my oven before it was cleaned
Day 7 Task: Clean the Oven
I've cleaned my oven exactly once in the last two years. That one time was due out of necessity more than desire: An oil spill in my oven caused a lot of smoke and and an awful smell. It was not fun to clean up that mess. Not even a little bit. This time around, however, I was ready to tackle the project head-on with a little more grace and the help of some baking soda and dish detergent.
My oven doesn't have the self-clean ability, so it was either harsh chemicals or the baking soda and vinegar method. I went with the later. After taking out the grates and creating a paste with the baking soda, I put on my rubber gloves and gave my oven a nice massage.
I let that baby sit overnight with the hopes that it would be easier to rub off the oven gunk in the morning.
In the meantime, I lined my bathtub with an old towel and laid the oven racks on top. I filled the tub with hot water and some dish detergent and let it sit for five hours. I can't begin to tell you how easy the grates were to clean after sitting in the tub. It might be gross to have that stuff in your bathroom, but it is worth it.
The next day I woke up at 8am to clean my oven. I honestly never in my life thought I would be someone who did that, but it made me feel great. It was rather alarming how black all the dish towels were after I was finished.
The only thing that wouldn't budge (not even a little), was the the oven door. It was incredibly greasy and grimy after a good scrub. I'm going to buy the special cleaner Cambria used to clean her greasy oven door and hope that does the trick.
It might not look like much, but the dish towels don't lie. My oven is clean and ready to be filled with all kinds of things that will make it dirty again.
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(Image credits: Ariel Knutson; The Kitchn)