Chemical-Free Oven Cleaning

It’s getting to be that time of year again. The season of baked goods, family gatherings with large meals and festive parties is upon us, and that means that you will likely be using your oven a lot more than usual! Now is a great time to get your oven ready for cooking and baking, but what is the best way to get it clean? These days, nearly everyone has a self-cleaning oven, of course, but even after running the self-clean cycle, there is still the question of what to do with all that burnt, black gunk that has fallen onto the bottom. Also, there is the fact that the self-cleaning feature isn’t always the most practical method for cleaning out your oven, what with the way it can make a particularly dirty oven smoke, and produces that hideous burning smell. Why not skip it altogether in favor of something natural and, ultimately, easier? That’s right- our old friends baking soda and vinegar are back, and this time they are ready to make this oven-cleaning experience your best one yet!

Displaying oven.jpg

What You Need:

Oven (obvious, but true)

Baking soda


Dish cloth (preferably not a decorative one you like to display)

Plastic or silicone spatula

Spray bottle

White vinegar

Bathtub (for cleaning oven racks)

Powdered or liquid dish detergent (for cleaning oven racks)

What You Do:

  1. Remove the oven racks and set aside
  2. Make a paste of ½ cup baking soda and 2-3 tablespoons water. Paste should be spreadable consistency.
  3. Spread paste all over inside of oven, avoiding the heating elements. Pay special attention to particularly greasy or dirty areas of the oven.
  4. Let sit overnight, or at least 12 hours.
  5. Clean oven racks while you’re waiting. This can be accomplished by soaking them in the bathtub overnight with ½ cup dishwasher detergent and then scrubbing with a non-abrasive scrub brush or sponge.
  6. Wipe out oven with a damp dish cloth the following day. The spatula will come in handy to scrape off the paste if the damp dish cloth doesn’t get the hard-to-reach spots.
  7. Spray with vinegar in a spray bottle to get rid of all the left-behind baking soda residue. The vinegar will make the baking soda foam a bit (hello, science project volcano lesson!)
  8. Wipe out remaining vinegar/baking soda foam until all residue is gone.
  9. Replace oven racks.

Enjoy the holidays with your shiny, clean oven! Not only will it save you from the embarrassment of pulling a turkey out of an oven filled with stinky black smoke, but it can also make the finished product taste better.

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