When was the last time you cleaned your oven?
It’s one of your home’s most difficult appliances to clean. We don’t blame you for shutting that oven door as quickly as possible after cooking to hide that black gunk from the world.
We’re here to help.
Why Should I Use Natural Cleaning Products?
For years, we’ve been led to believe that the best way to clean is by using toxic chemicals. It is important to note that not only can this be unsafe if not done properly, any chemicals left behind my leach into the food you are next cooking in your over.
However, oven cleaners may cause damage to your skin, eyes and respiratory system if not used correctly. Here are some of the more common ingredients in oven cleaners.
Diethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether: Irritates skin and eyes and may be toxic by ingestion.
Butane: This propellant is mostly found in cigarette lighters and inhalation can cause drowsiness, asphyxia and cardiac arrhythmia.
Sodium Hydroxide: It may cause irritation to the eyes and skin, allergic reactions and eye and skin burns.
Monoethanolamine (MEA): Monoethanolamine can cause eye and skin burns. Prolonged or widespread skin contact may result in the absorption of potentially harmful amounts.
Wouldn’t you prefer a natural method that works just as well? We've found a really great way to get your oven shiny and clean without using harsh chemicals.
This method is best if you haven’t given your oven a decent clean in a while (much like mine, as you can see!).
How to Clean Your Oven in 6 Steps
You should already have most of these ingredients in your kitchen.
Here is what you need:
1/4 cup liquid
1 cup baking soda
1/4 cup sea salt
Sponge or cloth
Towel or microfiber cloth
Combine the liquid dish detergent, baking soda and salt to make a paste. Stir together gently. It should have a toothpaste-like consistency – add water until you get it just right.
Soak the oven racks in a sink with warm water and detergent. Vertically flip the racks halfway through the soaking time and run some fresh water/detergent to make sure all sections are cleaned. If your racks are as dirty as mine, this step may take some time. Stick with it though, it's definitely worth it.
Some methods recommend soaking your racks in your bathtub but I prefer keeping my kitchen and bathroom cleaning as separate as possible.
Coat the inside of the oven with the paste and leave for at least a few hours. I just did the bottom of mine as it was particularly dirty; it had been a very long time between cleans. You may need to reapply the paste, which we'll explain in more detail below. You can leave overnight for stubborn messes or hardened areas but it can be hard to find a night when the oven isn’t getting used!
Wipe the interior down with your sponge or cloth and some warm water. I just used kitchen cloths and was okay throwing them out once this job was done. You may like to use something like paper towels instead. Scrub until removed - you may need to use a scouring pad for more stubborn grime. Apply again as needed.
Create a 1:2 solution of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle, then spray inside the oven and wipe down. This will help get rid of any paste reside. Make sure you wipe dry with a clean towel.
If you've successfully completed step 4, you should be able to just spray and wipe away this solution.
You can create this mixture earlier in the process and use it to clean the over door while you wait for the paste. Once again, just spray and wipe away.
Don't worry about the smell of the vinegar either; it will dissipate once it dries.
Scrub the oven racks with your scouring pad and dry before putting them back! Making sure they are dry is an important step.
How Do I Keep My Oven Clean?
Once you've done the clean, it can be disappointing watching it get dirty again.
Here’s an easy, natural way to maintain that clean oven shine.
- Every 2 weeks, cut two lemons in half, squeeze the juice into a baking dish and throw the squeezed lemons in there too.
- Fill the dish about a third of the way with water then pop into the oven, baking it for 30 minutes at 120 degrees Celsius.
- Let the oven cool and remove the baking dish and set it aside. Use a cloth or sponge to clean out the oven and towel dry once done!
This trick works so well because the natural citric acid and di-limonene from the lemon rind soften the grime for easier cleaning.
After cooking, wipe up any big messes right away before it has had a chance to dry.
Doing more regular cleans is a big help too, rather than leaving it and having it be a huge task that takes hours.
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