Oven Cleaning

Home oven cleaner tips

Even for the most careful cook, oven spillovers occasionally happen. Over time, the spills accumulate to the point where it becomes necessary to clean the oven. In modern times, oven cleaning is much less of a chore than it used to be even a generation ago.

Automatic Self-Cleaning Ovens

The luckiest cooks have self-cleaning ovens, which have a special cycle that reduces spills to powdery gray ashes that you simply wipe off when the cycle ends. Your oven must be locked during the self-cleaning cycle, as it will reach very high temperatures. If any ash residue remains on the oven door or sides, wipe them off gently with a damp rag. Be sure not to scrub the rubber gasket that seals the door of the oven, as this can damage it and prevent the oven from sealing tightly in the future.

Textured ovens, also called continuous cleaning ovens, are made with a rough layer of porcelain on the interior which burns food off as you use the oven. The only cleaning this type of oven requires is to periodically wipe down the interior when it is cool with a damp cloth. Do not use cleaning tools, oven cleaners or abrasive chemicals in a continuous cleaning oven.

Removing Stubborn Oven Stains

Maintaining a clean conventional oven involves carefully wiping up any spills after the oven has cooled using a cloth and hot water. Food spills should not build up if you perform this cleaning regularly, but if you do have a stubborn caked-on spill or just general buildup, you will need to really clean the oven. Some cleaning experts recommend using baking soda as a gentle way to clean the oven. The oven cleaning tips using the baking soda method are:

  • Place 3 tablespoons of baking soda in an empty spray bottle.
  • Fill the bottle with water, and shake the bottle until the baking soda dissolves in the water.
  • Spray the baking soda mixture on the stains and spills in a cold oven.
  • Use your oven as you normally would, spraying the baking soda mixture onto stains between uses. Don't worry about the way it looks; it will look like a mess at this point.
  • After several days of spraying, when your oven is cool, wipe the baking soda and spills with a damp cloth. The baking soda mixture will bond with the carbon in the burned spill and make it easy to remove.

For really stubborn spills, you may have to purchase a commercial cleaner such as Easy Off oven cleaner. Be sure to wear gloves and ventilate the room when using this type of cleaner.