect your kitchen’s atmosphere. In this guide, I will explore effective methods to quickly and efficiently get rid of that oven-cleaner smell, allowing you to enjoy a fresh and odor-free kitchen once again.

Why Does Oven Cleaner Smell Linger?

Using Oven cleaner
Applying oven cleaner

The lingering smell of oven cleaner can be attributed to the chemical composition of the cleaner itself. Oven cleaners typically contain strong and often harsh chemicals, such as lye, caustic soda, and other solvents, designed to break down and remove tough oven grease and residue. When these cleaners are applied and heated in the oven, they release fumes that can adhere to surfaces, including the oven’s interior, racks, and surrounding areas. These fumes can persist even after cleaning, creating a lingering odor that can be quite persistent. Proper ventilation and thorough cleaning are essential to remove these lingering odors effectively.

Can Oven Cleaner Fumes Poison Food?

Yes, oven cleaner fumes can potentially poison food if not used and handled correctly. Oven cleaners typically contain strong chemicals and corrosive substances, such as lye and caustic soda, which can release toxic fumes when applied to a hot oven. These fumes can settle on surfaces, including cooking racks and oven interiors. If not thoroughly rinsed and cleaned after using the oven cleaner, these residues can pose a risk of contaminating food during subsequent cooking. It is crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for oven cleaner use, allow for proper ventilation, and ensure that the oven is thoroughly rinsed and free of any chemical residues before cooking or reheating food to prevent any potential health hazards.

How To Get Rid Of Oven Cleaner Smell?

Method 1: Remove Oven Cleaner Residue:

Step 1: Wash with Water

  1. Ensure the oven is completely cool after using oven cleaner.
  2. Dampen a cloth or sponge with warm water.
  3. Gently scrub the oven’s interior surfaces to remove any remaining oven cleaner residue.
  4. Rinse and wring out the cloth or sponge frequently.

Step 2: Scrub with Vinegar and Baking Soda

Cleaning solution reparation
Preparing cleaning solution for oven
  1. Mix a paste of equal parts white vinegar and baking soda.
  2. Apply the paste to stubborn residues or stains inside the oven.
  3. Allow the paste to sit for about 15-30 minutes to loosen the residue.
  4. Scrub the affected areas with a scrubbing pad or an abrasive sponge.
  5. Rinse thoroughly with warm water to remove the vinegar and baking soda mixture.
  6. Dry the oven with a clean cloth.

Step 3: Follow with an All-Purpose Cleaner

  1. Spray or apply an all-purpose cleaner to the oven’s interior surfaces.
  2. Wipe down the surfaces to remove any remaining residue and to leave a clean, fresh scent.
  3. Ensure that all traces of cleaning products are rinsed away.
  4. Allow the oven to air dry or use a clean, dry cloth to dry it thoroughly.

Method 2: Neutralize Oven Cleaner Residual Fumes

Step 1: Bake Citrus Fruits

  1. Preheat your oven to around 350°F (175°C).
  2. Cut a few citrus fruits, such as lemons or oranges, into slices.
  3. Place the citrus slices on a baking sheet or in an oven-safe dish.
  4. Bake the citrus slices in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes.
  5. As the citrus fruits bake, they will release a pleasant aroma that helps neutralize any lingering fumes from the oven cleaner.
  6. Turn off the oven and allow it to cool with the citrus slices inside.

Step 2: Boil Water and Vinegar

  1. Fill a pot with equal parts water and white vinegar.
  2. Place the pot on the stove and bring the mixture to a boil.
  3. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 15-30 minutes, releasing steam and vinegar vapors into the air.
  4. Turn off the stove and remove the pot.
  5. Leave the pot of water and vinegar in the kitchen to continue releasing vapors, which will help neutralize the odors.

Step 3: Absorb with Baking Soda

  1. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on the bottom of the oven.
  2. Close the oven door and leave it for several hours or overnight.
  3. The baking soda will absorb any remaining odors.
  4. Vacuum or wipe away the baking soda the next day.

Step 4: Ventilate

  1. Ensure proper ventilation in your kitchen by opening windows and doors.
  2. Turn on kitchen exhaust fans to help remove any lingering odors.
  3. Allow fresh air to circulate, helping to clear the air of any residual fumes.

How To Prevent Oven Cleaner Smell?

To prevent oven cleaner smell from lingering in your kitchen, follow these precautions:
  1. Ventilation: Ensure proper ventilation by opening windows and doors in the kitchen. Turn on exhaust fans to help dissipate fumes while using the oven cleaner and afterward.
  2. Seal the Oven: While applying the oven cleaner, make sure the oven door is securely closed to prevent fumes from spreading into your kitchen. Avoid opening the oven until the recommended time has passed.
  3. Read and Follow Instructions: Always carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the oven cleaner product you’re using. This includes recommended application times and safety precautions.
  4. Use Protective Gear: Wear gloves and protective eyewear when handling oven cleaners to minimize contact with your skin and eyes.
  5. Avoid Overuse: Use oven cleaner sparingly, applying only enough to effectively clean the oven’s interior. Avoid excessive application that can lead to more fumes.
  6. Pre-Clean: Before using oven cleaner, remove as much loose debris and food residue from the oven as possible. This can reduce the amount of grime that needs to be dissolved and, consequently, the amount of cleaner required.
  7. Rinse Thoroughly: After cleaning, rinse the oven thoroughly with warm water to remove all traces of the cleaner. Pay special attention to racks and interior surfaces.
  8. Baking Soda and Vinegar Rinse: As a final step, you can rinse the oven with a mixture of water, baking soda, and vinegar. This helps neutralize any remaining odors.
  9. Prevent Spills: Be cautious when using oven cleaner to avoid spills and drips. Protect the surrounding areas of the oven with towels or other coverings.
Using self-cleaning feature
Self-cleaning the oven


Can I speed up the process of getting rid of the oven cleaner smell?

Yes, one effective way is to boil a pot of water with a few cinnamon sticks or citrus peels on the stove. This can help mask and absorb the odors more quickly, leaving your kitchen smelling pleasant.

Can I use air fresheners to eliminate the oven cleaner smell?

Air fresheners can help mask the odor temporarily, but they may not completely eliminate it. It’s better to focus on proper ventilation and cleaning techniques to address the root cause of the smell.

Can I use essential oils to eliminate the oven cleaner smell?

Yes, you can use essential oils as a natural air freshener. Mix a few drops of your favorite essential oil with water in a spray bottle and mist the kitchen area for a pleasant fragrance.

Should I avoid cooking or baking after cleaning the oven to prevent the smell from affecting my food?

It’s a good idea to avoid cooking immediately after cleaning the oven. The residual smell can potentially taint the flavor of your food, so wait until the odor has dissipated before using the oven for cooking.

What if the oven cleaner smell persists despite trying various methods?

If the smell remains stubborn, consider repeating some of the odor-removing techniques mentioned earlier or consult a professional cleaning service for further assistance in addressing the issue.


Eliminating the persistent odor of oven cleaners requires a combination of effective techniques. Proper ventilation, thorough cleaning, and odor-absorbing methods like baking soda, vinegar, citrus, or activated charcoal can help remove the smell efficiently. Avoid overusing oven cleaners, and always prioritize safety when handling these products. By following these steps and being patient, you can ensure your kitchen returns to a fresh and odor-free state after oven cleaning.

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