Have you given your oven a thorough cleaning recently? I began to pay closer attention to my oven’s cleanliness when it started emitting smoke and triggering my fire alarm every time I used it.
To prevent these fire alarm fiascos, I now make it a routine to clean my oven at least every 4-6 months, using just three simple ingredients: baking soda, water, and vinegar.
Despite their simplicity, these kitchen staples are potent cleaning agents that work wonders without the need for potentially harmful chemicals.
Why clean your oven?
If you’re someone who uses their oven a lot, chances are it’s gotten pretty dirty over time. You know how it is – spills, food bits, and grease build up and start to stick around. But did you know that a dirty oven can actually be a real fire hazard? All that built-up grease and debris can become super flammable, especially when cooking at high temperatures.
Additionally, maintaining a clean oven reduces smoke and unpleasant odors during cooking. Neglecting oven spills and overflows can lead to smoky kitchen disasters. Trust me, I’ve learned this the hard way, and it’s not pretty! The whole kitchen ends up smoky, resulting in an unpleasant cooking experience. However, keeping my oven clean has made cooking safer, more enjoyable, and smoke-free.
How often should you deep clean your oven?
It depends on how often you use it. As a general rule, if you cook almost daily, it’s recommended to deep-clean your oven at least every three to six months to prevent the buildup of grease and food residues.
If your oven sees less use, such as only on special occasions or during holiday cooking, an annual deep cleaning should be enough. But, if you notice that your oven is emitting strong odors or smoking every time you use it, it’s most likely a sign that it’s time for a deep clean. Just trust your instincts and clean it as necessary.
Why use baking soda?
I’m a big fan of using baking soda for various cleaning tasks around the house. It’s an incredibly versatile and effective cleaning agent. I usually mix it with water to make a paste and then use it on tough stains, dirty showers, and greasy messes.
Not only is baking soda’s abrasive texture effective at removing grime, but it is also a safer alternative. Unlike many commercial oven cleaners that contain harsh chemicals, baking soda is non-toxic and food-safe. Personally, I prefer cleaning my oven without worrying about inhaling potentially harmful fumes or leaving behind chemical residue.
Finally, baking soda is a great environmentally friendly option for household cleaning that doesn’t contribute to air or water pollution- making it a safe and planet-conscious choice. Plus, most baking soda products are packaged in plastic-free containers, making it a simple and eco-friendly cleaning alternative.
How to clean your oven with baking soda
- Baking soda
- A bowl
- Rubber gloves
- A damp cloth or sponge
- A plastic or silicone spatula
- A spray bottle with water
- Vinegar in a spray bottle, optional
1. Prepare the oven:
I think this goes without saying, but before you start cleaning your oven, please ensure it is turned off and cooled down. Next, remove the oven racks and set them aside to be cleaned.
2. Create a baking soda paste:
Mix enough baking soda with water in a bowl to create a thick, spreadable paste. Start with around 1/2 cup of baking soda and add water gradually to reach the desired consistency.
3. Apply the paste:
Put on rubber gloves to protect your hands. Spread the baking soda paste as evenly as possible on the interior surfaces of the oven, focusing on areas with stubborn stains or heavy grease buildup. Avoid the heating elements or any electrical components.
4. Let it sit:
Allow the baking soda paste to sit in the oven for at least 12 hours or overnight. This will give it time to break down excess grime, making cleaning easier.
5. Wipe down the oven:
After the paste has had time to work its magic, wipe away the dried baking soda and the loosened grime using a damp cloth. You might want to use a plastic or silicone spatula (and a bit of extra elbow grease) to help scrape off stubborn residue.
Spray your oven with water and wipe down the oven’s interior using a clean sponge to remove any remaining baking soda residue.
Tip: Use vinegar spray. If there is still a bit of residue, fill a spray bottle (I love and use Cleaning Essentials glass bottles!) with vinegar and lightly mist the oven’s interior. When vinegar is added to baking soda, a chemical reaction occurs. This reaction causes the remaining baking soda to bubble and dissolve in the vinegar, making it easier to wipe away.
7. Final rinse & Replace Oven Racks
Use a clean, damp cloth to give the oven one last wipe-down to ensure no baking soda or vinegar residue is left behind. If you still need to clean your oven racks, now’s a great time to do it. Once clean, go ahead and place them back into the oven.
And voilà! Your oven is now clean and ready to be used.
While cleaning your oven with baking soda is definitely a great way to get it sparkling clean, it’s not necessarily the quickest cleaning method, especially if you don’t have 12 hours to wait for the baking soda to work its magic. If you’re pressed for time, I’ve compiled a list of non-toxic and eco-friendly cleaning brands you can opt for instead. Check them out here: 14 Non-Toxic Cleaning Brands for Your Home. That being said, this is my go-to method when it comes to deep cleaning my oven and works wonders every time!