God bless the hands that invented the oven. While one of the greatest kitchen appliances ever created, ovens can turn into a culinary equivalent of a crime scene in a blink of an eye. When I first started began baking, the drippings from miscalculated ingredients of the overflowing cake batter and sludgy pools accumulated at the bottom of dribbling mac and cheese were a real headache to clean.
Even though I have learned the tricks of the trade, some things still get away and dirty the oven. The slick film of grease on the glass, crusty food, and runaways stuck to the bottom of the oven after the winter baking spree should be properly cleaned; not only for a nice-looking appliance but also to get rid of food odors.
When struggling to clean the oven after constant pies and cake baking this winter, I realized I am not alone in this. There must be many self-learned home bakers who still do not know how to clean an oven thoroughly. So, I decided to dig in and find the best and easiest way to accomplish the task. Let’s see what I found out.
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Things You’ll Need
- Protective gloves and safety glasses
- Microfiber cloth or sponge
- Melamine sponge
- Bucket or a tub
- Small bowl and optional paintbrush
- Commercial oven cleaner
- Baking soda
- Distilled white vinegar
- Newspaper or paper towels
- Garbage bag
How to Clean an Oven With Commercial Oven Cleaner
A commercial oven cleaner is a ready-to-use product that can remove stubborn stains from grease to spills and even fingerprints. But you should be careful when using a commercial oven cleaner as misuse can lead to damaging other surfaces in the kitchen. You might want to cover up nearby areas for protection as well. Here’s how to use an oven cleaner to make your appliance shine.
Step 1: The first step is to empty the oven: remove the racks, thermometers, and any pizza stones or broiler pans you may have in there.
Step 2: Put on your safety glasses and protective gloves as many commercial cleaners contain tough chemicals that can cause aggravated skin and eye damage.
Step 3: Next, follow the direction on the product label and spray the cleaner in the oven. Coat every surface including the door with the spray but leave the electric heating elements or gas vents untouched. Let it sit for half an hour.
Step 4: If your oven racks are removable, take them outside and spray both sides of the racks with the cleaner. Put them inside a heavy-duty garbage bag and close it tightly for half an hour.
Step 5: After the suggested time, use a moist cloth or sponge to wipe all the surfaces clean. Even if after the wiping, some food fragments are still stuck, use a wet melamine eraser to scrub them away. Rinse the sponge in between wipes.
Step 6: Once everything is clean and dry, place racks back in the oven and get to your summer baking.
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How to Clean an Oven With Baking Soda and Vinegar
Baking soda and white vinegar have been among the stars of natural kitchen cleaning ingredients. These two ingredients can take on a dirty oven splattered in a buildup within minutes and turn it back into a shiny clean appliance. These natural products can create a chemical-free cleaning paste to fight the ickiest grime. So let’s get to it.
Step 1: First, empty the oven and add a protective layer of paper towels or newspapers on the surfaces around the oven to catch any drips from the solution.
Step 2: Prepare the baking soda paste. Mix ½ cup of baking soda with two tablespoons of water to create a workable paste to scrub your oven. You can increase the quantity of the paste to cover the entire oven.
Step 3: Don on the gloves and get to work. You can use your hands or an old paintbrush to spread the paste on every surface. Do not forget to cover the door and do not touch the electrical heating elements and gas vents. Then close the door and let it sit overnight.
Step 4: The oven racks also need to be cleaned after the enthusiastic bake season. So place the racks in the sink or bathtub and spray with distilled white vinegar. Then sprinkle some dry baking soda to form foam. When the foaming halts, fill the tub or sink with hot water until the racks are fully underwater. Leave it overnight.
Step 5: Once you allow the oven and racks to sit in cleaning solutions overnight, you need to wipe down every surface with a damp sponge or cloth. Scrub away any stubborn stuck-on food bits with a melamine sponge or repeat the process once more. Wipe the things clean and pat dry before putting them together.
Step 6: In case of more stubborn stains and burnt bits, use a pumice stone to scrape them without scratching the surface.
Now you know how to properly clean an oven. So let’s shower the kitchen’s centerpiece appliance with some love to make it perform even better and look brand new. Happy summer baking, folks!