Is your oven your guilty messy spot? You wouldn’t be the only person. There’s something about the oven door being tinted so that you can’t really see behind it that always makes us go “I’ll clean it next time”.
As a general rule, you should do a deep clean on your oven two or three times a year. But there’s no harm in keeping on top of things with a quick wipe down. There are a few techniques we like to do for each of these occasions, none of which involve oven cleaning chemicals.
The issue with these strong chemicals is that firstly they tend to leave an incredibly strong smell but secondly, it prevents you from immediately using it. We don’t know about you but we like to use our oven most days, finding the hours to use a chemical cleaner and then leave it open for a few hours to air out. It’s just a lot of effort, so we decided to use natural cleaners so that we can cook our dinner straight after a hard day cleaning. So, let’s take a look at the deep clean and faster cleaning methods.
This method is for those with time on their hands and who are determined to finally tackle the built-up oven dirt. You’ll need a couple of hours maximum for this method, but don’t worry most of the time it’s waiting for the paste to work its magic. You’ll also need a couple of cups of baking soda and some warm water.
Step 1 - The sweeping
Loose chips, bits of pie crust, there’s no doubt a few items are lurking at the bottom of your oven if it’s been a while since you cleaned. This is why the first step is to sweep out the bottom of your oven. We’re not suggesting you grab a broom and go to town on it, but a handheld brush or even just a dry cloth would be the ideal tool to use.
Step 2 - Sprinkling the magic
Now it’s time to grab your baking soda. Sprinkle a tiny amount at the bottom of your oven, we like to consider this the extra bit of magic. Put the rest of the baking soda into a bowl and add small drops of warm water. Don’t add too much water at once, the aim is to make a paste. Too thin and it’ll just end up as a cloudy puddle on the oven floor but too thick and it’ll be difficult to spread. Think of it like a slightly thinner toothpaste.
Step 3 - Applying your paste
Once you’ve mixed the paste, start spreading it inside your oven. We recommend doing this by putting on a pair of rubber gloves and using your hands, it’s a sure way to make sure you get into all the corners of the oven. If you prefer not to use your hands, you can always use a bristle brush to apply it. Make sure you avoid the heating elements, these don’t need any attention at this stage.
Step 4 - The wait
This is where the long part of the cleaning comes into play. You need to wait for the paste to dry. Now you can speed up this process by turning the oven on to a low heat, but the best way is to have a little bit of patience.
Step 5 - Wipe and go
Once the wait is up - roughly two hours - it’s time to wipe away the excess paste with a warm damp cloth. This is where you can make sure you clean any areas you may have previously missed. Be sure to wipe away all the baking soda paste and then use a fresh damp cloth to remove any lasting film. Then you're done, deep clean complete and you won’t need to do it for another few months.
Using a different ingredient this time but still keeping it natural - lemons. Lemons have natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties making them perfect for cleaning food areas. The acidic properties in the lemon help to lift the dirt so you can simply wipe it away. However, lemons aren’t as powerful as baking soda, which is why we recommend this method as an in-between clean instead of a deep one.
Step 1 - Preparing the lemons
First things first, grab yourself a microwaveable dish. Perhaps something you regularly use to cook in. Then you’ll need to fill it with warm water. Cut a couple of lemons in half and squeeze the juice into the warm water. Then put the lemon halves in there too.
Step 2 - Crank up the heat
Next, you need to pop the microwaveable dish into the oven at a low temperature. Wait until the water in the bowl is boiling and then turn the oven off but do not open the door. The hot lemon steam will help lift the dirt and after the oven has cooled you can open it up (roughly 10 minutes).
Step 3 - Wipe and go
The final step is to grab a clean cloth and wipe down the inside of your oven. It’s as simple as that and doesn’t take much effort at all.
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