Friday, 19 December 2014

how to clean an oven - homemade, eco-friendly oven cleaning

"Essex fire brigade to help clean people’s ovens in new safety initiative"

If you're not lucky enough to live in Essex where the friendly Fire Brigade will  clean out your oven, then you may be dreading the big oven cleaning job after cooking up a mammoth Christmas roast next week.

So what are you going to do?

You can hire someone in.  (if your looking for someone we can recommend Mike at OvenU In Cambridge -

You can buy some super strong, grease busting, eye watering, chest wheezing products that will break down a lot of the build up. 
"OVEN CLEANER: one of the most toxic products people use. They contain lye and ammonia, which eat the skin, and the fumes linger and affect the respiratory system. Then there ís the residue that ís intensified the next time you turn your oven on." can try this method.  It will take some simple household products to make a home-made, Eco-friendly oven cleaning product, and a little elbow grease (sorry guys....but who ever said being good was easy?) But at least you won't be inhaling some truly horrid chemicals.

How to clean an oven

What You Need

Baking soda
Rubber gloves
Damp dish cloth
Plastic or silicone spatula
Spray bottle
White vinegar


  1. Remove the oven racks: Remove your oven racks, pizza stone, oven thermometer, and anything else you have inside the oven. Set aside.
  2. Make a baking soda paste: In a small bowl, mix a 1/2 cup of baking soda with a few tablespoons of water. Adjust the ratio of both as needed until you have a spreadable paste. For me this took about 3 tablespoons of water to get the desired spreadable consistency.
  3. Coat your oven: Spread the paste all over the interior surfaces of your oven, steering clear of the heating elements. I used gloves for this portion as my oven was pretty grimy. It helped me really get in there and coat the dirtiest nooks and crannies without having to worry about all that grime under my nails. The baking soda will turn a brownish color as you rub it in; it also might be chunkier in some places than others. That is fine. Just try to coat the whole oven to the best of your abilities, paying attention to any particularly greasy areas.
  4. Let it sit overnight: Allow the baking soda mixture to rest for at least 12 hours, or overnight.
  5. Clean your oven racks: Meanwhile, clean your oven racks. See the full cleaning tutorial below.
  6. Wipe out the oven: After 12 hours or overnight, take a damp dish cloth and wipe out as much of the dried baking soda paste as you can. Use a plastic or silicone spatula to help scrape off the paste as needed. I found that the damp cloth was enough for me, but a spatula might come in handy in those hard-to- reach places.
  7. Spray a little vinegar: Put a little vinegar in a spray bottle and spritz everywhere you still see baking soda residue in your oven. The vinegar will react with the baking soda and gently foam.
  8. Do a final wipe down: Take your damp cloth and wipe out the remaining foamy vinegar-baking-soda mixture. Repeat until all the baking soda residue is gone. Add more water or vinegar to your cloth as needed while wiping to really get the oven clean and shiny.
  9. Replace your oven racks: Replace the oven racks and anything else you keep in your oven, and you're done!

How to Clean Oven Racks in the Bathtub

What You Need

Two old towels
Hot water
Dishwasher detergent (powdered or liquid)
Non-abrasive scrub brush or sponge
Bar Keepers Friend (if needed)
Dry towel

  1. Lay down a towel: Line the bottom of your bathtub with two old towels. This is very important to prevent the oven racks from scratching your bathtub. Place your oven racks on the towel.
  2. Cover the racks with hot water: Fill your bathtub with very hot water until the oven racks are covered.
  3. Add dishwasher detergent: Add 1/2 cup of powdered or liquid dishwasher detergent to the bath water. Swish around until dissolved.
  4. Let soak for 4 hours, or overnight. Allow the racks to soak for 4 hours, or overnight.
  5. Brush off any remaining gunk: After soaking, gunk and stains on the racks should be soft and easy to wipe off. Use a non-abrasive scrub brush or sponge with a little Bon Ami or Bar Keeper's friend to tackle any remaining tough spots.
  6. Rinse: Rinse with water and dry completely.
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