Cleaning the oven can be quite a painful task to carry out on the weekend. After all, who wants to scrub all kinds of food spills, crusty formations, etc. adhering to the oven on a week off! However, the fact is, the job still has to be done and yesterday's spills need to be cleaned up, unless you like the smell of last meal's burnt residue in your next meal! Some ovens come with the self-cleaning mode, however, even though they require lesser cleaning, one does have to spend time cleaning them as well. So irrespective of the type of oven you own, cleaning is inevitable!
Oven Cleaning Tips and Instructions
Each oven has been designed in a specific manner. So, take out your owner's manual and read the instructions mentioned in it before you attempt cleaning your oven for the first time. The information in the manual will prepare you and make you aware of some crucial dos and don'ts of oven cleaning, with respect to the oven you have at home.
Prepare Your Oven Cleaner
Most commercial cleaning agents emit fumes that strike one's sinuses, not to mention the possibility of burning your eyes and skin on contact. If you are using the commercial sprays, then ensure you wear gloves. You could also use one of the cleaning agent recipes mentioned below to clean your oven. These natural solvents are as effective as the commercial ones and definitely much safer.
Cleaning Solvent 1
Mix 4 tablespoons of vinegar along with 5 tablespoons of baking soda and 3 drops of liquid dish soap. You will get a thick paste. This paste needs to be applied to the oven's interior and scrubbed with a sponge. Wipe and rinse thoroughly.
Cleaning Solvent 2
Take one cup salt and one cup baking powder and mix them. Pour one cup water into the baking powder and salt mixture, to form a paste. Apply it to the interiors of the oven and close the door. Heat the oven to 500 degrees for an hour. Turn it off and let the oven cool. Once it's cool, use a damp piece of sponge to wipe off the debris. Rinse the sponge and wipe again, till the oven is thoroughly clean.
Tips and Instructions for Cleaning the Oven
The type of cleaning procedure will vary according to the type of oven.
Remove the racks from the oven, along with the broiler pan, which is under the oven. Place them in soapy water for 20 minutes and wipe clean with a piece of sponge. Leaving the racks inside the oven can conduce to discoloration and warping during the cleaning cycle.
Ensure the door of the oven is locked securely before switching to the self-cleaning mode. Keep the windows open while the cycle is going on, in order to provide an outlet for the smoke. This way smoke won't stick on the walls and ceiling of your kitchen. Otherwise cleaning them is another day's task!
Run the self-oven cleaning-cycle, at the end of which, you will have all the spillage turned into a gray pile of ash, which can be wiped away afterwards with least effort.
Apply the above mentioned cleaning solution 1 onto the inside of the oven. Use a sponge or damp cloth to wipe away the residue. The oven door and frame also need to be cleaned with the cleansing solution. However, in case of the rubbery gasket, avoid scrubbing, instead only rinse it with dish soap and water. Rinse thoroughly and have a clean oven!
Non Self-Cleaning Oven
For non self-cleaning ovens, the procedure is slightly different. Once you take out the racks and place them in hot-soapy water, apply the cleaning solvent inside the oven. Heat the oven to 500 degrees for an hour. Turn it off and let the oven cool. Once it's cool, use a damp sponge to wipe off the debris. Rinse the sponge and wipe the oven again.
Since, baking soda is a mild abrasive, one can use it to clean the oven on a regular basis. Moreover, if you own the non self-cleaning oven, then place an aluminum foil on the bottom of food item you know will drip. Lining the baking pan with foil and then placing the food items will help simplify the cleaning process. Also, make sure you clean your oven on a regular basis. Allowing food debris-buildup to increase will only result in foul odor, smoke during the self cleaning cycle and will also increase the effort you need to put in for removing stubborn stains. So regular cleaning is the best option!