Clean Your Oven NaturallyNov 20, 2018
by Angela Cummings
Are you looking for a natural way to clean the caked on food and grease from your oven?
You’re not alone! Especially during baking season, when there is frequent oven use.
This article covers the frequency to clean your oven, materials, and ingredients to use, and steps to follow.
Why Is a Clean Oven Important? How Often Should I Clean It?
Caked on crusted food that drops to the bottom of stoves can burn and start to smoke or smolder.
Grease and grime on doors can cause a distinct smell.
That stinky or burnt smell can get into food and affect the taste.
When food or grease builds up in the oven, it’s time for a cleaning.
The frequency will depend on how often you use the oven, the types of foods cooked, and cooking methods (covered with glass lids or cooked uncovered).
Generally, it’s helpful to clean ovens ever one to three months. For lighter use, cleaning the oven every six months may be sufficient.
It’s quicker to clean the oven more often instead of waiting until a thick coating of food or splatter is baked on.
What Materials Do I Need to Clean the Oven?
- Cleaner. Gather your nontoxic cleaning ingredients (baking soda and vinegar) and have them ready to go
- Small bowl. Have a small bowl handy for mixing natural cleaning ingredients right before cleaning
- Rubber gloves. Heavy duty rubber gloves protect your hands and withstand scrubbing of food and grease drips
- Protective safety glasses. Avoid getting stray food pieces getting into your eyes when scrubbing
- Newspaper or paper towels. Line the floor under the oven and oven door with old newspaper or paper towels to catch any drips from cleaning
- Cotton cloth or rag. A damp cotton cloth or rag will be needed to wipe down the oven after cleaning is finished
- Non-scratch sponge. For tough stuck-on foods, use a sponge that won’t scratch the inside of the oven
- Garbage bag. Throw away soaking wet paper towels used during cleaning in a plastic garbage bag. Reuse an old plastic grocery bag and simply tie it up and toss in the trash when finished.
Why Should We be Mindful of Using Store-bought Cleaners?
Store-bought cleaners often contain chemicals such as chlorine and solvents.
Chlorine can react with other compounds, and create unintentional toxins such as trihalomethanes. Trihalomethanes have strong links to bladder cancer and are suspected of contributing to colon and rectal cancer.
Solvents are a large class of chemicals, commonly found in store-bought oven cleaners. They come in liquid, solid or gas form. Solvent chemicals may contribute to respiratory distress, nervous system toxicity, reproductive damage, liver and kidney damage, damage to developing fetuses, and cancer.
Solvent chemicals also commonly contain benzene and formaldehyde.
These chemicals are in the volatile organic chemical (VOC) family and may cause eye irritation, respiratory irritation, headaches, dizziness, nausea, visual disorders, loss of coordination and memory impairment.
What Is a Natural Way to Clean the Oven?
Cleaning the oven using baking soda, vinegar, and water is a nontoxic way to get rid of caked on foods and greasy drips and splatters.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Remove all accessories from oven. This includes oven racks, thermometers, baking pans, and cookie sheets so all that’s left is the oven structure itself.
2. Line floor. Lay old newspaper or paper towel on the floor under the oven and under the oven door. Since the oven door will be fully opened during cleaning, be sure to line the floor while the door is fully opened.
3. Mix ingredients. In a small bowl, mix ½ cup baking soda with 2 to 3 drops of water to create a paste that is spreadable. If the paste is too thick, add additional water one drop at a time until the right consistency is reached.
4. Spread paste. Put on your gloves and spread the paste with your hands, or use a paper towel to help evenly spread onto the front, back and sides of the oven interior. Do not spread paste on electrical heating components (for electric ovens) or where gas comes into the oven (for gas ovens).
5. Let sit. Let the paste sit for 10 to 12 hours, or overnight. Baking soda lifts away grease and grime naturally.
6. Clean racks. If racks have caked on food, set them in the kitchen sink or bathtub. Sprinkle baking soda on racks and rinse with vinegar. This creates a foaming action to lift stuck on foods. Then soak rack in plain water for 10 to 12 hours, or overnight.
7. Wipe oven clean. Use a cotton cloth or rag to wipe off baking soda paste inside the oven. If baking soda is stuck to the oven surface, spray with white vinegar to create a foaming action. Then wipe clean with the cotton cloth. Use non-abrasive sponge to scrub any stubborn spots
8. Wipe racks clean. Remove racks from water and wipe clean with a cotton cloth. Use a non-abrasive sponge to scrub any stubborn spots.
9. Dry accessories and put together. Dry oven racks and put them back into the oven.
10. All finished! You have a clean stove without using harmful cleaners!
Cleaning your stove can be accomplished using natural cleaners and cleaning methods.
Want more tips about nontoxic cleaning?
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