Clean Your Oven Naturally
It’s easy to find a commercial chemically-based oven cleaner, but not as easy to find an all-natural one. Which is unfortunate, as chemical oven cleaners contain some pretty strong stuff! Luckily it’s not too hard to clean your oven with natural products (that you likely already own)! Here’s How to Clean Your Oven Naturally!
How to Clean Your Oven Naturally
If you have a self-cleaning oven, you may want to use that instead of the following tips. Just check if you’re supposed to remove your oven racks first or not (it varies among different models). Be prepared for your oven to set off your smoke detector, as the self-cleaning mode is essentially a super-high-heat mode. It also may make your kitchen smell a little weird for a few hours. If the self-cleaning doesn’t clean everything up, then feel free to use the suggestions below as a follow-up cleaning method.
Since this method requires that things sit for a while untouched, you’ll either want to start this after dinner, plan to only use the stovetop, or plan to eat out for the day.
1. Clean the Racks
The first thing you need to do to clean your oven naturally is clean the oven racks. Some people like to clean their racks with ammonia, but the fumes from ammonia are pretty strong and dangerous. Other people suggest a combination of baking soda and vinegar, but if those two are used together at the same time, they actually cancel each other out.
An effective and safe way to clean your racks is to put them in a tub of hot water with a 1/4 – 1/2 cup of dish soap and a few dryer sheets on top of them (used dryer sheets also work). To make this experience completely chemical-free, use a naturally based dish soap and plant-based dryer sheets. You might want to lay a few towels down in your tub first, to prevent the racks from scraping the sides. Leave the racks in the tub for 10 hours, a part of which you can spend cleaning your oven itself. When the time is up, scrub your oven racks with the dryer sheets.
Once all the baked on food is cleaned off and your racks are shiny, you can drain the tub, rinse them in clean water, then set them aside to dry for a bit before returning them to your oven.
2. Clean the Oven’s Interior
While the racks are soaking, go back into your kitchen and mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with 3-4 tablespoons of water. You want the final consistency to be like paste- not watery, but also not too dry. Put on some gloves (because this will get messy), then take this paste and smear it all through the inside of your oven, just avoiding the heating elements themselves. Don’t forget to coat the back corners! Leave the oven alone for 12 hours or overnight. Your oven’s racks should be done soaking before the oven itself is, so go ahead and finish up with those before getting back to your oven.
When the oven’s 12 hours are up, use a damp rag to wipe out the paste. A spatula can be used to scrape at the paste if necessary.
Follow this up with vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray down your oven’s entire interior, again trying to avoid the heating elements. If the vinegar foams, it’s just reacting with leftover baking soda. The two may be canceling each other out, but the foaming will help to loosen up any grime that’s still left behind, so this is an important part when you’re trying to clean your oven naturally.
Finish up by using another damp rag to wipe the oven clean. You want to keep wiping until all of the vinegar/baking soda residue is gone. Re-wet your rag as needed while you work.
3. Clean the Oven’s Glass Door
You’re almost done! Next, use a spatula to scrape any baked on food off your oven’s door. Use a damp cloth or vacuum hose to clean up any crumbs in the seam between the glass and the door.
Then make the baking soda paste again, this time smearing it over the glass. Leave that alone for 30 minutes, then use a damp rag to wipe it off. Spray plain water onto the glass to rinse it, then wipe it dry with a clean cloth, getting up the remaining baking soda paste. If necessary, use a razor blade to scrape off any burnt food that still remains, and vacuum or wipe up the crumbs that you dislodge.
Then you’re done!
Trying to clean your oven naturally does take time, and some of elbow grease. But it’s worth it to avoid subjecting your family and yourself to the dangerous chemicals in commercial cleaners!
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How do you clean your oven?