The easiest way to clean an oven and remove baked on crud is to mix baking soda, water, and vinegar in equal parts in a bowl and sponge onto all of the surfaces inside your oven. Once they’re coated well place the remaining mixture in its bowl on a rack in the oven. Turn the oven on at 100 degrees for 45 minutes. When the time is up the baked on mess should easily wipe away! This simple process should knock out the majority of even the most difficult baked on crust and clear up the glass window so you can see inside your oven again and marvel at how pristine it is.
Steam cleaners are excellent tools to have for all sorts of cleaning chores around the kitchen. One of their many great uses is cleaning an oven. The high pressure and high temperature steam liquifies the baked on mess and allows it to easily be wiped away. While you can use a steam cleaner to clean your entire oven, it’s a slow process and not the most efficient way to get the job done. It’s better to use the baking soda, water, and vinegar method to clean the majority of the oven and then use a steam cleaner to take care of those more difficult to clean spots.
The wand of a good steam cleaner can easily reach into the back of the oven and get into smaller nooks and crevices that would otherwise be difficult to get spotless. A small handheld steam cleaner may be able to work okay but they usually don’t have the highest temperatures and may not have attachments like a wand that make getting those hard to reach places easy. Not to mention, handheld steam cleaners don’t last long before running out of steam (literally). Stepping up to a higher quality and larger steam cleaner would be a wiser solution when going this route. You can view a few of our suggested steam cleaners in our article on the best handheld steam cleaner for grout. We cover more than just handheld steam cleaners in this review and suggest some good upgrade options.
Traditional self cleaning ovens take a brute force approach to cleaning the inside of an oven. Essentially they are designed to reach incredibly high temperatures and scorch the offending matter to ash and dust. The temperatures that a self cleaning oven reaches are typically above 800 degrees which is several hundred degrees beyond the typical ovens maximum setting. This is a fairly effective way of cleaning an oven although it’s not perfect. It seems to work best on the interior of the oven walls but not as well on the glass window although it does make a big difference.
If you have a self cleaning oven this is a great way to take care of the majority of the gunk and buildup in your oven. You’ll still need to go back and clean out the as residue and work on the glass and some other minor spots though. The baking soda, water, and vinegar solution can help knock out the remaining areas or you can use a good quality steam cleaner to finish up the rest of the job.
It’s recommended that you stay home while the self cleaning oven is doing its job. Self cleaning ovens are considered safe to use but it’s wise to keep an eye on them just in case given the incredibly high temperatures they reach. If there is excessive buildup in your oven it is possible that it could catch fire. Even if it does, it’s not likely to cause a problem but is possible. Be sure to remove as much grease and oil from the inside of your oven as possible prior to using the self cleaning option. Also make sure nothing has been left inside accidentally such as a utensil or cleaning rag.
A good additional step is to use a good non abrasive cleaner such as Bar Keepers Friend. Non abrasive cleaners won’t excessively wear on the interior surfaces of your oven and will help break down remaining bits of caked on debris. From time to time there just isn’t any substitute for good old fashioned elbow grease but hopefully we can keep that to a minimum.
The easiest way to clean an oven is to use the baking soda, water, and vinegar method and then have a steam cleaner handy to finish up with those remaining difficult bits. Self cleaning ovens are great too but aren’t perfect. A good steam cleaner alone also isn’t a perfect solution. Ultimately a couple different methods are going to be the best option. These tips should make the job much easier and more pleasant than scrubbing with chemicals and abrasives.
There’s no reason to continue to ignore the mess inside your oven. It really isn’t that difficult to tackle. With the proper techniques cleaning away that grime is a snap.
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