We’ve all been there: a home-cooked meal ends up leaving more than a delicious memory. It leaves a mess behind, too, most notably inside your oven. Over time, these stubborn stains and burnt food remnants can pile up, affecting your oven’s performance and leading to unpleasant odours. Luckily, you don’t need any harsh chemicals to clean your oven. There’s a simple, effective, and eco-friendly method right in your kitchen – baking soda. In this article, we’ll guide you on how to clean an oven with baking soda.
The Magic of Baking Soda
Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a common household product with a multitude of uses. It’s non-toxic, inexpensive, and excellent at breaking down grease and grime due to its alkaline properties. As part of your deep cleaning check list, this makes it an ideal cleaning agent for your oven.
Step-by-Step Guide: Cleaning Your Oven with Baking Soda
Step 1: Empty the Oven
Remove everything from your oven: the racks, thermometer, pizza stone, and anything else inside. You’ll clean these separately.
Step 2: Make a Baking Soda Paste
Mix a 1/2 cup of baking soda with a few tablespoons of water. Adjust the water quantity as needed to achieve a spreadable paste.
Step 3: Apply the Paste
Don your gloves and start applying the paste to the interior of the oven. Coat every nook and cranny, but avoid the heating elements. The paste will turn a brownish color as you go – don’t worry, this is normal.
Step 4: Let It Sit Overnight
Allow the baking soda paste to work its magic for at least 12 hours, or overnight. The paste will slowly but effectively loosen the grime.
Step 5: Clean Oven Racks
While the paste does its job, it’s time to clean the oven racks. Scrub the racks with dish soap and warm water. For stubborn grime, consider applying the baking soda paste and leaving it on for a few hours before scrubbing.
Step 6: Wipe Down the Oven
The next day, take a damp dishcloth and wipe out as much dried baking soda paste as possible. Use a plastic spatula for stubborn spots.
Step 7: Vinegar Spray
In order to eliminate any lingering baking soda residue, lightly spray vinegar onto the inside of the oven. The vinegar will interact with the baking soda, resulting in a foaming reaction. This reaction effectively lifts away any remaining dirt or debris.
Step 8: Final Wipe Down
Do a final wipe-down with a damp cloth. Put the clean racks back in, and you have a sparkling clean oven.
While cleaning your oven with baking soda is a safer alternative to chemical cleaners, it’s still essential to take precautions. Always wear gloves when working with baking soda paste to avoid skin irritation. Ensure your kitchen is well-ventilated during the cleaning process.
Tips for Maintaining a Clean Oven
Now that you’ve learned how to clean an oven with baking soda, let’s look at some tips to maintain the cleanliness of your oven, which will save you from laborious cleaning sessions in the future.
Cleaning your oven after every few uses is an excellent habit to adopt. Regular cleaning prevents the buildup of food residue and grime. This way, you’ll only need to do minor spot treatments and won’t have to clean the entire oven frequently.
Using Oven Liners
Consider investing in an oven liner, a non-stick sheet that catches spills and drips. These liners can be easily cleaned and used again. Just remember to remove them before initiating your oven’s self-cleaning function, if it has one, as the high temperatures can damage the liners.
Cleaning Spills Immediately
If something spills in your oven, clean it as soon as the oven cools down. If you let spills sit and burn on for several uses, they become much harder to clean.
The Environmental Benefits of Cleaning with Baking Soda
An often overlooked advantage of cleaning your oven with baking soda is the positive impact it has on the environment. Many store-bought oven cleaners contain harsh chemicals, which can pose environmental risks when manufactured and disposed of. Baking soda, on the other hand, is a natural substance that poses no harm to the environment. It’s an excellent alternative for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint.
A Word on Baking Soda Alternatives
While baking soda is a popular choice for oven cleaning, there are other eco-friendly alternatives you can use. White vinegar, lemon juice, and even coarse salt can be effective at tackling oven grime. Similar to the baking soda method, these natural substances can be left to sit in the oven for several hours before being scrubbed off.
Cleaning an oven may not be the most glamorous of tasks, but with baking soda, it can be a breeze. Not only is baking soda a highly effective cleaner, but it’s also cheap, readily available, and eco-friendly. Furthermore, by adopting some preventive measures like regular cleaning, using oven liners, and immediate spill cleanup, you can keep your oven in top shape, reducing the frequency of deep cleaning sessions. With these handy tips, your oven will be ready to assist you in cooking delicious meals without having to worry about stubborn stains or unpleasant odours.