The oven is one of the most dreaded appliances when it comes to cleaning. You don’t want it to get stained, rusty, or worse, to break because of a bad cleaning method. A good quality oven, when used and cleaned properly, can last for years or even decades. Let’s go through some tips for cleaning your oven!
Let a bowl of water do the work for you
You may be surprised that plain simple tap water is one of the most effective cleaning agents in your home. More specifically, steam.
To start things off with your cleaning process, fill an oven-proof bowl with water. Next, put it in the oven at 450° F for 45 minutes.
This will produce steam that will be kept inside the oven. When your oven turns off, let it cool down and when it’s safe to the touch, wipe the walls with a hot, wet cloth to wipe away dirt and debris.
Make your life easier with baking soda
Baking soda is the holy grail of domestic cleaning, and it comes as no surprise that it also works to clean your oven. And it only takes 4 steps!
First, you’ll need to mix one cup baking soda, one cup salt, and half a cup of water.
Next, you’re going to turn on your oven to 200° F for five minutes. This is just to warm it up a little bit, so the cleaning process gets easier. Then, turn it off and then apply this mixture. You can use a brush to rub gently in a circular motion.
Finally, after coating the entire surface, let sit overnight for a deep clean. If you clean your oven often, 30 minutes will work. Remove using a damp cloth.
The previous two principles can be applied to your racks and trays: use hot water and baking soda as your ally.
Add enough hot water to cover your racks for at least 2 hours (although leaving them overnight is ideal) with either half a cup of liquid dishwasher or one cup of baking soda (or just enough quantity to leave them fully covered). If you are using baking soda, pouring vinegar is a plus. We all know that vinegar is a very versatile cleaner and this is not the exception.
Either way, let them sit overnight and just scrub them the next day. Voilà!
Don’t abuse your oven’s self-clean feature
Some ovens now come with a feature called “self-clean”. What this does is heating the oven up to 900° degrees, in order to basically burn out every possible debris, grease, and grime that remains inside your oven so you can clean it out easily afterward.
You should avoid this feature as much as you can because you’re forcing the oven to go up to extremely high temperatures that can cause malfunctioning.
Also, please do not use this feature if you have parrots or other types of birds at home. Ovens contain Teflon, and at this temperature, the Teflon gas will be released into the air and kill all your birds nearby.
Don’t cook meals in your oven right after a deep cleaning
If you’ve used chemicals to clean your oven, you want to get them out of your oven, so you won’t get any strange odors in your meal.
Place a little bit of cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking soda on a baking tray, and turn it up to 200° F for about an hour.
An even easier alternative is to pour a liter of water along with one cup of vinegar into an oven-safe bowl. Put it in the oven at the same temperature for an hour as well.
Keep your cleaning simple (and do it as often as possible)
No one likes cleaning a messy oven. Unless you decide on hiring a cleaning service, you will need to face this on your own. The best advice when it comes to cleaning is to not let the dirt build up over time, especially in small, hard-to-maneuver spaces like your appliances.
Cleaning your oven often will help you avoid strong, possible harmful chemicals in favor of more natural, harmless solutions. It will also cut down your cleaning times because it’s easier to let sit a cleaning mix for 30 minutes rather than 12 hours.
Bonus tip for cleaning your oven
If your appliance is stainless steel, you need to make sure you keep it dry after you’ve cleaned it or spilled liquid. This way, you avoid stains or water spots. Find out if the city you live in is known to have hard water, i.e., with a higher content of minerals.
For example, Texas has one of the highest levels of hard water. If that is the case, use distilled or filtered water instead.
There you have it! These 5 tips will help you keep your oven clean and safe to use. Remember that it’s best to clean your oven fast but frequently, because otherwise it’s going to become a cumbersome, long process.
Have you ever applied one of these techniques? If you haven’t, consider them the next time you need to take care of your oven!