Viral one-ingredient, chemical-free oven cleaning hack hailed as 'game-changer' on TikTok

Screengrabs from the video showing the hack in motion - screenshots of bowl going into oven, the dirty oven, and the dirty cloth after wiping
Photo credit: @yagmuronerr / TikTok

Cleaning the oven is one of those necessary evils that come with being a responsible adult, but accepting it as part of life doesn't make it any less of a chore. 

But thanks to the lifesaver that is #CleanTok, there are ways to make this household task a little less of a bore, and a little more bearable. According to the content creator, it's all down to one natural ingredient, so you can also say sayonara to those chemical-laden products and their pungent fumes. 

The viral hack, which was shared by Toronto-based TikToker Yagmur late last week, has already amassed more than two million views and 54,000 likes at the time of writing. 

Captioning the clip "this just saved my life", Yagmur demonstrated how the simple hack - using just one lemon - can make cutting through grease and grime child's play.

She first added one sliced lemon to a bowl of water (make sure it's oven-proof!) before placing it in the oven, which she had set to 200 degrees Celsius. To illustrate how well the trick can work, she also showed the thick grime on her oven door beforehand.

After leaving the water and lemon in the hot oven for 20 minutes, she turned off the appliance and left the bowl inside to cool for a further 10, filling the oven with steam. Yagmur then took a microfiber cloth, soaked it in the cooled water, and used the liquid to effortlessly wipe away the grime from the door and the bottom of the oven, without any elbow grease.

In the comments, Yagmur also recommended using hot water in the bowl, and reiterated the importance of leaving the liquid to cool before cleaning - we don't want any burnt hands, after all. While the purpose of the lemon isn't clear, several have suggested it's simply to deodorise the oven and leave a fresh scent. 

The majority of viewers have responded well to the hack, with several singing its praises in the comments section. Although a couple said they tried it to no avail, others argued that leaving the lemon water to sit inside the oven is a crucial step.

"It works, when you turn off the oven let the lemon water stay there for 20 mins. This way the steam will soften the dirt," one proponent of the method suggested.

"Try adding cinnamon to that mix! The oven and your [apartment] will smell amazing," a second advised, with a third commenting: "Awesome idea. I have done something like this in my microwave. I need to try this."

"And I'm here fighting with my hands because of a scrubbing," another fan of the hack joked, while one added: "I used baking soda and water in a cold oven with a scour sponge on old ass dirt and it worked really well. Used vinegar in the removal process."

There was also some debate among viewers about whether the hack worked well for microwaves: while a number touted the method as a game-changer, others said it hadn't worked as well as they hoped, while several noted that the bowl shouldn't be left in the microwave for anywhere near as long. 

It's also understood the hack is most effective in an already relatively clean oven that needs a little TLC, rather than using it against months or years of dirt and build-up. 

Another all-natural oven-cleaning hack that has made the rounds on social media was recently championed by an Australian mum on the popular Facebook page, Mums Who Clean.

"I have been trying to keep my oven clean as much as possible, especially because I can't stand the harsh chemicals that I hate to admit work really well," she said.

"So this morning I tried the bi-carb soda trick on my oven door and couldn't believe how easy it was... and no harsh chemicals."

After sprinkling the oven door with bi-carb soda, she wiped it off with a wet cloth 15 minutes later to astounding results - which she then shared in before-and-after snaps.