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How to Clean a Steam Oven

August 16th, 2021 | 4 min. read

By Saba Wahid

Many people excited about using steam ovens are also hesitant to clean one of these high-tech appliances.

But in truth, steam ovens are very quick to clean. Depending on the style you have, some are even easier than others.

This article will explain how to clean the ovens based on style, brand, and technology.

Let's get started.

How to Clean a Steam Oven

After Each Use


Because steam ovens use water and steam for cooking your food, there will inevitably be condensation or residual moisture left behind.

This pool of leftover water needs to be cleaned out after every use to prevent bacteria from growing.

Natural food oils and juices absorbed into the water while cooking will stay present in the oven and begin to go rancid if it's not cleaned out after each use.

If you have a steam oven with a drain, like the Gaggenau or Miele steam ovens, the clean-up is pretty simple with a quick wipe down.

The drain will allow the dirty water and condensation to exit the appliance through a plumbing system which takes a lot of the cleaning effort out of the equation.

Additionally, the Miele also has a great non-stick coating on the inside walls of the oven called Perfect Clean, which prevents splatter from sticking to the surface.

They also offer a grease filter which helps prevent anything from sticking to the convection fan at the back of the oven.

Lastly, whether it's a plumbed or non-plumbed version, the Miele also has a separate condensation tank that collects any water that may not have exited through the drain to be manually dumped out after each use.

Gaggenau takes it one step further and offers a "Self-Clean Cartridge," which is the only one of its kind in the steam oven category to do this.

The cartridges are a separate purchase, so make sure you have a couple of these on hand. The oven will notify you when it's time to clean or descale.

Keep in mind this is only reserved for "deep cleaning."

Daily Cleaning

wolf-steam-oven-interiorWolf Steam Oven Interior 


For daily cleaning, the drain will get rid of the residual moisture and condensation.

A little condensation will be left on the oven walls, which can be quickly wiped down or dried out using the convection system.

If you have a steam oven without a drain like the Wolf, Gaggenau, Thermador, Bosch, or JennAir, the oven will have to be manually wiped clean or dried out using the convection system.

The Bosch steam oven will require an extra step because it uses a boiler/ or evaporator plate on the bottom of the oven to produce the steam.

Because this area is flooded with water regularly during use, the limescale and mineral deposits will build up frequently, and they will be visible to anyone opening the oven.

I recommend doing a deep clean of the boiler or evaporator plate on a more frequent basis to prevent the residue from developing.

What Should I Use to Clean My Steam Oven?

Sometimes there could also be food residue that has baked into the surface of the oven. For this, I recommend the liquid version of Barkeeper's friend and a light scouring pad.

Alternatively, if you want a more natural solution, you can also try vinegar and lemon juice.

The oven will notify you when it's time to descale, so make sure you have your descaling tablets, solution, or cartridge on hand for when it's time.

Should I Use Stainless Steel Cleaner on the Inside of my Steam Oven?

Stainless steel cleaners are meant for external oven use only. They are not food grade and contain chemicals that could harm your food if brought to higher temperatures inside your oven.

Monthly or Yearly Steam Oven Descaling?

miele-combi-steam-oven-interiorMiele Steam Oven With Descaling Modes


This is based on the frequency of use and the hardness of the water.

If you are using hard water with excessive mineral content, your appliance will have to be descaled more frequently to keep the pipes that are operating the machine clean.

The oven notifies you when it's time to descale.

Pro Tips for Cleaning a Steam Oven

Combination steam ovens have a "built-in" cleaning system because the steam helps to dislodge or loosen any food particles or residue that might have been left behind during cooking.

Additionally, you can even use the steam to clean pots, pans, and baking trays by simply placing them in the oven on steam mode for a couple of minutes to loosen the baked-on grease/food.

Then remove them from the oven and wipe them clean with dishwashing soap and a sponge or light scouring pad.

Key Takeaways


Maintaining a steam oven is quick and manageable. It should not hinder your decision to purchase one.

Depending on how you would like the clean-up to be, you can select the brand and style of the oven based on the amount of effort you would like to put into it.

Gaggenau and Miele will be the easiest to clean because of the drains.

The Miele's Perfect Clean interior will prevent any splatter from sticking to the oven walls.

The Gaggenau is the only oven with a Self-Clean Cartridge system.

The Wolf, Thermador, and Jenn-Air are in the middle in terms of ease of clean.

Because they don't have drains, there will be moisture built up inside the oven to wipe out or dry out with the convection system manually.

Additionally, Thermador comes with a two-hour self-clean cycle.

The Bosch will be the most difficult to clean and maintain because of the built-in boiler or evaporator plate that will collect limescale and mineral deposits after frequent use.

All the steam ovens will have to be descaled.

Read More: Best Steam Ovens

Additional Resources

Get the Yale Speed and Steam Oven Guide with features, specs, and inside tips to all the steam and speed ovens like Wolf, JennAir, Thermador, Gaggenau, and more. Well over 900,000 people have read a Yale Guide.

Speed & Steam Oven Buying Guide

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Saba Wahid

Saba is the resident Chef at Yale. She will teach you how to use your new oven, cooktop, or range. She is skilled in every new feature, including steam, induction, convection of all types, air frying, and sous vide. Saba is also the reigning Chopped Grand Champion crowned by Martha Stewart herself. Saba is incredibly versatile with all different types of cuisine. After just one session with her, you will be a better chef.

Saba has also been featured in numerous publications such as Mashed, Eater Boston, the Boston Herald, and the Framingham SOURCE.

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