I have been putting off oven cleaning for a while. The crud has been building up and now it smells awful.
Now that I can’t procrastinate any longer, I decided to search for the best options for oven cleaning.
While going through the ingredients of a commercial oven cleaner, I was stunned to find a list of harmful chemicals like sodium hydroxide, butoxydiglycol, monoethanolamine, and potassium hydroxide.
These can cause harm to the eyes, skin, and even lungs!
But then I learned that you can easily clean your oven with baking soda (which isn’t harmful).
In this article, I will share the exact steps you need to follow to clean your oven with baking soda.
How to Clean Oven With Baking Soda?
Baking soda is easy to use, Non-toxic, cheaper, and magical oven cleaner. It is alkaline and neutralizes the acid in the grease and leftover food gunk.
It also has a mildly abrasive nature that helps to remove dried, stuck crud. The best thing is that you can use your oven immediately after cleaning it up with Baking soda.
When you club baking soda with vinegar, the result is foaming and bubbles due to the formation of two compounds carbonic acid and sodium acetate.
Carbonic acid decomposes into water and carbon dioxide gas, giving off foam and bubbles. The chemical reaction helps to clean off the crud.
Allow me to walk you through how to use baking soda and some other supplies to efficiently clean up your oven.
Also read: Can Self-Cleaning Oven Kill You?
The Technique to Clean the Oven
In brief, you need to coat the oven with baking soda paste, leave it overnight, and then finish cleaning with white vinegar.
Stuff You Would Need to Clean the Oven
Here is a list of things you will need :
- Baking soda
- White vinegar
- Microfiber cloth (preferably scotch Brite or any kitchen cleaning cloth)
- Warm water in a container ( to rinse out the cleaning cloth)
- Spatula or brush ( to coat the baking soda paste)
- Scraper or plastic spatula ( to remove the paste later on)
- Dish soap
- Measuring cup/spoon
- Few spoonfuls of water
Steps to Clean Oven Using Baking Soda
Let’s now get to the exact steps you need to follow to clean your oven using baking soda and other things I mentioned above.
Step 1 – Remove Racks and Accessories
Remove the racks and any other accessories like trays, and thermometers from the oven
Step 2 – Remove All Leftover Food
With the help of a spatula or scraper, remove the large and loose leftover food particles.
You can use a plastic or a silicone spatula for this purpose. Do not use elbow power, just remove what can easily come off.
Step 3 – Make a Baking Soda Paste
Make the baking soda paste. For this, you need to take half a cup of baking soda (approx 170gms) and mix with a few spoonfuls of water ( three to four, depending on your cup size).
Make sure to make a fine paste that can easily be spread. You can add or decrease water accordingly. Make enough paste to cover the entire inner surface of the oven.
Step 4 – Spread Baking Soda Paste on the Oven
Wear rubber gloves and spread the baking soda paste evenly all over the interior oven surface. You can also spread it with the help of a spatula or a basting paintbrush.
Don’t worry if you see the paste turning brown or thickening up.
For difficult-to-reach areas, take the help of an old toothbrush to apply. Shut the oven door and leave the paste overnight or for 8-12 hours.
Step 5 – Leave Overnight and then Clean the Racks First
After coating the oven and closing it up to rest overnight, it is time to clean the oven racks.
Place the oven racks on the floor. Put a towel or paper underneath the oven racks. Take a spray bottle and spray white vinegar onto the racks.
Next, sprinkle baking soda over the racks. You will hear a sizzling sound as the chemical reaction begins between the baking soda and vinegar.
Place the racks in warm soapy water ( water+ dishwashing liquid) in a bathroom tub and let them soak overnight.
Step 6 – Wipe the Rack Clean
The next morning, scrub the muck easily away from the oven racks with the help of a scouring pad. Wipe them clean with a cloth and let them dry out naturally.
Step 7 – Cleaning the Oven Door
Open the oven door. The paste would have hardened off. Take warm water in a bucket.
Wring a cotton cloth and use it to wipe away the paste. You can also use a microfiber cloth.
You may need to use a scraper or spatula to remove the stuck paste from certain areas. Some residue of the baking paste will remain.
Do not worry you can remove that with vinegar solution which is an important part of the cleaning process.
Step 8 – Spray Water + Vinegar in the Oven
Take a spray bottle and fill it up with a 3:1 ratio of vinegar and water. Spray the interiors of the oven with it.
You will notice the baking soda paste bubbling up. Wring the cotton cloth in the warm water bucket and clean the interiors. Repeat until you get a shiny new oven.
Step 9 – Put Everything Back together
Place the oven racks and other accessories back into the oven. Your oven is ready for next use.
Click on the link below for visual clarity.
Precautions When Cleaning Oven with Baking Soda
- The baking soda paste method should only be used on stainless steel racks. When applied to aluminum racks, it can discolor them.
- Do not coat the heating elements or exposed metal pieces
- As baking soda is slightly abrasive, do not coat the glass surface of your oven door with it. This is because baking soda is abrasive and will cause scratches on the glass surface. Use a white vinegar and water solution in an equal ratio of 1:1 to coat the glass part of the oven door.
- Avoid wetting the gasket while cleaning the oven.
Tips While Cleaning the Oven
Here are a few helpful tips
- If you don’t like the baking soda and vinegar smell, you can add a few drops of essential or lemon to the mixture.
- To clean the exterior surface of the oven, make an equal ratio of vinegar and water and pour the solution into a spray bottle. Take a rag or cloth and spray the solution onto it. Use it to rub and wipe the exterior surface of your oven until it is clean.
- Use oven liners for heavy baking. The lining sheet will catch all the loosened food material and you will be saved from cleaning.
- Aim for a monthly clean-up if you use your oven daily. Remove the spills as soon as you spot them.
- If you use the oven moderately, clean it up once every three months. Make sure to remove spills and food particles as soon as you spot them. Otherwise, they will just keep burning up releasing obnoxious fumes. The spills will also harden with time, making it difficult for you to clean later.
Different Variations of Cleaning the Oven with Baking Soda
There are a few variations to the baking soda technique :
- Apart from baking soda and water, you can also add one tablespoon of salt to the mixture for a good abrasive effect. Do this for a really dirty oven.
- To remove small spills/stains, sprinkle baking soda and spray 3:1 white vinegar and water solution. Leave it for half an hour to one hour. You will notice the foaming and bubbling of the baking soda paste. Wipe the mixture with a damp cloth or wet paper towels.
- For refreshing or mildly cleaning the oven, dodge the self-cleaning function. Not only does it shorten the lifespan of the oven, but it also results in the release of unpleasant fumes. Self-clean your oven with either the 3:1 white vinegar solution or sprinkle some baking soda. Let it sit for half an hour to one hour (depending on how dirty your oven is and the time you have). Wipe it away with a damp cloth.
Cleaning with baking soda is a healthier and safer alternative to harsh chemical cleaners and the self-cleaning oven cycle.
It has no side effects and does not leave harmful chemical residues. Oven cleaning can be a fun-filled activity with your kids.
They will enjoy coating the oven and placing the racks in the bathtub.
The best part is that you need only a few things to clean your oven. You can immediately use the oven for baking after cleaning.
Depending on how dirty your oven is, you can try different variations with baking soda. Follow the tips and cautions above for a sparkling clean oven. Happy cleaning!
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