An All-Natural Oven Cleaner That Actually Works

New Year resolutions are funny things. It seems that we all feel obliged to make them, and yet, it also seems that we find an excuse to break them at the first opportunity. Which is why we don’t make any.

And yet, a new year seems like a fantastic opportunity to do some things differently. And there was definitely a mistake that we made last year that we didn’t want to repeat — not keeping the oven sparkling clean.

We have seen the consequence of that mistake. Although we use our oven almost every day, and we wipe it quite frequently, we had never really spent time properly scrubbing it. We were used to a self-clean oven that did all the hard work itself, so we kept postponing the tough task of spending hours scrubbing. Until November, when as part of our Thanksgiving prep, we had to bite the bullet and use our arm muscles.

Hours later and with sore arms, we vowed that we wouldn’t allow so much time to pass between cleanings. Surely, it would be much easier to do it more often, before the burnt food congealed to the oven and we had to spend another day elbows deep in grease.

And after all the cooking we did in the past few weeks, from the Thanksgiving turkey to our Christmas goose adventure, this was a perfect time to turn a new page and start the year — well, almost — with a clean oven.

When we did the major clean-up in November, we had purchased some heavy duty cleaner. It did the job splendidly and even surprised us. We still have quite a bit left, more than enough for another clean, but we decided to try something new. We’ve come across various articles singing the praises of items that everyone tends to have in their pantry and which would do the job as well as any oven cleaner.

So, we decided to give it a try and keep the heavy duty stuff for the parts that were more difficult to clean. This is what we used:

  • baking soda
  • distilled vinegar
  • dish soap
  • lemon

We started by mixing around five tablespoons of baking soda with a few drops of dish soap and the juice of a small lemon and then added around three tablespoons of vinegar. Warning: Use a large container because the solution will froth over when you add the vinegar. The solution seemed too watery so we added more baking soda until we got a paste that we spread over the oven floor and sides. Since it still seemed a little watery, we spread some more baking soda directly on the oven.

Then we walked away. For a few hours. Yes, we were tempted to see whether it was working by scrubbing some areas, but we kept away. When we couldn’t wait any longer, about three hours later, we wiped off the solution with a wet cloth and used  a scouring pad to scrub away whatever was left.

The result was quite stunning. Was it perfect? No, there are still some patches that need work, especially the difficult-to-reach areas, but it is definitely much better than it was. Judge for yourselves.

IMG_8413

The oven before we started cleaning

IMG_8415

The final result

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