How to Clean an Industrial Oven


Ovens in commercial kitchens are often running many hours each, their doors opened and closed countless times and their insides spattered with grease and cooked food debris. Oven bottoms and sides that become encrusted with baked-on food and grease can destroy sheet metal. To keep your industrial oven functioning at its highest possible level, wipe up spills as soon possible, and clear loose debris each workday before turning it on. Clean the entire industrial oven regularly to keep it performing at maximum efficiency.

Things You'll Need

  • Rag
  • Water
  • Wire brush
  • Steel wool scouring pad
  • Baking soda
  • Empty spray bottle
  • Commercial oven cleaner
  • Wipe wet spills and boil-overs with a wet cloth before they carbonize and require greater effort and, probably, a chemical cleaner to dissolve. Use extreme caution, as the oven may be very hot.

  • Clean loose debris from the oven floor before turning on the oven each workday, paying careful attention to where the door seal meets the front of the oven. A seal clogged with loose debris is less effective, allowing heat to escape.

  • Use a wire brush to loosen carbonized spills and boil-overs if needed. Wipe up loosed bits with a damp cloth.

  • Remove oven racks if possible and clean them in a sink using a wire brush or a steel wool scouring pad to remove baked-on food. You can also use a commercial oven cleaner on your oven racks as you would the inside of your oven at home. Just follow the manufacturer's instructions; see Step 5 below for more detail.

  • Use a commercial, industrial-strength oven cleaning solution when necessary. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, as some products have to rest on the oven floor and walls to break down the baked-on grime before you wipe it away. Some cleaners even require that the oven be warm before you use them. Always use a wet rag to wipe out an oven that has been cleaned with a chemical solution, and use a clean, dry rag to dry it off before turning the oven on again.

  • Fill an empty spray bottle with a solution of water and baking soda (3 tsp. of baking soda to 1 liter of water) and spray the solution onto the carbonized spills and boil-overs on the walls and floor of a cold oven. The baking soda will, over time, break down the carbon. Repeatedly soak the carbonized food with the solution; eventually it will flow to the oven floor where you can wipe it up with a damp rag. If your industrial oven is very dirty, this may require multiple applications in a cold oven over several days, which is not possible in most commercial oven settings (like a restaurant). However, it does not involve the use of chemicals.

  • Hire someone to clean your oven for you. If your oven is so dirty that it is no longer heating properly, consider this option. The oven cleaning tools and chemicals available to professional oven cleaners may provide your best bet.

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  • Photo Credit pizzas in an oven image by Alison Bowden from
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