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Months of cooking and baking can lead to a really dirty oven. No matter how much you use your oven it needs to be cleaned once every few months. So it is as important for a regular brunch host/hostess to clean an oven as it is for someone who uses an oven for a simple baked mac-n-cheese once in a while.
Yes, of course, the frequency of cleaning an oven will differ. Burnt food and grease collected over a long period of time can affect the performance of your oven. It is also known that uncleaned ovens are a fire hazard. But it doesn’t have to be that hard. And it won’t be if you use the right tools.
Why should You Clean Your Oven?
Unattended burnt food, grease, and grime can affect the efficiency of an oven. Also, leftover food particles make a great home for bacteria that will affect the food you cook in the future.
Should You Use the Self-cleaning Oven Function?
Many new oven models have a built-in self-cleaning function. There are many problems with this. First, It only works if the oven is mildly dirty, so if you have stubborn dirt collected over a long period of time self-cleaning won’t be effective. Also, when you use the self-cleaning function the oven gets to a really high temperature, and using it often can lead to burnt fuse and circuits.
In addition to this such high temperature is also not good for the life of your oven racks. Due to all these reasons manufactures and repair companies have acknowledged that the self-cleaning function is a problem yet to be solved. They add it because some people prefer this built-in function but most of the repair companies advise against its usage.
How Often You Should Clean Your Oven?
Most people advise to clean your oven at least once a month and wipe it once a week if you use it almost every day. Of course, if you don’t use your oven often you can stretch the time period. The longer you wait the harder it gets to get rid of all the dirt and grime that accumulates inside the oven.
Ways to Clean the Inside of Your Oven:
Before cleaning the inside of the oven take out the oven racks. You would need to clean these oven racks separately.
1. Baking Soda and White Vinegar
Requirements – Baking soda, White Vinegar, Scrub, or cloth.
Baking soda is a cleaning staple for every home. It has many uses around the house.
1. Avoiding the heating elements of the oven sprinkle baking soda inside the oven.
2. Using a spray bottle coat baking soda with white vinegar.
3. Leave this mixture to soak for 8-12 hours.
4. Later wipe it off with a clean damp rag.
Baking soda is also known for its property of eliminating odor so your oven will end up smelling fresh too.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Requirements- Apple cider vinegar, Sugar, and scrub/cloth.
Apple cider vinegar has so many effective properties from improving metabolism to shiny hair. Another hack you can use to clean up dried up grease inside your oven is by using apple cider vinegar.
1. Mix 2 tablespoons of sugar to a cup (250 ml) of apple cider vinegar.
2. Spread the mixture inside the oven (preferably when the oven is slightly hot).
3. Leave the mixture to soak for about 2-3 hours.
4. The burnt food and grime are loosened and you can simply wipe them off with little to no scrubbing.
Like baking soda, this mixture will also get rid of any food odor but it can leave a slightly pungent smell of apple cider vinegar.
Requirements – Lemon and Scrub
Lemon because of its acidic nature is well known for cleaning. The best way to get rid of any bad smell along with the dirt and grime.
1. Squeeze 1-2 lemon in a baking dish. Add the lemon rind into the dish too.
2. Place the dish in the oven and heat it at 250 degrees for about 10-20 minutes (or till the lemon water starts to boil).
3. Don’t open the door for the next 30 minutes and let the steam do the work.
4. The steam along with citrus acid present in the lemon makes it easy for you to scrub off the grease and burnt food later.
4. Baking Soda and Lemon
Requirements – Baking soda, lemon, and Scrub
Here is another way to use lemon. With the use of baking soda mixed with lemon, you will get rid of stubborn grease and dirt.
1. Sprinkle the baking soda inside the oven.
2. Using a spray bottle, spray lemon juice over the sprinkled baking soda.
3. Leave them for 3-4 hours.
4. Using the rinds left from lemon juice to scrub off the baking soda.
How to Clean the Oven Racks?
There are many ways to clean your oven racks. I will be sharing my favorite 1 in this guide. For a full guide on ‘How to clean your oven racks’ – Click Here.
Cleaning Oven Racks Using Bathtub and Detergent
1. Plug your bathtub and place the oven racks at the bottom of the tub.
2. Fill the tub with hot water and add a generous amount of detergent to it.
3. Let the oven rack soak in the solution for 6-8 hours.
4. Scrub off any grease and give the racks a final water rinse.
5. Make sure they are completely dry before putting them back in the oven.
How to Clean Glass Oven Doors?
Glass doors require a more gentle cleaning as compared to oven racks and the oven itself. You can use any glass cleaner for a mildly dirty door. Alternatively, you can use baking soda for cleaning the oven doors.
1. Mix baking soda with water to get a thick paste.
2. Spread this paste on the glass and leave it for 20-30 minutes.
3. Wipe it off with a damp rag.
You can also use an oven cleaner or diluted vinegar spray to clean the glass oven doors.
An oven is the king of the kitchen and it should be treated like one. So get your supplies and start cleaning.