How to Clean an Oven

Whether it’s for experimenting with an intricate new recipe or simply heating up a frozen pizza, you rely on your oven fairly often to help you prepare hot and delicious food. And more than likely, a routine part of cleaning your kitchen is wiping down the outside of your oven and the stovetop to keep it looking shiny and new.

But are you extending that same courtesy to the inside of your oven? If it’s been a while since the last time you cleaned your oven—or if you can’t remember the last time you cleaned your oven, it’s probably time to give this hard-working appliance a little TLC.

Reasons to Clean Your Oven

Whether you use your oven daily or monthly, there’s a good chance it could benefit from a thorough cleaning. In fact, there are many reasons to clean your electric or gas oven on a regular basis.

Improve Your Meals

Over time, grease and food splatters can build up along the inside of your oven and become caked on. From there, each time you turn your oven on, you could be releasing unpleasant odors not only into the air but into the food you’re cooking. By cooking in a clean oven, you may actually find that the flavor of your meals improves as well.

Self-Clean Only Does So Much

Some ovens come equipped with a “self-clean” feature that works by simply heating up the inside of your oven to an extremely high temperature. The idea is that food particles and other debris will be broken down and, in most cases, turned into ash due to the sheer heat alone. However, self-cleaning features can only do so much and generally aren’t the best (or safest) approach for cleaning an oven that hasn’t been scrubbed down in a long time.

Prevent Smoke and Fires

In the case of an extremely dirty oven, you could even end up with a fire hazard. By cleaning your oven, you can get rid of debris and other particles that could cause a fire or heavy smoke the next time you turn on your oven.

How Often to Clean Your Oven

Let’s face it. Nobody enjoys getting on their hands and knees to clean out the inside of an oven. Still, it’s one of those things that really should be done regularly for the reasons listed above. How often you need to clean your oven will depend on how often you use it and just how dirty it gets.

Keep in mind that once you thoroughly clean your oven, you may be able to extend time in between deep cleanings by using the “self-clean” feature (if applicable). In general, however, you should aim to deep clean your oven at least once or twice a year.

Cleaning Your Oven: Step By Step

Ready to clean your oven? Before you reach for that store-bought oven cleaner that’s probably loaded with chemicals, why not try a more natural approach that uses the cleaning power of baking soda and vinegar?

Remove and Wash Racks

Begin by taking out everything that’s inside your oven. This includes any oven racks, cast iron pans, pizza stones, or other dishware. Oven racks can be washed by hand; if there is a lot of built-up grease on the rocks themselves, consider letting them soak in a mixture of water and dish soap overnight.

Create and Apply a Cleaning Paste

Next, it’s time to create a special cleaning paste that will break down grease and food residue inside your oven without the use of harsh chemical cleaners. To create this paste, all you need to do is combined half a cup of baking soda with a few tablespoons of water. The key is to create a paste that’s thick enough to spread onto the inside surfaces of your oven without dripping.

Once you’re happy with the consistency of the paste, use rubber gloves to apply it liberally to the inside of your oven. If you have a gas oven, be careful not to apply any over the gas valve inside the oven itself, as this can cause damage to the component.

Let It Sit Overnight

After the paste has been applied all over the inside of your oven, it’s time to let the baking soda work its magic. Ideally, you’ll want to let the paste sit inside the oven with the door closed overnight. If you cannot wait this long, however, be sure to let the mixture sit for at least a few hours to give it a chance to work.

Don Gloves and Scrub Away

The next morning, put a set of rubber gloves on and use a damp cloth to wipe away the cleaning mixture. By now, the mixture will likely have hardened a bit, so you may need to use some warm water and elbow grease to scrub it (along with grease and other build-ups) away. If there are any stubborn areas where there is still build-up, try spraying some white vinegar on top. This will create a reaction between the vinegar and baking soda, which should loosen up even the most difficult of build-up.

Rinse With Water

Once the baking soda mixture is scrubbed away, simply wipe down the interior of your oven with a clean, damp cloth. This will remove any remaining residue. Again, if you’re working with a gas oven, be careful to wipe around any gas valves or other sensitive components.

Dry and Replace Racks

All that’s left to do now is replace the oven racks that you cleaned earlier; by now, they should be dry. If they’re not, be sure to wipe them dry before you place them back into your oven. From there, you’re ready to get cooking!

For Professional Assistance…

As you can see, you don’t need to buy harsh chemical cleaners to get the inside of your oven looking like new again. A little baking soda, water, and possibly some vinegar is all you need to clean out your oven with minimal effort on your part.

Looking for help with cleaning other parts of your home? Maid Sailors offers a wide range of professional home cleaning and office cleaning services, and we’re proud to serve NYC and the surrounding areas. From kitchen cleaning to dusting, taking out the trash, and everything in between—we offer the services you need to keep a clean and tidy home while freeing up your valuable time.

Contact Maid Sailors today at (212) 299-5170 to find out more about our certified professional cleaning services or use our quick and easy online form to request your first appointment now.

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