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Cleaning Your Oven the Natural Way

There’s nothing like that first sip of coffee on a Friday morning, right? It tastes so much better knowing that the weekend is right around the corner, and you can shrug off the shackles of work and have some fun. No matter what you have planned, we hope you have some fun, because you’ve earned it!

This weekend we’re all about ovens, because as I was making some pizza earlier in the week, I realized it’s been way too long since I cleaned mine. It’s pretty nasty in there. Burnt stuff on the bottom, grime on the walls. It’s gross.

Now, I could turn on the self-cleaning mechanism and scorch it all away, but honestly that thing is more trouble than it’s worth. I like to clean my oven au naturel. A little baking soda, a little vinegar, a little…well, here, why don’t I just tell you how I clean my oven, and then you can do with these simple, easy steps.

Step 1: Take Out

Obviously if you’re going to clean your oven you need to take everything out of it. Remove the racks, and anything else that might be in there. Thermometer, pizza stone, the usual. Set all those things aside and we’ll get to them in a little bit.

Step 2: Make a Paste

This is where the au naturel part comes in. In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with some water. What you’re looking for is a paste that’s spreadable, so use a small amount of water to start with, and work your way up. Usually it takes 3 tablespoons to get the consistency I like.

Step 3: Coat

Slap on your rubber gloves and get down to business coating your oven with the paste, while avoiding the heating elements as best you can. As you go, the paste will turn a brownish color, and that’s totally fine. It’s supposed to because it’s mixing with all the grime and grease. Coat everywhere, including those chunky bits resting on the bottom. If you’re doing this in the morning, let the paste sit in the oven for 12 hours, and if you’re doing it in the evening, let it sit overnight.

Step 4: Racks

Different people clean their oven racks different ways. Personally, I like to clean them in the bathtub because it’s so much easier that way. There’s no wrong way, as long as you get them sparkling clean again. For a more detailed look at how to clean your oven racks, check out this link from Bob Vila.

Step 5: The Wipe Down

After letting your paste sit for the allotted time, it’s time to get in there with a damp dish cloth and wipe it all away. Wipe as much of it off as you can, and for those spots that are particularly caked on or hard to reach, use a silicone or plastic spatula to help scrape it off.

Step 6: Spritz It

There’s going to be some dried baking soda paste left in there no matter what you do, so spritz those spots with some white vinegar and allow it to sit for ten minutes so the vinegar can react with the baking soda and it can start to foam away.

Step 7: Almost Done!

Once the remaining paste has foamed up nicely, do one final wipe down of your oven with the damp dish cloth. Get all of that stuff out of there, adding more vinegar and water to your cloth as you go to really make sure all that stuff is gone. If not, the next time you turn on your oven it will burn, and smell really, really bad for a little while.

Step 8: Put it Back

Your oven is now clean and shiny, so the only thing left to do is put everything back in it. Your clean racks, your thermometer, and your pizza stone, should you have one. Take a step back, and gaze upon all your hard work. It was totally worth it, right?

Pretty easy, right? This method works on both gas, and electric ovens. Sure, it takes a little elbow grease, but the reward is worth the effort.

Of course you don’t want to forget the glass on your oven door, so make some more baking soda and water paste, and spread it all over the grease and grime, letting it sit for 15-20 minutes before you wipe it away with a damp cloth.

Voila! A fresh, clean oven is at your disposal, and you can now cook with confidence.

Have a great weekend, everybody. We’ll talk to you next week!


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