How to Clean the Tough Stuff: The Oven
I don’t think there’s a more hated chore amoungst us cleaners than the awful task of oven cleaning. But unfortunately when your lasagna bubbles over and cheese goo spills out everywhere and creates this black sludge that kind of resembles a volcano, you’re going to want to clean it.
Cleaning the oven is awful because:
A. It’s something we hardly think about.
B. Cleaning the oven takes a lot of elbow grease.
C. Have you heard all those awful things about oven cleaners? Yeah.
They’re pretty toxic.
D. We’re worried about our food tasting weird.
Fortunately, I have discovered a (nearly) painless and completely non-toxic way to clean your oven.
Note: Make sure you start out with a cool oven. I hope I don’t have to be the one to tell you this, but cleaning a hot oven will hurt.
You need to start with my favorite cleaning product: baking soda. If you missed my homage to baking soda, you can read it here. Take three heaping tablespoons of baking soda and empty into a new spray bottle. Make sure the spray bottle has had nothing in it previously so the chemicals from a previous cleaning agent don’t react to the baking soda. Once the baking soda is in, fill with water. Shake the bottle vigorously once the cap is on.
Take the racks out of the oven and wash in a mixture of natural soap and water. Set aside to dry.
Spritz your baking soda mixture around the oven, especially in the blackened/ sludgy areas. Leave overnight.
In the morning, the sludge/ crust/ leftover food should slide right off with a damp cloth. If it doesn’t, then pour some white wine vinegar and let it set for 30 minutes.
If your oven smells bad, a great trick to fighting odors is to cut up lemon slices and place them in a shallow glass baking pan and fill with 1/2 inch of water. Bake at 200° for about 20 minutes and your oven should smell nice and lemony fresh!
Also, to prevent future scrubbing and rubbing in the oven, put things that are likely to bubble or spill over on top of a cookie sheet.