No matter, the time of year, it's nevertoo late for spring cleaning. And one of the most important but oft-neglected areas of your home that needs to be cleaned: your oven.
While most ovens these days boast a self-cleaning function, the truth of the matter is that the self-cleaning option stinks. Literally.
Let's take a quick poll. If you're not in the mood for your house to smell like burnt rubber and you're not a fan of lots of harsh chemicals, raise your hand.
Yep. We see you. Fortunately, we've got you covered with some better (and better smelling) oven-cleaning methods.
How to clean an oven with baking soda
One of your best bets when it comes to cleaning your oven is none other than our trusty ol' pals baking soda and vinegar. Here's what you'll need to do:
- Make a paste by combining a 1/2 cup of baking soda with 3 tablespoons water and mix until it reaches a spreadable consistency. (The number of tablespoons can be adjusted as needed; the mixture shouldn't be clumpy but shouldn't be runny, either.)
- Once you've removed all the racks from the oven, spread the paste over your oven's interior, avoiding any heating elements and paying special attention to any particularly grimy or caked-on areas.
- Let it sit for at least 12 hours. We recommend beginning the cleaning process after dinner and letting it sit overnight.
- While you're waiting, clean your oven racks (and broiler plate if needed) by soaking them in warm water and dish soap, then giving them a good scrub.
- Once your 12 hours are up, use a damp cloth (and plastic spatula if needed) to wipe out your oven. For any tough areas, use a spray bottle filled with a little vinegar, spritz the caked-on paste, and wipe down the area again with the damp rag.
Voila! Just like that, your oven is clean and shiny to boot!
How to clean an oven without baking soda
But what if you don't have baking soda on hand and don't feel like running to the store to grab some? No sweat. There's more than one way to clean an oven. And as it turns out, these other methods are super easy. The solution to your no baking-soda problem is cleaning your oven with ammonia or lemon. We'll teach you how to do both.
How to clean an oven with ammonia
While ammonia may not be the most delightful smell in the world, it's a whole lot better than burnt plastic. And best of all? This oven-cleaning method is so easy.
But before we tackle how to clean your oven with ammonia, let's take some necessary precautions. First and foremost, read the instructions on your bottle of ammonia solution, which should be 5–10% ammonia, to make sure you are using and storing it safely and properly. Also, never mix ammonia with other strong cleaning agents such as bleach or oven cleaners.
Now let's get started.
- Turn on your oven to 200 degrees F. Once it's warmed up, turn it off.
- Place 1/2 cup of ammonia into an oven-safe dish on the middle rack of your oven.
- Fill another oven-safe dish with 2 cups of boiling water and place it on the rack underneath the ammonia.
- Shut the door and let sit overnight.
- Remove the dishes and wipe down the oven with a warm rag or sponge.
How to clean an oven with lemon
Who knew that cleaning your oven was as simple as buying a couple of lemons? Here's how it works:
- Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F.
- Cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juices into an oven-safe dish. Fill the dish about 1/3 of the way full with water and place it in the oven.
- Let it "bake" for 30 minutes. Don't be alarmed if the oven smokes; simply open a window and/or use the oven fan.
- Remove the dish and let the oven cool down. Once the oven is cool, use a scouring pad dipped in any remaining lemon water to scrub away leftover grime. Use a plastic or silicone spatula to loosen especially difficult pieces of baked on food.
Four steps and you're done. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
How to clean an oven door
Considering that your oven door is the how you peek at that oh-so-delicious cheesecake you're baking without opening the door and releasing heat, it's essential that you keep it clean.
Cleaning the outside is as easy as getting some Windex and wiping it down, but the inside is another story entirely. Fortunately, cleaning it isn't as horrific as you think.
First, try soapy water and give the door a good scrub. If that doesn't do the trick, liberally spray the door with a degreaser and wipe it down. We love using a spray bottle filled with distilled white vinegar and a drop of dish soap. If that still doesn't work, use the baking soda method mentioned above.
In the past, cleaning your oven probably sounded about as fun as a toothache, but with these methods, it can be quick and painless. All it takes is a little time and a little elbow grease and that oven will be sparkling like it's brand new in no time.