It’s understandable to want to avoid commercial oven cleaners as much as possible. Even if you take all the proper precautions, they can be harsh on your skin, be dangerous to members of your family, and of course, there’s that harsh chemical smell…
However, cleaning an oven with elbow grease alone isn’t a task we would wish on anyone. What’s needed is some oven cleaning home remedies which work to remove baked on food particles and grease. Read on to find our cleaning expert’s breakdown of which common recipes for cleaning an oven will get you real results.
1. Baking Soda and Vinegar
Create a half-and half solution of baking soda and water. Use this to scrub all over the inside of the oven, the (pre-removed) oven racks, and the glass oven door.
The corrosive nature of the soda will help to remove any baked-on grime. Once you have covered the mentioned parts of the oven with baking soda solution, leave it for at least a few hours, preferably overnight for a deep cleaning.
After the mixture’s had time to “dwell” and harden, spray it with tap water and rub the oven down in circular motions to loosen and remove a good amount of the dirt.
Finally, spray it with vinegar. Any bits of grit left over will by now be infused with the baking soda and the vinegar will help to dissolve them, as well as cutting through the last of the grease. Wipe out the oven and the racks fully and, for best results, apply another coat of vinegar for extra shine. This works particularly well to add sparkle to oven doors.
This is the solution we recommend the most often, however, the results depend a great deal on your method. Many recipes recommend mixing your baking soda and vinegar together early on in the clean, which creates a satisfying amount of foam but doesn't lead to the best results. This is because you only get the advantages of the final product of the chemical reaction (salty water) rather than the soda and vinegar individually.
2. Rubbing Alcohol and washing up liquid
Combine a cup of alcohol with a cup of water, before adding 8 squirts of washing up liquid. Add all this to a spray bottle and cover the interior of your oven. Leave for twenty minutes and wipe down.
Elements of this cleaning product work: rubbing alcohol is a disinfectant which kills nasty bacteria and washing up liquid is created to cut through grease.
However, it lacks both the absorbent and exfoliating elements of some other options. This means it can fail to have an effect on extremely greasy surfaces or stubborn burnt food, so we didn’t achieve the best results with this. If you would like to try it, we have the following recommendations:
· Use a plastic spatula or the scouring side of a sponge with the solution to manually scrub away anything which has been burned on
· Avoid cleaning glass surfaces with castile soap if hard water is common in your area, as it can leave behind a residue
· NEVER mix any product which contains bleach with isopropyl alcohol, this creates chloroform, which can do a large amount of damage to your lungs, eyes and liver.
Pre-heat your oven to 250°c. Half two lemons and place them in an oven-proof bowl of water on the lowest shelf of your oven. Leave the lemons to steam for one hour, then turn off the heat and open the oven door. When the oven is still warm but cool enough to touch inside, remove the lemon bowl, put on washing up gloves, and use a scouring pad to rub down your oven interior.
This is not the right cleaning solution for a deep clean, the acid from the lemons and dampness from the steam will lift off some grime but have little effect on thoroughly dirty ovens.
However, this is a method we would recommend to refresh your oven between more thorough cleans - it removes a layer of grease, clears oven doors, and makes your kitchen smell great.
4. White vinegar and cornflour
Add one tablespoon of cornflour and one cup of vinegar to a pan and simmer them over a low temperature until the mixture has thickened.
Take it off the heat and, once cooled, apply the cleaner to the inside of your oven. Leave it for at least an hour, then wipe clean with a damp cloth.
This is another cleaner which will remove some grease and add shine, but struggle with ovens which have gone a long time without a clean. The white vinegar will cut through some grime, but isn’t a strong enough cleaning agent to remove really stubborn food stains as a lone cleaning agent.
Needing to heat and cool the cleaner and oven can also make this process take longer than some of the other options.
5. Salt and water
Create a paste using equal parts salt and warm tap water. Apply this to the inside of the oven and leave overnight. In the morning, scrub off the solution and wipe clean.
The graininess of the salt is effective for scouring the oven clean, but it can take a lot of elbow grease and smears may be left on shiny surfaces such as stovetops.
Overall, we would suggest small amounts of this solution to deal with new food stains rather than using it for a whole oven clean.
6. Seaweed Bio Cleaner
Spray the cleaner evenly onto the walls and door of your oven when it’s still lukewarm after a cooking session. Leave it for at least an hour, preferably overnight, then wipe the residue away with a soft sponge and warm water. Use a microfiber cloth to give your oven a final polish.
This is what our specialist cleaners use for a reliable, professional domestic clean. Seaweed Bio Cleaner works every time for us, leaving even the most desperate ovens dazzlingly clean after an overnight session.
It has many of the advantages of a home remedy, being free of harsh chemicals, neutral smelling, and even safe enough to use without gloves. It’s also friendly for the planet, being entirely made of biodegradable seaweed and plant products.
If you fancy trying out a bottle, UK readers can order one from us over phone or email for just£9.99 (plus postage).
Is It Time for a Professional Oven Clean?
If all else fails, or you’d just like to make your busy life a little easier, it’s time to call in the experts. The state of your oven can so easily get out of hand, and the friendly professionals at A Cleaning Service can easily get it back to a shiny, hygienic, and safe state with no fuss.