Avid cooks that spend a lot of time using their oven often face a lot of buildups inside, depending on the type of food they’re cooking. To avoid making things harder for yourself when you clean your oven, you should keep a few things in mind. Let’s cover the
Dos and Don’ts of Oven Cleaning
Don’t Assume All Oven Components are Cleanable
You should check the oven manual just to be sure which components are safe to clean and which should be avoided to prevent malfunctions or electric shock. You should keep away from the heating elements on the floor and roof of the ovens, as cleaning there might damage the element. Be careful cleaning the flexible gasket on the oven’s interior, as degrading it will allow heat to escape the oven.
Don’t use Chemical-based Cleaners in Self-Cleaning Ovens
If you want to buy an oven cleaner, you should make sure you check your oven manual for proper commercial products that won’t damage it. Chemical-based cleaners may be safe to use in certain conventional ovens, but they are not a good choice for self-cleaning ovens. They may degrade the enamel coating making self-cleaning possible. Store-bought oven cleansers made of biodegradable materials and non-toxic alternatives are a safer bet.
Do Use Gentle DIY Oven Cleansers
Homemade oven cleansers made from pantry products can give you a free and natural cleaning option if you want to have a chemical-free kitchen. You should prepare the cleansers best suited for the oven components in need of cleaning. For oven racks, you should use a box of baking soda and a spray bottle filled with white vinegar. Only mix them when you’re ready to start cleaning. For oven walls, roofs, floors and the window glass you should use two cups of baking soda, half a cup of water and maybe a few drops of essential oils for fragrance.
Do Start Cleaning an Empty and Cool Oven
Before you clean your oven, make sure it’s cooled off. This will ensure you won’t burn yourself or damage any surfaces. Remove the pots, pans and oven racks from inside to give yourself access to every part of it. Remove any loose food residue or leftover chunks of food debris, if there are any. Scrape them off with a spatula.
Do Pre-Soak Individual Oven Components
This will allow you to save some cleaning time and hard work. Applying your cleanser to each oven component ahead of cleaning and letting it soak for a while is a great way to loosen up the grime, eliminating the need for hard scrubbing of the oven’s surfaces.
Put some gloves on, pre-soak the oven and do the following for every component:
For oven racks, lay the racks down side by side in an empty kitchen sink or bathtub, depending on the size. Sprinkle each with a thick layer of baking soda, then spray them with vinegar. Once the baking soda stops foaming up, fill the sink or bathtub with hot water and let the racks stay like that overnight.
For the walls, floor and roof of the oven, use a gloved hand to spread your cleanser over the interior oven surfaces. Make sure you avoid the heating elements on the roof and floor as you do, then let the baking soda sit in paste form for at least six hours.
For oven window glass, spread the leftover oven cleaner over the window glass on the interior of the oven door. Give it about 15 minutes to work, then gently wash away what remains.
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