An awful lot of grease fell into the bottom of my oven during its last use. Afterwards, it made sense to use Dawn to clean the oven, as it cuts grease so well. After I did that, however, I thought to worry about any ill effects of heating the oven. I did go over everything with a wet rag several times, and believe I got all the Dawn out.

Specifically, I used ultra concentrated Dawn dishwashing liquid which has no phosphates and which carries warnings to not mix with bleach. So, do I have anything to be worried about?

  • I haven't looked at the specifics, but does your oven have a self cleaning finish? You have to be careful of harsh cleaners on that.
    – BMitch
    Commented Nov 7, 2011 at 12:59
  • Incidentally, wiping the oven floor with kitchen paper towels while it is still warm, and so the grease is liquid, will remove a fair amount of grease. Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 12:43

2 Answers 2


Considering the kinds of caustic chemicals in commercial oven cleaners (lye, KOH), I would have no fear of using dish soap. Theoretically soap bubbles can trap flammable gas, so it's good that you rinsed thoroughly, but it's certainly less dangerous than a pool of grease.

My experience has been that vinegar and baking soda are fairly effective for cleaning ovens, you might try those next time.

  • I think I will try those next time, just because I don't like having to worry. That being said, between this and having called the makers of dawn, I've stopped worrying.
    – Chris
    Commented Nov 8, 2011 at 19:07
  • 1
    There is nothing to worry about.
    – Zach
    Commented Dec 9, 2011 at 18:59
  • 1
    Dawn (any dish soap), vinegar and baking soda operate in three very different ways. For grease, soap is king. For calcium and other mineral deposits, vinegar. And baking soda is a good safe mild abrasive, which can be helpful for baked on gunk that doesn't respond to soap. Vinegar + baking soda = mini-volcano - lots of bubbles but not any magic cleaning power. Commented Mar 24, 2022 at 23:49

Dawn is primarily sodium lauryl sulfate (or sodium dodecyl sulfate), which is used in darn near every other soap containing product, including shampoo and toothpaste. It is a pretty good skin irritant, especially when dry, but....if you can wash your hair with it, I wouldn't worry about a tiny little bit left over in your oven.

As someone else pointed out, other chemicals used to clean ovens are major skin irritant, so Dawn is pretty mild by comparison.

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