Cooking in a dirty oven can stink out the kitchen and also sour your food. Because an oven has so many dark pockets, food residue often goes unnoticed and subsequently gets burnt to a crisp every time the oven is re-used. This is precisely why regular oven cleaning is a must. While some advocate a deep clean once a year, the truth is that you're much better off performing regular cleans of a smaller and more focussed nature. By now you're probably thinking that, since you very rarely clean your oven, you're not even sure if you have any of those old cleaning products stored anywhere. But that's beside the point since none of them are required. Commercial oven clean products are packed with corrosive agents that can harm your skin and are fatal when swallowed, therefore a risk wherever children are present in the home.
Instead, you most likely have all you need on hand already. Proven across all types of cleaning elsewhere, lemon juice, vinegar and baking soda are saviours in domestic cleaning. Armed with these simple but effective means, you can transform your oven quickly and without any subsequent concern about chemical odours affecting your food after the cleaning is complete.
Before we delve headlong into a discussion about how our organic means can add real meaning, it helps to quickly cover some basics in preventing oven mess. Next time you put that casserole on to cook, place cookie sheets beneath the bowl. Use the same method across similar dishes, while placing aluminium foil at the bottom of the oven whenever dealing with foods you know are likely to spill in advance. In the event that any spillage does occur, wipe up immediately after taking a moment to check any internal oven residue with each cooked meal.
Let's begin by addressing grease. Use natural dish soaps are recommended here since they are derived from natural sources, across plants and coconuts, and are proven in dissolving stubborn fats.
To deal to bad oven odours, simply squeeze a couple of lemons into a baking dish before filling it with an inch of water. Toss in the rest of the lemons. Proceed to place the dish itself into the oven and put it on to bake for half an hour at 250 degrees. This method works wonders since the citrus oils will work persistently to soften gunk and food residue while leaving your oven smell of lemons.
Burnt on food is harder to remove, but can still be done so with all natural means. Simply apply baking soda, sprinkling it across the bottom of the oven before coating with water from a spray bottle. Ideally do this before bed at night in order for the baking soda to work its magic. Remove with a sponge the following morning and you'll discover that gunk and food residue comes off with every wipe. In the case of more stubborn burnt on food however, apply vinegar and further baking soda to problematic areas before letting the two sit for half an hour. Scrub off after this time has passed.
As for the glass window on your oven door, chances are it's become non-transparent with the build up of food residue and moisture stains. In this case, mix baking soda and lemon juice up, forming a thick paste before rubbing it onto the door. Let the paste sit for half an hour and then scrub thoroughly.
As we end our discussion on this leading topic in kitchen cleaning, we mustn't forget about the usefulness of our oven's self-cleaning function. This option is helpful because it allows your oven to reach temperatures of around 900 degrees Fahrenheit as food residue is burnt off entirely. While energy consumption will likely deter the most eco-friendly among us, your self-cleaning oven is double insulated meaning that overall energy consumption is in fact reduced. Only do this once a year however since anything beyond that could begin to impact on your oven's efficiency in general heating.