How To Keep Your Oven Clean
Every home cook at one time or another is going to have to deal with a dirty oven. The only way to avoid it is to never spill anything or line your oven with aluminum foil. Since spills and “explosions” are almost impossible to prevent (in my experience, anyway), you should be armed with the information you need to thoroughly and safely clean your oven when messes happen.
To keep your oven clean, make sure to wipe any spills that occur with a hot, wet cloth after the oven has cooled off. This will help prevent food from building up or burning onto the oven surface. If you’ve missed a couple of spills and now you’ve got a mess on your hands, there are a few options for cleaning your oven that are inexpensive and effective.
For ovens that feature a self-cleaning setting, it’s pretty simple. Any spill inside your oven will be reduced to a pile of ash that can simply be wiped away with a damp cloth when the cycle is complete. The interior of the door and frame may need a gentle cleaner to reduce any residue that has accumulated. You also will want to keep a window open to prevent smoke from adhering to the walls or ceiling.
For stubborn stains and build-up, an oven cleaner and a good brush or scrubbing pad should scour away most of the gunk. You should always open a window or door for ventilation when using an oven cleaner.
While there are plenty of oven cleaning products that are non-toxic, fume free, and only cost about $5 or $6 per can, some of you may prefer more natural, do-it-yourself oven cleaners.
For that, a combination of baking soda and water mixed into a paste can be used to coat oven surfaces and left to sit overnight. Now, you won’t just wake up to a sparkly clean oven. You will still need work up a little muscle and use a sponge to scrub the residue off, but it’s effective and cheap.
Unscented ammonia is another inexpensive solution. Simply set a bowl of ammonia in the oven overnight and wipe the interior with warm water the next day. This will help you to go longer between heavy duty cleanings.
These natural methods are also safe with self-cleaning ovens. Just be sure that your oven is turned OFF and NOT in self-cleaning mode when you use these cleaning solutions.
Whether you prefer a name brand cleaner or a homemade solution, both will clean your oven so you won’t have to deal with smoke and the smell of burnt food filling your house the next time you turn on your oven. Happy Cooking!