I couldn't put it off any longer our oven needed a jolly good clean. I won't go into detail but it was getting past disgusting. This is a job I usually put off for ever and normally only attempt in the summer when, because I usually use commercial oven cleaning sprays, I can have lots of windows and doors open.
Not only is it too cold for having all the windows and doors open right now I am really beginning to question the chemicals used in these sprays. Many contain lye and ammonia which work very quickly but are dangerous to breathe in and can harm the skin because they are caustic (they can cause chemical burns). The smell is very toxic and lingers in the oven afterwards which is worrying. They also make a horrible mess on the kitchen floor even if it is well protected. Careful storage of commercial oven cleaners is also an issue due to the high chemical content.
When I searched for 'best oven cleaner' on line only the commercial products came out at the top of the search lists. Interestingly these products are not cheap. Yet many people rate natural and cheap products such as bicarbonate of soda, white vinegar and lemons as being just as effective. Aren't natural and cheaper oven cleaning products better? Better for our health and safety, the environment and our pockets. The fact that most of us loathe cleaning our ovens is a weakness that seems to have been seized upon and exploited by the commercial world. If it costs a lot of money it must be good, right? Well I decided to give these commercial products a run for their money by testing these natural products on my repulsive oven. It was relatively easy.
This is how.
Natural oven cleaning method
- remove the shelves from the oven and put them in the dishwasher on a high temperature cycle.
- spray the bottom of the oven with water
- sprinkle a light layer of bicarbonate of soda over the area
- leave this for a couple of hours or longer
- add a small amount of white vinegar over the same area (which will cause the mixture to fizz excitedly)
- leave this mixture for another hour and then use a scourer to scrub the bottom and sides of the oven with the mixture
- then remove the gunk like mixture with wet cloths
- clean the glass door separately with a small about of bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar
You can use essential oil mixed into this mixture to give a wonderful smell. Lemon juice and halved lemons squeezed into a small bowl of water baked at a medium temperature for about 30 minutes will also help loosen grease and fragrance your oven.
Other tips for making this job more manageable are to line the bottom of the oven with foil or a liner and to clean your oven little and often.
The results were good for a first attempt. Maybe not quite as perfect as using commercial oven cleaners but the experience felt much safer and more pleasant. Cleaning my oven this way will be less of a chore and one I'm more likely to keep up with.
Ta-dah! One cleaner oven and one effervescent blogger.