How To Clean Under An Oven Without Removing It From The Wall

You've probably cleaned the inside of your oven before, but have you ever cleaned under it? Cleaning under the oven without removing it from the wall may seem like a daunting task. Still, it might be easier than you think: Remove the warming drawer (which many of us use errantly as storage for bakeware) and you'll have access to the floor underneath the oven. This allows you to reach most of the cracks and crevices easily. Sure, you can try using one of those long, flat vacuum attachments to reach under there but how much of the dirt and grime is it really sucking up? Removing the drawer will allow you to see all the food and dust that has built up over the weeks, months, or let's face it, years. 

Since you probably won't do this too often (maybe just a couple of times per year), it's best to clean the floor under your oven as thoroughly as possible. Remove the drawer by sliding it out until it stops, then lift it up and out of the tracks (consult your oven manual if you can't get the drawer out easily). Once removed, start by vacuuming the dry crud, then move on to scrubbing the greasy, grimy areas with a rough sponge and an all-purpose cleaner. A mixture of vinegar and water usually does the trick. When the area is dry, reinsert the drawer and put it out of your mind until the next season (or large spill) rolls around. 

Why cleaning under your oven is important

Many of us have an out-of-sight, out-of-mind philosophy when it comes to cleaning. It doesn't hurt to do a deep clean of the hard-to-reach areas once in a while, though. You'd be surprised how many dried noodles find their way into the gaps around the oven and then into the space under the warming drawer. One of the main reasons for cleaning the crumbs is to prevent pests. Any food bits lying around the house can attract pests like ants, cockroaches, and mice. If you want to stop critters and creepy crawlies from invading your space, you really need to clean up the crumbs and spills. 

Another possible reason is for safety. Responding to the post, "Don't forget to clean under the oven y'all" (which includes a picture of a shocking amount of pet hair and debris under an oven), one Reddit user stated, "It's not just gross but also becomes a fire hazard." It makes sense that a large amount of pet hair under a hot oven could be unsafe. Cleaning companies also recommend cleaning up the dust, hair, and debris behind appliances for fire prevention. 

What if I still can't access the floor?

If you remove the oven drawer and there's a plate underneath blocking your access to the floor, you may be able to unscrew it. In this case, it's best to consult your owner's manual. However, if this is a futile task, don't fret. There are other (albeit less thorough) ways to clean under your oven besides removing the drawer. A slim, under-appliance vacuum attachment may not clean the sticky messes but it will get a lot of the crumbs. You can also try a long duster mop, but these are sometimes too bulky to fit under the appliance. Instead, try attaching a dust rag with a rubber band to the other end of your mop or a yardstick and slowly swipe back and forth to get the debris. At that point, you can vacuum up what is left on your floor in front of the oven. 

Don't forget to clean under your refrigerator and dishwasher too. According to Martha Stewart, the COO of The Cleaning Authority Leanne Stapf says, "Too much debris building up can also affect the way your appliances run. For example, if dust begins to cover your fridge coils, this will cause it to work much harder to keep things cool." So, if you want to prolong the life of your appliances, prevent pests, and have peace of mind, consider cleaning under and behind your appliances every few months.