One of my least favourite domestic tasks is cleaning the oven. I hate it. I don’t know why, because it’s not the most disgusting of tasks (I clean a cat litter tray regularly, cleaning an oven can’t be compared to that) but it has to be done, so once a month, I have an oven cleaning session and this is how I do it, without using nasty chemicals.
There are oven cleaners out there that are caustic and pretty toxic and I really prefer not to use them, because, well they are caustic and toxic. Sometimes you might have to resort to that but if you keep your oven reasonably clean then you just need to do a deeper clean when needed. I also tend to try to not cook foods that spatter and splutter oil and fat too much, which helps too.
So how do I clean my oven and with what?
In several stages and with lemon, hot water, bicarbonate of soda and a cleaning cloth, oh, and the vacuum cleaner.
I remove all the racks and pans and soak the oven racks in a solution of bicarbonate of soda in warm water in the bath or kitchen sink. If they are really dirty you could run them through the dishwasher if you have one.
Whilst they are soaking…
I vacuum the oven. Yup, you heard me right. I take my vacuum cleaner and using the hose and a brush nozzle if needed, I thoroughly vacuum any crumbs or bits out.
Take three lemons, and cut them in half. Put them in an ovenproof dish covered in water and place them in the oven on about 120 degrees for about 40 minutes. The steam from the lemons cooking in water will fill the oven and break off any grease or dirt that’s on the sides of the oven.
Let the lemon water cool, take it out of the oven then use a cleaning cloth, and the lemon water, wipe down the oven inside and the glass door of the oven. If you have any stubborn spots of tough baked on grime you can use a paste of bicarbonate of soda on your cloth but be careful not to scrub too hard or you will scratch the oven surface.
Wipe down the oven to make sure all traces of lemon juice etc are gone then put the racks back in and voila, your oven is clean and no one had to wear a Darth Vader style mask to breathe through nasty fumes from harsh cleaners.
If you have a steam cleaner, then you could also use that with smaller head attachments to clean your oven, and occasionally I do pull ours out and give my oven an extra deep clean.
Easy and non-toxic. I might not like cleaning the oven but it does feel good when it’s done for another month.