CleaningTIPS

How to clean your oven with baking soda

By Gianna H

We've all heard about natural cleaning alternatives, but how do you actually get started?

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You may have heard people raving on about using baking or bicarb soda as a cleaning product. And I mean, they really rave. But once you’ve tried using it in your home, you’ll probably join in raving too. Let’s take the way it works as an oven cleaning service.

It’s an inevitable truth that we will splatter food down the inside of our ovens: our pasta bakes bubble over, oil spills from a roast, sauces drip onto the racks—at some point, sooner or later, we’re all faced with a black, sticky mess in our oven. That, to be honest, we ignore for as long as possible – right?!

But eventually, the time will come when we need to clean it which means you’ll need an oven cleaning service to remove the baked-on grime, or simply turn to two cheap supermarket ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry: baking soda and vinegar.

What about chemical store bought oven cleaners you ask? Well if you read the instructions on any chemical oven cleaning product, you’ll soon realise it’s not for the faint-hearted: “Do not allow the product to contact skin, hair or clothes…CORROSIVE…may produce severe burns…attacks skin and eyes…wear thick long, rubber gloves and eye protection when using, including when wiping the oven clean…” Hey, you practically need to wear a Hazmat suit if using these products.

On the other hand, we have baking soda. It’s an ingredient in cupcakes. Not quite so scary.

 

Baking soda and bicarbonate of soda (“bicarb soda”) are leavening agents, meaning they create bubbles which expand while baking, causing batters to rise. Bicarb soda is the purer form of the leavening agent and requires an acid plus moisture to cause the bubbles. Baking soda is simply bicarb soda which has already been premixed with an acid (often cream of tartar).

It’s this bubble-making action that is so effective in lifting food debris from your oven. When you use baking soda or bicarb soda together with the highly acidic vinegar, the resulting mixture breaks down food particles like nobody’s business.

Because it’s a natural product you might be assuming it can’t be effective on a crusted-up oven, but it actually does a brilliant job (rave, rave). Best of all there are no harsh fumes emanating from your oven next time you bake, and no caustic chemicals potentially lingering in the place where you cook your food. Sure, you may want to wear rubber gloves if old food grime is a bit icky, but at least you won’t be risking burns if you don’t.

So what’s the best way to use baking soda as an oven cleaning service?

  • Begin by removing your oven racks. These likely need a good clean too, so place them to soak in your sink with hot water and a splash of vinegar.
  • Meanwhile, mix equal parts water, baking soda and vinegar in a bowl to create a spreadable paste.
  • Spread this paste on the inside of the oven, coating all interior surfaces but avoiding the heating elements.
  • Add a thick layer (about a quarter of an inch) to the bottom of the oven. Leave overnight or at least 12 hours.
  • The next day, use a wet cloth to wipe out as much of the paste as possible.
  • Pour vinegar into a spray bottle, spritz all surfaces and wipe down with a clean cloth.

To clean the oven window:

  • Make another paste and apply it directly to the window and let sit for half an hour.
  • Use a clean cloth to wipe the window clean.
  • If there are stains inside the double oven window, you may also need to carefully unscrew these so you can clean the inside of the glass.

To finish up…

  • Thoroughly wipe off all the residue and rinse everything with clean water and a clean sponge.
  • Add some vinegar to your sponge to get your oven extra shiny.
  • Wash off the racks–this will be a breeze after their soaking–and return them to the oven.

Did somebody say cupcakes? 

For really stubbornly baked on grease and food, you might need to repeat your oven cleaning service to get perfect results. Just make sure all the baking soda residue is removed completely before you use the oven again to cook with, as any baking soda that remains on the heating elements can cause smoke.

And hey presto: the shiniest, cleanest oven you ever did see. So clean and so safe, you could eat out of it…

Short on time or elbow grease? If you would like to find an Airtasker who provides an oven cleaning service.

Discover more tips about how to clean the oven.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gianna H

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