I cook very often in my oven and sometimes it is just unavoidable that it gets dirty. Just one example is always right after you put that frozen pizza in the oven. Fairly quickly you start smelling the familiar smell of burnt cheese. For me, this leaves me cringing as I know the cheese is turning black and baking to the bottom of my oven. So then I find myself searching every so often for the best way to clean a oven.
Many people think that there are separate ways to clean a gas oven versus an electric oven. In all actuality, there really are not too many differences, other than for safety and functionality. You will want to start with gathering all of your materials and safety first before getting started on cleaning either type of oven.
- Make sure your oven is off and cool. Chemicals are flammable and you do not want to start a fire or get burned.
- Use heavy-duty gloves to protect your skin.
- Make sure you have proper ventilation if you are using chemicals.
- If you are using a gas oven make sure to not get any cleaner in the vents where the oven burner is at the bottom of the oven.
- Paper towels or towels to clean out the oven
- Steel wool or scouring pad
- Plastic scraper
- Rubber gloves
- 2 buckets of water. One for clean and one for dirty
- Cleaning solution whether that be chemicals or natural (See Below)
Most likely we often walk through the store and pick up the first spray can that says oven cleaner and do not think twice about it. It will surely be fine to do what it is advertising right? Not always the case. It is going to clean your oven, but at what expense?
Most of the common widely known oven cleaners contain caustic oven cleaning chemicals or sodium hydroxide. Also known as caustic soda, this chemical is very dangerous. If caustic soda gets on your skin or in your eyes it can burn you or cause blindness. The fumes given off by this chemical can also cause a sore throat and damage to your nose and lungs.
There are some oven cleaners on the shelf that do not contain this dangerous chemical. They will not work as well or quickly as cleaners that do contain it, though. With this being said I am going to say chemicals are NOT the best way to clean an oven.
Natural cleaning means not using harsh chemicals, instead, using more natural ingredients like dish soap, baking soda, and vinegar. When some natural ingredients are mixed together they form a pretty powerful cleaning solution without having to worry about your lungs or your skin getting burnt. Also, the second all-natural cleaning mixture can be used as an all-purpose cleaner too.
These are the best two natural oven cleaning solutions I have found.
Baking Soda, Water:
- Baking soda – 6 tablespoons
- Water 3 – Tablespoons
Mix together to form a paste. Place the mixture inside your oven on dirty spots and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes and wipe clean.
Baking Soda, Hydrogen Peroxide, Dishwashing Soap
- Baking soda – 6 tablespoons
- Hydrogen peroxide – 2 tablespoons
- Dishwashing soap – 2 tablespoons
Mix together and apply to dirty oven spots. Let sit for 20 to 30 minutes and wipe clean.
These are small amounts of each mixture and if you are cleaning the whole oven you will just increase the measurements to make the amount desired.
Natural cleaning IS THE BEST way to clean your oven yourself. No harsh chemicals and these items are fairly cheap to buy in a more bulk quantity. Add that to the fact that you can use all of these items for other purposes as well, you will be saving money by not purchasing an expensive, harsh, oven cleaner.
While this is just the glass door, this cleaner will work on the whole oven.
Outside of having to clean your oven yourself with harsh chemicals or with a natural cleaner there are more options out there for one who does not want to clean their oven. For example:
Use the self-cleaning feature on your oven if you have one. This works by the oven getting much hotter than it would get cooking food. It disintegrates everything in the oven leaving you with ash to wipe out. The downside to this method is it can be very smelly during the process.
Hire a company that specializes in oven cleaning. A professional company will be able to make your oven look brand new again without harsh chemicals or you having to do anything. This will cost you usually around $100 for a standard size oven.
- When you are cleaning your oven you will want to clean your oven racks too. Be careful if they are coated racks. Using chemicals on them can cause the coating to peel.
- Do not use any chemicals on your gasket around the oven door. This can cause it to break down and not function properly.
- Do not use tin foil in your oven. Tinfoil can keep heat from circulating properly resulting in over or undercooked food. Tinfoil can sometimes melt and permanently damage the inside of your oven. However, you can use an oven liner like this in the place of tin foil.
Do you think you know the best way to clean a oven now? While this can look intimidating and seem overwhelming for some who may be cleaning their oven for the first time ever it is really not that complicated. Make sure to read the manual for your specific model of oven and keep harsh chemicals out and off of places they do not need to be. I personally prefer to make my own natural cleaner. I do not have to worry about my skin or exposure to inhaling the bad stuff.
What is the best way you have found to clean your oven? Will you give one of my natural cleaners a try?
If you are new to cleaning a kitchen full time by yourself you might consider checking out my suggestions here on how to keep clean without it becoming overwhelming.