I Tried the $5 Oven Cleaner That Amazon Shoppers Are Obsessed With
It is well-documented that I hate cleaning my oven. As someone who writes about cleaning for a living, I get paid to do it, so it gets done. Otherwise, I can honestly say I probably wouldn’t attempt it as part of a monthly — or even bi-monthly — cleaning regimen. I would just be lazy and ignore the fact that it needed to be cleaned until baking something meant setting off every smoke alarm in the house. Feel me?
I know I’m speaking to many of you out there who feel the same way. So here’s the thing: I think it is perfectly acceptable (for me it is, anyway) to make allowances here and there for products that would otherwise mean living in a less-than-clean home. I gave into this popular oven cleaner — and it was also a good choice.
Here’s what my oven looked like before. Pretty awful, huh?
If you’re wondering what the white stuff is, it’s baking soda residue from when I painted every square inch of the oven in it in an attempt to clean it naturally. (I either have super-short arms or a very deep oven — or both? — because apparently I had a hard time reaching all the way to the back to get it clean.)
To be clear, the baking soda method works, but it just takes a lot of effort and scrubbing and is a huge mess. This can of Easy Off, on the other hand, requires decent aim and the maximum effort of pressing a button with your index finger. You simply spray everywhere, taking care not to spray the pilot light or bulb.
Before I sprayed my oven I removed the racks, then after I’d sprayed the insides, I put the racks back in and sprayed them. They were in really rough shape; I didn’t have high expectations that the racks would come clean, but I sprayed them anyway.
I shut the door and let it sit and foam for two hours. The can says “fume-free,” but I still caught some strong lemony smells (the stuff is technically lemon-scented, after all), so I cracked the window and left it open for a few hours just to be safe.
After the two-hour mark, I opened the oven door and began wiping up the foam using paper towels and a spray bottle of water. (The product recommends rinsing frequently with warm water, so I filled a water bottle and was able to rinse it down fairly quickly.) All in all, I used an entire roll of paper towels — not the best idea when supplies are running low and you’re right smack in the middle of a global pandemic, but the whole process was a very welcome cathartic experience that ended with a squeaky-clean oven, so it was worth it! Note: The sludge that comes up is a lot like bacon grease, so I wouldn’t recommend using dish towels (all that grease and grime would wreak havoc on a washing machine).
Onto the oven racks. Again, with minimal effort, they wiped away clean! I think the way to get the racks perfectly clean would be to lay them flat in the tub, saturate them with cleaning spray, and then wipe them clean with a scrub brush.
My final thoughts: I was very impressed with how little effort on my part it took to get the oven clean. The actual cleaning part took the tiniest amount of effort. You literally just wipe it away. One might even say it comes off …”easy.” I noticed a few spots I’d missed, and a few places that didn’t come clean the first time, so I concentrated on spraying just those areas and let it sit.
Two hours and a few minutes of wiping and rinsing later, I had an oven I was proud to show my mother. Proof:
Buy: Easy Off Professional Fume Free Max Oven Cleaner, $11.44
How do you clean your oven? Or better yet: DO you clean your oven?