When was the last time you cleaned your oven? Be honest. Would you be embarrassed if a neighbor … or your mother-in-law, opened it up? Sadly, I have been known to leave my oven completely filthy, with burnt sugar, crumbs, and ash down in the bottom for months at a time.
Shameful. Especially since cleaning your oven takes very little effort. Over the last couple years, I’ve made it a point to keep my oven clean, and have been amazed at just how easy it is.
So how should you go about cleaning your oven?
The easiest way to clean your oven is to use its built-in self-cleaning function.
Chances are, if your oven is less than 50 years old, it has a self-cleaning option. A setting that you might not have ever tested.
The Self-Clean Function starts a heating cycle that rises to over 900ºF, from 2 ½ to 4 hours. The oven door will lock for safety, while the high heat burns all debris to white ash. When the temperature drops and the oven is safe to open, you simply wipe the ash out of the bottom with a wet paper towel. Voila!
There really isn’t an easier way to clean your oven than with your built-in self-clean feature.
I will say, the high heat cycle can make your house smell funky for the few hours it’s running. I usually like to start the self-clean function when I’m going to be around the house all day, then I open up the window to ventilate. I’ve never had an issue with it, but I don’t like the idea of leaving the house while it’s running.
Self-clean has been a lifesaver in many situations. Especially after I’ve spilt something sugary in the oven. There’s nothing it can’t burn up!
Afraid of your self-clean function?
You’re not alone. Some people simply don’t like the idea of an appliance rising to such high temperatures in their house.
Not to worry. If you refuse to use your self-clean function, you can still easily clean your oven without self-clean, and without harsh chemicals.
The Baking Soda Scrub Down
Remove the wire oven racks and set them aside. Make a paste with baking soda and water.
Use an old sponge with an abrasive pad to rub the baking soda paste over the sides and bottom of the oven. If the debris is baked-on and resistant, you can attack it two different ways.
Method One: The easiest, yet slower, method is to leave a layer of the baking soda paste over the surface of the oven for 12 to 24 hours. Then wet it later and scrub off. Over time, the baking soda will loosen the debris, making it easy to wipe away.
Method Two: After you’ve spread baking soda paste over the surface of the oven, pour vinegar over the surface and allow the baking soda and vinegar to react and fizz. The chemical reaction will help loosen the debris, so it is easy to scrub off.
See? That wasn’t so hard.
I’d go with the self-clean function, personally. Yet if I can’t convince you to try it, a good scrub-down with baking soda will certainly do the trick! Your oven is going to be so spotless, the next time your mother-in-law stops by, you’ll make up excuses for her to open it up.