What Is the Effect of Using Oven Cleaners on Kitchen Countertops? - My Home My Globe (2023)

Kitchen countertops come under heavy use. Chopping up vegetables, placing hot pans on them, spilling fluids, and kneading dough, they withstand it all.

Many kinds of kitchen countertops exist, from durable stone countertops to inexpensive Formica countertops. The common factor they all have is that they need to be cleaned regularly.

Surface cleaners are made specifically to clean kitchen countertops, just as oven cleaners as made specifically to clean ovens.

Seeing how well oven cleaners remove grease and oil from inside the oven, you might be tempted to use them for your countertop.

Before you decide to do that, you should know how oven cleaners affect your countertops. Most countertops have a protective layer to shield them from dents, scratches, and such.

However, this layer is not enough to protect them from toxic chemicals.

The chemicals in oven cleaners can easily penetrate the protective layer, damaging the surface permanently.

As the color fades away from your beautiful countertop, you might have to consider replacing it, which can be costly.

Table of Contents

How do Oven Cleaners work?

Oven cleaners contain many powerful and harsh chemicals. Lye and sodium hydroxide are two very toxic and hazardous chemicals.

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Other toxic chemicals include ethanol, turpentine, or MEA (monoethanolamide), ammonia, or sodium carbonate. Fragrances, foaming agents, and emulsifiers are often included as well.

These ingredients are sprayed onto the oven walls and surface to soften and dissolve the grease. A bubbling reaction occurs, eating away the dirt, grease, and oil. This makes it easier for you to clean your oven.

However, using an oven cleaner on countertops does not have the same effect. It is a corrosive agent which can permanently damage the surface.

Cleaning the countertop with an oven cleaner can have disastrous effects depending on the material it is made of.

Using Oven Cleaners on Wooden Kitchen Countertops

Wood is the weakest material in terms of kitchen countertops. You can imagine how damaging strong chemicals can be to this type of material. For this reason, oven cleaners have a serious impact on them.

Many wooden countertops have a transparent varnish or finish.

When the harsh chemicals of oven cleaner come into contact with it, it produces a sticky glue-like layer.

Of course, with wood, you can always re-paint the countertop, but you will never achieve that first look.

How to clean wooden countertops instead?

Scrape and wipe away any dirt or crumbs on the surface. Use dish soap, water, and a sponge to clean the countertop.

For stains, you can sprinkle some salt on the area, and rub with a half-cut lemon.

Let it sit for a while before rinsing with water. A 3% hydrogen peroxide solution is also effective yet safe for stains.

Using Oven Cleaners on Tile Kitchen Countertops

The toxic agent, specifically lye, present in oven cleaners destroy the grout sealer of tiled countertops.


This protecting layer is meant to act as a barrier to protect the surface from absorbing water.

Long exposure to chemicals can cause the top glaze to become dull. Moreover, oven cleaners also ruin the finish of the tiles, leaving an ugly appearance. More often than not, you will need to replace the tiles.

How to clean tile countertops instead?

Commercially prepared tile cleaners are available in the market. They are less toxic than oven cleaners.

You can make your own tile cleaner by mixing baking soda, liquid soap, water, and vinegar. This would be ideal for everyday use.

Using Oven Cleaners on Stainless Steel Kitchen Countertops

Stainless steel seems like an indestructible material for a kitchen countertop. Apart from being incredibly sturdy, it also adds a modernistic, aesthetic appeal to your kitchen.

Oven cleaners can dull the appearance of stainless-steel countertops, making them lose their iconic shine. This is even more apparent if the steel has a proportion of aluminum in it.

Sodium hydroxide in the oven cleaner can discolor the metal. Consequently, they will leave unsightly stains on your countertop.

How to clean stainless steel countertops instead?

Some manufacturers produce dedicated stainless steel surface cleaners. Dish soap, water, and vinegar are non-corrosive natural ingredients that can clean stainless steel counters.

A mixture of water and vinegar can even help keep the surface shinier for longer. Use a microfiber cloth to avoid leaving scratches.

Using Oven Cleaners on Marble or Granite Kitchen Countertops

Marble and granite are more durable and resistant materials for kitchen countertops. They can withstand a considerable amount of harsh chemicals.

The toxic chemicals have a minimal effect on stone countertops when compared to others. Unfortunately, even they are not immune to the effects of oven cleaners.

Oven cleaners can tarnish the finish of the stone countertops, making the surface look faded. The abrasive chemicals can leave the countertop irreparable.

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Polished, honed, or leathered granite will also be affected. The marble surface would lose its lustrous, shiny, elegant look.

How to clean marble or granite countertops instead?

Avoid acidic or abrasive cleaners to maintain the overall look of the stone.

A microfiber cloth can help you restore the marble’s shine. Water and dish soap is usually sufficient for daily cleaning.

Using Oven Cleaners on Formica Kitchen Countertops

Formica, laminate, or vinyl countertops are relatively inexpensive and low-maintenance. With various styles available, they are a suitable alternative for stone countertops.

However, they are not heat or scratch-resistant.

Although more resistant than wooden countertops, oven cleaners fade the color of Formica countertops. They will lose their aesthetic appearance, which cannot be restored with polish.

How to clean Formica, vinyl, or laminate countertops instead?

Similar to stone countertops, you can use water and dish soap to clean your Formica countertop. For tougher stains or grease, you can use a mixture of white vinegar and water.

Do not scrub the surface too much as it is prone to scratching.

The Health Hazards of Using Oven Cleaners

As discussed before, oven cleaners are highly toxic products, and many sprays have warnings on their container. You are advised to use the spray with the utmost caution and care.

You must ensure that you use gloves and protective glasses to avoid harmful fumes.

Sodium hydroxide present in the oven cleaner releases hydrogen gas. This is highly flammable, especially if you have some chemical residue left on your counter.

Keeping that in mind, it is not wise to use oven cleaners on a surface where you prepare your food.

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Even after you have cleaned the countertop thoroughly, there is a chance of some residue remaining.

Some countertops can even absorb the chemicals, which becomes very difficult to remove.

If the chemicals come in contact with your food, it can result in food poisoning and other health hazards. Even your kitchen utensils and appliances can have some residue left on them.

After all, the countertop is the most frequently used part of any kitchen.

Using Natural Cleaners for Kitchen Countertops

For countertops, it is recommended to use safe, natural, homemade cleaners, or even dish soap. A mixture of white vinegar and lemon juice works wonders.

Let tough stains and grease marks soak for a while before you scrub them off.

Sodium bicarbonate is another ingredient that works excellent when used with vinegar. These homemade cleaners do not produce toxic fumes, so they do not pose a health hazard.

Anytime a kitchen is renovated, a great deal of consideration, time, and budget is spent on the countertop. It needs to functional and visually appealing. You don’t want to waste your efforts by cleaning it with the wrong product.

Countertops can be cleaned in a manner of ways that do not involve toxic chemicals.

Other than natural surface cleaners, there are various kitchen-safe surface cleaners out in the market. So, leave oven cleaners for cleaning the appliance they’re made for.

Other articles you may also like:

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  • How To Clean Grease Off Kitchen Walls?
  • 11 Ways to Decorate Your Kitchen Countertops
  • How to Remove Kitchen Counter Tiles?
  • 8 Simple Ways to Remove Super Glue from Kitchen Countertop


What happens if you use oven cleaner on countertops? ›

In short, the answer is no – you should not use oven cleaners on kitchen countertops. The chemicals in oven cleaners are powerful, toxic, and corrosive. Oven cleaner can damage or harm the countertop material by causing it to corrode, fade, lose color, or deteriorate.

How do you remove oven cleaner from countertops? ›

Use a soft sponge or microfiber cloth and wipe up spills immediately. Even if messes remain too long, dish soap and elbow grease usually does the trick. After cleaning your counters with soapy water, rinse away any residue with a clean microfiber cloth.

What happens if oven cleaner gets on food? ›

Can oven cleaning sprays poison the quality of the food baked in an oven if not cleared away? Yes. Like mentioned above, the fumes are just as dangerous as the product touching your skin. The food will absorb the toxic fumes and they will change its smell.

Does oven cleaner damage enamel? ›

Caustic damages enamel – if the caustic chemical goes onto the enamel inside the oven, it can damage it. It can corrode the enamel, causing a whiteness that won't go away.

What is the best thing to clean kitchen counters with? ›

Dish soap: When you're doing regular cleaning tasks like wiping down a kitchen counter, it's best to use gentler soap to avoid degrading the surface (or its sealant) that you're trying to clean. Dish soap is a perfect candidate for this kind of task, and, conveniently, you likely already have some in your kitchen.

How do you remove acid stains from laminate countertops? ›

If a standard cleaner won't do the job, try baking soda. Paste made from baking soda and a little water often removes stains left by fruit juices and other liquids. Baking soda is slightly abrasive and can leave fine scratches, so don't scrub. Just let the paste work for one to two hours and then wipe it off gently.

What not to use oven cleaner on? ›

  • Casseroles.
  • Lasagna & Pasta.
  • Pizza.
  • Sauces & Marinades.
  • Salad Dressings.
  • Pancakes & Waffles.
  • Cookies.
  • Air Fryer.
Sep 20, 2021

Will oven cleaner smell affect food? ›

Potent chemicals in oven cleaners work wonders removing grease, baked-on food residue and spills that happen in the oven. But they also leave a strong, unpleasant smell that can linger long after you're done with the cleaning. This odour can get into your food when you heat the oven and ruin its delicious taste.

Is Easy Off oven cleaner safe? ›

Easy-Off Fume Free Cleaner should not be used on aluminum or painted surfaces, continuous-cleaning microwaves, and heated ovens. It is safe to bake in your oven after cleaning, but you may notice some steam or evaporation.

Is it safe to cook after using easy off oven cleaner? ›

You can use your oven immediately after using Easy Off Oven cleaner. Just be sure that you have washed away ALL of the Easy Off residue with warm, dish water BEFORE turning the oven on. AND, even though it is safe to use the oven right away, I recommend not cooking in it right away.

What surfaces can you use oven cleaner on? ›

  • Clean the outside of a dutch oven. ...
  • Freshen up your glass baking dishes. ...
  • Revive a cast iron skillet. ...
  • Clean grout lines. ...
  • Remove bathtub rings. ...
  • Clean your grill rack. ...
  • Remove burned-on products from hot hair tools.
Jul 10, 2020

Is oven cleaner safe to use on pots and pans? ›

Oven cleaner isn't made for cleaning cookware, but it is made for dissolving baked-on grease from the inside of your oven. This means it will also dissolve the baked-on grease from your baking sheet.

What chemical is in oven cleaner? ›

Sodium hydroxide, widely known as caustic soda or lye is a white solid, and it is one of the strongest bases used for cleaning. The substance is the active ingredient in most drain and oven cleaning products.

What is the cheapest agent that is best in cleaning the countertop? ›

Dish soap and water along with a cleaning cloth will do the trick. If you are dealing with water stains or an extra greasy surface, try using a mixture of two parts water and one part vinegar.

Can you use Dawn dish soap to clean countertops? ›

With Dawn® Platinum Powerwash Dish Spray cleaning your appliances, countertops, backsplashes, and more can be quick and easy! 1. Clear the Surface. For easier cleaning, remove any other items from your surfaces.

Does vinegar clean countertops? ›

You can still use vinegar as an all-purpose cleaner. Thanks to its high acidity, it's great for removing dirt on surfaces like glass, sinks, and countertops.

Can I use Clorox wipes on my countertops? ›

The harsh truth is that Clorox wipes are not an effective way for cleaning quartz countertops. While using them gives the appearance of cleanliness, it actually causes unintentional damage to the countertop after prolonged use.

How often should you clean your kitchen countertops? ›

Countertops. Due to countertops being highly-trafficked areas in your kitchen, they need to be wiped down with water each day and given a deeper clean at least once a week.

Does vinegar damage laminate? ›

Vinegar, which is a natural cleaning agent, will break down the film without hurting the laminate surface. (Note: The same rules about water apply to either of these DIY solutions.

What is the best cleaner for laminate countertops? ›

The best cleaner for laminate countertops is dish soap and warm water. Use this mixture to clean your countertops daily to remove grease and debris. You can also use baking powder and water or a dash of white vinegar to treat stains. Never use bleach or harsh chemicals on the laminate.

Can you use magic eraser on laminate countertops? ›

If you have soft surface countertops like granite or marble, step away from the magic eraser. You can use them on laminate, Corian, quartz, and other solid surface countertops, but do a spot check.

Can you use baking soda on laminate countertops? ›

While not prone to staining, in the event that you do find that some staining occurs on your laminate countertop surface, the process for removing the stain is quite simple. For heavy stains, you can use a baking soda paste made from three parts baking soda and one part water.

Can you use Windex to clean laminate countertops? ›

Windex is great on countertops, too, including quartz, granite, marble, laminate and tile. Just make sure that if you're cleaning natural stone counters that have a sealant, such as granite, marble or quartzite, you're using a Windex version that is free of ammonia and vinegar.

What is the safest oven cleaner to use? ›

Oven-Cleaning Method 1: Baking Soda + Vinegar

The method: Baking soda and vinegar are probably the safest products you could use to clean your oven. Baking soda is known for dissolving dirt, grease, and other sticky residue while providing a gentle abrasive to clean without leaving scratches behind.

Can you use oven cleaner on anything? ›

Oven cleaner is a versatile household item that can clean much more than just your oven. Use it on curling irons, the bathtub, cast iron and more! Always wear rubber gloves and protective eyewear when using oven cleaner.

How long can I leave oven cleaner on? ›

Let the spray sit for the time listed on the label (most cleaners will need about 20 - 30 minutes).

Is it safe to breathe oven cleaning fumes? ›

Inhaling these fumes can lead to coughing, sweating, breathing issues and flu-like symptoms. If anyone in the household suffers with existing respiratory issues, it is advised that they stay away from the oven during the self-cleaning process.

Why does my house smell when I use the oven? ›

The insulation around the oven cavity is getting exposed to extreme heat for the first time, that is why there is a chemical smell. To fix this problem, you have to “burn in” your oven.

What precautions should be taken when using easy off oven cleaner? ›

PRECAUTIONS: Recommended for use ONLY on porcelain enamel, iron, stainless steel, ceramic and glass surfaces. Avoid excessive use on glass. Do not use on exterior oven surfaces, aluminum, chrome, baked enamel. Do not use on self-cleaning or continuous cleaning ovens.

How long should easy off oven cleaner sit? ›

Close door and allow to stand for at least 20 minutes. For heavier soils, allow to stand overnight for 8 hours or longer. 3. Wipe clean with wet cloth or sponge, rinsing frequently.

Can you use oven cleaner on the glass door? ›

If baking soda doesn't work, you can always use a commercial oven glass door cleaner. Easy-Off Professional Fume Free Max Oven Cleaner is a great option.

How long should you wait to cook after using oven cleaner? ›

How Long Does It Take for an Oven to Unlock After Self- Cleaning? After a self-cleaning cycle, the oven should open once it has completely cooled. Depending on the age and make of your oven, this can take anywhere from 30-90 minutes.

What is a natural oven cleaner? ›

Cleaning Your Oven with Baking Soda and Vinegar

Sprinkle baking soda liberally over the stain. Spritz with water, or a 3:1 water to white vinegar solution. If you use vinegar, baking soda will bubble. Let sit for 15-20 minutes, after your oven has cooled. Wipe up baking soda and dissolved food with wet paper towels.

Does oven cleaner clean grout? ›

Clean grimy tile grout.

Got dingy, dirty grout? Grab a pair of rubber gloves and spray the lines with oven cleaner. Let it sit for just a few seconds and then thoroughly rinse the grout with water.

What are the ingredients in easy off oven cleaner? ›

Ingredients: Water, Dipropylene Glycol Propyl Ether, Isobutane, Potassium Carbonate, Ethanolamine, Smectite Clay, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Paraffin Wax, Fragrance.

What do chefs use to clean pans? ›

Baking soda and vinegar

Many chefs swear by a cleanser comprised of baking soda, lemon and vinegar, including the folks at Blue Apron. After filling the pot or pan with hot water, add a 1/4 cup of each ingredient; these will will work together to break down food remnants.

Which tool is best for cleaning pans with baked on food? ›

You'll need baking soda, water, and white vinegar, and a scouring pad and scraper, such as a wooden spatula. One method uses a fresh lemon, cut in half. Baking soda is your go-to for cleaning a burnt pot or pan because it has mild abrasive properties and its alkaline pH can help neutralize acidic burnt foods.

Why do cookie sheets turn brown? ›

Uncoated aluminum baking sheets can get stained by oil or burnt foods that were overheated on the pan and left a burned residue. This usually happens when olive oil is used—it has a low smoke point, but is often cooked with food in a hot oven for a long period of time, such as for roasted vegetables.

What does oven cleaner do to kitchen surfaces? ›

In short, the answer is no – you should not use oven cleaners on kitchen countertops. The chemicals in oven cleaners are powerful, toxic, and corrosive. Oven cleaner can damage or harm the countertop material by causing it to corrode, fade, lose color, or deteriorate.

What does oven cleaner do to surfaces? ›

Oven cleaners are typically sprayed onto the oven surfaces and allowed to sit with the oven door closed for a specified period of time (10 minutes to 2 hours). The solution is designed to degrade baked-on food and grease and then thicken it so that it can be more easily wiped away.

Is oven cleaner residue toxic? ›

Many chemical oven cleaners sold in stores contain butoxydiglycol or sodium hydroxide. According to the Environmental Working Group, both chemicals may be irritants to the skin, eyes and respiratory tract, depending on their concentration.

Can I use Mr Clean on my countertops? ›

From cleaning laminate flooring to tidying up tile countertops, this multi-purpose cleaner does it all for a complete kitchen clean!

Does oven cleaner remove stain? ›

Oven cleaner is a powerful stain remover.

In this way, the two different products have a key similarity. However, paint stripper should never be used on an oven. We don't know who first tried using an oven cleaner on wood, but in the right circumstances it can certainly be effective.

Can I use Easy-Off oven cleaner on stove top? ›


Powers through tough burnt or food, grease and grime without harsh abrasives to clean electric and gas cooktops.

Is Easy-Off oven cleaner safe? ›

Easy-Off Fume Free Cleaner should not be used on aluminum or painted surfaces, continuous-cleaning microwaves, and heated ovens. It is safe to bake in your oven after cleaning, but you may notice some steam or evaporation.

What else is oven cleaner good for? ›

  • Clean the outside of a dutch oven. ...
  • Freshen up your glass baking dishes. ...
  • Revive a cast iron skillet. ...
  • Clean grout lines. ...
  • Remove bathtub rings. ...
  • Clean your grill rack. ...
  • Remove burned-on products from hot hair tools.
Jul 10, 2020

Can I use Magic Eraser on my countertops? ›

Magic Erasers are abrasive, so avoid using them on delicate countertops such as marble and granite. Not only can you damage the sealant but the eraser may make the countertop appear dull. All of these cleaning products can cause more harm than good.

What is the easiest to clean countertops? ›

Quartz is an incredible material and easy to clean.

The beauty of natural stone with the durability of a manufactured one. For heavier stains, glass or surface cleaners will do the trick since quartz is non-porous and you don't have to be as finicky with the pH as you would with granite.

Why does baking soda remove stains? ›

As you might remember from 5th grade science, alkaline neutralizes acid. So when baking soda meets an acid inside a liquid — or it's exposed to high heat — it'll produce fizzy carbon dioxide bubbles that give doughs and batters an airy texture and dissolve dirt and stains around the house.

Does baking soda really remove stains? ›

Baking soda is most effective as a stain remover when mixed with water and used as a paste. The paste helps draw a stain out of fabric and essentially "traps" pigment and odor in the baking soda. As the paste dries, it pulls more and more of the stain from the fabric.

Can you use Dawn dish soap to clean an oven? ›

For this simple oven scrub, you only need three ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen: 1/2 cup dish soap, such as Dawn; 1-1/2 cups baking soda; 1/4 cup vinegar.

Should you wear a mask when using oven cleaner? ›

Because the chemicals are potent, it's best to open windows and wear gloves and a face mask while cleaning the oven.


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