Cleaning your oven is a job almost no one looks forward to. It is awkward, smells, and if you leave it too long, it can become incredibly difficult. A well-maintained oven will not only last you longer, but it can also reduce the preheating and cooking time.
If your electric oven has a self-cleaning setting, then your job just became a whole lot easier. All you need to do is use that feature and wipe away the dirt and ash once it has done its thing. If you prefer cleaning your oven the old fashion way, or don’t have a self-cleaning feature, then read on for an easy how to clean your oven guide.
What materials do you need to clean your oven?
- Baking soda
- Dishwashing detergent
- A soft-bristled brush or toothbrush
- A dry cloth or paper towels
How often should your oven be cleaned?
How long is a piece of string? There is no one size fits all answer to this question. It will depend on how often you use your oven and what is being cooked. It is a good habit to wipe up any spills immediately to avoid cleaning it more often than you must. Cleaning your oven lightly once a month is generally enough, with a deep clean during spring. It is important to note that if you leave it too long, the baked-on grease and grime cause your oven to smoke, which can affect the flavors of the food.
If you are not using your oven frequently, you can get away with peeping in it every now and again and giving it a wipe down.
What is the best way to clean oven racks?
It is inevitable for your oven racks to get dirty. Thankfully, they can be cleaned while you are cleaning your oven. Just slide the racks out of the oven, and if they don’t fit in your sink, pop them into the bathtub (you may want to put a towel under them to protect your bath).
Fill the sink or bath with hot water and wait for the racks to become completely submerged. Dissolve half a cup of dishwashing liquid into the water and add a generous splash of vinegar. Let the rack soak while you clean the oven. The longer you can leave them soaking, the better. At least 5 hours is recommended, but overnight is even better. Once they are done soaking, the effort required to clean off the last bits of baked-on gunk should be minimal. Make sure you give them a good rinse-off to remove any suds, dry them off, and then you can pop them back into your nice clean oven.
How to clean an electric oven using baking soda
Cleaning an electric oven is very similar to cleaning a gas oven. In fact, it is even simpler.
Start by making a paste using half a cup of baking soda and three tablespoons of water. Once you have removed the racks, use the sponge or paper towels to get rid of any loose gunk and grime. Make sure you should give the entire oven the once over including the back, roof, sides, bottom, and door.
Using your old toothbrush or other soft bristle brush, gently work the paste onto your oven. You will need to pay attention and be careful not to scratch the heating element.
Make more paste if you need to and once you have finished, allow the paste to soak for a minimum of one hour. If you have more time or a particularly dirty oven, leave it longer.
To remove the paste, you will need to spray it with vinegar. Once the paste is moist, you can wipe it away using a sponge or old cloth.
Allow to air dry with the door open or wipe it down and then replace the rack. Once you have closed the door, it is a good time to give it a wipe down with some vinegar to remove any oily finger marks or other marks.
How to clean your oven with store-bought cleaning products
Start by removing everything from your oven to give yourself as much room as possible to work. Open the oven door and lay out an old newspaper or an old towel on the floor underneath your oven.
You should always read and follow the safety instructions for your specific oven cleaning. The chemicals used are often harsh and can be toxic to humans. Spray your oven cleaning solution on the interior of your oven; make sure you coat the roof, sides, bottom, and door. Make sure you don’t spray directly onto the heating elements of your electric oven. Close the oven door once you are finished.
Allow the spray to sit for the needed time listed on the label. This will generally be between 20 and 30 minutes.
While you are waiting, take the time to clean your oven racks. You can either leave them to soak or, if you are in a hurry, use the oven cleaner on them. If you use the oven cleaner on the racks, make sure you are in a well-ventilated space.
Once the spray has been left to sit for the appropriate amount of time, you can clean it off. Using a damp cloth, open the oven and wipe down all surfaces. If there are any spots that are still sticky or grimy, you should try and use a microfiber sponge or other abrasive tool to get them off. Ensure you are very thorough with your wipe-down as you don’t want to leave any chemical residue to be evaporated next time you are cooking food.
Once your racks have been cleaned, rinsed, and dried, you can put them back into your oven, and you are all finished. Once you have closed the door, it is a good time to give it a wipe down with some vinegar to remove any oily finger marks or other marks.