If your oven sees even moderate use, there's a good chance that you're familiar with how difficult these appliances can be to clean. Unlike counter tops and other kitchen surfaces, the drips and spills that occur inside an oven are usually too hot to clean immediately. Even worse, by the time they've cooled off, those drips have become baked onto whatever surface they've touched.
As most homeowners know, commercial oven cleaners that can make this task much easier have been available for quite some time. Unfortunately, the ingredients that make commercial oven cleaners so effective are not the most healthy chemicals to be around. In the words of the EPA lye (sodium hydroxide) is "extremely corrosive" and "usually fatal if swallowed." Other active ingredients like ethanolamine can affect the respiratory system and nervous system. Consumers are becoming more and more cautious about what their bodies and the bodies of their families come in contact with, and are seeking out natural, non-toxic alternatives for the chemicals they use regularly. Here are five ways to clean your oven that will get the job done without the need for harsh or dangerous chemicals.
Baking soda, water, and salt are each powerful cleaning agents on their own, but when you put them together, they can tackle some pretty incredible tasks. To use these elements in the most effective way possible, mix them together in equal parts (a cup of each should do the trick) and mix them into a paste. Apply the paste to your toughest oven stains, close the door, and then turn the oven on at 500 degrees for 1 hour. When the hour is up and the oven has cooled, remove the remaining debris with a damp cloth.
Lemon juice has been a popular additive to commercial cleaning products for decades; not only does it smell good, it's also good at cutting grease. To employ this natural stain remover, mix equal parts lemon juice and salt, then apply generously to oven stains. Allow the solution to sit for fifteen minutes and scrubbing away that baked on grease will be a whole lot easier.
3.The Lazy Way (Or the Patient Way)
This one's more of a lifestyle change than it is an immediate cleaning method. Dissolve a quarter cup of baking soda into a pint of water, then put this solution into a spray bottle. Once a day when the oven is cool, give the inside a heavy sprits and continue to use your oven as normal. Over time (and it will take time), the baking soda will slowly break down build-up, turning into a powder that accumulates on the bottom of the oven and is easily wiped away.
4.Steam Stains Away
Steam is a powerful thing, and a hand-held steam cleaner can get rid of stains and grease that would otherwise be very difficult to scrub away. Some of these devices can be purchased for well under $100 dollars, and of the many uses they can be put to around the house, cleaning ovens and grills is one of the most popular. Heating up ordinary water and focusing its power on greasy stains allows you to clean your oven effectively and naturally, and when you're done, you can use your steamer on tile, curtains, shoes, carpets, and a whole host of other things around the house.
5.Prevent Baked-On Drips
One of the easiest ways to clean up baked-on, greasy drips is to prevent them from happening in the first place. By putting s simple piece of aluminum foil on the rack below whatever you're cooking, you'll prevent drips from getting baked onto the hot surface below. This method is hardly perfect (no matter how well you position that foil, stray drips have an uncanny knack for dodging it), but you can do it in a matter of seconds, it's very affordable, and it will save you plenty of unnecessary cleaning without a lot of hassle.
Lemon juice has been a popular additive to commercial cleaning products for decades; not only does it smell good, it's also good at cutting grease.