You use it multiple times a week, there are splashes, bubbles, and overflows, and temperatures regularly top out around 450°… it’s your oven, and you need to clean it! Not only does a dirty oven affect the taste of your food and create unpleasant odors, it can also be a safety issue – spilled oil or pieces of food in the bottom of your oven can ignite and start a fire. But how does someone clean an appliance this big and, possibly, that dirty? It’s easier than you think!
With the Self-Cleaning Function
Many modern ovens come with a self-cleaning option – perfect! Consult your model’s manual, but usually you empty the oven (sometimes including the racks) and press a button for self-cleaning, and you’re done. The oven will heat to upwards of 800°F and anything on the inside of your oven will be incinerated to ash – easy to sweep out at the end of the cleaning cycle and once the oven has cooled down. This is a great hands-off method, but be aware your oven will likely give off immense amounts of heat so it’s a good idea to keep kids, pets, and yourself clear of the kitchen while it is self-cleaning.
With a Store-Bought Cleaner
If your oven doesn’t have a self-cleaning feature or those high temperatures just make you nervous, there are many products on the market that clean your oven just as well. It’ll take more elbow grease, but you’ll have full control of the cleaning process. The chemicals in the cleaners will lift the grime and grease and make it easier for you to wipe away old spills. Be aware, however – these chemicals are potent, so once again, keep kids and pets away from the oven as the cleaner sets, and consider opening doors and windows for ventilation.
With a DIY Cleaner
If you’re looking for a green way to clean your oven without ultra-high temps and dangerous chemicals, you can also DIY your own cleaner from ingredients you probably already have. Using a combination of baking soda and water, create a paste to scrape over the grease and pieces of food in your oven. The abrasiveness of the baking soda will give your oven surfaces a good scrubbing! You can also add vinegar for an extra punch of cleaning power. Let it sit for 30 minutes or so and scrub away!
Cleaning your oven may seem like a tall order, but knowing your options will help to make the best choice for you and your cleaning style. Hands-on and DIY or touch-free (except for the touch of a button), you’ll be glad you cleaned your oven once it (and the taste of your food) starts sparkling!