Last May I wrote about how I tried to make my own oven cleaner. At the time I was surprised that it worked pretty well – even though I attempted it during a time crunch caused by melting down children.
All year, though, I remembered what a mess I had to deal with. Because I added far too much white vinegar, I ended up with a baking soda and vinegar lake in the bottom of my oven – and it wasn’t so enjoyable to figure out a way to get it out.
This spring, I knew I had to clean my oven – and I was prepared. I did not want to revert to toxic sprays. I just needed a little strategy to add to my baking soda and white vinegar. So here’s what I did:
Remove all the burnt food remains from the inside of your oven. (If you’re a clean freak, you probably won’t have to do this step. If you’re like me, you will.)
Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of your oven. Pour just a small amount of white vinegar on top of the baking soda.
While an optional step, I turned the oven on to 150 degrees for five minutes, in an attempt to melt some of the grease and loosen some of the dirt. (An Accidentally Green reader suggested this step. I think it helped.) Let the oven cool for about fifteen minutes.
Scrub your oven. I tried to wipe and scrub with an old cleaning rag, but wasn’t getting much scrubbing action. So I wadded up a used piece of aluminum foil and used it as a scrubber. The foil got completely filthy and I didn’t feel bad about throwing it away afterward – that small square served many purposes.
Keep scrubbing. Wipe clean with warm water. Scrub some more. Wipe some more. Your oven will get clean – and you’ll be able to breathe without gagging on the fumes of toxic chemicals.
Have you tried any homemade cleaning methods while scrubbing your oven? What has worked? What has not worked?
Read about easy and affordable ways to make a healthy difference in your own home in my eBook, Accidentally Green.