You use it all the time, so it should come as no surprise that every once in a while your oven needs a good cleaning and some serious TLC. This isn't a job any of us enjoy, but it must be done.
These smart and helpful tips come from five times we tackled truly grimy ovens. Ready to get cleaning?
1. There's a better cleaning method than your oven's self-cleaning function.
Some lucky people use this function without problem, but many others have not fared so well. When using the self-cleaning function, the heating elements and oven just get so hot — much, much hotter than the 350°F to 500°F range of normal baking — that sometimes fuses pop and control panels burn out. We recommend skipping this.
2. Keep it natural with a little vinegar, baking soda, and good ol' elbow grease.
No need for those harsh chemicals with strong fumes that make you feel loopy; there's an easy and natural way to clean your oven. It will take a little elbow grease on your part, but vinegar and baking soda is enough to get the job done.
3. The bathtub is a great spot to clean grimy oven racks.
If you've put in the time to clean your oven, don't ignore those grimy oven racks. You need to give them a good soaking before putting in a little scrubbing action, and the best spot for this, with plenty of space, is your bathtub.
4. We found an all-natural cleaner strong enough to take on your greasy oven door.
After Cambria went through many unsuccessful attempts at cleaning her ultra-greasy oven door, a Kitchn reader suggested an all-natural, non-toxic cleaner that finally did the trick. She fell in love with Norwex Grill and Oven Cleaner, so if the grease on your oven door just won't come off, give this product a try.
5. Take a peek under the stove hood and clean the exhaust fan filters.
Over time, the filter may become so blocked with grease that it loses its effectiveness, which is why it's important to clean these filters periodically.
You can clean the filter in your sink with just boiling water, baking soda, and a good de-greasing dish soap. Some hood filters can actually be washed in the dishwasher, but only if you clean it regularly and it isn't too greasy.
(Image credits: Ariel Knutson)