Ovens – they get dirty. Cooking sauces boil over, fat drips from the grill, and greasy fumes coat your entire oven in a layer of ever-growing grease.
The oven has got to be one of the most dreaded kitchen appliances to clean. Most people go straight for a tough oven cleaner, but did you know that a lot of these cleaning liquids are filled with nasty chemicals?
Off the shelf oven cleaners contain substances like sodium hydroxide (also known as caustic soda) which is used to dissolve drain blockages, and is harmful to humans and animals. This stuff can cause skin burns and mindless of it gets in your eyes. It’s so harsh that you need to be over 18 to buy a bottle from retailers like B&Q.
A chemical called ethylene glycol is also a common component in cleaning fluids. It works well at stripping away hard grime without leaving any residue, but the vapour this gives off can cause serious irritation to throat and eyes.
The spray bottle oven cleaners are also bad news, since they can release a fine mist of chemicals into the air which you can breathe in. And let’s face it, no one wants to inhale oven cleaner.
So, let’s ditch those harmful, toxic, oven cleaning potions and get the sparkle back into your oven, with ease, and with all-natural ingredients.
Steam Cleaner for Natural Oven Cleaning
When you think of a steam cleaner, you think about cleaning floors and worktops, but these multi-use cleaning machines can melt away baked-on grease and grime with the power of water.
It doesn’t get any more natural than plain old water when it comes to cleaning. Combined with extreme heat and pressure and you have a serious cleaning tool on hand to tackle that oven.
Here’s how it’s done:
- First things first. You may have some crumbs and debris scattered around the base of the oven which will need to be removed. Use a firm brush or plastic fish slice to remove any loose flakes of burnt on foods from around the inside of the oven and doors.
- Use a vacuum cleaner to remove all the crumbs and debris from inside the oven.
- Next, get a clean cloth and soak in warm matter. Rinse the cloth out a little so that it’s not overly wet and use it to wipe down the inside of the oven. This will help remove surface dirt before getting to the tough stuff.
- It’s steam cleaning time. Using the brush head detail nozzle, begin blasting and scrubbing the interior of the oven, starting with the oven roof and working your way down the walls, finishing with the base. Keep a cloth and a bucket of warm water handy to wipe away dirty water from the surface you’re cleaning as you go.
- To clean the glass on the oven door, use the brush detail nozzle and set the steam cleaner to high temperature.
- Blast the hot steam into the glass and clean away grease using the bristles in small circular motions. Make sure that your emitting steam as you scrub. Use a damp microfibre cloth to clean away residue.
- You’re steam cleaner may come with a microfibre cloth attachment head – use this to clean away all the melted grease.
This method works with any good handheld steam cleaner, multi-purpose steam mop, or base steam cleaner with wheels.
Related: Best Built-In Oven Brands of 2022
Baking Soda, White Vinegar, and Lemon
Follow these steps:
Baking soda has many uses, from cake baking to cleaning. The thing that makes this such a potent cleaner against burnt-on grease, fats, and oils, is that it’s very alkaline and grease is acidic.
The sodium bicarbonate (the correct name for baking soda) is able to break down and dissolve grease by altering the pH balance. It also has the bonus of being slightly abrasive – not enough to scratch your protective oven lining, but just enough to aid in lifting off the dirt.
- Get a bowl or plastic tub and fill with 5 tablespoons for warm water and mix in with 4 heaped tablespoons of baking soda.
- Mix the water and baking soda into a medium thick paste. There’s no exact ratio of water to baking soda here, you just want to make a nice spreadable paste, so play around with the mix.
- Now add two tablespoons of distilled white vinegar to the mix. This will give the paste an extra kick of cleaning power.
- (Optional step) – you can pop in a little lemon juice. This will give your paste a citrusy scent, and the citric acid hast strong natural cleaning properties.
- Next, use a dish brush or similar to spread the paste all over the over interior and inside of the door. The idea is to coat the interior of the oven with the paste and leave it to settle of about an hour.
- Come back to the over around an hour later and use a spray bottle filled with white vinegar to spray over the baking soda paste. You might notice that the paste bubble a little as it reacts with the vinegar – this is fine.
- Now for the magic. After spraying all over with vinegar, use a cloth or scouring pad and wipe away the grease and grime. It should wipe of with minimal elbow grease. Use a damp cloth or kitchen towel to wipe the residue away. keep going until you’ve cleaned away all the paste and grease.
Cleaning the Oven Grills and Trays
If you’re lucky enough to have a dishwasher, then this part is simple. Place the oven grills and racks into the dishwasher and was on high heat with good all-natural dishwasher tabs, and you’re done.
If you don’t have a dishwasher, take the drills, racks, and baking trays to the sink and coat them in the same baking soda mix that you used to clean inside the oven. leave for an hour then scrub off using hot water and a brush or scouring pad.
And there goes that chore – into the next one, and you did it all without the use of any oven cleaner chemicals. You only need to clean your oven 1 – 3 months, depending on how much cooking your doing – and how messy you are.
If there’s any residue left inside the oven or on the electric heating element, you don’t need to worry. Unlike chemical cleaners that might give off a smell and get into your food, any of these leftover ingredients will burn away without spoiling your meal.
Always made sure you’re oven is switched off at the mains before you start any cleaning, and take care not to damage the heating element during the cleaning process.