When it comes to household chores, cleaning the oven is one of the worst, and one we’re likely to forget about. But in addition to being difficult and time-consuming, popular methods of oven cleaning can also be dangerous. But there is a safer way to clean your oven, using ingredients you already have around your house.
While oven cleaners do a great job cutting through grease and grime, they often use harmful chemicals to do so, making them dangerous to use and store in a house with pets or kids. You’re also using them in the oven you use to cook with, raising the concern that the chemicals could bake into your food.
Many modern ovens come with a self-cleaning function that raises the temperature of your oven so high that any leftover food just burns away. However, a very dirty oven may smoke or even catch fire during a self-cleaning cycle and the high heat can make a sauna out of a kitchen without air conditioning. So except for lighter messes, the self-cleaning function may not be your best option either.
Fortunately, there are all-natural cleaners already in your pantry that can work as an oven cleaner, avoiding the high heat of a self-cleaning cycle and the dangerous chemicals of a commercial oven cleaner.
Put on some gloves and remove everything from your oven. Place the racks in your bathtub or another large waterproof container. Sprinkle them with baking soda and then spray the surface with vinegar, which will foam upon contact. Then fill the bathtub or basin with enough hot water to cover the racks. Leave them overnight.
To make an effective cleaning paste, mix 3/4 cup of baking soda and 1/4 cup of water. Spread the paste around the interior of your oven. Avoid touching the heating elements, the holes for the burners and the glass on the door. Leave it to sit overnight.
The next morning, wipe down the inside of the oven with a damp cloth, which should remove the dirt and grime. For any tough spots or stuck-on baking soda, spray some vinegar on the cloth and scrub at the spot. Wipe down the glass on the door with vinegar. Wipe down the racks and dry before replacing them in the oven.
With this method, you can effectively clean your oven without dangerous chemicals or a hot self-cleaning cycle. Now that you’re done cleaning your oven, you can try these 25 ingenious hacks for the amateur baker.