The Kitchn Cure Day 7: Cleaning the Oven (the Hardcore Edition)

updated May 9, 2022
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(Image credit: Henry Chen)

The Kitchn Cure Day 7: Take a hardcore approach to cleaning the oven.
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Okay, no soft lead-ins today; no distracting honey pots and sunbeams, no philosophical pitter-patter. I’m taking us straight in because we’re about to tackle arguably the worst job in the kitchen: we’re going to clean the oven and we’re gonna clean it good. Don’t pause, don’t think — just grab my hand and jump!

Well, maybe just one little tidbit before we go all hardcore with the baking soda and vinegar. It involves the promise I made earlier about this Cure having a more thoughtful and mindful approach to our time in the kitchen. And yet, the first thing I mention in the oven cleaning instructions below is to distract yourself with music or podcasts. Since when is plugging in your earbuds a mindful thing to do?

Here’s my take on it. Cleaning the oven can be really difficult to take on — it’s messy, greasy, and requires bending over and placing half of your body into your oven for extended periods of time, all the while scouring as hard as you can. So it’s no surprise that we might require a little extra enhancement to help us along.

Mindfulness purists might not agree, but I think it’s fine to mediate or enhance these kinds of drudgery tasks with music or other audio, such as an audiobook or podcast. I don’t recommend plugging in every time you enter the kitchen, but when it comes to cleaning the oven? No hesitation. So queue up your favorite playlist, author, or podcast and have at it … the present circumstances, slightly improved (for the moment, at least).

Today’s Assignment

  1. Take a “before” photo of your oven. This might take more guts than you have (if your oven is anything like my oven), but if you’re really committed to this, then take a “before” shot of your oven and post the photo to your Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, or Facebook account. Use the hashtag #kitchncure.
  2. Enhance and distract. Oven cleaning is hardcore. You could make it even more hardcore and go at it straight-up and unmediated — just you, your scrubbie, and a gallon of industrial-strength vinegar. Or you can be kind to your good self and bring in a little enhancement, like some favorite music. Last year Cambria recommended this cleaning playlist, but anything that keeps your spirits up is good. Or use this as a time to get caught up on your favorite podcasts or audio book.

  3. Just do it. Clean that oven! Follow our step-by-step tutorial on how to clean an oven with baking soda and vinegar. Can you cheat and use your oven’s self-cleaning function? You can, but we don’t recommend it.

  4. Just keep doing it. Clean those racks! Follow our step-by-step tutorial on how to clean oven racks in the bathtub.

  5. The final lap. Take on the greasy oven door with help from this post — and don’t forget to clean the crack between the oven and countertop (these reader reader suggestions are helpful.)

  6. Take an “after” photo of your oven. You did it and you should be proud! Take a photo and post it to your Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, or Facebook account, and use the hashtag #kitchncure.

(Image credit: Henry Chen)

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  • Follow and show your progress on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter! Make sure to use the #kitchncure hashtag.
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